Speak with an adviser 1-800-861-9364

Start Here
Employee Benefits, Uncategorized

2021 Retrospective: What We’ve Learnt About Benefit Strategy

If you want to get to a better place with your employee benefits you need to plan the right route, board the bus, trust your driver, and be ready for challenges that might happen along the way.

You may encounter bumps, tight corners and steep hills on the journey, but if you have confidence in your strategy and you communicate with your people, you will reach your destination — an economical employee benefits program. 

One that will attract and retain top talent because your people will appreciate and value what is offered. However, you cannot change your destination overnight, you need to plan ahead, listen to recommendations and strategize a way to succeed.

When you take the straightforward approach to your employee benefits, repeating the same process you have before, the path becomes predictable and easy. You feel safe taking the same route, at the same speed, but each time you travel, it costs more to get there. 

Change can be intimidating.

If you want more rewards— attractive employee benefits that stay within budget — you may need to approach your benefits in a different way. Learning about your options and understanding everyone involved in the process on a deeper level, which will allow you to choose the right plan for your people.

If you’re worried about making modifications to your plan, know that not all plans need big changes to make a significant difference. Some benefit plans need to be rebuilt, while others only require small adjustments. What determines the changes and produces the best results depends on the needs of your people and business.

But you can make any changes, big or small, if recommendations aren’t understood or if the value of the proposed solution isn’t truly known. As the client you need to listen more and ask questions. Be clear about your concerns and be prepared to work through the process. 

Some important questions you should consider are:

  • What makes this solution a better option?
  • What will making changes accomplish?
  • How will these changes benefit your people?
  • What is required to roll these changes out?
  • What are the long-term and short-term gains?
  • Are you ready to make a difference?

Being inquisitive, asking these questions and actually hearing the answers can give your benefits plan the chance it needs to succeed. After all, if you have a strong understanding of your business market and your people’s needs, you should have the same understanding about your benefits plan. 

But the results are rewarding.

Our job as advisors is to listen more and be certain the recommendations we provide are a good fit. 

We have fantastic strategies and tools to use for clients but to solve problems, we have to understand everyone involved at a deeper level. We can propose a solution, the right solution, but if the solution doesn’t fit the company or the value is not seen, we cannot implement the solution successfully, it just wouldn’t work.

Leaders, advisors and employees need to be open minded, we need to embrace new ideas, and face the challenges that come with innovating and improving what’s already there.

Heading on a new journey and changing your employee benefits program has to be advantageous and truly support your company mission. Every business and every workforce is different and you need an employee benefits plan that is just as unique. Designed specifically to protect your investment and the long-term sustainability of your most precious resource – your people.

If you don’t agree with the recommendations from the beginning, the journey to better benefits will become a problem for you and everyone on your bus. As the team leader, you need to first accept the coordinates so the driver can take you and your team to the desired destination.

Employee Benefits, Uncategorized

Why You Shouldn’t Let COVID-19 Stop You From Improving Your Benefits Plan

The past few months have forced changes upon people around the globe as COVID-19 has impacted our health, employment, and general way of life. As a result, many employers who were hoping to make positive changes in their business have experienced “COVID paralysis,” or concern about making additional changes when there’s already so much instability and uncertainty due to the pandemic.

If improving your benefits plan was on your to-do list, though, that shouldn’t change even in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak. Indeed, working with your adviser now can help provide your employees with a sense of stability and comfort that can help make this tough time a bit easier on them.

Avoiding the Inevitable

Whether you were already planning on changing your benefits plan before COVID-19 hit, or you’ve just become more frustrated with paying more for your benefits every year without seeing any improvement in the quality of your plan, waiting to make improvements won’t solve your problems; it merely pushes them farther down the road. In fact, putting off improvements to your plan now could mean waiting even longer to see the impact of those changes.

Some of the ways the pandemic may impact your plan and business include:

  • Higher carrier rates – up to 50 or 60 percent – because of a feared increase in cases
  • Increased time for important decisions within your plan
  • Additional employee absenteeism due to illness or taking care of loved ones

While no maintainable positive changes will take effect immediately, getting started on improving your benefits plan as soon as possible can give your plan the boost it needs to help your employees and your business as a whole.

Putting Savings Where They’re Needed Most

Your employees are the engine within your company, and they may be experiencing anxiety about their employment and financial status as layoffs and pay cuts take place around the country. You can work with your adviser, however, to use the funds saved through your benefits plan to reduce cuts and keep your employees and their families from having to worry about their economic stability at home.

For example, the Journal of the American Medical Association estimates that approximately 25 percent of healthcare spending in the United States is wasteful, with up to $101 billion of that waste going toward “overtreatment or low-value care.” Your adviser can help eliminate this unnecessary spending within your own plan, and you can then reallocate those funds to avoid layoffs or even hiring new employees who may be newly out of work due to the pandemic.

Savings for Safety

Great healthcare is more important than ever in the midst of a global viral outbreak, but your plan can and should do more for your business. Consider how the savings accrued through a more efficient plan could help keep your employees safe. Digital solutions such as telehealth can keep your workers away from a waiting room full of sick patients. If your employees must work closely together, perhaps your savings could be used to invest in equipment and devices that reduce the risk of transmission of the virus.

Whether these investments are permanent or temporary, the impact of having additional protective measures when they’re needed most can keep your employees safe and working. Additionally, this shows that your workers that you value their health, which is an attractive quality in both current and prospective employers.

Stability in a Time of Uncertainty

While changing your benefits plan during constantly changing external circumstances may seem like a big risk, it can actually provide you and your employees with much-needed security. Working with your adviser to make improvements to your plan in the time of COVID-19 can get your business started on developing benefits that will keep your workers employed while also implementing measures that will protect their health, safety, and financial security.

Contact us today to learn more about why fear of change could be holding your benefits plan back from its full potential.

Employee Benefits, Uncategorized

How Digital Communication Can Give Your Employees Easier Access To Their Benefits Plan

Many companies have relied on various forms of digital communication for years now, and the emergence of COVID-19 has only increased the importance of remote accessibility between employees and employers. Your employees should be able to access their benefits just as easily as they can access a workplace group chat or message board, and implementing the proper tools in your company’s benefits plan can increase your workers’ comfort and understanding when using their plan.

While this transition may seem dramatic, chances are that your employees have already grown accustomed to digital communication platforms. In 2019, the Pew Research Center found that 81 percent of U.S. citizens owned smartphones, and regardless of age, your employees are likely to be comfortable using apps and accessing websites on at least one of their devices. In fact, you’ll likely find that they prefer having more remote ways to use their benefits tools.

Here’s how improved remote communication can increase your employees’ satisfaction with their benefits plan:

Staying in Touch in Real Time

One of the greatest perks of modern technology is how it speeds up communication and response times. Rather than waiting for face-to-face meetings for their questions to be answered or their concerns to be addressed, your employees can have their benefits needs met online, often instantly. Online portals and apps can put expert advice and personalized benefits tools at your workers’ fingertips, allowing them to find what they need no matter where they are, whether they’re at home, at the doctor’s office, or virtually anywhere else.

Accessible for the Whole Family

Your employees may have experienced the frustration of having to relay information from a benefits meeting back to their spouse, relying on their own notes and memories when they themselves don’t have a complete grasp of the content. By making pre-recorded meetings available online, your plan’s digital tools can:

  • Ensure that your employees and their families have access to the same expert-delivered information
  • Make the meetings available and rewatchable at any time
  • Give employees and their families the opportunity to learn about their plan together

Making benefits tools available on digital platforms doesn’t just positively impact employees – it affects everyone on the plan for the better.

Tools for the Future

The number of business owners who are relying on digital benefits tools has increased since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, but the usefulness and practicality of these tools won’t cease once life returns to normal. Many advisers who have broken away from the status quo have been recommending digital tools in benefits plans for quite some time, and it’s only a matter of time until they become standard features of any benefits plan.

You don’t have to stop holding in-person meetings between your employees and advisers. Integrating remote technology into your plan, however, can increase your employees’ ease of access now and beyond the coronavirus outbreak.

Better Benefits From the Comfort of Home

Implementing digital communication tools in your benefits plan may seem like a big change, but your adviser can help facilitate the transition for you and your employees, making this important tool easy to access. By giving your workers easy and quick access to information, including family members in the conversation, and using tools that will be commonplace in the future of the benefits industry, you can use technology to take your business’ benefits plan to the next level.

Contact us today to learn more about how to make the most of digital communication in your benefits plan.

Start Here