The “easy button” isn’t always the right choice. Providing a high-quality, cost-effective benefits program is not always easy. Economic shifts, market trends, rules and regulations and changes in workforce demographics can contribute to a changing benefits program. Staying on top of factors that influence your benefits requires research and strategy design, and while offering the same program every year can work for some companies, most need to follow their benefits program closely.
Employee benefits are becoming a high priority for employees, with some placing the value of benefits ahead of salary. A recent Forbes article states, "One in 10 workers would take a pay cut to have access to better benefits." Numbers like this suggest the importance of providing functional, comprehensive benefits to all employees. And because most businesses have many different demographic groups represented in their workforce, such as generational gaps, length of service and functional background, employers who use a one-size-fits-all approach to benefits could miss reaching a large group of employees’ needs. The right benefits program can show employees you are invested in their health and wellbeing while lessening costs.
NOW IS THE TIME TO TAKE A DEEP DIVE INTO YOUR BENEFITS PROGRAM.
If your broker is approaching you in the fourth quarter to sign your renewal with little feedback or suggestions for improvement, ask questions. Discover why your costs have increased and learn what you can do about it. Some brokers prefer to provide clients with cookie-cutter plans with limited customization, ensuring employers this method is easy and cost-effective. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Knowing the difference is essential.
Consistent communication between you and your broker should occur throughout the year, not just during renewal time. Your consultant is a great source of knowledge and should be working with you to create strategies that meet your bottom line and address your people’s needs.
Continuing to "keep it easy" and sign renewals year after year with little change or strategy to improve your program could leave you, and your people, paying more. For example, carving pharmacy out of your program can feel intimidating. However, you could open doors to significant savings for your business and people.
YOU HAVE OPTIONS WITH YOUR BENEFITS PROGRAM.
The changes made to your program don’t have to be big. Small, strategic steps made slowly over time can achieve significant results. Without discovering what else is available for your unique workforce and budget, you could be missing opportunities to provide your people with high-quality care and reduce costs.
The easy button won’t work for every company and every workforce. Options do exist. If the right solutions haven't been found for you, it could be that the right options haven’t been presented. Keep looking and work with someone who understands your viewpoints and can match options to your objectives.
At Conner, we listen to your concerns and devote time to answering your questions. We have solutions that can work for your business and your employees. If you want to discuss your benefits program, consider reaching out.