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BENEFIT BUNDLES: 3 ADVANTAGES FOR EMPLOYERS

Apr, 03 2017


Have you seen this finding from a MetLife Employee Benefit Trends study?

“As the number of benefits offered in the workplace rises, so does employee appreciation, including their intent to stay….”

It begs the question: how can smaller employers compete with larger companies when it comes to their benefit plans? 

The need to hire top talent is just as critical for small and mid-sized companies as it is for larger employers (sometimes even more). But your small and mid-sized clients may feel overwhelmed – and perhaps even discouraged – when faced with stats like the average number of benefits offered by business size: 

  • Small employer (2-99 employees) – 5 benefits
  • Mid-size employer (100-4,999 employees) – 8 benefits
  • Large employer (5,000+ employees) – 10 benefits 

As a consultant who listens to your client challenges, what are you doing to make sure your small and mid-size clients are able to compete and offer a robust benefit offering that is attracting and retaining top talent?

Today, I’m sharing three advantages of bundling benefits for a more robust package that can help…

1. Affordable availability 

Obvious benefit choices for small to mid-size employers are health, dental, life, and possibly some disability or even vision insurance. Those benefits are widely available to employers under 1000 lives. It’s no secret large employers have buying power and the ability to administer many different employee benefits. One critical advantage of bundling is the ability for vendors to offer smaller employers a similar variety of benefits that larger employers enjoy. This opens the opportunity to employers with as few as 5 employees. Bundling not only pays off in availability, but also with affordability – more benefits for the money, per employee. It’s like buying in bulk, the volume drives the price down. 

2. Opportunities to customize

Another advantage of bundles is the ability to give employees a selection of benefits to meet their family’s specific needs. Rather than focus on the sheer number of benefits provided, add value by placing the power of choice in an employee's hands. The ability to customize is appreciated by employees and allows the employer to meet the needs of a diverse workforce (regardless of employee size, differences often exist based on age, stage of life, family status, etc.) For example, one employee will highly value pet care benefits while another has no use for them at all. Identity theft protection, legal savings, auto and home discounts – each of these appeal to some and not to others. Bundling can help employers of any size offer a plan that can be tailored to what each employee needs and values. Custom choices are a great way to provide a competitive edge to any benefits package.

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3. Simplified management & communication 

Streamlining a bundled package of benefits with one provider offers the additional bonus of simplifying management for an HR team. For smaller companies, the HR role may be filled by a single person. Any time you can simplify the administration process, HR teams of any size will be happy. It’s what we’re all aiming for, right? Plus, employees also appreciate the simplicity of having a single provider for multiple benefits. This allows them to communicate with fewer entities which equals less stress for everyone. In fact, another study by MetLife found "when enrollment is simplified, employees are able to discover the immense value of their benefits. As a result, their appreciation can enhance their loyalty and commitment to their company."

One more consideration! There’s nothing worse than doing the work of putting together a great benefits package only to discover no one is aware of the benefits – and therefore, they aren’t being used. When shopping for carriers who bundle, look for those who offer superior employee engagement, and simple administration of the benefits. After all, content is king when it comes to rolling-out benefit offerings.

Any size group can attract top talent and keep employees satisfied when the right strategies are applied to meet their challenges. As their consultant, are you really listening? My guess is growing the business is on the goals list for most clients. One of the best ways to grow a business is by hiring and retaining top talent. You’re positioned to help your clients achieve that goal! 

Now it’s your turn! What strategies do you suggest for smaller groups to compete with their benefits mix? How do bundles come into play? Comment below or email me at joann@freshbenies.com.

Jo Ann

For over 20 years, Jo Ann has been helping brokers and employers develop strategies and benefit programs for their clients and employees. She takes a consultative, holistic approach to benefit design by providing relevant solutions for employees and ultimately cost savings for the employers. She can be reached at joann@freshbenies.com.

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