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5 Tips to Keep Client Benefits Relevant and Competitive This Year

five tips to give business leaders answers they’re looking for as they work to stay competitive in the new year.

Quick look: Refining a benefit plan most relevant to a workplace can save on costs, increases participation, and keeps employees happier (and healthier). Consequently, companies become more competitive and are able to concentrate on other areas of growth. By following a few, simple tips, brokers can ensure their clients continually meet their benefit goals.

When it comes to business, benefits are personal. Each company has a set budget to work with, and each employee has specific needs waiting to be met. The days of the one-size-fits-all benefit solution no longer fit the complex needs of the modern workforce.

Therefore, it’s important to evaluate benefit relevance on a regular basis. Companies grow, employees come and go, and priorities change. Brokers who help their clients adapt accordingly will find long-term success rather than scrambling to only fulfill current demands.

But how do employers know for sure what works and what doesn’t? Is the investment always worth the payoff? And is there a way to accurately measure results?

These are common questions clients have when considering changes to their benefit plans. And here are five tips to give business leaders answers they’re looking for as they work to stay competitive in the new year.

1. Conduct client surveys

Offering year-round surveys helps brokers understand how clients feel about their benefits and identify any processes needing improvement. This ongoing feedback loop is crucial for keeping benefits aligned with client expectations​​.

Regular check-ins also take into account changes regarding company budgets, workforce demographics, and other information which may alter the value of a benefit plan. It takes the guesswork out of the process and results in higher satisfaction level from employers and their employees.

2. Offer pre- and post-enrollment communication

To protect a benefit investment, it’s important employees understand the offerings and their potential. Research shows 70% of employed individuals agree they’re more likely to work for an employer who paid voluntary benefits but less than half actually took advantage of them.


31% admitted to not fully understanding the benefits they selected during the enrollment period.

Brokers who offer pre-open enrollment communication and questionnaires can pinpoint areas of confusion regarding benefits. By integrating these findings into their communication strategies, brokers can ensure clients are well-informed and their benefits packages remain clear and beneficial​​.

During enrollment, there is a small window of time to explain benefit plans and answer individual questions, which can make employees feel rushed to make a decision. Therefore, planning various methods of communication, both virtual and in-person, is useful to provide the tailored guidance necessary to make a good decision.

Updating benefits to meet the needs of employees is the first step. But the way benefits are communicated is often as important as the benefits themselves.

3. Analyze risks vs. rewards

A broker can analyze risks and liabilities to determine the appropriate coverage needed. Utilizing technology-based tools to compare different options, brokers help clients choose the best policies for their specific needs​​.

Gathering personalized data helps drive client decisions and makes them more confident in their choices. Even a small investment can have a big payoff in the long run.

For instance, mental health benefits have been on the rise and a determining factor in recruiting and retention. In a survey conducted by the American Psychological Association, 92% of workers said it is very or somewhat important to them to work for a company providing employee mental health support.

Failure to offer these types of benefits puts companies at a disadvantage. Though costs may be greater to fulfill this need, employees are likely to be more productive, engaged, and willing to stay with a company because of it.

4. Assess business needs and employee demographics

Benefit planning is complex because there is no catch-all solution which applies to every company in the same way. For instance, when determining benefit budgets, it’s important to factor in where employees live, especially as more companies become dispersed due to remote working. Geographic location impacts the cost of living which subsequently affects the cost of benefits.

Additionally, company size makes a difference in benefit offerings as well. Large, enterprise companies have become well-known for their expansive benefit packages, making it difficult for SMBs to compete.

To meet the unique needs of small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs), a broker who works with a professional employer organization (PEO) partner can thoroughly assess factors like number of employees, employee demographics, budget constraints, and desired health coverage level. This enables the identification of the most suitable health plans for their clients​​.

5. Partner with a PEO

Brokers can leverage a PEO’s expertise in comprehensive benefit administration to provide up-to-date, competitive, and cost-effective solutions tailored to the changing needs of each client. SMBs have access to premium benefits commonly reserved for bigger companies and a dedicated team of HR experts to guide them through benefit trends and compliance changes.

Furthermore, by implementing HR technology, SMB leaders are able to see firsthand how their decisions affect employee performance and company costs and then, make changes accordingly. By connecting clients with a PEO partner focused on delivering results with a human-centric approach, it automatically expands a broker’s intrinsic value.

Through ExtensisHR, SMBs receive a cost-effective, comprehensive list of services including: human resources, payroll, benefits, recruiting, retention, and risk management. By delegating these full-time responsibilities, it alleviates pressure from SMB leaders and allows them to spend more time focusing on other areas of growth.

Meanwhile, brokers can rest assured their clients are receiving an exceptional experience. A PEO partner allows brokers to expand their offerings and differentiate themselves from the competition in a collaborative way. By working together to personalize a HR solution, it promotes long-term client relationships and encourages new ones.

We are here to support brokers and their clients in meeting their growth goals. Learn more about how our full-service approach can benefit you. Contact ExtensisHR today.

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