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So Long to Benefits Buyer’s Remorse, Hello to a Personalized PEO Solution

How can SMB leaders combat buyer's remorse by getting a personalized solution from PEO partners.

Quick look: 2023 has been a big year for PEOs. According to the National Association of Professional Employer Organizations (NAPEO), awareness has risen 44% since 2018, with a record 33% of business owners using a PEO last year. But as this percentage grows, brokers and their clients are realizing not all PEOs are the same, and buyer’s remorse is real even when it comes to benefits.

An increasing number of brokers and their small- and medium business (SMB) clients are realizing the benefits a professional employer organization (PEO) can offer. By delegating HR responsibilities, such as benefit administration and employee management, to a team of experts, it allows SMB leaders to focus on other areas of growth.

However, some SMBs end up experiencing buyer’s remorse.

Benefits buyer’s remorse typically occurs when a SMB invests in employee benefits packages without fully understanding their costs, complexities, or the needs of their workforce. This often occurs with big-box PEOsnot providing the personalized attention and service to help clients understand their benefits in full. 

Benefit trends continue to change with demand, and finding a good fit for broker clients and their employees requires a tailored approach. Without it, SMB leaders end up paying for plans which aren’t as effective in recruiting and retaining the best employees.

What to avoid when investing in benefits 

A PEO partner provides a full range of HR services to SMBs, including premium benefits typically only offered by large companies. It’s an advantageous resource brokers can recommend to help clients maintain competitiveness and employee satisfaction. 

However, the value of benefits are relative to the employees using them, and without customization, it’s easy to buy into the wrong plan. Here are a few of the frustrations brokers may face when interacting with PEOs which focus on quantity over quality.

Ignoring disengagement among employees

Big-box PEOs rely on one-size-fits-all solutions to provide service to a greater number of companies. Though this may inadvertently work for some, the majority of businesses are left without the benefit plans they really need. 

And rather than reviewing employee participation rates from year-to-year, disengagement is largely ignored, leaving employees increasingly dissatisfied. Taking time to conduct employee surveys and one-on-one discussions prove invaluable for benefit enrollment and participation, though time is a luxury big-box PEOs normally don’t have.

Implementing every benefit trend

Understanding benefit trends is important, and in many cases, it’s smart to invest in them. However, trends come and go, which means only paying attention to current needs will not always give employees what they need long-term. What is most in-demand for a company now may not be the same in a few years as employees and their lifestyle needs change. 

Also, too many offerings can lead to employee indecisiveness and subsequently, unused benefits. Therefore, consistent communication and adaptation are important characteristics of any PEO partner. Otherwise, the benefits will miss the mark and be deemed less valuable. 

Failure to explain benefits

Benefit education is key to planning and yet, it often goes overlooked.

Announcing exciting new benefits is only impactful if employees understand their relevance. Too often big-box PEOs rely on general enrollment alone as the time for employees to understand what their plan options are. 

In reality, people’s needs change from year to year and require ongoing explanation and resources to help them navigate the best options for them. These types of mistakes will make any SMB leader experience buyer’s remorse and look for a trusted alternative to give them what they need.

5 ways ExtensisHR can help

Fortunately, a PEO partner like ExtensisHR can be a valuable resource for brokers and their clients who have been burned by a big-box PEO experience and want better for their companies. 

ExtensisHR has dedicated experts, resources, and an Employee Solution Center to answer client questions and provide tailored benefit plans to help brokers and their clients grow. To ensure SMB leaders feel confident about their benefit options and overall HR management, brokers can connect them to:

#1: Expertise and guidance

ExtensisHR has experienced HR professionals who can provide expert guidance on selecting and customizing benefits packages tailored to your clients’ needs and your budget. They can help make informed decisions about the types of benefits to offer, such as health insurance, retirement plans, and voluntary offerings.

#2: Access to multiple benefits providers

ExtensisHR has established relationships with multiple benefits providers, including health insurance carriers, retirement plan administrators, and more. This access allows them to negotiate better rates and terms on behalf of their clients, ensuring cost-effective solutions.

#3: Employee education

Clients have access to employee education and communication regarding benefits offerings. When employees understand their benefits, they are more likely to appreciate and utilize them, reducing dissatisfaction. 

#4: Scalability

As SMB clients’ business grows or changes, ExtensisHR helps them adapt their benefits packages to meet evolving needs. We offer greater flexibility compared to bigger PEOs. This can prevent the need for significant changes that could lead to disinterest among employees.

#5: Ongoing Support

ExtensisHR offers personalized, ongoing support for benefits-related issues, such as eligibility and plan management. This can help address employee concerns and provide creative solutions based on specific company needs. 

By working with a trusted PEO partner, brokers have an extra advantage to engage clients. ExtensisHR is among the 1% of PEOs which uphold ESAC Accreditation, Certification Institute (CI) for Workers’ Compensation and Risk Management, and is an IRS Certified PEO (CPEO). 

Moreover, collaboration and a person-to-person approach is part of what differentiates services from big-box PEOs. 

With a comprehensive suite of HR, benefit, and risk and compliance services, brokers and their clients can have their administration and management needs handled all in one place. Get more from your partnership by working with a broker-friendly PEO committed to your clients’ growth and success. Our team of HR experts is here to support you. Contact ExtensisHR today.

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