Providing benefits for employees can make or break a company. However, managing the rising cost of employee benefits proves a consistent challenge for many small to midsize businesses. For human resources departments, it’s invaluable to hire a benefits broker who offers services and expertise based on the business’s unique needs. Not only do benefits brokers help companies save money, but companies retain more employees when they provide excellent benefits. According to LinkedIn’s 2020 Global Trends Report, companies that rated highly on compensation and benefits saw 56% lower attrition.
HR departments for small and mid-sized businesses should look for insurance brokers who specialize in businesses similar to their size. These brokers consider each of their clients a priority, giving them more time and energy. With their deeper understanding of your business, they assemble customized options for your employees. If you’re wondering about the different ways your benefits broker could better support your company, here are some essential services to consider.
Thorough Analysis, Advice, and Recommendations
Without a doubt, an excellent benefits broker provides an analysis of a company’s current benefits, demographics, and needs. This helps them advise on the best suited, most cost-effective benefits packages available to individual companies. While each broker has a specialization, your company wants a broker who can thoroughly describe different benefits options and how they help your employees. Choosing a benefits plan counts as an important business decision and affects the well-being and satisfaction of your employees. Therefore, businesses need someone who can offer advice on what plans minimize cost, save money, and support employees.
Guidance on Compliance
The laws and regulations concerning employee benefits continue to evolve and become more complicated. Your company should hire a benefits broker who feels confident in their ability to ensure your business stays compliant with these laws. While the human resources department has the foundational information about benefits compliance, licensed benefits brokers must learn about the nuances of these regulations. This includes the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), and other state and federal level legislations. This makes them well-versed and capable of offering expert-level guidance for your company.
Employee Benefits Education
Businesses gain trust from their employees when employees feel empowered in their understanding of the options, details, and costs of benefit plans. When choosing a benefits broker, check if they offer to educate employees about their benefits plans. Benefits brokers often come into the workplace to answer employees’ questions about coverage and benefits and guide employees through the enrollment process. Employees can use their knowledge to more holistically approach their benefits options. Moreover, open communication allows brokers to adjust offerings to suit employees’ concerns and needs.
Effective HR Communication and Support
The relationship between a company and its insurance broker does not end once employees enroll in their benefits plans. Communication and support must continue throughout the duration of the relationship. Often, a benefits broker serves as the liaison between the company they work for and their insurance supplier. They have the skills to smooth out any issues, communicate questions or efficiently resolve problems regarding employee benefits. Look for benefits brokers who offer critical support and impeccable customer service, as these qualities will take stress off the human resources department of a small business.
In 2019, the Society for Human Resource Management published that 58% of organizations reported offering general wellness programs as part of their employee benefits. If your employees show an interest in improving their lifestyle, consider a benefits broker who knows about different programs for wellness benefits. Wellness benefits take a different approach to employees’ health by making daily healthy options more accessible. They range from gym memberships to nutritional programs that help decrease the risk of illness and boost employees’ health. As a result, employees feel valued by employers, work more productively and miss work less often, ultimately saving the company money.
Hiring the ideal benefits broker for your business requires time and careful consideration. Employees make up the strength and core of a company, meaning their experience matters. Luckily, there are resources at your HR department’s disposal to help.