Advisors are a valuable member of employers’ teams as they try to find creative solutions to employers’ healthcare challenges. As 2020 showed us, unforeseen challenges can present themselves at any time, and successful advisors need to be able to adapt to the pressures they face as well as those of their clients.
Advisors can help employers build trust among their workers by addressing their specific needs. Targeted benefits programs show workers that their employers care about their needs.
From wellness to well-being
There’s growing research that suggests the efficacy of wellness programs is in doubt, according to SHRM. Some programs fail to meet their objectives, while others only meet them for a limited time before employees revert back to old behaviors.
Alternative Reimbursement: You Can’t Pay Less For Healthcare Unless You Pay Less For Healthcare
Thursday, June 10, 2021, 2:00 PM ET / 11:00 AM ET
The only way to pay LESS for healthcare is to pay LESS for healthcare. This simple statement sounds obvious but is ignored by most employers as reflected in their health benefits. For years, we have depended on the carriers to negotiate the price we pay for healthcare, having a more direct and transparent reimbursement (provider compensation model) is the key to immediately lowering your health benefits cost.
In a post-COVID world, even zero change in employees’ healthcare costs will likely still result in them spending a greater percentage of their income on healthcare. Why? Most household incomes are down so the focus shouldn’t be on maintaining the status quo, but on fighting to reduce overall costs and expenditures.
Instead, some employers are taking a more holistic approach by focusing on employees’ well-being: financial stability, stress management and emotional support, SHRM found. This shift was already happening when the pandemic started, but increased isolation among remote workers highlights the need for more comprehensive well-being programs.
Designing empathetic benefits programs
More than 90% of employees, HR professionals, and CEOs say empathy is an important business value, according to Businessolver’s 2020 State of Workplace Empathy report. Employees are making job decisions based on how empathetic employers are: 80% said they would switch jobs for a more empathetic boss.
Employers can show their workers that they care about their well-being by offering benefits that help them address their biggest concerns. That starts with understanding employees’ worries and fears. Nine out of 10 employees said generous PTO policies help retain workers and improve productivity. Meanwhile, a 2020 Fractl survey found better health, dental and vision benefits were the most important to employees, followed by flexible work hours and more vacation time.
Advisors can help their clients gather feedback from employees to find out exactly what they want from their benefits, and customize a program just for them.
Encouraging virtual cohesion
Of course, one of the unique challenges that businesses faced in 2020 was transitioning most, if not all, of their workers to a remote work arrangement. With more than half of remote workers saying they want to continue working from home after the pandemic, and a third saying they’d like to work remotely at least some of the time, employers will be managing remote offices for some time to come. That means business leaders need to do more to establish trust than they would under normal circumstances, according to a paper in Organizational Dynamics.