In today’s fast-paced and competitive landscape, brokers often struggle to provide the support and ongoing communication that their valued clients demand. Many employers expect brokers to assist them in achieving their human capital and benefit objectives, including addressing the communication needs of the largest generation in their workforce, the millennials. So, how can brokers remain responsive and connected to their clients while aggressively pursuing new business opportunities?
The key to meeting their benefit objectives is providing enhanced employee benefit communication and an expert level of support. Employees will appreciate and be more connected to their benefit package, thereby increasing their engagement, which means your clients will recognize a greater return on their benefit dollars.
A MetLife study reveals that 53 percent of employees indicated that they “need more help understanding how their benefits work or how benefits meet their needs.” In addition, nearly 42 percent of employees indicated that they “did not believe they used their benefits effectively.” Clearly, there is room for improvement. This is an opportunity for brokers to step in and provide a solution that helps employees both understand and use their benefits effectively.
What is the best way to communicate to the five generations of employees who are now working side by side in today’s workplace? The answer is a communication strategy that addresses the needs of all employees.
With so many generations in the workforce, a blanket communication style will simply not be as effective as multiple methods of communicating about benefits. Although there are always exceptions, research shows that employees over the age of 35 may prefer communicating by telephone, via email, or in person. In contrast, the under-35 crowd (millennials) overwhelmingly prefers communicating by smartphone, using apps and texts. In fact, studies show that the youngest generation is on mobile devices nearly 90 percent of the time. This dichotomy clearly demonstrates that communicating about employee benefits to this multi-generational workforce needs to extend beyond the traditional in-person benefit orientations and repetitive benefit email reminders.
In 2015, the percentage of millennials in the workforce surpassed the baby boomers. As millennials become an increasingly large percentage of the workforce, their communication style and benefit preferences demand attention. Millennials are the most likely generation to leave their employer for another job, while simultaneously being the most confused about their benefits. For example, only 52 percent of millennials say they have an understanding of life insurance and only 38 percent an understanding of long-term disability insurance.
Communicating with millennials and connecting them to their benefits is a challenge. A robust benefit package is a powerful employer retention tool, but employees must understand their benefits in order to value them. Research showing that younger workers have major gaps in benefit awareness and understanding demonstrates the need for a communication strategy that reaches millennials just as effectively as the other generations.
It may seem impossible to present your clients with a benefit communication strategy that supports this multi-generational workforce while still leaving you time to pursue new business. The secret is finding a solution that integrates all benefits onto a single platform and provides multiple benefit access points. It is essential that benefits are available through a 24/7 customer call center, an interactive web portal, and a well designed benefits mobile app. This enables all generations to engage with their benefits in the manner that they most prefer. Baby boomers can call and speak to a representative, while millennials can interact with their benefits through an app by simply tapping the screen.
Gain a competitive advantage by being a broker who provides unparalleled customer support. Identify a benefits management partner who can provide an enhancement to your current service delivery, offering a heightened level of benefit support and a communication platform that engages all generations. Providing a revolutionary benefit communication and engagement strategy will prepare you to meet the millennial surge, which is incredibly important, as millennials will represent 75 percent of the workforce by 2025. This approach will surely solidify your broker of record status, while enabling you to aggressively pursue new business.