Amidst continued economic volatility, financial stress has surged to unprecedented levels. According to BrightPlan's 2023 Wellness Barometer Survey, a staggering 92% of employees are stressed about their finances. High inflation, the rising cost of goods, and market volatility have created a constant state of uncertainty, intensifying employees' financial anxiety and pressure. In this challenging landscape, organizations face a crucial mandate: providing support for their employees' wellbeing while simultaneously navigating the need to tighten budgets and do more with less. This dual imperative requires a deep understanding of employee needs and the ability to deliver the right support where it is needed most.

As employers recognize the importance of targeted and focused benefits, they increasingly rely on benefits brokers and solution providers to help navigate the complex landscape. These partners play a central role in enabling employers to better understand benefits needs, curating the right mix and driving engagement and utilization among employees. They also help play a key role in ensuring that employees receive the targeted assistance they need to weather this economic storm. 

Identifying employee pain points

BrightPlan's 2023 Wellness Barometer Survey found that the top innovative benefits employees want are flexible time off, financial wellness programs, and fertility assistance. Employees are also not satisfied with their current benefits offerings, particularly when it comes to the financial benefits available to them. In fact, 74% of employees are not happy with their company's financial benefits and 1 in 4 don't even know if their employer offers financial benefits beyond retirement matching and stock options. Yet, 94% of leaders say their company offers employees the financial guidance, support, and tools they need to achieve their life goals (compared to only 48% of employees). The discrepancy between employee and leader realities highlights the significance of benefits advisors and solution providers in bridging this gap. They are well poised to help assess their clients' employee benefits needs and guide them to select the right options for their company. Through actively listening to employee needs, spearheading employee pulse surveys, analyzing data from digital solutions, and benchmarking against similar companies in the industry, they can enable HR and benefits leaders to determine whether their current benefits offering addresses employee needs, where the gaps may lie, and how to best drive benefits engagement and utilization. 

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