Benefit and enrollment strategies for the future of work

October 18, 2022

Episode details

Employee benefits have taken a huge leap in importance, according to two new studies from the insurance-industry research group LIMRA. Listen as LIMRA’s Kimberly Landry and Unum Group’s Cindy Nevers discuss five mega trends expected to change the industry — and enrollment tips for employers to implement now. The full reports are available to LIMRA members, and previewed in this special episode for HR Trends listeners.

  • The studies: The first annual BEAT (Benefits and Employee Attitude Tracker) study surveyed employees to determine how benefits intersect with employee attitudes toward work. Harnessing Growth and Seizing Opportunity: The Future of Workforce Benefits presents megatrends to watch in the next several years, distilled from the insights of key industry stakeholders. [03:15]
  • Employees value startling new things. For example:
    • Employees are 7.4 times more likely to stay at their job if their employer cares about them (this is the second most important driver of retention, closely following career advancement opportunities).
    • They are 6.8 times more likely to leave if their employer is not committed to supporting diversity equity, and inclusion.
    • Caring is hard to measure, but LIMRA found one of the best ways to demonstrate care is to offer a wide choice of benefits that fit individual employees’ differing circumstances. See the free LIMRA infographic on what employees think about work. [06:00]
  • Money isn’t everything, especially for millennials. Only about 30% of millennials said salary was the top reason to choose an employer. The rest prioritized factors like work/life balance, flexibility and benefits. [9:15]
  • Benefits education and communication are vitally important All stakeholders agree that helping employees understand their benefits is of mounting importance, especially for supplemental benefits. Employers will need to:
    • Focus communication to make sure employees are aware of the plans being offered.
    • Rethink the emphasis on total self-service for benefits, especially for younger workers who have less experience buying and using insurance coverage. [10:30]
  • More is more. There is a strong correlation between employee satisfaction and the number of benefits offered. With five generations in the workforce, employers need to offer a large number of benefits employees can choose from based on their individual circumstances. See the free LIMRA infographic on what employees think about benefits. [19:04]
  • Rethink your benefits spend. Because employees value quantity and choice, it may not always make sense to commit the vast majority of benefits spending to offering the most generous health insurance plan. Supplementing a less generous plan with voluntary benefits like accident and critical illness can offer similar protection for employees while allowing them to tailor benefits to fit their age, lifestyle, income and other circumstances. [22:20]
  • Brokers aren’t going anywhere, but their role will likely change. As it gets easier to obtain digital quotes for benefits, employers will call upon brokers more for advice, guidance and strategy consultation — and less for curating quotes. Insurance is becoming more of a technology business, and brokers will be the ones who can help employers figure out how best to integrate benefits with their technology and which tech partners can help them save time and solve problems. [24:33]
  • Tips for this coming enrollment season:
    • Focus on communication and education. Consider a drip campaign of information, so employees are prepared when they sit down to enroll.
    • No matter what method of enrollment you use, make sure there is a way for employees to talk to someone and ask questions.
    • Then keep communicating after open enrollment, to remind employees of the benefits they have, how to use them and the value you’re providing as an employer.
    • Enlisting leadership in the communication effort will make employees feel more valued. [30:34]
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Kimberly Landry headshot

Kimberly Landry

Associate Research Director, LIMRA

Kimberly Landry is an Associate Research Director for Workplace Benefits Research at LIMRA. She conducts quantitative and qualitative research on hot topics within the employee benefits industry, with a specific focus on employer and employee perspectives. She is also responsible for LIMRA's worksite and supplemental health research programs. She is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and events. Kim joined LIMRA in 2008. She received her bachelor's degree from Wesleyan University and her master's degree from the University of Hartford.

Cindy Nevers

National Sales Leader Voluntary Benefits, Unum Group

In her more than 30 years with Unum Group, Cindy Nevers has held a wide range of leadership roles for both Unum and Colonial Life brands. She has led oversight for Group Client Services, Global Services/Project Implementation & Journey transformation, Field Operations and Field Compensation, and Client Management. Cindy led national broker strategy at Colonial Life and most recently became the National Sales Leader for Voluntary Benefits at Unum.

About the host

Clare Morin headshot

Clare Morin

Content Marketing Manager, Unum

Clare Morin is the Content Marketing Manager at Unum and a journalist who's spent the last 20 years interviewing hundreds of thought leaders on topics ranging from wellness to culture, finance, human resources and technology. Born in the UK, raised in Hong Kong and based in the U.S. since 2009, she brings a global outlook to the HR Trends studio.

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