It’s open season on your clients’ benefit programs

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With open enrollment season around the corner, we’re starting to see more buzz surrounding benefit communication best practices for HR professionals to get employees engaged. With the right advising strategy, introducing new benefits and creating excitement and interest around annual enrollment is possible for employers.

HR, total rewards and benefits specialists rely on their brokers and advisers to know what’s hot, and what’s not. According to the recently published Sontiq 2019 Benefit Broker Survey there was a 20% jump from last year in organizations requesting to add identity theft protection into their benefit wheelhouse. Wellness programs though still top the most in-demand progressive employee benefit.

See also: Employers unprepared for 401(k) plan data breaches

Employees are no longer staying at the same company. A full 75% of those workers ages 18 to 34 believe in the power of job hopping for the purpose of securing a higher salary and even acquiring new skills, according to a 2018 survey from recruiter firm Robert Half. This clearly puts the onus on organizations to step up with not just competitive, but interesting benefits that will make current and potential employees feel good.

Gone are the days of organizations relying solely on core benefits to attract and retain employees — today’s workforce is demanding more. Student loan assistance, pet insurance and identity theft protection are also increasingly being added to the benefit mix.

Advisers can help employers keep their pulse on the most attractive benefits. For example, in Sontiq’s survey advisers responded that there is more of a need to protect client’s information from data breaches.

See also: Data breaches are putting client data at risk. Here’s what advisers can do

As HR and benefit teams work to make 2020 open enrollment season a success, it’s the role of the adviser to inform and direct them on how to balance between value to employees and cost to their organization. Seeking easy-to-implement value-add benefits with tailored programs to fit any budget, along with partnering with vendors that have high-touch service and support, should be a top priority for advisers. The challenge is to ensure advisers are recommending the right benefits to clients.

So before you get the call from your client on which progressive benefits they want, get proactive, read more about the latest reported trends and pay attention to the calls you are getting from your clients.

But pay even more attention to the one’s you’re not getting. As competitive as the benefit market is, it’s even more challenging to stay ahead and not let a competing benefit adviser edge you out of an existing client relationship because they’ve made connections and relationships that you haven’t.

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Adviser strategies Open enrollment Benefit communication Benefit strategies Voluntary benefits Employee benefits Client communications Client strategies Client relations