Two driving concerns in the insurance market today are the demands of cost control and talent management - and the most effective way to both balance and optimize the two for organizational gains.
For many organizations, this requires rethinking how they spend and structure their benefits budgets.
As is often the case when rethinking situations, there are naturally...questions.
- Are we currently optimizing benefit offerings?
- Are we willing to reconfigure our benefits budgets and benefits packages to optimize employee satisfaction, workforce productivity, talent attraction, employee retention and retirement preparedness?
- Do we recognize that benefits plans may be designed to drive the behaviors of our employees?
- Do we want to customize benefits packages to design plans that include disability management programs to reduce absences and improve overall workplace productivity?
- Are we offering our employees adequate protection against financial risks during their peak working years?
Benefits optimization is a strategy, or best practice approach, to designing a portfolio of employee benefits that optimize desired workforce outcomes against a given benefits budget. In other words, benefits optimization strategies help employers optimize their workforces in terms of the investment they make in their benefits packages and overall benefits program, with employee productivity, talent attraction and employee retention in mind. Recognizing that benefit plans may be designed to drive employee behaviors, many employers work with benefits brokers and consultants to optimize benefits using broad frameworks that span group benefits, health and wellness, retirement, and compensation. The reality is, compensation and benefits professionals need to focus on effective ways to utilize their budgets.
Why? For starters, optimizing workforce packages and taking a more vital look at benefits optimization across the board helps organizations to remain competitive. For example, most voluntary insurance benefits policies can be offered, sold or provided with or without corresponding major medical plans, and research shows that offering these benefits helps round out an overall benefits package. Additionally, companies providing access to voluntary accident insurance are, in general, reporting declines in worker compensation claims, with many employers who offer voluntary insurance policies also experiencing a decline in worker absenteeism once they begin offering voluntary benefits.
Data & Analytics
The increased offerings in powerful data and analytics tools and strategies are integral in an enterprise's benefits optimization goals.
With more detailed knowledge of employees, businesses can present benefits packages that not only address, but understand, employee life stages and behaviors - resulting in the capability of companies to capitalize on educational programs, employee communications and unique offerings designed specifically to drive desired employee outcomes.
In fact, deploying long-term data analytics may even provide greater insights about how the plan population will grow, change and evolve over time - giving CEOs the opportunity to brace for workforce changes and make better informed inform decisions regarding how to customize plan designs to better serve employee segments in the future.
It is important to keep in mind, taking a customized approach to designing specific benefit plans may help companies usher employee behaviors - leveraging benefits to truly optimize current and future personnel.
Every company wants to get the most it possibly can out of its benefits plans.
All employers want to drive desired behaviors throughout employee segments, as well as identify and reduce overlaps or gaps in coverage and interdependencies that may result in cost increases. Did you know that businesses that never consider changes to coverage levels and benefit plan designs may not only pay with costs associated, but also with drops in employee productivity and higher medical insurance expenses? It's true. However, with proper planning, strategy, tools and execution, organizations can optimize benefits plans that drive progressive outcomes.