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The changing market: why Employee Benefits Consultants are more important than ever

17 Apr 2018

How can you keep employees engaged and fulfilled? Enter the Employee Benefits Consultant...

Whether you work in Financial Services or General Insurance, the need for Employee Benefits Consultants in recent years has soared, as companies across the world begin to recognise the importance of comprehensive employee benefits strategies in the workplace. In today’s competitive market; attracting and retaining competent, skilled employees has become fundamental to organisational success, and a large part of that is down to a company’s culture. 

In an ever-evolving world where streamlining and digitisation have led to many company’s merging, undergoing rapid growth and changing direction; there is a certain degree of uncertainty leading to high staff turnover and a ping-pong effect on a company’s cultural DNA. The previous method of combating such effects with implementing Employee Benefit schemes, simply doesn’t fit the bill anymore.

The marketplace is changing, and so is the way in which employees are working, and living. As a result, many businesses are seeing sweeping changes in the way their employee benefit plans are structured and executed, as well as what the right benefits are - based on their organisation’s demographics.  Aimed at improving the mental and physical wellbeing of employees in order to drive employee engagement and staff retention, employee benefits strategies encompass everything from healthcare to flexible working as part of an increasingly sophisticated package of options that workers can tailor to their own needs.

Hiring the services of an Employee Benefits Consultant is vital if businesses want to maintain a passionate workforce and develop a strong company culture. Consultants in this arena take the pain away from navigating the minefield that is Employee Benefits packages. Broking insurance contracts is relatively straightforward, however a good Employee Benefits Consultant gets to know your business inside and out, understands where you are now and where you want to be, and importantly - knows which products and services to recommend, and which ones would be redundant. 

Employee Benefits have changed massively over the past few decades. For example, pension plans used to be seen as a bonus in the workplace, but today it’s taken as standard with the implementation of Auto Enrolment, and staff expect much more from their employers. Employee Benefits Consultants play a vital role in helping companies to better understand their workforce and develop options that ultimately offer them more job satisfaction by catering to them and their lives, rather than a blanket ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach. By introducing schemes like flexible benefits, people can pick and choose the benefits they want to suit them, whilst employers can implement strategies that reduce the risk of employee sickness or dissatisfaction. It’s a win-win for employers - ensuring their employees are satisfied, protected and cherished, whilst de-risking their business.

Many strategies are now shaped around a three-point scheme. This includes protection, which offers employees insurance schemes should they want it; intervention, which offers them workplace support; and prevention, which aims to prevent workplace sickness, for instance through free dental care, private medical insurance or cost-effective cash-plans with holistic therapies included. 

In a changing workplace, many companies are turning to Consultants to motivate and retain their workforce: the buzzword in employee benefits today is engagement, and there’s been a corresponding rise in the number of corporate Consultants, specialising in this new style of benefits, coming onto the market as a result. These consultants have one purpose - to tackle poor employer-employee engagement head on, by thinking outside the box and very often with highly skilled teams behind them, ensure the place we spend most of our time, at work, is a place we’re happy to be. 

The changing capabilities of technology have also made it much easier for Consultants to offer clients a high-quality employee benefits strategy that takes into account everything from increasing the value for money spent on benefits to ensuring that those benefits are competitively financed, to confirming they’re the right benefits in the first place! 

Today, companies can leverage new technologies to create in-house platforms that make it even easier for employees to access their benefits and stay informed; indeed, several employee benefits consultancies are starting to specialise in developing this technology, which can then be rolled out across the company by members of HR. Ultimately, a higher take up of benefits generally purports to a more protected, nurturing workforce.

Other factors are driving the sudden rise in employee benefits interest, too. Thanks to an ageing working population- by 2040, nearly one in seven Britons will be over 75- companies are attempting to improve their longer-term cost curve and increase their efficiency by addressing employee health, lifestyle choices and productivity. Combined with the pressure many companies are feeling to improve their profits and stay competitive in an unstable economy, employers need to boost their bottom line, which requires a consolidated employee benefits strategy to ensure maximum productivity whilst preserving employee satisfaction.

In summary, employers everywhere are waking up and embracing the potential benefits that Employee Benefits Consultants can provide. With the market constantly evolving, and companies fighting to attract and engage talented staff, many are turning to Consultants for ways to engage and retain their ageing workforce, whilst also ensuring productivity is at near maximum capacity. As a result, demand is increasing, fuelled by continuous improvements generated by new technology: now, a more holistic approach to engagement is becoming the norm - and it’s increasingly cost-effective to implement.

One thing’s for sure: for people thinking about pursuing a career in Employee Benefits, there’s never been a better time to get involved.

Take advantage of the market.

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Tagged In: Financial Services
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