While making the right decisions about which benefit packages will provide the best value to your employees is extremely important, equally important is the team you choose to shepherd you through the complex landscape of choices, requirements, and possible pitfalls that is employee benefits. In this post, we discuss some of the key attributes you should use to assess if you have a trusted advisor and partner, or just another benefits broker.
How Creative Are They
Since it stands that no two businesses are exactly alike, it would stand to reason that no two employee benefit programs are going to be exactly the same. Increasingly, however, small and medium sized businesses are under-served when it comes to the creativity required in finding company-centric benefit solutions tailored to the unique makeup of the business and employee group. When looking to make a switch to a new broker, get a feel for their creativity. Ask your prospective broker, “What’s the most creative solution you’ve ever come up with for a client?” and see what they say.
For example, If your broker is solely focused on health insurance at the expense of bringing other benefit options such as dental, vision, or 401K and FSA options, they may not be the right broker for you. Look for a broker that is going to dig deep and understand what is most important to you and your employees in order to maximize the customization benefit solutions that fit your business like a glove!
Employee Benefits: Educate, Educate, Educate!
As the business owner or HR Manager do you fully understand what it is you’re looking at? Are you making informed decisions? It’s your broker’s job to ensure that you’re clear on what is being offered when it comes to your employee benefits solutions. A sign that you may need to switch brokers is their investment in your education and that of your employees is not where it needs to be.
It’s one thing to come up with a bunch of quotes, thrown together based on what the last client who was similar went with, but it’s entirely different when a broker dedicates themselves to educating you and your employees about what’s available or what your current benefit program offers.
Benefits education should be layered to also include employees so they too have a clear understanding of what is available to them. They may discover that they had a previously unknown benefit available to them, which may help improve their lives! Happy employees tend to stick around longer, which helps retain top talent as well. The broker offering solutions to benefits education, and thus making your life easier in conveying value to your employees, is the broker you want as a trusted advisor and partner.
Ease of Doing Business
While finding the right mix of employee benefits and educating you and your employees about those benefits is important, how easy your broker makes your life is also critical when assessing whether it might be time to make a switch. Are you doing all the work when it’s time add (or remove) a new employee to the benefits package? Do you have to jump through a lot of hoops to get basic employee benefit tasks completed, or does your broker share in some or most of that burden? How easy is it to get timely, comprehensive answers to questions on the fly? These are all factors to consider when assessing who to choose. Ask the broker how their specific processes work for these scenarios in order to understand if you have a plain old broker, or a true trusted advisor and partner!
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About Holloway Benefit Concepts
HBC was founded in early 2011 by Ryan Holloway. After serving over 8 years on active duty in the US Marine Corps, Ryan transitioned from being a full-time marine into an HR professional in early 2003. This began a journey and awoke a passion for helping companies who value their employees. After spending time working with a COBRA and FSA Administrator, an insurance company, and a large brokerage, Ryan realized that there were more unique and creative solutions for businesses than other companies were willing or able to realize. Seizing on his own entrepreneurial spirit, Ryan set out to found an independent agency designed to provide unique and original insurance solutions. To learn more about HBC, visit https://hollowaybenefitconcepts.com/