Benefits Buzz

How to Stay Ahead of Your Clients' Evolving Expectations

Posted on January 7th, 2020

Benefit needs and strategies are constantly evolving. But, one thing hasn't changed. Employers value the expert guidance they get from their benefits brokers.

A new employee benefit trends report from MetLife examines the changing expectations of employers – and finds that the list goes way beyond cost savings. 

What your clients expect – and how you can deliver

At a glance, what employers expect from their benefits brokers and consultants hasn't changed dramatically in recent years. The expectations that top the list are largely the same from year to year.

However, the MetLife report takes a deeper dive into the responses of employers and employees to uncover insights into how expectations are evolving – and how brokers can deliver for their clients.

The size difference

Not surprisingly, a company's size drives what they expect from their broker. While the largest companies are more likely to look to their brokers for insights, innovation, and financial wellness, small and mid-size companies expect brokers to deliver a combination of strategic and tactical guidance.

For example, as employees seek increased options that enable them to meet their individualized needs, 59% of all employers expect product bundling recommendations from their brokers. But the interest spikes to 70% for mid-size employers with 100 to 4,999 employees and 71% for larger employers with 5,000+ employees. Small employers with fewer than 100 employees also express an increasing desire for bundled solutions, with nearly half (48%) interested in broker recommendations for multi-product bundles.

Company type factors in

Expectations among white-collar, blue-collar, union, and non-union companies also provide interesting insights for brokers. For example, white-collar employers are slightly more interested in cost-saving options from their brokers compared to their blue-collar counterparts.

Differences between union and non-union companies are more pronounced. 73% of union-based employers are interested in their brokers sharing expert guidance around new and innovative benefit solutions. In contrast, only 49% of non-union employers feel the same.

The meaning of cost-savings

Of course, no matter the size or type of the company, employers expect brokers to help them identify cost-saving opportunities. But the strategies employers are looking to explore differ across the segments.

For example, while mid-sized and larger employers are looking to increase employee contributions to benefits, blue-collar and smaller employers are the most likely to implement plan design changes as a cost-cutting strategy.

In addition to the deep dive on what clients expect from brokers, MetLife’s report also shares insights about employer interest in emerging benefits and employee perceptions. To learn more, download the full report and start turning the insights into action for your clients.


Source: Examining Strategic Benefit Trends: What Employers and Employees Expect — and How Brokers Can Deliver, 17th Annual MetLife U.S. Employee Benefit Trends Study, 2019.



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