Commodity vs. Value-Added Service: What to Look for in an Employee Benefits Consulting Firm
Choosing the right employee benefits consulting firm is one of the most important decisions your organization will ever make. Today’s HR departments are under more stress than ever before, and keeping up with the complicated web of government regulations while developing solutions that can be effectively applied to the unique needs of your organization is more than a full-time job.
There are numerous employee benefits firms out there, and most provide similar
service offerings. In this way, the industry has become highly commoditized, making it increasingly difficult for organizations to find the right partner for their HR department. But to successfully navigate the complexities of employee benefits, you need far more than just a firm that provides a wide selection of plans; you need trusted advisors who will help you make sense of everything and develop the right set of benefits plans for your organization.
Here are some important attributes to look for when selecting the right employee benefits firm to partner with:
Every organization is different, and each has its own unique philosophy, needs, and goals. For this reason, there is no “one size fits all” employee benefits package that is right for everyone. Benefits plans today are highly complex with numerous variables. An employee benefits firm needs to be willing to take the time to thoroughly understand the culture of your organization, what your employees want and need, and how to find the right package of benefits to satisfy your employees – with the goal of boosting productivity and worker retention.
Because of the complexities of various benefits plans, there are countless ways they can be packaged together to fit the needs of an organization. At times, this might require some ‘out of the box’ thinking. A well-established firm that thoroughly understands how the various individual and group insurance plans are interrelated can develop innovative and holistic solutions that go far beyond just employee benefits to areas such as Human Resources, minimizing your tax burden, legacy planning, and much more.
In any organization, issues will inevitably arise. For example, an employee adopting a child in the middle of the year and needing to add the child to their plan, appealing a claim denial, and numerous other unique circumstances. Your benefits consulting firm should be proactive and able to quickly resolve problems that come up with your employees during the course of the year.
The attribute that truly differentiates an exceptional employee benefits consulting firm is the commitment to personalized service. You have a business to run, and the last thing you need to spend your time on is keeping up with the ever-changing laws and regulations in the HR world. Your benefits consulting firm should be a true partner in your business; focusing on ensuring that you remain in full compliance with all laws and regulations and maintain your competitive edge.
There is no shortage of employee benefits consulting firms. But finding a firm with value-added services is not always easy. When evaluating your choices, ask plenty of questions to get a good sense of what they know, how they can help your organization, and most importantly, how comfortable you will feel working with them.