What relationships do HR pros have with group benefits brokers? What are some ways leaders can get more from their investments? Also, how can group benefits help to ensure a happy workforce?
Roger Thorpe tells Bill Banham in our latest podcast about what sort of benefits organisations should offer to their employees, and explores the ways in which this should be done.
Roger explains how his wellness consulting company, Thorpe Benefits, looks at how health impacts performance. Looking at it from a corporate standpoint, Thorpe Benefits asks how a healthy workplace impacts morale, productivity, and ultimately business success and competitiveness.
“WE ALSO KNOW THAT WELLNESS IS BECOMING THE BUZZ WORD. AS A CONCEPT, IT IS VERY BROAD IN ITS SCOPE; IT CAN BE VERY WEAK, BUT ALSO VERY IMPACTFUL FOR EMPLOYEES IF IT IS CHANGING THE WAY THEY BEHAVE.”
Roger’s also outlines how Thorpe Benefits went right into the corporate wellness space to find out what works and what does not. Roger explains how they also explore how to build a strategy around it and take less of a product approach, and more of a guidance approach towards it.
“IT HAS CHANGED THE ROLE OF A BROKER TO JUST A PRODUCT OR A BENEFIT BROKER TO ALSO A WELLNESS ADVISOR AND HEALTH ADVISOR. BENEFIT CONSULTING AND THE CLIENT REALLY NEED THAT.”
Roger also explains what clients are currently struggling with, highlighting that the nature of benefits are changing, and are moving from less of a cookie-cutter, rubber-stamp offering, to more of a combination of core benefits-risk protection, and letting the employee follow a path of healthcare that they personally require.
There is now a greater awareness and acknowledgement of the fact that if an employee needs something, employers should be able to give them access to it. This says a lot about the concept of employee experience, argues Roger.
However, the struggle, as Roger outlines, is how to do and offer this properly. It is important to consider how benefits that one organisation offer compare with other clients.
Roger also explains how benefits often move very slowly. In a competitive market for talent, Roger suggests clients expanding their benefits in advance, rather than just following the pathway of others. Being an early-on adopter of a feature will get attention that old-benefit models do not.
“RAISING EMPLOYEE UNDERSTANDING AND APPRECIATION OF THE PLAN IS ALSO IMPORTANT.”
Talking to clients on a regular basis as a broker is also of importance. This can be done within a mid and quarter-year review, for example.
It is also hard to know how much a benefit plan is contributing to staff retention rates. Surveys are therefore key in measuring employee experience.
“WE WANT THE HR GROWTH TO LOOK LIKE A HERO IN THE EYES OF THE EMPLOYEE.”
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Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview. With a master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at the University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.