October 29, 2019

Speed, Access, and Partnership: What Enterprise Benefits Leaders Want and How Brokers and Consultants Can Help

Artemis Health recently conducted original research with over 300 enterprise benefits leaders. We learned about their motivations and goals, their opinions about healthcare data analytics, and their expectations for partnerships with benefits brokers and consultants. Our full research paper will be published soon, and we’ll recap highlights here on the Artemis Health blog. Until then, here’s a sneak peek at what we learned. Their answers will surprise you.

While 89% of benefits leaders place high trust in their benefits advisors, only 20% use them as a primary resource for benefits strategy.

Employee benefit leaders told us that they trust their benefits consultants and brokers, and they involve them in many aspects of their work. But when asked how they plan a strategy, only 20% said they involve their advisor as a primary resource. We think there’s tremendous opportunity for advisors to offer even more value to their clients. Other findings from the survey suggest that advisors can contribute to healthcare analytics, benefits data insights, and overall employee benefits strategy. 

From the research paper: 

“Although consultants and brokers have long been trusted advisors to companies with 5,000 employees or more, it’s clear that something has shifted. Perhaps being a trusted source of information is no longer enough to give consultants and brokers a competitive advantage. Maybe benefits leaders are looking for more tangible insights from their partners—more actionable support to face their biggest challenges.” 

79% say their ability to provide data-driven insights is essential to success.

Our research revealed the growing importance of data-driven decision making in the employee benefits industry. As more and more employee benefits professionals turn to data to drive their strategies, more of them feel confident in their ability to find, interpret, and act on insights from their benefits data.

Employee benefits leaders are primarily motivated by helping the organization meet its goals. 

With healthcare and benefits spending rising each year, we were surprised to learn that benefits leaders are focused more on larger organizational goals and less on saving the company money. When asked about what motivates them in their work, about a third of benefits leaders said they are primarily motivated to help the organization meet its goals (32%). Other benefits leaders said they’re most motivated by improving workplace culture (23%), helping employees get better healthcare (20%), or saving the company money (20%).

Drastically fewer benefits leaders are primarily motivated by moving to the next level in their career (7%) or proving the value of HR and benefits to the C-suite (7%). We can see that while personal motivations vary, benefits leaders are, by and large, driven by a greater purpose. The majority of benefits leaders are focused on organizational goals and needs—more than their own, those of their team, or even their own career. They are big-picture thinkers and team players who focus on the success of the organization over their own.

Employee benefits leaders are also measured based on larger organizational concerns. They told us their top three measures of success are: 

  1. Their ability to improve employee satisfaction
  2. Their ability to make data-driven decisions with healthcare analytics 
  3. Their ability to reduce costs 

It’s clear that cost savings on employee benefits are important, but not the primary driving force behind the benefits team.  

Only 18% of employee benefits leaders feel their benefits program is ahead of the curve. 

Benefits leaders aren’t necessarily confident that they’re on the cutting-edge of the benefits industry. Those who did feel they are ahead of the curve cited healthcare data analytics as the key to their innovation. The survey interviewed HR and Benefits leaders and they shared their feelings on innovation: 

“Through combining the data we have with analytics solutions, we have acquired the capacity to derive actionable insights to create an optimized benefits serving platform, so we’re ahead of the curve.”

“We use world-class business intelligence solutions to carve out the best benefits delivery system and ensure that it goes beyond the modern-day standards of the industry.”

“We try and make our benefits programs impactful by adopting smart and innovative solutions. Our efforts are to be highly structured and streamlined while using data, and we take meaningful actions as a result.”

The research paper goes into more detail on these findings and many others that highlight the motivations, goals, challenges, and successes of benefits leaders. It explores how benefits leaders see the role of their consultants and brokers, and ways they can help their clients make a larger impact on the efficiency and efficacy of employee benefits. Get the full research paper here

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