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MetLife: The Power of Bundles

Feb 03, 2020

Enable small businesses to expand benefit choices, not budgets

With continued low unemployment rates, businesses of all sizes are refining their recruiting and retention strategies to ensure they're attracting – and keeping – the best employees. Employee benefits can play a pivotal role. Nearly half of small business employees (46%) say benefits are an important factor in their decision to join a company. And 64 percent say having benefit options they can customize to meet their needs would increase their loyalty to their employer.

For small businesses, competing for talent against larger employers with broader benefits offerings can sometimes seem daunting. Many small business owners often assume expanding their program would be cost-prohibitive, so they don't fully explore the options. As a result, small businesses may not be optimizing their benefits to help them win the war for talent.

Benefits matter

The success of a small business depends on its employees. Small businesses are often lean organizations. If an employee leaves unexpectedly, the company's day-to-day operations are immediately impacted because there are fewer people to step in and temporarily fill the gap. When a key position remains unfilled, small businesses see the effect in the bottom line right away.

Hiring and retaining skilled employees is critical, but it's not always easy. According to the quarterly MetLife and U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Index, 28 percent of business owners plan to add to their staff over the next year,1 but more than 40 percent say they have difficulty finding quality candidates.2 In a tight hiring market, a competitive benefits package can be the differentiator that helps candidates make their choice. And, once employees are on board, a strong benefits program can help drive satisfaction and loyalty.

So, how can small businesses offer benefit options that stand out?

A bundle of solutions

One size never fits all. But, in today's digital world, customization is expected across all types of consumer experiences. Benefits are no different. Employees want a range of options that enable them to choose the coverages that best fit their needs. In fact, 88 percent of small business employees say the ability to customize their benefits is a must-have or nice-to-have option.

Voluntary benefits offer a cost-effective option for giving employees more choices without necessarily adding to the company's benefit budget. Bundling additional voluntary coverages with key “core” benefits like dental and life insurance – all from a single carrier – not only provides enhanced administrative efficiencies. Often, multi-product bundles also come with advantages such as extended rate guarantees, rate caps at renewal, or higher guaranteed issue amounts designed to appeal to small business employers and their employees.

Brokers who recommend bundles of traditional benefits paired with complementary voluntary options can help their small business clients strategically enhance their programs. For example, as a basic bundle, pair dental with voluntary vision insurance options. Or recommend employer-paid life insurance with supplemental employee-paid options that can help employees access the protection they need at competitive group rates.

Employer- and employee-paid disability insurance combinations can be effectively packaged with accident and critical illness insurance solutions to help employees meet copays or deductibles, pay for extra childcare expenses, or keep up mortgage payments in the event they become disabled. Look for opportunities to broaden the bundle discussion to add in solutions like legal services plans, which can be a big win with employees without necessarily adding to the employer's budget.

The right benefit bundle can help a small business strengthen their benefits offering, and provide a powerful differentiator as they compete to attract and retain top talent. To get the bundle conversation started with your clients, download and share this piece showcasing the value of bundling voluntary benefits.

 

For questions or help with a MetLife quote, please contact a member of your B&P Sales Team - 888.722.3373.

 

Unless otherwise noted, the stats cited are from The Evolving Work-Life World: How Small Businesses Can Compete and Thrive, MetLife’s 17th Annual U.S. Employee Benefit Trends Study, 2019.

 

1 MetLife and U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Index, www.SBIndex.us, Q4 2019.

2 MetLife and U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Index, www.SBIndex.us, Q4 2018.

 

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