Workforce shift is ‘hot topic’ for Group Benefits providers

Workforce shift is ‘hot topic’ for Group Benefits providers | Insurance Business

Workforce shift is ‘hot topic’ for Group Benefits providers

The Canadian workforce is experiencing a major demographic shift – and it’s placing new pressure and demands upon Group Benefits providers.

By 2020, it’s estimated that millennials will make up around 50% of employees. They’ve grown up in the era and expect the speedy, digitized lifestyle to go with it.

Different generations have different expectations from their workplaces and their benefits. It’s one of the “hottest topics” in the Group Benefits industry right now, with providers looking at how to take this “era of disruption and innovation” and apply it to their business, according to Julie Gaudry, senior director of Group Insurance at RBC Insurance.

“Group Benefits providers need to be mindful of the workforce demographic shift. We have to continue doing an excellent job delivering traditional offerings like health, dental, life and disability coverage, but we also need to keep pace with evolving client expectations to ensure we’re offering the programs, resources and services that will satisfy the changing demands of our clients,” Gaudry told Insurance Business.

“We have to consider how different demographics view their benefits. Are they looking for a more traditional plan or do they want something that’s a little bit more flexible and has some additional features, like a health spending or lifestyle finding account, additional programs or mobile apps? There’s a really important shift in the workforce that employers and insurers need to keep on top of.”  

The way we interact with our benefits is influenced heavily by our experiences with other industries, such as online shopping or mobile banking. This is promoting a rise in simple, automated approaches to Group Benefits solutions, according to Gaudry.

RBC Insurance launched a My Benefits App in January 2017 to provide mobile access to members on its Group Benefit Solutions program. Giving plan members “power at their fingertips” and the ability to file a claims submission through their phones was “an important feature to provide,” in today’s evolving workforce, Gaudry said.

“Insurance brokers also need to continue adapting with the times and look for the right solution that best supports the needs of a client,” she added. “For brokers and other third-party advisors, there’s a real opportunity to look at what other value-added services group benefits providers are offering.

“Carriers in the group benefits market are increasingly focused on providing value-added support and extra assistance to meet client needs, such as employee assistance programs, additional healthcare programs, HR support and other advice pieces. Different demographics want different things from these services – and it’s important to address that.”   

Related stories:
Time to demystify the travel insurance sector
RBC group chief risk officer retires