Top 5 Benefits Trends to Watch in 2020

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As wage growth continues to stabilize, and the labor economy reaches a near-saturation point, customized benefits packages can be a silver bullet strategy for attracting and retaining top talent.

Consider these five benefits trends that will drive employer benefit decisions and workplace perception:

Investing In Talent

As more and more skilled workers compete for jobs, companies will have to continue thinking creatively about how benefits packages can set them apart from the competition. Moreover, customizable options that represent employee needs today and in the future will be a valuable tool to win over current and even prospective talent.

"Amidst the tight labor market, there are increasing numbers of job switchers compared to new entrants. Given this workforce climate, we're going to see employers pushing to attract these job switchers through robust and personalized benefits packages," said Bruce Whittredge, Vice President of Broker Channels at ADP.

Integrating Technology

As employers expand their health and wellness benefits packages to include flexible work hours and telemedicine benefits, they will also need to start considering how adaptable technology can make their data flow more seamlessly across systems.

According to Whittredge, "The next year will be all about enhanced API connections with carriers, which empower employers to integrate multiple applications in a secure environment, all while enabling real-time data sharing and the reduction of administrative tasks."

Customizing Benefits

The shift from one-size-fits-all benefits packages to more customizable options was prominent in 2019. We expect this trend to expand and evolve in 2020.

"As benefits today transcend traditional offerings such as health, dental and vision, more package decisions are made outside of that vacuum – often extending across multiple disciplines in an organization: from payroll, to HR, to benefits and back. As a result, Human Capital Management (HCM) data needs to be able to integrate and flow seamlessly," claimed Stephen Kapusta, Vice President Channel Strategy at ADP.

Differentiating Using HCM

With M&A activity heating up, benefits brokers will continue to feel pressure to grow organically and differentiate themselves in the crowded marketplace. In order to do this, brokers will have to pivot away from being system agnostic and take a more definitive stance using data.

"Traditionally, brokers have favored taking a neutral stance when it comes to data systems. As we head into 2020, I think we will see more brokers finding ways to integrate HCM data at a higher level to ensure they are providing unique and customizable solutions to appeal to various client needs," added Kapusta.

In the new year, data will remain one of a broker's and/or HR manager's most helpful decision-making tools in their day-to-day.

Educating Channel Partners

As new benefits options continue to proliferate, in parallel, so will benefits regulation. In order to keep pace, channel partners will need to self-educate frequently.

Whittredge also added, "Education is at the root of being a good partner. Without education, channel partners cannot deliver high-quality customer service, advocacy or counsel. The more we're integrating education into the core of communication with our channel partners, the more successful our 2020 campaigns will be."