Since the start of the year, we have put a lot of effort into promoting the idea of being a full-service broker. We have discussed how full-service relates to digital transformation, non-medical benefits, voluntary benefits, and so on. It is all driven by something we have observed within the American workforce as of late: its heterogeneous nature.
We are not the only ones to have made this observation. A study conducted by LIMRA and Ernst & Young between June and September 2021 revealed just how heterogeneous the modern workforce is. Not only that, but the study also suggests that this heterogeneous workforce will drive benefits forward for at least the next five to six years.
A More Diverse Workforce
A heterogeneous workforce is, by its nature, more diverse. We are seeing diversity play out in the post-COVID workplace in many ways. For example, companies are now employing four generations of workers.
Even though the baby boom generation has finally reached retirement, the youngest of that generation are still working. Underneath them is a full complement of Gen Xers and millennials. Coming in behind is a new generation that will eventually replace baby boomers entirely: Gen Z.
These different generations have different needs. Older workers are more likely to be interested in voluntary benefits like long-term disability insurance. The youngest of today's workers expect things like student loan repayment assistance.
Diversity in Employment Status
Another key factor revealed by the LIMRA/E&Y study is diversity in employee status. It is no longer a given that the vast majority of a company's employees will be traditional payroll employees as there are increasingly more gig workers and freelancers.
According to the study, 26% of all adult workers in the U.S. are gig workers. Among them, 83% are gig workers by choice. They love what they do and would never go back to traditional employment. Unfortunately, though, 47% say their biggest challenge in the gig economy is gaining access to traditional employee benefits.
As a full-service broker, the gig economy represents a gold mine for expanding your book of business. You can make the most of it by developing benefits packages that meet the needs of both traditional workers and their gig counterparts.
Focus on Non-Medical and Voluntary Benefits
Being a full-service broker in an era of heterogeneous workplaces is all about seeing the forest and its trees simultaneously and focusing on providing non-medical and voluntary benefits capable of meeting a variety of needs.
Employers appreciate non-medical and voluntary benefits because of these:
- Help control costs
- Fill gaps left by traditional benefits
- Contribute to better hiring and retention
At the same time, non-medical and voluntary benefits represent revenue creation and protection for you. There really is no reason to not put effort into finding these 'extra' benefits for your clients. And remember this: there are always other brokers ready to step in and offer what you don't.
Workforce Evolution Will Continue
It is clear that today's heterogeneous workforce is far different from what we knew 10 and 20 years ago. It's also clear that the evolution we are now seeing will continue for the foreseeable future. Your ability to adapt to that evolution will be an important factor in whether you grow your book of business.
Remember that the workforce has and will continue driving the development of new benefits. Today's heterogeneous workforce is taking benefits to an entirely new place in which diversity is the centerpiece. Embrace that concept and you will be in a good position moving forward.