According to The Benefits Edge: Honing the Competitive Value of Employee Benefits, authored by Ronald Leopold, vice president of MetLife Institutional Business, to help drive business results and optimize benefits programs, employers should view their benefits strategies from a fundamentally new perspective. Based on extensive research, The Benefits Edge “introduces an innovative benefits framework that provides a systematic view to making more strategic benefits decisions,” according to a press release.
The book is designed to help benefits decisionmakers maximize the value of their employee benefits spend by looking at benefits as a strategic investment in the key business goals of employee productivity, retention, and attraction. After reading the book, brokers and employers should be better positioned to assess the competitiveness of their benefits programs; reorient the benefits discussion with senior management; and craft actionable solutions for a challenging economy that are sustainable over the long-term, according to MetLife.
Expanding Benefits Purpose
In the book, the reader is encouraged to assess whether their benefits resources are appropriately allocated across a framework of four fundamental benefits categories.
Each category transforms a traditional approach into a broader value proposition:
- Medical coverage is broadened to health and well-being.
- Retirement accounts are expanded to overall financial security.
- Time-off policies and voluntary benefits are part of larger life balance needs and fulfillment.
- Benefits administration is transformed to the employee experience encompassing coordination, communication and delivery of benefits and education.
MetLife said the new framework should help employers develop more effective benefits programs by:
- encouraging healthy lifestyle choices so that employees can be more productive when at work, while health costs are driven down;
- creating a partnership that allows employees to access the information they need to feel more in control of their personal finances and to make progress in saving for retirement;
- addressing the diverse challenges employees face when dealing with the demands of both work and family; and
- recognizing the potential to improve employees’ everyday quality of life in ways that will attract workers and build their engagement, loyalty, and productivity.
Through Leopold’s research, he found that all employers, regardless of their size, industry, and other demographic factors, fall into one of four profiles when it comes to their benefits offerings in comparison to their competition: Traditional, Standard, Flexible, and Progressive. The book contains a worksheet to help employers determine their profiles, which MetLife said can help in determining which benefits investments will be most effective given the employer’s culture and budget.
A free copy of the book can be requested at www.whymetlife.com/thebenefitsedge.