HR Answers: The state of employee benefits

New study shows gaps in planning impact ability to manage benefits costs and address workforce needs with growing millennial presence.

Chicago-based HUB International Limited, an insurance brokerage, has released the results of its second annual employee benefits study: Employee Benefits Barometer 2017: Why Human Resources Must Take a Long-Term View. HUB surveyed more than 300 employee benefits professionals from organizations with 50 to 1,000 employees. The study explored the complexity of managing benefits and the value of multi-year planning to better position human resources as business strategists to the executive suite.

Mike Barone, president of HUB International’s employee benefits practice says, “Based on the research, it’s clear that there is still work to be done to position human resources as a strategic partner to the C-suite. As benefits are a major operating expense, HR leaders need to take a long-term view of their benefits plans to really demonstrate the value they contribute in talent acquisition, retention, attraction, productivity and ultimately company performance. HR isn’t quite there when 65 percent spend less than a year planning their benefits.”

“Unfortunately, the limited commitment to planning and implementing strategies for cost management identified in the study—as well as the lack of focus on addressing what employees want—is troubling,” says Linda Keller, national chief operating officer of employee benefits, HUB International. “There are many different generations in the workforce, and when only 28 percent of respondents are focused on the new millennial employee population, there’s a missed opportunity for HR. It could be standing in the way of HR getting a seat at the senior management table.”


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