The employee benefits provider of the future will have to adapt to fragmented career paths and may stop seeing employers as the client.
Given that the customer of the future wants solutions rather than products, the employee benefits provider of the future will offer a wider range of products, all designed to work together.
Knowing that careers are becoming to be more fragmented (shorter tenure, parallel income streams, the gig economy), the employee benefits provider will also reduce its dependence on employers.
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The employee benefits provider of the future will offer a broad platform with multiple products (not least life, retirement, health, auto and home) open to employees of multiple companies. That doesn't mean every employer's scheme will be the same, as there will still be specifics tuned to the desires of individual companies. But all of the core covers will be the same, allowing the benefits provider to leverage massive buying power, securing excellent deals for employers and employees alike.
Because the core benefits are the same across companies, they're also portable - very helpful in a world where employees hop regularly from job to job. When an employee leaves company A, he or she can port the entire benefits package to company B. If there’s any premium shortfall, the employee can pay that personally. And the employee benefits provider retains the employee as a customer for longer.
But the new proposition goes even further - because the model recognizes the gig economy and is therefore open to one-person businesses such as Uber drivers as well as employees of larger companies. This, of course, further broadens the customer base served by the provider.
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In time, workers' loyalty will perhaps become more focused on their employee benefits provider than on their individual employers - re-positioning this segment of the industry and opening up further opportunities for innovation.
Earlier articles in this series can be found here.