A New World of Work at the Workplace Benefits Conference
LIMRA’s 2023 Workplace Benefits Conference took place the first week of May in Newport, RI, with a new name in tow (it was formerly known as Group & Worksite Benefits) and a fresh look at the group benefits space. The conference theme New World of Work — New World of Opportunities and presentation topics drove home the idea that companies are evolving to adapt to the changing landscape of work and meet the growing needs and expectations of their employees.
The conference began with an industry overview and a look at four drivers influencing the industry today: technology, talent, agility, and ecosystems. As workplace benefits continue to evolve, it will take the right infrastructure, data, and workforce to enable success. As employees look for expanded benefit offerings, they will also look for effortless digital engagement experiences for ease of enrollment and benefit interaction. Looking at the benefit provider industry, there are carriers who have embraced this digital experience revolution and transformed their business front-to-back. These carriers can support self-service, real-time quoting, online eligibility updates, and digital claim submissions. Other carriers have taken a targeted approach, and looked to modernized specific touchpoints in the customer lifecycle where they believe they can have the greatest impact on a customer’s experience.
Wheel of Wellness
Throughout the conference, there was an emphasis on the expansion of wellness benefits. LIMRA’s take on the wellness wheel (created to help people build a well-rounded and balanced lifestyle) included five aspects of emerging benefits that employers should consider as future offerings.
- Physical: to maintain a healthy body.
- Mental: for emotional well-being.
- Financial: to assist with economic security.
- Societal: to give time or money for community benefit.
- Professional: for enhanced skills and career growth.
Employers should look to provide services in these five areas if they want to satisfy the needs of future employees, and carriers should be ready to offer products and services to meet this demand.
The Changing Workforce
Ernst & Young and LIMRA presented their latest research on the changing landscape of workplace benefits, highlighting the emerging trends since their last report in 2021. While the notion of remote work is here to stay, it was interesting to learn that the use of independent contractors is growing, even in markets not typically known for contract or freelance work. With millennials and GenZ powering the gig economy and currently making up more than 50% of the workforce, they will account for 65% of the workforce by 2031. Advanced technology offerings hold the key for carriers to capitalize on this growing market.
This year’s Workplace Benefits Conference focused on adapting to the changing needs of employees and meeting the growing needs of members, demonstrating the importance for the industry to evolve and respond to the challenges of a competitive and diverse labor market.
As always, it was great seeing old friends, making new friends, and exploring new and innovative technologies that fostered discussions on where the industry is headed.