Benefits | 5 considerations to help you choose the right provider(s) to deliver your international benefits strategy

5 considerations to help you choose the right provider(s) to deliver your international benefits strategy

Choosing the benefits to offer your people across your international locations can be a time-consuming element of your global employee benefits strategy, but choosing the right provider to deliver these benefits can also be a complex task.

In this article, we share our top 5 considerations when choosing your benefits provider, to help you get it right first time.

The hard work unfortunately doesn’t end with deciding on what benefits you want to offer your people across your global locations. You’ll likely need to source multiple providers to be able to deliver your full range of benefits, exactly how you want them across all your locations.

The size of this task can be made larger by the harm it can do to your overall strategy if you get it wrong – investing in attractive benefits is all well and good, but they likely won’t be as impactful without the right providers delivering them.

Understanding your main challenges

When selecting a provider to deliver your international benefits strategy, there are a range of challenges that you may need to overcome. These include:

  • Language barriers: many providers will only supply documentation in their native language

  • Provider reputation: a well-known insurer in the US, for example, may not be as established or competent in other countries

  • Employee headcount: your preferred provider may not be suitable in countries where you have a smaller workforce

Our 5 top tips for finding the right provider(s) for you and your people:

1. Prioritise recognised names

While your benefits themselves should appeal to your people, having them delivered by a widely recognised provider is almost as important. Especially when it comes to benefits in more sensitive areas such as medical, wellbeing and finance, the value of having your benefits delivered by a household name that your people recognise and trust can’t be overstated.

Choosing widely recognised providers helps ensure:

  • Your people may be more reassured by a familiar name

  • Your people are more likely to take advantage of their benefits

  • Your benefits package is potentially more attractive to the best talent

2. Consistent provider = consistent strategy

You should be mindful of any concerns or challenges surrounding a provider’s ability to deliver your benefits sustainability in each location. For example, newer providers may be cheaper, but is their offering sustainably priced or are they just starting low to obtain business? The consistency of your strategy can heavily depend on the reliability of your provider, and a consistent strategy ensures:

  • Your people are treated fairly, no matter where they are in the world

  • Your core business values are stronger and clearer both internally and externally

  • People may be more likely to view your business as authentic, transparent and trustworthy

3. Communication is key

The right providers will help ensure that they not only deliver your employee benefits, but that your people around the world are fully educated on the benefits they are delivering. These informative sessions could be webinars, benefit summaries or guides, or regular email communications. When employees know the benefits they have and how to use them, it could:

  • Empower your people to take full advantage of their employee benefits

  • Remind your people around the world they’re valued by your business

  • Increase the return on your international benefits investment

4. Seek stakeholder advice

Stakeholders can be valuable sounding boards when it comes to deciding on an overseas employee benefits provider. Local office managers, employees and HR forums are all examples of resources that you can lean on for advice when sourcing suitable international benefits providers. Consulting a mixture of internal and external stakeholders helps to ensure:

  • You have impartial advice to help inform your decision

  • Your internal people know their opinion is valued

  • You can benefit from valuable local insights, if you have stakeholders abroad

5. Customer service support

As well as reviewing the providers’ customer service capabilities, it is important to make sure the local broker partners you use also provide in-country support to employees. This can help your people:

  • More easily process claims

  • Better navigate member portals

  • Streamline interactions with their insurer

NFP’s guide to international benefits

If you run an international business, we understand how challenging it can be to manage the employee benefits strategy in all your locations; from navigating legal and tax legislation to understanding local cultures, creating compliant and competitive benefits packages in multiple countries is no easy task.

In our latest guide, our global benefits specialists outline how you can help your business thrive internationally, implement new benefits and, importantly, ensure they remain fit for purpose. You will learn:

  1. What to consider when designing your global benefits strategy

  2. How to identify the right benefits and provider(s) to deliver them in all your locations

  3. How to efficiently administer and run your global benefits programme

  4. How to review and maintain oversight of your strategy

Get the Guide

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NFP is a leading property and casualty broker, benefits consultant, wealth manager, and retirement plan advisor. We enable client success through specialized expertise, innovative technologies, and enduring relationships with highly rated insurers, vendors and financial institutions across the globe.

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