Why You Should Consider Self-Funding

cartoon stack of dollar bills

Self-funding has always been a potential cost-saving option for larger employers, particularly as health care costs have risen and the employee benefits system has gotten more complex with the introduction of ACA. Self-funding offers many potential benefits for employers:

  • More cost flexibility and often lower costs, as employers simply pay for medical expenses as they come rather than paying a premium to a health insurance carrier, in addition to lower administrative costs
  • More flexibility in plan design, rather than having to find a plan through an insurance carrier that fits the needs of their employee group and budget
  • Less regulation, because self-funded health plans are regulated differently than fully insured plans

Traditionally, self-funding was thought to be most feasible for larger employer groups, as they could assume the risk necessary with managing their own health care claims. However, today self-funding is moving down market as costs rise and regulations increase for small groups. Self-funding has become more of an attractive option for groups of all sizes, and the protection of stop-loss insurance helps mitigate the financial risk.

But due to the common perception that self-funding is for large groups only, many small groups don’t realize it’s even an option for them. Even many larger groups have never considered self-funding simply because they are familiar with traditional fully insured plans.

If you’ve never considered self-funding, or simply thought it wasn’t a good fit for a group of your size, this ebook is for you. Read on to learn more about self-funding and how it may be able to benefit you in this time of rising health care costs and increased regulations.


More Plan Design & Cost Flexibility

Self-funding has become an attractive option for employers of all sizes, as it offers more flexibility with plan design and can be an opportunity to manage soaring costs.

Self-Funding Isn’t Just for Large Employers Anymore

Employers of all sizes are starting to explore self-funding as a cost saving option—even smaller groups who traditionally never considered self-funding in the past. Why this move toward self-funding? It’s no secret that health care costs have continued to rise, and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has only added costs for many groups of late, especially for smaller groups. Self-funding offers a way to avoid many of the costs associated with ACA, while designing a plan that prevents some of the extreme cost increases that groups are facing today.

Plus, ACA actually makes self-funding a less risky option for small groups than in the past, due to the guaranteed issue provision. In the past, smaller groups may have worried about choosing self-funding, in case they couldn’t get a reasonable quote if they chose to go back to a fully insured plan at some point. With the guaranteed issue provision, groups need not worry about that risk, as insurers cannot deny individuals or groups coverage under ACA.


Self-Funding Allows Flexibility Not Found with Fully Insured Plans

One of the central benefits of self-funding is that employer groups have more options in terms of plan design, because they are not limited by the plans the health insurance carriers offer in the area. This allows more plan design and cost flexibility than shopping on the fully insured market. Self-insuring allows employers to get creative with their plan design to choose one or more plans that fit their budget as well as their employee needs.

This creativity in plan design is an important tool for employers looking to manage increasing costs while still providing a competitive plan to their employees. In the fully insured market, employers are limited by plan designs offered by health insurers, but can be much more flexible and creative when designing their own self-insured plan. Though self-funding is not for every group, many small companies are finding this option a good alternative as it allows them to tailor a plan that fits the unique needs of their small employer group.

In addition, rather than paying a premium each month, self-funded groups only pay medical claims as they come in—which can be a significant benefit for groups with healthier employee populations and active wellness programs. Plus, there are generally fewer administrative costs, which make self-funding more cost effective in many situations.


Fewer Regulations to Comply With

Not only has ACA increased costs, as mentioned in Chapter 1, but it has also introduced many new regulations with which to comply. In addition to increasing costs, these provisions add complexity and extra work to managing employee benefits. However, many of these provisions apply only to fully insured plans, which is another reason that self-funding has become more appealing for employer groups of all sizes. In this chapter, we’ll discuss some of the more prominent ACA provisions that have negatively impacted employer groups.

Community Rating

Adjusted Community Rating caused costs to increase for many small groups, in some cases significantly. In addition, quotes for smaller groups are now much longer and more complicated due to the Community Rating changes, making benefits planning more of a headache each year.

For this reason, small groups who many never have considered self-funding before are exploring that option to avoid the complexity of Community Rating.


Wellness

Another part of the Community Rating provision addresses wellness, and applies to employers of all sizes. It specifies that employers with wellness programs no longer get lower premiums for their healthier employee populations. Previously, investing in a wellness program and achieving a healthier employee population would pay off in the form of a lower premium in the fully-insured marketplace. Now that Adjusted Community Rating is in play, the employer no longer gets benefits for their wellness accomplishments and pays the same as any other company, negating the efforts of their wellness program.

Self-funding offers these companies the opportunity to take full advantage of the improved health of their employee population and design their health plan how they chose, without needing to comply with the Adjusted Community Rating provision—for example, they can offer lower premiums as incentives based on their wellness program.

Community Rating

The Medical Loss Ratio (MLR) provision states that insurers can only spend a certain percentage of their profits on “administrative” costs. For that reason, insurers have streamlined their operations in a variety of ways, with many insurers offering fewer plan options to small groups to keep operations lean and costs down. The result for small employer groups is that it is tougher to find a more tailored health plan to meet the unique needs a small group has, which makes self-funding an attractive alternative.

Employers who choose to self-fund are not limited by the plan design options provided by health insurers, and can design a creative plan that fits both their budget and employee needs.


What You Need to Know About Self-Funding

Self-funding is an attractive option to many employers because it offers more flexibility than traditional fully insured plans. However, there are other important factors to consider when self-funding.

  • ERISA: Self-funding frees you from some regulations, such as ACA, but is governed by ERISA, which is a federal law. This means that employers who self-fund have certain documentation and reporting requirements under ERISA.
  • Stop-loss insurance: Stop-loss insurance is a vital part of self-funding, particularly for a smaller group who cannot afford to take on too much risk. This helps the employer manage costs and offers a safety net for large claims.
  • Wellness: Self-funded plans can benefit significantly from an effective wellness program; the healthier an employee population is, the fewer claims there are likely to be. For employers who already have a wellness program, this is a benefit of self-funding. Otherwise, employers want to considering implementing a wellness program if they explore self-funding.
  • Administration: Administration is different for self-funding, so this needs to be a consideration. Many employers choose to work with a third-party administrator (TPA) to administer their plan.
  • Financial impact: Moving to a self-funded plan requires a much different budgeting and forecasting model, as claims must be paid when they occur, as opposed to paying a monthly premium. So while self-funding can certainly save money, it can also have a significant financial impact on an employer’s budget. It’s important to plan ahead for this change in budgeting and forecasting of costs.
  • Discrimination testing: Another important regulation on self-funded plans is that they are not discriminatory, so discrimination testing is a must.


Conclusion

Self-funding isn’t for everyone, but it isn’t just for large employer groups anymore. With the implementation of ACA and perpetually rising health care costs, self-funding is becoming another cost-saving option for many employer groups searching for the ideal benefit plan solution.

Benefits of Bundling Commercial Policies

Insurance carriers realize that offering additional lines of coverage to an existing customer is less expensive than trying to attract new customers. They also know that the more lines a given customer has, the longer they’re likely to stay with them.

While bundling policies is beneficial to insurance carriers, it is also highly beneficial to their customers. Similar to how bundling your personal home and auto policies may give you a discount, bundling your business policies can provide benefits way beyond cost savings.

Simplified Bookkeeping

Most businesses require a number of insurance policies in order to properly insure their operations, including:

  • Workers’ compensation
  • General liability
  • Commercial property
  • Professional liability
  • Commercial auto
  • Business interruption
  • Cyber liability
  • Directors and officers

Keeping up with that many policies isn’t an easy task for business owners. Therefore, bundling multiple policies with the same carrier simplifies things for bookkeeping purposes. Besides having fewer bills to keep track of every month, it also makes it easier come renewal time if the bundled policies renew at the same time each year.

Your HR department will also appreciate having one number to call when you’re hiring a new employee, have claims questions, are adding a location or making any other business decisions that impact your insurance.

Fewer Agents to Educate

Properly insuring your business requires explaining to your insurance agent exactly what your business does and the exposures that come with it. But without bundling your policies, you have more agents to educate, which takes time. The fewer agents you have to work with, the better equipped they’ll be to help identify and address your exposures.

Assurance That Your Policies Work Together

There may be circumstances when two of your business insurance policies have to work together. For example, you may assume that something not covered by your commercial auto policy would be covered by your commercial umbrella policy. However, many umbrella policies will only extend above an auto policy if the insurance company offering it has a specified financial strength rating. If your carrier’s rating falls below a certain grade, your umbrella policy may not cover an auto loss. That’s just one type of problem that could arise if you keep your policies under separate roofs, with separate agents.

Less Security Risk

When obtaining insurance, business owners are required to divulge sensitive personal information about their

employees, as well as financial information about the business itself. When dividing your policies among multiple agents, you’re basically providing all that information to more people than you would have to if you’d bundled your policies with one agent. And in doing so, you’re increasing the risk of highly sensitive information ending up in the wrong hands.

Better Pricing

Bundling your business’s insurance policies allows your insurance professional to give you access to multiline discounts that help boost your bottom line. Contact The Unland Companies to see if any of your insurers offer multiline discounts. We can give you estimates for bundling your policies with each carrier.

The Cost of Fatigue in the Workplace

Stressed businesswoman sitting in front of a computer with cups of coffee in front of her, with her head on the table

Your business depends on the productivity of your employees, and one way to maximize your employees’ potential is to acknowledge and address problems that cause decreased productivity. You may not realize it, but fatigue in the workplace is a serious issue in America today—one that is costing employers big in lost productivity.

 

The Facts

According to a study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 38 percent of American workers surveyed experienced “low levels of energy, poor sleep or a feeling of fatigue” during their past two weeks at work. Workers who are fatigued in the workplace are less productive, less focused, experience more health problems and are more likely to be involved in a job-related safety incident. In addition, fatigue causes more absences from work, both from the tiredness itself and also from accompanying medical problems.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 25 percent of Americans report not getting enough sleep, and 10 percent suffer from chronic insomnia.

Many people beyond those with a medical condition regularly struggle with lack of sleep, trouble sleeping and/or fatigue. The study estimated that lost productivity due to fatigue is costing American businesses about $136 million annually.

 

The Effects of Fatigue

Obvious signs of fatigue in an individual include drowsiness, moodiness, loss of energy, loss of appetite, and a lack of motivation, concentration and alertness. Often, men tend to become angry when experiencing fatigue, whereas women may be more sad and moody. In addition, fatigue can cause or be a result of other medical conditions, such as depression, anxiety, high blood pressure and diabetes.

 

What Can You Do?

Any problem that causes decreased productivity and increased absenteeism is one that you want to address in your workforce. There are several ways that you can tackle the issue of fatigue within your company:

  • Educate employees. Many people who struggle with getting adequate or quality sleep could improve their situation by making a few habit and lifestyle changes. Offer them information about the importance of getting enough sleep each night, the safety concerns of coming to work tired and tips for getting better sleep. Also remind employees that a healthy diet and regular exercise can contribute to better quality sleep.
  • Include fatigue in your wellness program. Include questions about sleep and tiredness on your health risk appraisals, and incorporate fatigue management into your wellness initiatives. Once you identify how many employees experience fatigue and/or have sleep disorders, you can offer further education, programs or referral services to address the specific problems among your employees.
  • Change company culture. Ask employees when they are most tired during the day, and consider offering extra break time to alleviate those fatigued times. This is particularly important for workers in safety-sensitive or decision-making positions. Try to make your workplace more amenable to alertness, with proper lighting, quiet break areas for employees to rest or re-charge, adequate break time and healthy food options.

Understanding Your Workers’ Compensation Experience Modification Factor

bandaged paper man under umbrella with Workers Compensation note below

A key to understanding your workers’ compensation premium is the experience modification factor, also known as your mod. Understanding your company’s mod and the data used to obtain it helps you identify ways to minimize your workers’ compensation premium.

Who calculates the mod factor?

Most states use the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) to collect data and calculate the experience modification factor. The NCCI is a private corporation funded by member insurance companies. The remaining states either operate an independent workers’ compensation bureau or have set aside a state fund for workers’ compensation. These states may or may not use the NCCI’s classification system to determine experience modification factors.

 How is a mod calculated?

The process of calculating the experience modification factor is complex, but the underlying theory and purpose of the formula is straightforward. Your company’s actual losses are compared to its expected losses by industry type. The formula incorporates factors that account for company size, unexpectedly large losses, and the incidence of loss frequency and loss severity to achieve a balance between fairness and accountability.

How does my mod affect my premiums?

The mod factor represents either a credit or debit that is applied to your workers’ compensation premium. A mod factor greater than 1.0 is a debit mod, which means that your losses are worse than expected and a surcharge will be added to your premium. A mod factor less than 1.0 is a credit mod, which means losses are better than expected, resulting in a discounted premium.

What is the experience rating period?

The mod is calculated using loss and payroll data for an experience rating period. The experience rating period typically includes data for three policy years, excluding the most recently completed year. For example, if your anniversary rating date is Jan. 1, 2017, the experience period is 2012 to 2015. 2016 would be excluded.

Three years of data is used to provide a more accurate reflection of the losses, smoothing out the impact of an exceptionally bad or good year for losses.

Both actual and expected losses are divided into a primary and an excess portion in what is called a split rating method. Primary losses are designed to be an indicator of loss frequency (the number of losses) and are used at their full value in the mod formula. Excess losses are an indicator of loss severity (the amount of each loss) and are weighted in the formula so that they are less important. The emphasis of loss frequency over loss severity in the formula reflects the fact that loss frequency is a more significant indicator of risk and can be improved through proactive loss control programs.

In July 2011, the NCCI announced a proposal to raise the split point from $5,000 to $15,000 over a three-year period to better correlate with claims inflation. The process of transitioning to the new split point began in

2013, with an increase in the split point from $5,000 to $10,000. In 2015, the split point included an additional increase as a result of claims inflation, and the NCCI now makes annual adjustments to the split point based on inflation.

In 2017, the NCCI’s rating system will use a split point of $16,500. This means that the first $16,500 of every loss is considered a primary loss, and any amount over this point is considered an excess loss. For example, a $9,000 loss would have no excess losses, as it falls below the current split point of $16,500. However, a loss of $25,000 would have $16,500 in primary losses and $8,500 in excess losses. Additionally, medical-only claims figures may be reduced by 70 percent in approved states.

Expected losses are calculated using your payroll data by state and class code and applying the expected loss rate (ELR). The ELR is provided by each state’s rating bureau. These figures are also broken down into expected primary losses and expected excess losses.

How do your losses compare?

The final mod calculation compares your actual primary and excess loss figures to those expected for a company of the same size and industry type. To understand how workers’ compensation losses at your business compare to state industry averages, contact The Unland Companies to review your experience modification worksheet.

How can you control your mod?

Your mod factor has a direct impact on your workers’ compensation premium. The key to controlling your insurance costs is accident prevention.

  • The mod is calculated based on data reported to the rating bureau by past insurers. Incorrect or incomplete data can cause incorrect mod factors. Review loss and payroll data to ensure the calculation is complete and accurate.
  • Losses remain in the experience rating formula for three years. The experience modification factor is influenced more by small, frequent losses than by large, infrequent ones.
  • Safety programs, return to work programs and appropriate prevention procedures can help to reduce loss frequency.
  • An effective self-inspection and accident investigation program are critical to managing claim frequency.
  • Claims management programs can help your business manage outstanding reserves and focus on efficiently resolving open claims.
  • Any claims should be reported to your carrier immediately.
  • All injured employees should be provided with light duty upon their release from treatment so you can close claims and ensure the health of your employees.
  • Supervisory roles should have set safety performance goals. Success in achieving safety goals should be used as one measure during performance appraisals.
  • Employees should be trained on their responsibilities for safety, and should know to enforce violations.
  • You should frequently communicate with employees on a formal and informal basis regarding the importance of safety.

How can your experience rating save you money?Establishing a proactive safety program is an effective way to reduce losses, positively impacting your mod and workers’ compensation premium. Contact us today at (309) 347-2177. We have the loss control experience to help you promote safety and control your workers’ compensation premium.

Safety Matters: It’s No Accident

post it that reads "work safety" pinned to bulletin board

Accidents can happen at any time in the workplace, often when you least expect them. However, many on-the-job accidents can be avoided by focusing on safe practices and taking necessary safety precautions.

Know the Hazards

The cause of accidents can almost always be traced to a dangerous act, an unsafe condition or a combination of the two. In most instances, an accident could have been avoided by following proper safety precautions.

In order to avoid accidents, it’s important to understand what can cause them. There are countless unsafe acts and conditions that can lead to accidents, but some common hazards include:

  • Using defective or broken equipment
  • Performing tasks without training
  • Failing to wear proper PPE
  • Unsafe handling, storage or disposal of materials
  • Injuries due to poor housekeeping
  • Horseplay

Safe Steps to Avoid Accidents

The first step to keeping yourself and co-workers safe is to stay alert on the job and not let routine or familiarity lure you into carelessness. Always observe safety precautions before and during a task, even if those precautions make the task more inconvenient or take longer to complete. Cutting corners may not seem like a big deal, but doing so is a primary cause of accidents.

Next, know your job. The more you know about your job, the safer you’ll be. Know the proper procedures and safety precautions for any task you do, and if any questions arise during your work day, be sure to talk to your supervisor.

And finally, make a personal contribution. A good way to start this is to follow safety rules. Certain rules in the workplace are made for your protection, so follow them. Just because an unsafe act is not specifically listed as being prohibited, it doesn’t mean you should do it. Use your common sense when evaluating if an act is safe or not – there may be a very easy way to make it safer if you stop to think it through.

Focus on Good Habits

It’s human nature to work yourself into habits, and when you break a safety rule, you’ve taken the first and most influential step in forming a bad habit — a habit that can lead to an injury. Good habits, such as following safety precautions and noticing unsafe conditions, are just as easy to form.

Develop a safe attitude. This is probably one of the most difficult things to recognize because most of us have the mistaken notion that it’s always someone else who gets hurt, never us. If we all do our share in observing safety rules and staying alert for unsafe conditions, everyone will benefit.

Workplace Wellness: Low-cost Wellness Strategies

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Low-cost Wellness Strategies

Workplace wellness programs may not only increase employee morale, but also reap a positive return on investment for employers. Although Work Wellness programs are often expensive, there are ways employers can make positive changes for little or no cost.

Nutrition

Fruit and Vegetable Consumption

The following are low-cost strategies that encourage healthy eating:

  • Provide healthy eating reminders to employees using posters, emails and intranet posts.
  • Offer healthier food options in the vending machines and in the cafeteria, as well as at meetings, conferences and catered events.
  • Ensure that on-site cafeterias follow healthy cooking practices and set nutritional standards that align with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
  • Provide cookbooks and cooking classes for employees and their families.
  • Offer locally grown fruits and vegetables at the workplace (this could be a workplace farmer’s market or a community-supported agriculture drop-off point).
  • Price non-nutritious foods in vending machines and cafeterias at higher prices than healthy options.
  • Provide an opportunity for on-site gardening, if possible.

Portion Control

Below are tips for encouraging employees to practice portion control:

  • Label foods to show serving size and nutritional content.
  • Provide food models or food scales for weighing and pictures to help employees assess portion size.
  • Offer appropriate portion sizes at meetings, workplace events and in the cafeteria.

Breast-feeding

Consider the following tips to support nursing mothers in workplace:

  • Provide rooms for expressing milk in a secure and relaxed environment and a refrigerator for the storage of breast milk.
  • Create policies that support breast-feeding and lactation education programs.
  • Offer flexible scheduling and on-site or near-site childcare to allow for milk expression during the workday.
  • Adopt alternative work options (for example, telecommuting, part-time or extended maternity) for breast-feeding mothers returning to work.
  • Educate employees on the importance of supporting breast-feeding co-workers.

Physical Activity and Weight Management

The following are low-cost wellness activities that promote physical activity:

  • Allow access to on- and off-site gyms and recreational activities before, during and after work. Encourage and support participation in after-work recreational leagues.
  • Provide incentives or reduced insurance costs for participation in physical activity or weight management or maintenance activities.
  • Provide showers and changing facilities at the workplace.
  • Map out on-site trails or nearby walking routes and destinations. Host walk-and-talk meetings when it is nice outside.
  • Provide bicycle racks in safe, convenient and accessible locations. Sponsor a “bike to work” day and reward employees who participate.
  • Create activities that have strong social support systems like buddy or team physical activity goals or programs that involve co-workers and their families.
  • Set up programs to encourage physical activity, such as pedometer walking challenges.
  • Offer flexible work hours and breaks to allow for physical activity during the day.
  • Post motivational signs at elevators and escalators to encourage stair usage.
  • Encourage employees to map out their own biking or walking route to and from work.
  • Provide or support physical activity events on-site or in the community.

General Health Education

The following tips can help improve overall employee well-being:

  • Have a wellness plan in place that addresses the purpose, nature, duration, resources required and expected results of a workplace wellness program.
  • Promote and encourage employee participation in the physical activity, nutrition and weight management programs.
  • Provide health education articles, handouts or fliers to employees.
  • Create a committee that meets at least once a month to oversee your wellness program.
  • Offer regular health education presentations on various physical activity, nutrition and wellness-related topics.
  • Ask health associations, health care providers or public health agencies to offer free on-site education classes.
  • Host a health fair as a kick-off event or as a celebration for completion of a wellness campaign.
  • Conduct preventive wellness screenings for blood pressure, body mass index, blood cholesterol and blood sugar.
  • Provide confidential health risk assessments.
  • Offer on-site weight management or maintenance programs for employees.
  • Add counseling for weight management or maintenance, nutrition, and physical activity as a benefit in health insurance contracts.

Tobacco Cessation

Consider the following tactics to curb smoking at your workplace:

  • Establish a company policy prohibiting tobacco use anywhere on company property.
  • Provide posters to support your tobacco-free policy.
  • Establish a policy supporting participation in smoking cessation activities.
  • Provide tobacco cessation counseling through an individual, group or telephone counseling program.
  • Make sure your health plan covers a variety of tobacco cessation medications.

 

By considering the strategies above, you can implement low-cost wellness activities at your workplace. For help setting up one of these initiatives, contact The Unland Companies.

Analyzing the Identity Crime Climate

person reaching into open car window and stealing laptop

New research reveals the current consumer sentiment surrounding identity crime threats. We Divide Identity Crimes into three distinct areas:

  • The theft or misplacement of information that can be used to identify you as an individual.
  • The theft and misuse of a victim’s existing accounts, primarily financial accounts.
  • The theft of an individual’s Personally Identifiable Information (PII) to create new accounts under the victim’s name.

Lost/Stolen PII Identity Fraud Identity Theft

As a leader in identity protection partnerships, we break down these findings to uncover the best practices for implementing your own value-add identity protection program.

History of Identity Crimes

It was a record year for fraud in 2016. According to Javelin Strategy & Research, 35.2 million Americans fell victim to an identity crime. That’s a new identity crime victim every second. Of particular importance was the peak in overall fraud incidence rates, which affected 15.4 million consumers. While progress has been made in the fight against identity crimes; including the introduction of EMV technology – these efforts have simply redirected criminals to other fraud methods.

Rise of Identity Crimes

The rise of identity crimes can be attributed to three primary drivers:

  • Rising data breach incidents
  • A thriving black market for PII
  • Shifting fraud patterns

In 2016, 76% of Americans had been the victim of a data breach.

Protective Fraud Prevention

In recent years, proactive fraud prevention measures have taken the spotlight, with EMV being the poster child of these efforts. While EMV aims to keep payment cards safe from skimming and cloning (the theft and fraudulent use of card data), this nation-wide effort only diverted criminals to other methods. Soon after the U.S. rollout of EMV, new account fraud (identity theft) and account takeover rates began to rise. In 2016, new account fraud losses topped $3.6 billion. Both crimes take far longer and are far costlier to repair than credit or checking account fraud.

Americans earn an A+ in Awareness but Lack Appropriate Protection

Almost a quarter of our respondents have had their phone, wallet or laptop stolen and 17.7% of them were unable to recover their stolen device. And it’s no surprise, that 27% of consumers have already been the victim of identity theft. Data shows 74% worry their personal information will be compromised. The truth of the matter is that once information is out of their control, it’s gone forever. A single year of post breach identity protection does little to safeguard consumers. 46% of all identity theft victims were victimized multiple times – 15% experienced it three or more times. These individuals needed comprehensive, long-term protection.

The DIY Approach

Independent identity theft resolution, without the help of an identity protection service provider, requires numerous parties to be involved in clearing the victim’s name. On average victims dedicate 18 hours resolving the crime.

Hours to Resolve
Javelin Strategy & Research, 2017

Market Opportunities

Trusted providers must step in where breach solutions fall short. While consumer preferences say “protect me,” their actions often fall short due to a lack of viable sources. Many of these users receive complimentary post-breach services. These services can often be riddled with problems and lackluster customer service, as breached companies have little time or capital to invest into superior protection products.

Still, consumers want identity protection – just the right kind. More than half of consumers believe identity protection is important, but want to receive it as a benefit from a trusted provider. The need for superior protection presents a major opportunity for companies with existing relationships. Promoting an identity protection program can ignite engagement, loyalty and satisfaction

Program Best Practices

Seven Best Practices for Launching an Effective Identity Theft Protection Program

  1. Know Your Culture
    What makes sense for your organization? Look to your own strengths to understand how an identity protection program can cohesively fit into your existing offerings and image.
  2. Align Your Organizational Goals
    What’s driving the demand for identity protection? Whether you hope to engage, retain or even incentivize action with identity protection – your goals should always lead the way.
  3. Assess Consumer Demographics
    Consumer tastes are never cut and dry. Investigate the preferences of your desired demographic to implement a truly action-worthy protection program.
  4. Find a Trusted Partner in Protection
    With expert guidance, world-class support and a focus on your goals – an identity protection partnership acts as an extension of your brand and brings more than just a new product to the table.
  5. Pair the Right Products and Processes
    Choose products from an industry leader that follows the latest compliance and security protocols. Back these with proven processes such as secure data transfer and streamlined implementation.
  6. Practice Clear Communication
    Back your program with effective communication tools. These can include ads, fliers, educational handouts, a dedicated website, emails and training to help spread the word.
  7. Always Analyze
    Review program results and compare it to your initial goals. Revisit your analytics often and make changes as needed.

Results Happen When You Protect What’s Really Important

As criminals evolve, with the rise in technology and the birth of the connected consumer, identity theft protection must evolve as well.

The consumer data in the EZShield 2017 Identity Crime Report is based on information collected in a random sample of 1,203 individuals. This research consisted of an online quantitative survey conducted on August 22, 2016. Respondents were over the age of 18 with varying household income levels and resided in the United States.

At EZShield, we have a multitude of products to protect against identity crimes. We’re proud to exemplify the program best practices as the leader in identity protection partnerships. Our award-winning products are trusted by more than 15 million consumers and small businesses through a network of over 2,000 trusted partners. Our success lies in the comprehensive, partner-focused approach we take. From our always serving, never selling customer service appeal to our expert strategy insights and analysis – EZShield can help propel your organization’s identity protection program to new heights.

EZ Shield - Secure Your Identity

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To experience the partner difference for yourself, speak to a representative today.

Talk to your The Unland Companies representative to learn how to better manage workers compensation costs.

Employee Retention

Young people working in trendy friendly office

It costs nearly 20 percent of an employee’s annual salary to replace a current employee. If you are experiencing high turnover, chances are you are experiencing high losses as well. The costs of reviewing applications, processing candidates, conducting interviews, training and purchasing equipment for new hires aren’t only monetary—they also cost time and lost productivity.

Given the high cost of losing an employee, retention should be a top priority for every organization. If you do not already have a retention strategy, now is the time to make one. The first step in curbing turnover is figuring out why employees are leaving.

Why Employees Leave

Employees leave organizations for a variety of reasons, depending on their unique circumstances. However, there are some common reasons that may help determine the best retention strategy for your organization. Below are some of the most common reasons employees leave:

  • Stagnation—Employees are often looking for career and personal growth. If they have no upward mobility at your company, they may look for it elsewhere.
  • Pay—Compensation needs to be competitive to attract the best talent. Likewise, good pay is needed to retain top talent.
  • Workplace culture—Expectedly, co-workers matter to employees. If they feel ostracized or marginalized by co-workers (or management), they will want to leave that environment.
  • Better opportunities—Like with stagnation, employees leave when they believe they have better prospects elsewhere. This could be due to a higher-paying position or simply a job more aligned with their interests.

How to Retain Employees

Retention strategies are not universal. It is possible that techniques and strategies that work for some organizations will not work for yours. This means you need to analyze why your employees are leaving and strategize how to combat those reasons.

Exit interviews are a great way to analyze why employees are leaving. During exit interviews, managers ask questions to employees who are on their way out of the company. Questions should be related to the employees’ time with the company, such as what they enjoyed, what they disliked and what prompted their resignation. Exit interviews will only be useful with employees who resign or leave voluntarily, not those who have been terminated.

Depending on the responses from the exit interviews, you can begin crafting a retention strategy. For instance, if a main catalyst for employee turnover is a lack of upward mobility, think about how to change that. It could mean creating new roles or, if roles already exist, making a clear guide for career pathing at the organization.

Creating a retention strategy does not need to be solely reactive. Consider creating a survey to gauge employee satisfaction with the company. Include questions about what people like and what they do not like about their job.

Summary

There is no hard and fast rule for successful employee retention. Creating a retention strategy for your organization requires you to analyze both your company and its industry. Contact The Unland Companies for more information on retention and for materials to help you craft your strategy.