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20 May 2022

From ‘Great Resignation’ to ‘Great Retention’

With inflation and tight labour markets, how can businesses attract and retain top talent?
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By now, you’ll likely have heard of a global phenomenon known as ‘the Great Resignation’, a term originally coined in May 2021 by professor at Texas A&M University, Anthony Klotz.

According to a recent Microsoft’s Work Trend Index, 41 per cent of the global workforce are considering a job change in the next year, with 46 per cent planning to make a major career transition. Tight labour markets all over the world are putting pressure on wages and inflation – and more than anything else, on business owners looking for ways to attract and retain top talent. 

The ‘Great Resignation’ is a domestic issue too, exacerbated by two years of virtually non-existent migration flows. And while the border reopening may bring some respite, New Zealand businesses aren’t just competing for talent with one another; they’re competing with overseas businesses as well.

With all this in mind, now can be a great time to add some extra talent retention tools to your toolbox. Here’s how group health insurance can be one of those.

What are workers looking for?

Or put in other words, why are so many workers leaving their jobs voluntarily? There can be many reasons for it, of course, but if we had to condense those into one, that would be not feeling valued as a staff member.

Faced with an ‘existential crisis’ like the latest pandemic, people looked at their personal and work lives through a new lens. Some might have started seeking better-paid positions or more flexibility. Others may have realised that their workplace culture didn’t align with their values.

Here in New Zealand, research conducted by Southern Cross shed a light on Kiwis’ job satisfaction earlier this year, and found that only one-third of people surveyed enjoyed going to work most days. The flipside is that two-thirds of the workforce might be silently unhappy and looking at moving on. So, what can business do to foster an attractive, supportive workplace?

Keys to attracting top talent

What makes a workplace attractive? 2021 New Zealand-based research by Randstad found that salary and benefits are among the most important drivers when choosing an employer (second only to ‘work-life balance’). 

Similarly, a survey by Southern Cross found that one-third of job-hunting Kiwis consider health insurance benefits as a key factor when assessing potential employers. And with good reason: compared to retail health insurance, group health insurance has some pretty attractive features for employees, including cover for pre-existing conditions.

Group health insurance allows your staff to access quality financial protection they may not be able to access otherwise. It doesn’t entail a detailed assessment of pre-existing medical conditions, and since the risk is spread across the group, insurers generally offer cover without exclusions for qualifying pre-existing conditions (under certain limits). This can be particularly beneficial for businesses with an ageing workforce, as they’re also the ones most likely to have pre-existing conditions. 

Plus, new parents can also extend their cover to newborn babies with no underwriting, within three months of the baby being born.

Showing that you care

The pandemic has highlighted with unprecedented force the need for taking care of ourselves, and group health insurance is designed to give your employees get faster access to private care.

By giving them this invaluable opportunity, group insurance shows prospective and current employees that you’re mindful of their well-being. Also, in these uncertain times, promoting positive mental health in the workplace has never been as important, and many group insurance providers have enhanced their benefits to include mental health support.

Remember: a big part of recruiting talent in a highly competitive labour market is creating a culture that people want to be a part of. For most people, a job isn’t just a way to pay rent or a mortgage: it’s where people spend 40 hours a week, it’s part of their identity, so making sure your business is a ‘good fit’ for the right people can be instrumental to your success.

A happy team is a committed, engaged team. Group health insurance can help strengthen a culture of value and appreciation, and in turn underpin productivity and talent retention.

Benefits tailored to yours and their needs

Group health insurance is a flexible benefit that can be easily tailored to your needs and those of your staff.

Typically, your group scheme is handled by the insurer and your adviser. As insurance advisers, we usually discuss the costs with the business owner and talk to the options available. Then, with an agreed insurance plan in place, we meet with each staff member to explain the options they have, depending on the scheme and provider. We will explain in detail what’s covered, and they can ask any questions they might have. And every year we’ll get in touch with both the employer and each employee to assess if any changes need addressing.

It's important to note that different insurers offer different levels of cover, flexibility, and features. And business owners can also adjust certain cost levers, like the policy excess, to ensure the benefits align with their organisation as well. So, talking with an experienced adviser can really help both the employer and their staff make the most of this benefit.

Like to learn more?

If you’re considering adding Group Health Insurance to your HR tools, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We can help you and your employees secure the most appropriate options for your needs and goals. 


Disclaimer: Please note that the content provided in this article is intended as an overview and as general information only. While care is taken to ensure accuracy and reliability, the information provided is subject to continuous change and may not reflect current developments or address your situation. Before making any decisions based on the information provided in this article, please use your discretion and seek independent guidance.