June 20, 2024

Employment is competitive, and attracting and retaining top talent is a priority for many employers. But it is also a challenge for many. Benefits are one of the categories which can set an organization apart. As a result, identifying gaps in benefits, and resolving them is crucial.

Well-rounded benefits packages often translate to enhanced employee well-being, boosted retention rates and a positive work culture. So, what can employers do to identify the strengths of their benefits offerings and identify potential areas of improvement? Here are a few strategies:

Review Existing Benefits

It is hard to identify gaps in benefits without an accurate picture of your current offerings.  While taking inventory of benefits, first assess if the basics are in place:

  • health insurance
  • sick and family leave
  • life insurance
  • retirement plans
  • disability insurance

It is also important to see what benefits you offer that are unique compared to competitors. This is also a good time to review the utilization rates of your benefits — this will help establish if there are benefits that employees rarely use.

Conduct Demographic Analysis

Benefits that don’t meet your employees’ needs aren’t benefits at all. Consider the demographics, such as age, gender, marital status and more, to determine if your benefits align with the needs of your members. Note: your demographic data will shift over time, so make this a regular practice.

Benchmark Against Industry Standards

How do your benefits match up against your peers and competitors? This is the core question behind benchmarking benefits? Research industry standards and compare your benefits. This is one of the best ways to identify gaps in benefits that may be putting you at a disadvantage.  Some brokers, including Apex, have advanced benchmarking capabilities to make this analysis a breeze.

Consider Budget and Resources

When identifying gaps in benefits, employers may come up with a long list of potential additions. But resources are limited. So, leaders must prioritize benefits enhancements that fit the budget. Another important consideration is the resources it would take to implement a benefit. Some benefits are completely managed by a carrier or third-party vendor. Others may create additional work for the HR team.  The final consideration — which changes would have the most significant impact on plan members’ satisfaction and well-being?

Communicate Effectively

With some benefits additions prioritized, ensure that you communicate those changes to employees. Resolving gaps in benefits is only effective if employees know about, and utilize, the new benefits. Education is critical. Clearly describe the changes you make; explain why you made them and how employees and their families can use them.

Tip: meet your employees where they are at. Consider their communication preferences and communicate on their favorite channels.

Monitor and Reassess

What your employees need and want will change over time. Consistently monitor the utilization and effectiveness of your offerings. Are they making the difference in health or talent goals you expected?

Keep the conversation going with your employees. Analyze their feedback and continue to work with your employee benefits consultant to reassess your benefits strategy to evolve alongside the workforce.


Identifying gaps in benefits, and resolving gaps in benefits, is an ongoing process. However, it can make all the difference for your employees and their families. Take a proactive approach to understanding their needs and adjusting your benefits strategy to match. It could be the difference maker for your talent strategy.

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Stan Jackson

Authored By

Stan Jackson, CPBS

Chief Innovation Officer
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