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Difference Between Good and Great Benefits Brokers

September 11th, 2023 | 4 min. read

By Patrick Sanders

Your Human Capital Management (HCM) decisions affect your organization's future. Choosing a benefits broker is an important decision — they help improve employee satisfaction, engagement, and retention. In some cases, accessing the best broker for your business seems like an impossible task

Payday HCM has been in the game for decades. We’ve been the ones to aim for that “great” factor with all our clients. In this game, you need a company with brokers with supreme benefits industry knowledge.

If you’re reading this article because you feel like you can take the handling of your benefits packages to the next level, then you’ve found yourself in the right place. Below are the indicators of identifying the good from the great.

While both good and great brokers share this fundamental role, the difference lies in the depth of their involvement and the quality of service they provide. So, should you settle for a "good" benefits broker or aim for a "great" one? Let's dig deep into this crucial distinction.

Distinguishing Factors of Benefits Brokers

When selecting a benefits broker, it's crucial to distinguish the good ones from the great ones. A well-versed broker will guide you through the difficulties of healthcare plans, retirement packages, and other employee benefits, helping you choose options aligning with your business goals and employee needs. Here's a comprehensive breakdown:

Depth of Industry Knowledge

A good benefits broker possesses a solid understanding of various benefits plans and insurance products. They help businesses find suitable options but need more knowledge of advanced offerings. For example, medical, dental, and vision. The good ones can sometimes lack certain information and knowledge of these three important parts of a benefits package.

A great benefits broker brings extensive industry knowledge to the table. They keep up with the newest trends, rules, and creative solutions in benefits. They can create plans that meet a company's current needs and predict future challenges.iStock-1309080507

Adding ancillary products such as Short Term Disability (STD), Long Term Disability, and Group Life can go a long way in creating a benefits package employees have come to expect.

A great broker can explain these designs and uses to employees so everyone understands the benefits.

Key Questions: Can the broker provide insights into future industry trends? Do they offer advice that goes beyond basic packages?

Technology Integration

Technology is crucial in managing benefits programs in the digital age. A good benefits broker might use manual processes for administration and communication — a common practice for new brokers or veterans who handle multiple accounts. These packets can often be confusing at the employee level and seem burdensome to complete on time. You want your employees to be able to be guided through these processes. 

In contrast, a great benefits broker leverages advanced technology platforms to streamline enrollment, provide real-time data analytics, and enhance communication between the company, employees, and insurance carriers. Employees can use personal portals for benefit administration tasks. This integration improves the benefits experience for all parties involved.

Key Questions: Does your broker offer digital solutions? How compatible are these with your existing HCM systems?

Customized Benefits

A good benefits broker might rely on standardized approaches, tailoring plans within the limits of available options. They might need to pay more attention to the unique needs and demographics of a company's workforce. A younger workforce might prefer Short Term Disability over Life insurance because they start families.

A great benefits broker understands a one-size-fits-all approach rarely works. They invest time in comprehending a company's culture, demographics, and long-term objectives. Using this information, they create custom benefits plans that align with employees and the company's values.

Key Questions: Can the broker offer benefits for different groups of people in your company? Do they understand your long-term business objectives?

Proactive vs. Reactive

A good benefits broker tends to be reactive when addressing challenges and resolving issues. They step in when problems arise but might need more foresight to prevent them. They might always need to be on time in renewing their clients' processes, unable to stay ahead of changing needs, rates, and coverage.

A great benefits broker proactively identifies potential issues before they escalate. They help businesses reduce risks and ensure benefits plans can change as needed. This forward-thinking approach saves companies valuable time and resources in the long run.

Key Questions: Does your broker offer strategies for mitigating potential future risks? How do they respond to new challenges?

Employee Engagement

Employee benefits are more than packages; they're also about how well they are used and appreciated. A good benefits broker might focus on the administrative aspects of benefits management. While this ensures compliance, it often neglects the crucial element of employee engagement. What good is a benefits package if it is misunderstood and underutilized at the end of the day?


A great broker helps your team understand and appreciate the benefits, making them happier at work. They recognize a successful benefits program as one employees understand and appreciate. They create plans to teach employees about their choices and guide them in making good decisions. The company's proactive engagement shows its commitment to its workforce. This helps attract and keep employees who align with the organization's goals.

Key Questions: What extra services does the broker offer to increase employee engagement? Do they provide educational resources?

Working with a Team

The good brokers weigh the options of having a team based on a scale with their clients. Not every benefits broker needs a couple of coordinators, but having one can provide better service and expertise. Individual brokers or smaller operations might need help matching that support level.

A great benefits broker assigns a team of coordinators to handle administrative tasks for benefits management. This team shows how much a good broker cares about giving excellent benefits. Choosing a broker with a well-coordinated team might be better if your organization has many employee benefits.

Key Questions: Does my benefits broker come with a team of coordinators? Will the size of my business affect this option?

Choosing the Right Benefits Broker for Success

When you choose a good broker, you are investing in your organization's most valuable asset: its people. A good and great broker is similar, but it affects your organization's HCM plan.

So, is settling for good an option when greatness is within reach? The answer should be clear. Go for the benefits broker who is more than a vendor; go for the one who is a true strategic partner in your HCM journey

Now that you can confidently identify the difference between a good and a great benefits broker, it's time to decide which benefits you want to offer your employees. Visit our resource page to learn more.

Patrick Sanders

Patrick has worked for Payday HCM since 2012, with a career that has spanned multiple responsibilities in the sales arena. He now maintains a 300+ client portfolio with a 98% retention rate. Patrick works diligently to determine the optimal utilization of our software, manages ongoing quality assurance, and brings best practices to Payday HCM’s clients. Patrick graduated with a Bachelor's in Business Administration, with a concentration in Finance, from the Anderson School of Management at the University of New Mexico. Having spent the decade since graduating meeting and partnering with entrepreneurs throughout New Mexico, Patrick firmly believes Payday HCM brings national Fortune-500 level service and technology to the New Mexico marketplace.