Businessolver Blog

Seeing the Whole Benefits Picture: Empowering All Generations from Selection to Activation 

Seeing the Whole Benefits Picture: Empowering All Generations from Selection to Activation 
Posted on Friday, May 5, 2023 by Sherri Bockhorst

Understanding the whole benefits picture is like solving a puzzle—HR leaders need a strategy to help employees connect the dots from their wellbeing to the value of benefits. 

Finding the corners: Building awareness 

Finding the corner pieces can be difficult, depending on the complexity of the puzzle. Just like a puzzle, building awareness around the benefits you have starts with a search to get a general idea of your population’s demographics. 

When we sat down with Emily Erkel, Director of Benefits at Windstream, in a recent webinar, she explained that Windstream’s population is roughly 75% male, with a large concentration of young people (ages 18-25), and they work in urban areas across the U.S. Erkel mentioned that oftentimes, it is the women in their lives, whether it be a spouse or a mom, who is the decisionmaker in the benefits space.

To build awareness, Erkel and her team find that their priority is to make their benefits knowledge easily accessible to everyone in the household. This includes sending out mailers and providing a “one-stop shop” benefits program knowledge base that is accessible online, anytime, anywhere. 

As Businessolver’s own Benefits Insights Report found, to generate year-round benefits awareness, employers have turned to everything from email as a standard communication channel, to text message reminders—all are rising in popularity among all generations and are key in driving benefits engagement.

In fact, 46% of employees log into Benefitsolver 4 or more times after enrollment when additional benefits services are available such as FSA and HSA, or custom communications. This compares to only 20% when no personalized services are included. 

With all the communication touchpoints in place, employees can feel like their experience is personalized and accessible. Once the corners are found, it’s time to start connecting them together. 

Framing the edges: Providing support at the time of benefits enrollment 

For most organizations, it would probably be impossible for HR to be available for live, one-on-one consultations for every single employee during their enrollment process. So, it is critical that Benefits leaders provide as many resources as possible to assist employees, through enrollment and beyond. 

First and foremost, with the rise of AI (Artificial Intelligence), it’s important to evaluate the effectiveness of any artificial intelligence that employees interact with. 

For example, Businessolver’s AI benefits assistant, Sofia, interacted with 79% of Businessolver’s member base throughout the year, and 90% of interactions were resolved that same day. This means that a large portion of Benefitsolver’s members were able to receive the help that they needed, without needing to reach out to a human for support. 

Second, using a decision-support tool like the MyChoice Recommendation Engine helps employees make informed decisions about their health and financial future. By answering a few simple questions, employees can receive personalized recommendations for benefits that fit their individual needs. 

41% of employees across Businessolver’s book of business used the MyChoice Recommendation Engine (MCRE) to help them enroll and 43% of those members elected the recommended option, steering them to right-fit benefits. 

Not only does this help the employee have a positive experience, but in 2022, this steerage by Businessolver’s benefits technology saved companies approximately $400 million in HR efficiency gains by driving employees through a self-service benefits platform. Likewise, our tech improved employee productivity by saving them over 1 million hours in call hold times. 

With the help of smarter technology, employees and employers have the necessary framework for success. The edges are complete—but that’s only a small part of the whole picture. Next, start piecing the puzzle together. 

Putting the pieces together: Empowering employee activation 

We cannot expect that employees will remember every benefit presented to them during the virtual benefits fair six months after it took place (if they do, they probably work in HR).  

But if the core pillars of communication have been put in place (the puzzle corners), HR leaders can reach their employees, at the time it matters most to them. And, since employees know that they have help from AI (the puzzle edges), they will remember who they can ask for support. A wide variety of communication strategies can be used to put the puzzle together. 

One could be to let employees know about health benefits that went unused last year, such as telemedicine, Nurseline, or an HSA-match incentive, so they can use them in the future. Another could be reminding employees where they can find in-network care, like lab facilities and primary care providers. 

These communications should be sent out via those channels that the employee prefers, whether that be through email, text, a “lunch and learn” or through announcements from the benefits platform, there’s a much higher chance that employees will activate on those benefits. Our data shows an overall 17% engagement rate (meaning a click or call) in just one year of measuring impression-to-activation behavior. 

Emily at Windstream remarked, that by following a similar strategy, “I think we’ve done well in getting messages out in multiple mediums and really trying to work to engage with the whole family and make them feel connected, and part of our benefits knowledge, benefits platform, and benefits experience.” 

Dive deeper into how you can empower your workforce from Selection to Activation.