Businessolver Blog

Why is HR late to the Personalization Party?

Why is HR late to the Personalization Party?
Posted on Friday, January 8, 2021 by Sherri Bockhorst

We are surrounded by personalized tools that help make our lives easier.

Think about it. We can order groceries online from our favorite stores without leaving the couch. Apps save our purchases and suggest items we may have forgotten in our latest cart. When we shop online, our favorite brands sends us emails about when an item we like goes on sale. Even when we go in-store grocery shopping (masked up, of course) we get coupons based off our purchases when we check out.

The fact is, no one wants to think of themselves as a faceless number, mass produced or as having cookie-cutter sameness. We are unique, and individuality is important to us. Our families are different; we have varied cultures, backgrounds and education. We all have different needs, especially when it comes to benefits.

Consumers (your employees) demand personalization.

  • 83% of consumers are willing to share their data to create a more personalized experience.
  • 72% say they only engage with personalized messaging.
  • 42% say they’re downright annoyed when marketing content isn’t personalized.

HR is late to the party!

Benefits are extremely personal. They are how we take care of our health and plan for the future. And overall, they are directly linked to how we feel about our jobs. Generally, bad benefits correlates to feelings of dissatisfaction at work. Dissatisfaction at work then leads down the road of disengaged employees, absenteeism, low productivity and high turnover. And it’s not just about benefits, but how those benefits are being communicated that matters.

Let’s bring in another shopping metaphor. If you have a cat, are you more likely to feel connected and loyal to the grocery store that sends you coupons for your specific cat food or the store that sends you coupons for dog food? The same is true for benefits.

Only 37% of employees strongly believe their employer’s benefits communication is customized to address their personal situation. This percentage tells us many employees feel disenfranchised with the way their employer engages with them about their benefits.

Failure to provide employees with a positive experience, including the one you deliver when it comes to their benefits, is an opportunity lost. 95% of employees reporting a positive experience with their company say they take part in activities that are beneficial to their organization but aren’t necessarily part of their job. That extra effort makes all the difference in business results.

When employees have a positive experience, it results in increased engagement. Positive experiences can decrease employee turnover by 50% and increase customer satisfaction by as much as 81%.

Benefits programs present employers with a unique opportunity

Consumer experiences and employee experiences share a lot in common, especially when you look at what’s happening psychologically. Empathy is key to a positive experience for consumers and employees. A truly empathetic HR pro asks themselves questions like:

  • What does this employee find valuable?
  • How does this employee prefer to receive information?
  • When will this employee need help taking action?

These are the beginnings of a more empathetic—and a more personalized—approach to your benefits programs and strategy.

From benefits selection to benefits activation

Your organization might have already begun to adopt a more personalized approach to benefits. For example, you may already provide your employees with access to a decision support tool during annual enrollment to help them build a suitable benefits package. Or perhaps your benefits platform allows employees to personalize their communication preferences, such as email, text messages, or mobile phone push notifications. You may even proactively reach out to employees who had a baby recently to remind them to add their child as a dependent.

If you’re doing any of these things, you’re headed in the right direction.

Some employers go the extra mile in delivering a more personalized and holistic benefits experience. These HR pros help employees take full advantage of their benefits when and where they need them, thereby supporting their overall health and well-being.

The experience they’re aiming for extends beyond benefits selection to benefits activation.

Want to explore five technology-driven programs and resources employers are increasingly using to help their employees activate their benefits through a hyper-personalized benefits experience. Each Includes some relevant statistics and a use case—or “activation path”—to demonstrate the impact on your employees, your HR team and your bottom line.