Critical Aspects of a Truly Personalized Benefits Program and How Technology Can Support Their Evolution

Employee on laptop in office

 

As many aspects of the employee experience change and evolve over time, one thing remains constant -- benefits are one of the most important things to your employees. Your company’s benefits play a key role in employee retention, satisfaction, and loyalty.

But is it enough to offer standard, traditional benefits? The research shows no. In fact, 56% of employees in a recent survey said that out of the box thinking in benefit programs were just as critical to their employee experience as a higher salary.

The members of today’s workforce value being treated like an individual and that’s evident in what they are looking for in a benefits package. Having offers that are personalized to their specific needs and lifestyles not only helps your employees truly feel understood and valued, it also helps you retain your top talent and avoid the costs associated with turnover.

 

Components of a personalized benefits program

With personalized benefits programs, companies can decide how much money they will contribute to benefits, while employees can choose which services they will allocate that money towards. After utilizing the chosen services, employees get reimbursed from their allowed amount through their paychecks.

This applies to a wide range of benefits, including these core components:

  • Health care. Rising healthcare costs have caused organizations to move away from traditional group coverage models. And, with more demographic diversity in the workplace, needs drastically vary within an organization. A flexible plan with multiple options gives individuals the power to select a coverage plan that fits their budget, priority, and needs.
  • Personal technology. Using personal devices for work is expected to increase by 15% through 2020. Employees are more comfortable and productive when using their own devices, so allowing them to use their benefits allowance towards new devices and accompanying expenses is a win-win.
  • Learning and development. Personal growth is a large component of satisfaction and fulfillment. Employees can use their funds for certifications, classes, books, seminars, and anything else that will help them develop professionally and personally.
  • Transportation. Commuting is a major expense for many employees, especially for those in an urban setting. Benefit budgets can be applied to public transportation, parking, and other options.
  • Retirement. Traditional plans involve minimal employer contributions and uncertain yields in the future. A personalized plan gives employees a tax-free way to make a contribution to any type of retirement account from any provider.
  • Mental health. Mental health is an often overlooked benefit, but is extremely important to most employees. Individuals can allocate part of their benefits budget to care for their own, or a family member’s, mental health, which in turn improves satisfying, productivity, and overall well-being.
  • Wellness. Healthy employees are more productive, miss less work days, and costs the company less in long-term health care. Personalized benefits plans can help employees with expenses like gym memberships, access to nutrition professionals, and other wellness tools.
  • Family care. Family is a high, if not the highest, priority to many of your employees. Things like extended maternity leave, paternity leave, and paid time off to care for sick family members are uncommon benefits that can elevate the employee experience.

 

Benefits of a personalized benefits program

Personalized benefits programs don’t just benefit the individual -- there are tremendous advantages for employers as well:

  • Reduced turnover. Employees that are happy with their benefits are less likely to leave the company, reducing the costs associated with recruiting and training new employees.
  • Protection against rate increases. The defined contribution strategy of personalized benefits plans allows you to stay within budget, regardless of carrier rate increases.
  • Wider range of options. Personalized benefits plans allow for more medical insurance and voluntary options than defined strategies. More options also mean better options for employees with various needs.
  • More informed, educated decisions. When administered with the right technology that properly assists employees, individuals can get immediate assistance that helps them choose the best option for them -- leading to better decisions with less frustration.

 

How technology can support your personalized benefits program

A personalized benefits plan is even more powerful when it’s backed by the right technology. HR technology should make the user experience simpler and more enjoyable, facilitating independence and leading to more positive outcomes.

When selecting a benefits technology platform, look for the following components:

  • Data and information gathering. Surveys, AI-powered learning, and real-time reporting can help employers better understand their employees, and allow employees’ voices to be heard. Gathering information allows employers to take a proactive approach to sharing key insights and tailoring their offerings.
  • Decision support. Users can get real-time assistance in choosing their benefits based on their needs. Dynamic intelligence tools ask a few simple questions and virtual assistants make personalized recommendations based on the answers.
  • Mobile app readiness. Today’s workforce is always on the go. Millennial and Gen Z employees expect instant, on-demand access to information wherever they are.
  • Cloud-based security. Cloud-based programs reduce the need for on-site data storage and remove the inefficiencies of traditional environments. But it’s important that you choose a platform that’s secure, so data like tax forms, payroll data, performance reviews, contact information and more don’t end up in the wrong hands.
  • Compliance and risk avoidance. No matter what your offerings consist of, they must be compliant. Automated notifications, receipt tracking, and other features help ensure there’s evidence of compliance.

 

When backed by the right technology, a personalized benefits package can change the entire employee experience for the better. If you’re ready to get started on this powerful transformation, reach out to one of the experts at Clarity Benefit Solutions today.