Leverage these three strategies to show the strength of your benefits program in order to attract and retain Millennials.
By Missy Jaeger
HR professionals have confronted the challenge of effectively communicating the value of the company benefits package to successive generations of workers with varying degrees of success. As Millennial employees become the dominant workplace demographic, it’s time for organizations to rethink the way they engage staff in their benefits program. Some good news: According to a US Chamber of Commerce research review report, Millennials value their benefits. More than 50 percent surveyed say benefits are a key factor in choosing where to work, and more than 60 percent indicate that their benefits package encourages them to stay with a company. The challenge for HR is to elevate awareness around the benefits they offer in order to attract and retain the best and brightest Millennials. There are three strategies that can help:
- Provide digital access. Millennials grew up online and expect access to information via the web and mobile channels. HR has been incorporating digital tools into recruiting and development initiatives for years, and benefits information is generally available online as well. But information about the benefits program is often fragmented. Typically each plan has its own site, which is maintained by separate vendors, each with its own log- in process. Many of the sites aren’t optimized for mobile viewing.
This process makes it challenging for Millennials to see the overall value of the benefits package. To improve engagement, HR needs to find a way to deliver a better customer experience. Organizations should offer a mobile-friendly platform that presents each of its plans with a single sign-on (SSO) process, allowing Millennials to quickly and easily access all their benefits from a browser, tablet, or smartphone. This enables the workforce to get a more holistic view of the program, improving value perception.
- Personalize benefits program information. Modern advertising and customer service strategies leverage abundant data to deliver a personalized experience to consumers. HR professionals can borrow a page from that playbook to make benefits communication more relevant for their Millennial workforce.
Instead of bombarding workers with stacks of paper and impersonal enrollment and benefits information packages, HR professionals can use a health management platform that leverages data to deliver personalized communication. This techonology harnesses data for targeted messaging to send via email or a well-being app, leveraging demographic information like age, gender, and location to deliver a more personalized customer experience. For example, information about available wellness programs and upcoming illness- prevention screenings can be sent based on identified health risks within the employee population, such as weight reduction programs for overweight individuals.
- Leverage social media and teamwork to improve outcomes. The vast majority of healthcare spending— almost 70 percent—is used to treat chronic conditions like heart disease, smoking-related illnesses, and conditions associated with obesity. Employers who can encourage employees to make healthier lifestyle choices to improve employees’ quality of life increase productivity and reduce healthcare costs.
Social apps can be a powerful tool in this fight, enabling employees to interact, motivate each other, and share successes. Research shows that when people share wellness activities and goals with peers, they are six times more likely to follow through with a program than people who don’t interact with others. HR can introduce motivational tools, such as encouraging competition on fitness activities like completing the most steps by taking the stairs. They can also provide apps employees can use to share healthy recipes and interact with each other. Millennials are digital natives, so it makes sense to incorporate technology to improve their perception of benefits value.
By leveraging digital solutions to provide online and mobile access to benefits information in an SSO format, deliver a more personalized customer experience, and enable collaboration among peers, HR can package value to Millennials. This will help position their companies for success when competing for talented employees.
Missy Jaeger is vice president of customer success at health management platform provider Keas.