How to improve benefit utilization with an employee well-being program
By: Cody Markham
We continue to see a highly competitive job market. Organizations are attracting top talent with benefits packages that go beyond the traditional compensation and medical benefits. This makes it critical for benefits managers to not only build a competitive offering, but to also drive awareness and benefitutilization throughout the year to maximize their return on investment.
Leading global market research company Forrester shared the results of a recent Total Economic Impact of Limeade study. It found that organizations can save over $100,000 a year by driving the utilization of employee benefits using Limeade. Figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics verify that benefits account for 31 percent of total employee compensation. This means that an employee earning $100,000 could cost their company between $125,000 and $140,000 per year with benefits included.
About the Total Economic Impact of Limeade study
The purpose of the Forrester Total Economic Impact™ (TEI) study is to examine the potential return on investment (ROI) enterprises may realize when utilizing a Limeade well-being solution. This study provides readers with a framework to evaluate the potential financial impact of Limeade well-being programs on their organizations. To better understand the benefits, costs, and risks associated with this investment, Forrester interviewed four representatives with experience using the Limeade platform. For the purposes of this study, Forrester aggregated the interviewees’ experiences and combined the results into a single composite organization.
Interviewees’ organizations experienced a journey related to their corporate wellness goals. Initially, the shift to a more holistic approach to wellness was a means to reduce healthcare costs by increasing employee participation in wellness programs. This included programs not only offered through Limeade but also those associated with other benefits, insurance programs, and ancillary point solutions; such as those for safety training, financial resources, mental health, diversity and inclusion, etc.
Top 4 barriers preventing employee benefit utilization
According to the study, there are several common barriers that prevent employees from taking advantage of their organization’s resources.
1. Overwhelming employee experience
Employees feel overwhelmed by the number of portals and passwords they need to access their benefits. On average companies offer 13 HR and benefits portals to each employee.
Many employees must navigate to their benefits using a series of links that lead them out of the organization’s ecosystem and into an entirely new app experience. On average, an employee has 100 passwords across all their sites and services and can quickly become overwhelmed. The complexity of navigating between these multiple apps leads to a significant decrease in employee engagement and productivity.
2. Lack of personalization
At work, employees receive irrelevant communications that don’t apply to them like tobacco programs for nonsmokers, medical plan information for multiple carriers, or retirement resources that only apply to employees in the United States. These irrelevant communications cause employees to become disengaged, often ignoring updates and news about benefits and resources altogether.
Employees receive thousands of work communications each year from emails, direct mail and collaboration tools like Microsoft Teams and Slack. To cut through the noise, personalized employee communication and various means of reaching employees is essential.
3. Disjointed reporting
Admins have to access benefit utilization analytics for each vendor separately. This inefficient process makes it difficult to provide leaders with a comprehensive report that answers these questions: What is the return on my investment and where should I prioritize my budget?
Organizations lack the data and insights necessary to tailor programming to employee interests and therefore fall back on the same patterns each year. And without targeted and interesting content, the programs continue to require incentives to encourage participation. Thus, the cycle continues, resulting in low engagement and low participation that does not inspire long-term changes in behavior for employees.
4. Inflexible technology
Many technology platforms and vendors that support wellness programming are inflexible and hard to manage from an administration standpoint. As a result, platforms are often configured to support the same small volume of campaigns each year and require either new statements of work or completely custom content and manual execution to update existing campaigns and/or add new ones.
Real results: How Limeade improves cost savings with better employee benefit utilization
After the investment in Limeade, interviewees achieved cost savings from reduced administrative burden and optimized spend on well-being. Interviewees used the Limeade platform’s flexibility to tune well-being programming to employee needs, helping them reach new levels of engagement. Interviewees found that a more engaged employee population was also a healthier and happier population that wanted to stay with their employer longer and help deliver strong business outcomes.
Limeade delivers comprehensive data and insights including third-party resources and other ancillary benefits delivered through the experience. Interviewees’ track participation levels across its entire well-being landscape to identify opportunities to double-down on popular applications and topics and divest from poor-performing investments. The results of the study found an improved cost savings of over $310,000 from increased benefit utilization.
Real results: How Limeade drives increased wellness program participation
The Limeade solution serves as a hub for activities, content, updates, and other important communication at each of the interviewees’ organizations. As such, interviewees were not solely focused on the content and activities generated by Limeade technology; they also enabled integrations into additional solutions in their wellness landscape. By bringing all the information together in one place, organizations improved participation in those ancillary areas as well.
One example includes a professional services organization that improved well-being-related webinar participation by 4x. They attributed this to increased employee awareness and accessibility through the Limeade solution, which enabled them to inform a larger number of employees about the content, making it more convenient to participate. Additionally, the ability to tailor webinar content to employee interests through data insights on past participation areas and targeted communication to relevant employee groups ensured higher participation from the employees who would most benefit from the content.
The senior benefits analyst at the conglomerate indicated that they saw improvements of 12% to participation in their financial well-being program, attributing the improvement to similar Limeade capabilities.
Other common trends found that Limeade helps program administrators:
Target audiences based on business goals and employee input via polls and surveys, resulting in higher participation in those benefits as well.
Personalize the employee experience by streaming content and delivering activities that match employees’ individual health and well-being goals. With Limeade, organizations acknowledge an employee as a whole person, which, according to Forrester research, fulfills an essential need for current and future employees and contributes to employee engagement and overall employee experience.
Use flexible technology to enable various ways to integrate with ancillary wellness-related applications and tools. When the technology is configured to incorporate these additional benefits, it collects data and provides insights on participation and reach. Additionally, Limeade consultative services offer ongoing support to help optimize the investment in a Limeade well-being program.
Despite the pandemic, Gallup reports a sharp drop in the percentage of employees who strongly agree that their employer cares about their overall wellbeing. Check out this guide on how to reduce employee attrition with a well-being program.