Riddle MeSetting a Higher Standard for Benefits Communication within the SMB This…

Have you ever felt that when you are the busiest, you often overlook the most obvious signs that are screaming for a change? I recently had such an epiphany and I wanted to take a moment to share how MillsonJames will be helping small to mid-sized employers (SMB) employers address a critical need! Over the last few years, we have all been so intently focused on healthcare reform, private exchanges, and benefit enrollment technology (to name a few), that we have missed an obvious and significant opportunity to enhance our industry. At MillsonJames, we are certainly guilty — we have focused the vast majority of our time on the efficiency and effectiveness of benefits administration and how that dovetails with the broader Human Capital Management solutions. Don’t get me wrong, these are critical items in and of themselves, but there is an equally great a need that is in dire need of re-engineering: Benefits Communications and the Benefits Enrollment Meeting. As technology has evolved and as new generations have entered the workforce, our industry has stood by the traditional means of communicating benefits to employees before open enrollment begins: group enrollment meetings, powerpoint presentations, paper communication materials, e-mail, and, in some situations, the company intranet. I believe, however, that the time is right for us to think differently and find a way to improve benefit communication and education — and improve the accessibility to both. I recently came across two studies that, when overlaid with my recent research on the Millennial Generation, shook me at the core and caused me to take a step back and critically evaluate how we were approaching benefits communications for the SMB market segment. Those two studies presented the following statistics that caused me to shift my paradigm:

  • Met Life’s 2013 Study of Employee Benefit Trends showed a strong connection between benefits satisfaction and job satisfaction. Employees who are very satisfied with their benefits are more than three times as likely to report satisfaction with their jobs than those who are very dissatisfied with their benefits (79% vs. 22%). Additionally and even more concerning….MetLife highlighted that over one-third of surveyed employees gave their employers a grade of C or below in terms of the effectiveness of benefit communications; and
  • The Olinger Group, in conjunction with the Jellyvision Lab, recently highlighted that employees generally prefer an interactive approach vs group education when it comes to benefits. And, yet, the vast majority of employers are using non-interactive, non-personalized, text-based formats such as e-mail, websites, and live group presentations.

When you couple the above with the flooding of the workforce by the millennial generation and their need to be engaged in a manner that is a) known to them (electronic), b) at their speed (quick), c) and on their time (when they need it), it became crystal clear to me that we need to change the way we approach benefits education and open enrollment communication, particularly for the SMB marketplace. Even more pressing is the void of cost-effective solutions for the SMB employer that addresses these needs. That is…until now! MillsonJames has decided to take a sizable step forward to lead the charge for the SMB employers and the employee benefit agencies that serve them. We have recently invested considerable time, money, and energy to create a fresh, new approach to benefit communications. We are extremely excited to introduce BEN to the marketplace. BEN is the Benefits Engagement Network and will be available mid-February 2014. BEN is a configurable video series that is used to significantly drive up employee engagement and education and also dramatically reduce the efforts associated with traditional benefits enrollment meetings. The videos are able to be branded for the employer and/or agency. The style will be fresh, engaging, and, dare we say, a little entertaining. Our objective is simple: to provide SMB employers with engaging, educational, and personalized benefits communications and maximize efficiency for the agencies that support them. Stay tuned for additional information in the weeks to come as well as sample videos to demonstrate BEN’s capabilities and outcomes. If you’d like to sign up for a demo, please contact us as soon as possible.

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