Why Your Benefit Program Engagement Level Is in the Basement

 

Why Your Benefit Program Engagement Level Is in the Basement

Your organization offers your membership a wide variety of benefits programs. They’re all aimed at improving the end user through health coaching, maternity programs, telemedicine, health risk assessments, nutrition, disease prevention, text messaging and communication services, and perhaps even financial well-being. In the whole, you believe that the programs you offer to your employees offer a wealth of value.

But your members don’t seem to agree with you. That’s the conclusion that’s forced upon you when you review your abysmally low engagement numbers with these wonderful programs.

You’re offering all these great programs that would benefit someone in someway — if only your members would engage with those programs. Those programs are expensive. And, with most of the programs, you’re probably paying for every member on a PMPM basis, including those that DON’T participate.

It’s a problem that’s both infuriating and perplexing. And it’s likely that you’ve spent a considerable amount of time wondering just WHY your engagement levels are so abysmally low.

Consider Your Program…

Your company is certainly not alone in offering a wellness program. According to the latest Fidelity Investments Wellness Survey, more companies than ever before, 86%, now incentivize employee well-being. Annual incentive amounts are also higher than ever. And most companies plan to expand their wellness incentive programs over the next few years.

Why are wellness incentive programs more popular than ever?

In part, incentive programs are relied upon to help contain increasingly out-of-control healthcare costs. But according to the wellness survey, two-thirds of all companies also deploy health incentive programs because wellness is tied directly to engagement.

And engagement, in turn, drives value. According to a Gallup report, more engaged members are more productive, are easier to retain, and offer much higher per-member profitability.

So — Exactly WHY Are Your Engagement Levels So Low?

For most organizations, and for most benefits programs, engagement levels range from a paltry 15-20% all the way down to almost nothing.

But — if only your members would participate — your wellness program offers great value to both your organization and your members. So do all of your other benefits programs.

Why, then, do so few engage with these programs?

One organization hundreds of human resources and benefits managers to find an answer. The survey focused upon companies that offered multiple benefits programs to their members — and that, of course, would include virtually all mid- to large-sized corporations.

The survey found that the key factor in preventing higher engagement rates stemmed directly from having to deal with multiple benefit programs vendors. The necessity of interfacing with multiple vendors left employees feeling confused and frustrated.

That’s likely a major factor in YOUR low engagement rates. Your members become confused, frustrated, and probably annoyed as they bounce from one vendor to another in attempting to navigate through the various benefits programs you offer.

And, ultimately, they decide it’s just not worth the headache. So they bail — or never even get started.

Can you really blame them?

Why Not Make It Easier?

If you make it easier to engage with your benefits programs, more members will engage with your programs.

How do you make it easier for employees? By focusing upon two key words: unification and integration.

You can provide your employees with a single, unified digital hub through which they may access all of your benefits programs. No matter which of your benefit program vendors your members wish to interact with, they always go through the same digital hub. (And if you’re thinking that coordinating multiple vendors to make this possible seems nightmarishly difficult, well, you’re right; it can be. But if you’re using the ChipRewards platform, coordinating all those vendors is our job, not yours.)

You can also make the experience smoother and easier by integrating your benefit program vendors. In many benefits programs, each vendor represents an independent silo. Navigating from silo to silo can be a daunting task.

Each vendor typically represents a different and unique culture. Going from one to another can be jarring, confusing, and even intimidating. The ChipRewards platform can eliminate this problem by smoothly integrating those siloed vendors. Though your benefits program may depend upon many individual vendors, it can look and feel like a single program to your employees.

Why Not Make It Personal?

If your engagement levels are distressingly low, your communications may also bear part of the blame. If your benefits programs communications have sort of an impersonal “hey you” feel to them, that’s a problem.

In fact, the Fidelity Investments survey referenced above revealed that 85% of employers that worked to personalize communications enjoyed increased employee engagement. Personalizing your benefits programs communications can have the very same impact.

Last but Not Least…Incentivize

With a versatile toolbox in your hands you’ll be able to create a unified experience and communicate with members. And you’ll also be able to offer incentives to encourage increased engagement in the high dollar PMPM activities you are already paying for.

Imagine how much engagement would increase if you communicated to your members correctly and gave them something for engaging. You’d clearly convey that they have an incentive to sign up for health coaching or telemedicine and utilize those services — and with a vendor that tracked those sign-ups and vendor interactions through a seamless integration.

One ‘Weapon’ Is All You Need

So there you have it — the causes of low engagement. If your members engage with your benefits programs at a less-than-optimal rate, your problem almost certainly stems from the common problems of:

  1. Lack of unification
  2. Lack of integration
  3. Impersonal communications
  4. Poor Incentives

Fortunately, you can slay all of those problems with just one weapon. It’s called the ChipRewards platform.

Josh Smithey
josh.smithey@chiprewards.com