The term “employee benefits engagement” has become one of the most talked-about topic today in HR today. But what exactly is benefits engagement? How does it differ from benefits experience? And to what extent should benefit leaders be focused on or concerned about it?

Employees’ experience with their health benefits is rooted in emotion, and they own it. They formulate the image of their experience as a result of all the interactions they have with the benefits provided by their employer. It is the cumulative impact of all touch points that determines the overall experience.

Benefits engagement, on the other hand, is each direct interaction that an employee has with the benefits. Contacting a call center for understanding coverage, visiting a doctor, receiving a claim statement are all interactions. All it takes is one negative interaction to damage the memory of the entire experience and the association with their benefits, which ultimately leads to a disengaged employee.

Companies need to think beyond individual interactions and focus on the ongoing journey to improve the ROI of their benefits spend.

Just like a customer’s journey does not start when the customer buys something -it starts when a customer wants something or has a need. The same concept is true for health benefits. The employee’s benefit journey should be an integrated and enduring experience that evolves as the employee interacts with her benefits at every touch point.

Traditionally companies have left benefit interactions to multiple providers, each narrowly focused on their own service or a program. The result – most programs are unused, employees are unaware, and benefits teams are constantly looking for answers.

It is time to take charge. Benefit leaders must recognize and define all aspects of their benefit strategy around delivering great employee experiences across multiple benefits. They need to ensure that every touch point (both physical and digital) is optimized and working to deliver engaging and satisfying experience. They should deploy new technologies to deliver integrated, consistent, contextual, and personalized engagement often to achieve better business outcomes.

While many companies recognize the importance of engaging employees with their benefits, they may find it difficult to know where to start, what to prioritize, and when to act.

At Sprite Health, we work hard every day to help self-funded employers design simpler, lower-cost, higher-value musculoskeletal benefits. Sprite empowers your people with simple, transparent, upfront pricing for services and treatments that address their specific needs. With hands-on support by our concierge, your people get a seamless, personalized experience that makes accessing, understanding, navigating and paying for care effortless.

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