Get the Artemis Pulse to your inbox every month. It's full of benefits news and popular content you're sure to enjoy.
n a recent discussion between Sanjay Motwani Artemis’ GM, Matt Grapentine of Mercer, Leah Motl of Holmes Murphy, and Kerry Gross Arizent’s Director of Research Intelligence, benefits leaders reacted to the results of our annual study that identified the top goals and pain points in the benefits space.
The research results were neck-in-neck with the top three goals of improving employee health and wellbeing, retaining top talent, and enhancing employee satisfaction and engagement. Panelists expressed surprise that cost management did not rank higher due to the larger economic environment and their recent experiences with clients, weighing this against the pressures of retaining talent.
The conversation then turned to the topic of benchmarking strategies and how benefits advisors are benchmarking their offerings against other companies. The research showed that benefits leaders more often lean on industry benchmarks than out-of-industry targets. The speakers discussed the most effective benchmarking strategies and the importance of tailoring benchmarks to each client's needs, emphasizing the need to consider factors such as industry, geography, and competition when selecting benchmarking strategies.
The discussion continued focusing on how data analytics drive the right decisions regarding employee benefits. Most benefits professionals surveyed reported challenges in making data-driven decisions with 7-in-10 HR leaders stating that measuring the efficacy of programs is highly or moderately challenging.
The panel emphasized the importance of having goals that align with programs while testing each program that must be looked at individually. The challenge is to measure the efficacy of programs rigorously, which is hard to do. One way to expand success metrics is by measuring program participation, health outcomes, employee satisfaction, and retention. It is a challenging but rewarding task that requires time and effort.
Whether that's program participation, are we engaging the people we want to engage that need this program the most? Are we seeing the behavior change that we want to see? Are we getting health outcomes? We know that in the long run, if those things are happening, we are going to see the financial results. Then I think expanding too to not just what is the impact this program has on health claims but what does this have on our larger well-being, more holistic efforts around employee engagement, satisfaction, and retention? How can we tie it back into that as well?”
In addition to talking about how to understand and measure the success of employee benefits programs within an organization, panelists also discussed the different sources of data that decision-makers could use, such as employee feedback, internal benefits reporting or analysis, advisors, industry trends, and benefits analytics from third-party data warehouses. While these are disparate sources of data, combining them all in one source of truth can lead to a better understanding of what is happening within a company. This centralized data is most beneficial for benefits teams, who are not necessarily clinicians or data scientists, when converted into clear insights that translate into potential opportunities or actions they can take.
The speakers discussed the importance of assessing the data and building trust in decision-making. With the right data leaders can identify the right opportunities for top challenges even within budget constraints.
In summary, the speakers discussed the importance of having a clear goal in mind when designing employee benefits programs and aligning them with company culture. They emphasized the need for a centralized data warehouse to track employee utilization and identify trends in order to make informed decisions about program design and implementation. Consolidating data across point solutions can be a challenge, but it can be done by linking everything back to a single eligibility record. When employee benefits professionals focused on creating a data-driven approach, they can tailor to the unique needs of their organization and workforce to best foster a culture of health and well-being.