Employee benefit confusion isn’t news to HR. From complex jargon to complex networks, the industry is anything but user-friendly. Businessolver’s latest Benefits Insights data shows that 85% of employees are confused about their benefits – up 2 points from 2022.

But employees shouldn’t have to be experts to engage with their benefits. They just need help connecting the dots from their needs to the benefits available to them. Prioritizing the employee experience with personalization tactics can help, from the moment they enroll in benefits to the moments they need to use them.

Today’s consumer expects personalization and speed: 73% expect us to understand their unique needs and 83% expect a real-time response. These expectations shouldn’t change when it comes to benefits. Layering personalization into the overall benefits experience can help HR and benefit administrators scale the value of their diverse benefits suite across the needs of their equally diverse employee population.

Here’s how HR can drive an “experience-first” personalized benefits strategy from enrollment to benefits activation to help drive benefits engagement and reduce confusion.

Support your diverse population with diverse choices.

Gen Z is poised to make up 27% of the workforce by 2025. This generation is also bringing broader expectations for benefits that span beyond medical-vision-dental. But Gen Z is only bringing the bullhorn; diverse needs have always existed across any employee population. To meet those needs, HR should expand their benefits shelf to include resources and options that can support employees’ total well-being, from financial to emotional.  

Make benefits easier to understand and navigate.

Offering a diverse suite of benefits is only part of the solution – employees need to understand the value behind the benefits being offered. Over 60% of employees are considered “over-insured” because they simply don’t understand which benefits are best fit for them. Businessolver’s data shows that when employees understand which benefits can support their unique well-being needs, they’re three times as likely to elect a right-fit (and often cost-effective) health plan.

Here are a few tried-and-true tactics HR should consider leveraging today:

  • Avoiding jargon in your benefits communications and resource materials
  • Implementing a “one wallet” approach so employees only need to go to one place to view and manage their benefits
  • Working with a technology vendor that invests in user experience with a high degree of personalization
  • Implementing decision support to help guide employees toward best-fit options

Whatever approach you decide to start with, make sure it doesn’t require employees to come armed with a dictionary and a map to understand it. 

Meeting your employees outside of the benefits platform. 

A lot of benefits information and resources live in the benefits technology. But it’s highly likely that that’s not where your employees are spending most of their time (unless they’re administering the benefits program). Alongside making benefits easier to understand, HR can make them easier to access by meeting employees outside of the benefits platform with year-round communications. This may look like sending an email reminder about EAP services that coincide with mental health awareness, or texting a link to FSA-eligible items throughout the year so employees remember to use their FSA dollars. Real-time, relevant, and personalized nudges draw much higher engagement than generic printed mail pieces.

As benefits continue to evolve – and become even more complex – technology will be the key to helping employees engage and unlock value across the entire experience. Despite employees’ confusion, their desire to engage illuminates the opportunities HR teams can act on to help ease the barrier to benefits entry by guiding employees toward the right-fit-for-them resources and solutions.

Want to learn more about the impact of personalization on employee benefits? Read Businessolver’s latest Benefits Insights Report.