using dataTired of guessing whether your employees value their benefits?  Using big data can help you quantify whether employees are leveraging the many ways you’re investing in their overall wellbeing and engagement.

Big data, or data analytics, has been used to evaluate everything from healthcare utilization trends to high performance networks.  Now employers may be turning to big data to help them determine if the benefit dollar is returning equitable value to their employees for their benefit program.  You may be asking yourself: what do I gain by looking at the data?  Looking at data allows you to analyze the numbers to determine how time and resources should be spent more efficiently for your benefit program to maximize your employee value proposition.

The value of benefits and rewards previously has been quantified via employee verbal feedback or surveys, but now employers are using data to determine the efficiencies of their benefits in hopes of creating a more engaging benefits program.  Studies have shown that a more rewarding benefits program typically correlates with translates into increased employee engagement and satisfaction, which translates to increased productivity.  So, it’s a win-win position for a company.

The challenge that most employers face is they don’t know how to get to the data within their own spending to draw any meaningful conclusions from antiquated systems they may be using to manage their benefits.  By looking at how employees are using their benefits, employers can better evaluate for the most effective benefits plan.  Whether you invest in technology to help you translate the number or use an internal spreadsheet to capture the data, the data will help identify the types of benefits that appeal most to their workforces.

Another benefit of using analytics is the ability to effectively communicate benefits offered by the company.  The presence of unused or underutilized benefits often can be a sign that employees are unaware or don’t understand the benefits offered to them. Employers may want to take a two-step approach when they are seeing underutilized benefits.  First, they may want to invest some additional resources in communicating and educating their employees about the benefits and then measure for an uptick in utilization.  If after that, the benefits are still not resonating with their employees an employer may want to evaluate if these dollars could be reinvested in other benefits which may carry more value.  Always use caution in judging a benefit as underutilized, as not all benefits are used at the same rate.

It’s important to articulate within your benefits strategy what the most important aspects of your compensation package are to your employees. There are typically many different facets within your rewards program such as compensation, paid time off, health benefits, or retirement savings, and knowing which one of those benefits your employees value most will help you design a top-notch benefit program that is meaningful to your unique workforce. The ultimate goal for most employers is achieving a healthier bottom line, and savvy employers have realized that employee engagement and best-in-class benefits programs can strongly contribute to those objectives.

*This article contains third-party content for which Gallagher is sharing for educational purposes, not endorsement purposes. Gallagher is not responsible for maintaining content on these links.

Joy Binkley

Joy Binkley

Principal, Health & Welfare Consultant - Joy is a trusted member of the HCW consulting team. She prides herself on helping clients create and manage a customized benefit program for their employees. Joy’s client advocacy, in conjunction with her warm personality make her an asset to HCW.
Joy Binkley