It’s time to reimagine your employee benefits

Reimagining how your employees experience your employee benefits can help you retain and attract employees. Much like how we experience other transactions, the Member Journey of your employees and their families is critical.

If you wanted a pizza twenty years ago, you would look up the number in the yellow pages, call on the phone, wait on hold, converse with the store, have it delivered, and pay cash to the delivery person. Today, DoorDash provides numerous food options with a seemingly effortless automated transaction.

Why the change? Our technology-driven, on-demand approach to life has not only fostered our need for “at your fingertips” convenience and instant gratification, but it’s also altered our learning habits.

Apply the same timeline to employee benefits. Back then, things were much simpler. The choices of benefits were limited, and, most of the time, one card was accepted by all providers and all services were covered by one carrier. This provided a great experience for the members (i.e. employees) because engagement was easy. 

Today, however, there is a point solution for everything, often with a multitude of vendors, forms, cards, etc. Having so many solutions available requires a whole new level of engagement for members, not to mention employers. 

We have a broken system. It’s the 2020s, yet we’re still operating, implementing, educating, and asking members to engage with their benefit program like it’s the late 1990s. 

Why do we still communicate with our employees the same way we did 20 years ago? Why are we not making the same changes in healthcare like our everyday lives? Few are doing anything about it and are still presenting one to many or a one-size fits all approach. Technology is treated as a commodity. While, it can be used to drive initiatives, it’s not being embraced by employers or employees. The broker relationship is still very much with the employer and not the employee. In most cases, employees are not brought into decisions made at the employer level, until the tail end. 

The member journey is the complete sum of experiences a member goes through when interacting with their benefit program. Instead of looking at just a part of the transaction or experience, the customer journey map documents the full experience of being a customer: the good, the bad, and the ugly.

We researched over 102,000 employees and have found that there are six major stops along the Member Journey. These six major stops represent those moments in time when a member’s benefit program means the most to them, and the decisions that they make will have the greatest impact on their personal lives. Communication preferences change based on where they are on the journey. 

COVID-19 caused many people to rethink all aspects of their professional and personal lives. These factors helped contribute to the “Great Resignation” and the “Great Re-Evaluation.” While many believe these are temporary situations, the data tells a different story. There aren’t enough people entering the workforce to meet the current demand. As a result, employers will need to be agile, creative, and more intentional about ensuring they attract and retain the best possible talent available. Employees are now driving the decisions.

A survey by a one of the major healthcare companies found that only 9% of people understand the terms premium, deductible, co-insurance, and out-of-pocket max. Many plan members don’t understand their health insurance. Employers and their brokers/consultants have been trying for years to educate employees about their health insurance benefits. The issue isn’t the education; the issue is that health insurance is too complicated.

When it comes to communicating your employee benefit package, are you offering your employees the yellow pages or DoorDash?

Headshot of Richard Johnson

Richard Johnson

Shareholder/Consultant, McGohan Brabender


About the Goering Center for Family & Private Business

Established in 1989, the Goering Center serves more than 400 member companies, making it North America’s largest university-based educational non-profit center for family and private businesses. The Center’s mission is to nurture and educate family and private businesses to drive a vibrant economy. Affiliation with the Carl H. Lindner College of Business at the University of Cincinnati provides access to a vast resource of business programming and expertise. Goering Center members receive real-world insights that enlighten, strengthen and prolong family and private business success. For more information on the Center, participation and membership visit