Jennifer Benz, Founder & CEO of Benz Communications, brought the Transform HR Conference to a close with her session "3 Steps to Success: How Benefits Can Help Drive Your Strategic HR Transformation."
Health care costs are a significant part of compensation spending (20-30%). They are a significant part of employee engagement. Impact of lack of physical activity costs businesses $150 billion a year. Compounding the problem is the lack of financial planning: 1 in 3 are not saving for retirement nor have more than $1,000 in savings. 75% of people look to the employer as a source of health information, and 89% of people want their employer to assist them with 401(k) planning.
Unfortunately, HR is often a barrier to assisting employees in both these efforts. HR's job, Benz argues, should do the opposite. So, how can HR do this?
First, "get the information online." HR would typically say many employees are not online. However, many employees with the growth of smart phones are closing this gap. Most information is online already, why not health benefits, Benz notes. The best and easiest way to get health info to employees is to put it online. Further, employees want this information; 75% of Gen Y and 80% of Gen X are begging for this info.
Second, "get employees talking." Communicating with people year around is key. Social media is the perfect way to engage with employees and their dependents. A micro blog, for example, can highlight conversations some people might be missing. Web sites also need to be dynamic, Benz argues; unfortunately, most tend to be static.
Third, "work smart." There are a ton of free resources that make it easy to communicate benefits information all year long. Check out Benz's own site (http://www.benzcommunications.com/), for example. Text4Baby which promotes maternal and child health is another.
In sum, such an approach can transform HR.