Aflac’s CHRO talks technology, AI and why employers aren’t listening to employee benefits needs | EBA

Is it possible to get employees to truly participate in benefits communications?

Yes, but it requires a number of complementary strategies, thorough employer consultation, and the support of technology.

“From a technology and expectations perspective, we are really seeing a blended workforce,” he says. Matthew Oneby, Aflac Chief Executive Officer (CHRO). “However, while younger employees expect to be able to access benefits cards, information, handbooks, etc. via apps, many do not have access to benefits cards, information, handbooks, etc. that support their decision-making, especially when it comes to annual enrollment or transfers. We want a welfare advisor.” Things happen in their lives. ”

according to Aflac 2022-2023 Employee ReportIn a survey of 1,200 employers and 2,001 employees, 82% of employees said being able to manage their benefits online is very or extremely important. Particularly important to Millennials. However, only 67% of employers offer digital benefits management, down from the 79% he offered in 2021 at the peak of the pandemic.

read: How to integrate in-person and virtual open enrollment

How can employers find a winning formula for their organizations? Owenby recently spoke with EBN to share the most tested techniques and help employers strategically combine technology tools and real-world resources. We shared how to blend them to grab employees’ attention and encourage them to take advantage of the benefits available to them.

As employers seek to balance in-person support with technology tools When it comes to benefits, what are some ways to actually drive engagement and help employees understand their benefits?

Matthew Owenby, Aflac Chief Executive Officer (CHRO)

Provided by Aflac

Regarding the technology part, and due to the nature of the wide range of social media applications, you will almost need your own Twitter or Facebook channel. Companies that integrate elements of communication and education into regular aspects of social media use are likely to be those that are reaping the most benefits. Must be integrated into your existing app ecosystem.

Apps such as Fidelity’s, Anthem, Kaiser, and Blue Cross Blue Shield can be used, but employers must consolidate them into one place that employees can access. At Aflac, we have not yet solved this scientifically. But we have a portal where we can access all of those different things. Severance pay Or health benefits or pure medical benefits.

read more: 10 Most Desired Employee Benefits of 2023

Are there any employers who strike this perfect balance?
Employers almost always believe I mean, they do a good job of communicating their benefits. But two-thirds of respondents to our survey said, “No, it’s not.” Or maybe your employer believes the benefits are very valuable, but 58% of employees will say, “Well, we just don’t get it.” [our benefits]What surprised me most is that this kind of disconnect happens every year. We have been conducting this research for over 10 years. Employers will likely see this improved over time.

What’s behind that disconnect?
I think it’s because employers generally don’t really talk to their employees about what they want and need. Employers need to be actively engaged to understand what benefits people want, beyond just annual post-enrollment surveys.

This is especially important if retention is of particular concern. Talking about the benefits people want and how to use them appropriately can create a better experience for employees and a less expensive experience for employers. And given the overall price and cost of insurance, employers should be willing to tell people about the benefits they have secured. If employees think of their benefits as a form of compensation (and they are), they will be more interested in their benefits as well as their paycheck.

read more: 27% of employees would quit their jobs if summer Fridays were eliminated.

How much does the remote/hybrid/in-person working status quo affect the benefits to which people respond?
Aflac has transitioned to a largely 75% hybrid work environment. Basically, we kind of anticipate based on where you are that there will be a minimum number of days that you will be on campus. Although there is still some resistance, we have tried to provide attractive things to bring people back, such as on-site childcare, on-site medical care, and events and events that are fun to bring people to. Back.

It’s hard to talk about how technology is changing the way we work without mentioning artificial intelligence. Is AI already disrupting the benefits world?
I think where machine learning really comes into play is welfare applications. We can unleash a kind of ChatGPT on the healthcare experiences of our 15,000 members and understand which services they use most often and where they are located. We understand how, how, and when they are used, and we use that information to make changes to our offerings. Maybe in the future AI will be able to customize it on the fly, but I haven’t seen it yet. In fact, you may need to build such an app.

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