Benefits Insight from a Twitter Founder

Jack DorseyJack Dorsey, the founder of Twitter (and now Square) once famously quipped that as business leaders we should "make every detail perfect and limit the number of details to perfect". As employee benefit advisers, human resource and benefit professionals and service providers deal  with new regulations, burden shifting and changing roles in a fast-changing employee benefits industry, we sometimes lose sight of who we are serving. As long as an employer is paying the majority of the costs, the employee benefit programs is an investment that reflects the culture and value placed upon the people in the organization.

It might surprise some business owners to learn that the "perceived" value of the benefits actually has less to do with the family out-of-pocket amount and office visit copay and more to do with benefit  experiences throughout the year.   This was reinforced through a study by Deloitte that identified the high direct and indirect expense of turnover when good people leave their jobs because of bad management and poor culture. Employee benefits did not even make the top ten list of the reasons to jump ship.

Sure, getting the benefits design of your programs to reflect your company's core beliefs is an important first step along with selecting the right service providers and making sure we are in federal and state compliance.   But all too often we run out of time to pay attention to the details that matter most ... the enrollment and user experience for our customer.   Selecting a plan provider and paying the majority of the premium is hardly where the responsibility ends.

Have you seen this before in your benefit materials ... Call this number to set up an appointment, fax this form to this group, set up another user name and password to qualify for this, watch this video and fill out this form to get this, do these 10 meaningless things that will not impact your health ... and my favorite ... read this ... but don't take any action now (I just want you to inform you of these things that will add more stress to your world ... along with work and family obligations, missing planes, Ebola viruses, impending Cold War and Middle East unrest) but check back later for more details from your HR team. Also, plan to keep an an eye out in your inbox for more important dribble about your employee benefits that does not have any call to action or benefit to you or your family members.

Jack Dorsey gets   it right ... because he cares about the ultimate detail, design and user experience.   Twitter was about a simpler way to communicate.   Square and Apple Pay are trying to improve the buying experience.   When it comes to delivering employee benefits, we are always on target if we ask how we  can  make the service experience better for  those whom we serve.