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Personalized from the Start: The Future of Benefits

Prashant Srivatava February 5, 2019

We’ve been on this journey of employee benefits for a long time—more than 100 years, in fact. An important milestone that started it all was when American Express Co. created the nation’s first private pension plan in 1875.

At that time, benefits were one-size-fits-all, which made sense. The concept of adding pension plans was a new way to retain non-military federal workers, as pensions had already been used for some time to entice people to join the military. Benefits had a broad purpose.

Over time, benefits as part of a total-rewards approach began to play an increasingly important role in recruiting and retaining talent by enhancing the non-monetary component of the compensation package. Having progressively increased to more than $10,000 in value, benefits now represent a significant part of the overall package, and more than half of employees are more likely to stick with a job because of benefits.

That’s why at Evive, we strive for benefits love. Benefits should help people get back to the things they care about in life—and those things look different for everybody. When employers connect people with the things that matter most to them, in the moments that matter most to them, employees make progress toward life’s most important goals and employers build the most loyal workforce.

In other words, benefits love is realized.

The opportunity for improvement

Given how far benefits have come, why are benefits packages still identical for every person at a company? Why do benefits offerings look the same to all new candidates up front? Each person’s benefits package should reflect the unique things they value most. That’s why we encourage companies to identify the benefits their workforce values, and then direct different benefits to different people when they need them.

But that’s just the beginning. The way we see it, the future of benefits should allow every person to get a completely customized benefits package from the moment they get their offer letter. In a few years, we’ll be coming up on the 150th anniversary of that first pension plan. Shouldn’t we make a statement, showing how much we’ve evolved? Shouldn’t we have a serious innovation to show, in how we offer benefits?

In today’s world, everybody gets the same benefits at a company—where Evive adds value is in nudging people toward the benefits they’ll find most useful. In the future, we see a world where everybody gets unique benefits packages just for them in the first place. At that point, rather than using our data intelligence to match individual benefits with individual people, that intelligence will curate the right benefits package in its entirety for each person at the start.

Our closed loop keeps learning

As our closed-loop system learns about each employee through their benefits interactions, we can use those findings to try to predict what job candidates of similar demographics and values may want when it comes to benefits. Consider how we use behavioral science to engage people. We’re predicting, learning, and changing. This is crucial to achieving a level of accuracy that will drive personalized benefits offers. We can get better at understanding what people value when we look at their behavior around those things, and apply those learnings to new candidates.

Depending on their life situation, a person might value tuition reimbursement, childcare, eldercare, discount programs that save on big-ticket purchases like cars, or something else. It’s data-driven insights gleaned from consumer behavior that can help us not only target the right employees about the right things, but the right candidates with the right offers. As our system keeps getting smarter, we can make smarter recommendations to everyone.

An important journey

With more sophisticated recommendation engines, and a continuously evolving closed-loop system that’s already hard at work, we can make this vision happen. Every person should have their own benefits package that’s specifically designed for them and them alone.

This is simply another challenge for our data intelligence to solve. Customized benefits packages are on the horizon, and we’re looking far ahead. Will you be on this journey with us?