Q+A With Empyrean’s Sr Director of Product Strategy, Jen Peery

Q+A With Empyrean’s Sr Director of Product Strategy, Jen Peery

Jen Peery is Empyrean’s Sr Director of Product Strategy. With over 16 years in benefits administration, she has extensive experience planning and executing ben admin product strategies. She is focused on innovation and elevating the end user experience for Empyrean products. We got to ask Jen her insights into product strategy and what is important for the future of benefits administration.

Innovation in Benefits Administration: Given the rapid pace of technological advancements, how is Empyrean planning to innovate its benefits administration products to meet the evolving needs of employers and employees?

Jen: One of the biggest problems employers continue to face is employee engagement with their benefits. Without this engagement, the most well-defined benefits strategy won’t yield the anticipated results for the employer. Our products are the opportunity to bridge that gap, so employees have what they need at the right time. The way information is delivered and consumed by an end user is at the forefront of how we continuously innovate the Empyrean experience for both employees and the employer. 

User Experience Focus: User experience is crucial in benefits administration platforms. Can you share how Empyrean prioritizes and incorporates user feedback into the development and enhancement of its products?

Jen: Our User Experience team focuses on research and aggregate behaviors of end users to help drive our roadmap. We also utilize surveys, market data, our Client Counsel, feedback from internal teams and old-fashioned conversations with clients, brokers/consultants, and market experts – all of which weigh heavily on how we shape our product roadmap.  

Compliance and Regulatory Challenges: Benefits administration is heavily influenced by regulatory requirements. How does Empyrean ensure its products remain compliant with changing laws and regulations, and what challenges does this pose for product management?

Jen: Empyrean closely monitors regulatory requirements and the downstream impacts to employees, employers and the benefits ecosystem. Our clients and stakeholders rely on us to provide technology that helps manage and communicate these needs. We always reserve time each year on our Product Roadmap to support Compliance related development efforts. These are the things you must do as a benefits administration provider. 

Integration with Other HR Systems: Interoperability is key in HR technology. How do Empyrean’s benefits administration products integrate with other HR systems and platforms, and what benefits does this integration offer to organizations?

Jen: Again, thinking about the user – the employee – we are uniquely positioned to unify an employer’s HR systems and platforms in one location, driving access and engagement in the said systems, programs, and information an employer has curated. Ultimately solving barriers to access drives the trust and engagement paramount to the employee/employer relationship. I believe that’s foundational to talent retention. 

Future Trends and Predictions: Looking ahead, what major trends do you predict will shape the future of benefits administration, and how is Empyrean preparing to address these trends in its product roadmap?

Jen: I think there are 2 major buckets that will continue to influence benefits administration. One being needs in the market we could help solve for – like employee engagement, price transparency, long term care tax, controlling the healthcare spend – just to name a few. The other bucket to consider is how we solve these trends. We look at all angles when it comes to the how: does it make sense to partner, does AI play a role, what’s the support and service experience like? The “what” and “how” are equally important to consider when shaping the product roadmap. 

Leveraging Artificial Intelligence: Artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming increasingly pivotal in various technology sectors. How is Empyrean integrating AI into its benefits administration products, and what advantages do you see this bringing to your clients in terms of efficiency, personalization, and decision-making support? 

Jen: When my team thinks about a new feature or functionality, the first thing we ask is: SHOULD AI solve it? If our research indicates yes, then we move to COULD AI solve it? There are many use cases in benefits administration and our daily lives where AI is extremely helpful gathering and sorting information – if the end user is comfortable engaging that way. Ultimately, I see AI being one of the available tools to enhance the employee experience when it comes to choosing and using their benefits. 

Empyrean’s focus on enhancing user engagement, ensuring regulatory compliance, and integrating technology such as AI, showcases a proactive approach to meeting the complex needs of this industry. These efforts are crucial for improving the efficiency and responsiveness of benefits systems, benefiting both employers and employees. As the field of benefits administration continues to evolve, these strategic innovations suggest a future where these systems are more accessible and effective, reflecting a broader industry trend towards greater user-centricity.

Empowering Public Sector HR: Empyrean’s New Partnership with Sourcewell

Empowering Public Sector HR: Empyrean’s New Partnership with Sourcewell

When it comes to public sector human resources, the challenges of managing employee benefits can be vast. With the unique complexities and regulatory hurdles faced by government and educational organizations, HR professionals are continually seeking solutions that enhance efficiency and compliance. Empyrean is excited to announce our recent selection as a benefits administration supplier for Sourcewell which represents a significant development for those in public sector HR. This partnership promises to bring tailored solutions to the table, designed specifically to address the nuanced demands of public sector benefits administration. 

Empyrean’s collaboration with Sourcewell is not just about providing services; it’s about empowering public agencies to better manage their human resources. For Public Sector HR professionals, this can lead to enhanced employee satisfaction and retention—a critical concern in the public sector, where the competition for talent can be tough. 

  Whether it’s adhering to strict compliance standards or streamlining the benefits management process, Empyrean’s tools are designed to improve the overall efficiency and effectiveness of benefits programs.   

The benefits of this partnership extend beyond mere administrative support; they include the fostering of a connected, engaged workforce. As noted by Ryan Donovan, Sourcewell’s Senior Director of Risk, Benefits, and Insurance, the contract with Empyrean aims not only to provide outstanding coverage but also to ensure that employers and employees are thoroughly supported throughout the benefits management process. For HR departments, this means not only simpler management of benefits but also a more holistic approach to employee engagement and wellbeing. 

For those involved in public sector human resources, staying informed about such developments is crucial. This is an opportunity to provide deeper insights into how these tailored solutions can specifically benefit your organization. Read the full press release here to explore how this partnership could elevate your organization’s approach to supporting and connecting to your workforce. 

Optimizing the Connection Between Individual Wellbeing and Workplace Wellness 

Optimizing the Connection Between Individual Wellbeing and Workplace Wellness 

The link between individual wellbeing and overall workplace wellness has never been more crucial. The upcoming panel at Evolve 24 promises an enlightening exploration into how the health of each team member is a cornerstone of organizational prosperity. As we delve into this vital topic, we invite you to join us in uncovering the strategies that can transform your workplace into a nurturing and thriving environment. 

Recent findings, such as those from Mind Share Partners’ 2023 Mental Health at Work Report, highlight a concerning disconnect in workplaces across the U.S.: a significant portion of employees experience mental health symptoms, yet perceive a lack of prioritization and advocacy for mental health within their organizations. This panel aims to address these critical issues, providing insights into why a supportive, open dialogue about mental health is not just beneficial but essential for a company’s success. 

The Surgeon General’s Framework for Workplace Mental Health & Wellbeing introduces a holistic approach to employee wellness, emphasizing protection from harm, connection and community, work-life harmony, mattering at work, and opportunities for growth. Each of these pillars corresponds to fundamental human needs, from safety and security to dignity and meaning. Our esteemed panelists will discuss practical, actionable strategies that address these needs, fostering an environment where every employee feels valued and understood. 

Moderator Jason Glaser, Sr. Strategic Account Advisor at Empyrean, will lead a session that will not only challenge current norms but also inspire a transformative journey towards a more empathetic and effective workplace. Discover how prioritizing the total wellbeing of your team can catalyze a profound shift in your organization, creating a culture where everyone is empowered to thrive and contribute to collective success. 

Learn more about Evolve 

Meeting People Where They Are – Benefits & Employee Experiences That Make Your People Feel Like They Belong 

Meeting People Where They Are – Benefits & Employee Experiences That Make Your People Feel Like They Belong 

As the workplace continues to expand, the importance of cultivating a sense of belonging is imperative to unlocking the full potential of an organization’s employees. At Empyrean’s upcoming EVOLVE conference, a session is set to offer insights into fostering a culture where every individual feels valued and connected. This invite-only event for Empyrean clients and partners is poised to gather thought leaders who will explore strategies for nurturing an environment that emphasizes every team member’s integral role in the success of an organization. 

The session will address the ongoing issue of employee engagement, or the lack thereof, with data indicating a continuation of low engagement rates among U.S. workers. This trend not only dampens morale but is expected to carry significant economic repercussions, echoing past analyses that highlighted billions in lost productivity. This session will focus on the complex layers of employee disengagement, spotlighting the critical role of emotional and professional connection to an organization’s mission and values. 

Antoine Carter, Sr. Director of Client Services at Empyrean, will moderate a panel of experts who will delve into strategies that aim to meet employees at their respective life phases, enhancing their sense of belonging. The panel will project how integrating benefits, wellness, and communication strategies effectively can address and adapt to the evolving needs of the workforce, thus fostering a more connected and engaged employee base. 

EVOLVE promises to have engaging sessions that speak directly on how we connect with our teams. This session is one of many that will have insights into aligning with employees throughout their diverse life stages, understanding the factors that drive engagement, and acknowledging the intertwined relationship between engagement, productivity, and organizational achievement. 

Learn more about Evolve. 

Empowering Public Sector Benefits: Solutions and Strategies for the Public Sector at SALGBA

Empowering Public Sector Benefits: Solutions and Strategies for the Public Sector at SALGBA

Empyrean is excited to attend the upcoming State and Local Government Benefits Association (SALGBA) conference on April 21st – 24th, a pivotal event for public sector entities focused on enhancing their benefits offerings.  

This conference serves as a crucial gathering point for benefits administrators across the public sector to exchange insights, confront common challenges, and discover innovative solutions aimed at enhancing their benefits programs. The focus here is on understanding and addressing the unique pain points that the public sector faces in benefits administration, such as budget constraints, regulatory compliance, and the need to cater to a diverse employee demographic. 

Public sector benefits administrators are tasked with the challenge of delivering comprehensive and cost-effective benefits programs under the constraints of limited budgets and strict regulatory frameworks. Moreover, they must address the varying needs of their workforce, ensuring that benefits programs are inclusive, equitable, and capable of supporting employee well-being and satisfaction. The SALGBA conference provides a platform for these administrators to explore strategies and tools that can help them overcome these hurdles, fostering an environment where best practices and innovative solutions can be shared and adapted to their specific contexts. 

In addressing these challenges, public sector entities can explore a range of strategies, such as leveraging technology to streamline benefits administration, adopting data-driven approaches to tailor benefits offerings, and enhancing employee engagement and communication. The conference offers a space to learn from peers and experts, gaining insights into successful strategies and emerging trends in public sector benefits administration. Through collaboration and knowledge sharing, public sector benefits administrators can find new ways to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of their benefits programs, ultimately leading to improved employee satisfaction and organizational success. 

Empyrean will be at booth #512, visit us to discuss how our solutions can streamline your benefits administration and employee communication strategies. You’ll even have a chance to win a $200 Apple gift card by joining the SALGBA scavenger hunt and stopping by our booth!  

With our deep understanding of the unique needs of government and education organizations, we offer a dedicated team of benefits and technology experts who will work closely with you to create a customized solution that aligns perfectly with your culture, employee populations, and plan complexity. 

Learn more about Empyrean’s solution in the public sector.