Plan design, employee experience top of mind for benefits leaders

Plan design, employee experience top of mind for benefits leaders

SANTA ANA PUEBLO, N.M. — A recent gathering of benefits administration leaders and practitioners in a remote New Mexico desert resort was dominated by discussions of employee mental health, rising employee expectations, and finding ways to meet employees where they are while tackling rising health care costs that impact employer-provided benefits. 

Empyrean’s EVOLVE 2024 brought together over 150 attendees to discuss ways that technology and communications can change how companies support and engage their workforce, create more connected cultures, and elevate benefits in the employee experience. 

“We see a direct connection between benefits and employee wellbeing and,  ultimately, organizational health,” Empyrean CEO Rich Wolfe said during his opening remarks of the three-day conference. “Benefits administration is about more than plan design. It is about the holistic support of the employee experience.”

Several sessions, including the keynote address by best-selling author and CEO of Delivering Happiness, Jenn Lim, focused on treating people as a whole human being at work and beyond work.

“In the past, we’ve been all about purpose, values, and behaviors, and they are still relevant, but they are table stakes now,” she said in an interview before a book signing session. “There are already so many benefits and so much noise. If we want to help employees through this thing everyone is calling a funk, we need to be clearer with employees and simplify the message.” 

Lim also warned that employee wellbeing is at an all-time low and that companies need to rethink ROI as more of a “ripple of impact”. 

“As leaders in the room, we can’t fix everything, but we can be the mirrors for people to see a way forward,” she said. 

Other speakers shared tips on a variety of topics from mental health to meeting employee needs to improving communications. One strategic discussion centered around gathering employee feedback to inform and continuously improve benefits strategies. Another suggested reducing the number of apps that employees use to access company information around benefits (including supplemental benefits such as pet insurance or elder care) and other important company updates and information. 

Most attendees agreed one of their biggest challenges is communicating details about benefits in a way that can break through the noise.

Kassy Dewey, program manager benefits at Children’s Health, used a series of videos ahead of last year’s benefits enrollment featuring a variety of offerings in the coming year’s selections that sparked higher engagement than previous communications efforts. 

“Communicating is tough, and communicating well is even tougher,” she said in a panel titled “Meeting People Where They Are”.  “Believe it or not,  snail mail is making a comeback, because people are overwhelmed by too many emails.”

Luis Doffo, a managing director of sales at HSA Bank, said effective communication has to consider individual factors in each employee’s life that might help communication breakthrough. 

“Based on how your employees are evolving, you need to modify your communication strategies,” he said. 

Some discussions at the conference focused on innovation in benefits, such as self-funded benefits plans to reduce costs, reference-based pricing strategies, and certifications for mental health allies, especially for managers, to identify employees who may need to access appropriate benefits. 

Individual interviews with over a dozen benefits leaders revealed an overwhelming skepticism around reference-based pricing — an attempt by many states to make pricing more transparent at the point of care.

Benefits leaders say they have concerns about their employees’ understanding of how the approach would work, especially given the reluctance of health care providers to provide price estimates for care on the spot. They say health providers will want to wait for health insurance carriers to give exact pricing, which they said could leave patients without exact information in real-time and would undermine the spirit of reference-based pricing. 

Panelist Angel Seufert, executive vice president of HR at Empyrean, shared with conference attendees a program she launched to train and certify two employees as mental health allies to identify employee needs and help connect those individuals with the resources they may need. Other HR leaders say they want to replicate that program. 

“I really like the idea of the mental health ally certifications, especially if those people are managers, ” said Urvashi Saigal, director, head of benefits at Danone North America. “We look to lead from the top on removing any stigmas in mental health.”

“A lot of our employees are experiencing issues with social determinants of health and we’re sometimes having difficulty getting them the resources they need, so we’re turning to technology to create a more connected culture through benefits,” added Saigal, a co-panelists with Suefert in the sessions titled “Optimizing the Connection Between Individual Wellbeing and Workplace Wellness.”

One session, led by Empyrean’s Chief Strategy Officer, Jim Priebe, focused on the challenges that HR leaders have given remote and hybrid workforces and all the distractions that employees have in their lives at work and outside of work that make it harder for employers to communicate with their people. 

He cited a few alarming statistics about how people are feeling: 47% of employees are worried, 24% are lonely, and 51% are disconnected, according to recent research by 2022 research by Blueboard.

“It isn’t just a pandemic problem. It is a growing problem,” Priebe said. “We’re just in an age where we feel more comfortable talking about these things. We need to make connections with employees a priority.”

The conference last week was interspersed with small moments of connection with the Tamayan people, who own the land operated by the Hyatt Regency. On day two of the event, about a dozen conference attendees watched the sun rise over the Sandia Mountains. The brisk morning walk was led by Tamayan Alica Ortiz. She provided an oral, guided tour through the nearby bosque — a Spanish word meaning forest. But for the locals, it represents a description of the land and their relationship to everything clustered along a stretch of the Rio Grande River. 

Near the end of the conference, Navaho flutist William Clark performed native music for a 15-minute stretch on two wooden, hand-made flutes. On the agenda, his performance was billed as “A Moment of Afternoon Enchantment.” After playing, Clark asked the crowd: “Feel better?”

Tony Spangler is vice president of public and analyst relations at The Starr Conspiracy and spent 20 years as an award-winning journalist covering government, health care, and business.  

Creating a Connected Workplace Culture: How to Bridge the Physical & Digital Divide 

Creating a Connected Workplace Culture: How to Bridge the Physical & Digital Divide 

In the modern workplace, fostering a sense of connection among employees is more than a nicety — it’s a necessity. As many companies were forced to adopt remote and hybrid work models over the past few years, the challenge of building meaningful employee experiences and deep connections within teams has become even more complex. Yet, the stakes for ensuring these connections have never been higher. 

Shockingly, more than half of U.S. employees feel disconnected. This disconnection is more than a personal issue — it’s an organizational crisis, directly impacting employers’ ability to attract, develop and retain top talent. In fact, employees who say they feel connected to their workplace culture are:

  • Over 5x as likely to recommend their organization 
  • Nearly 4x as likely to be engaged at work 
  • 55% less likely to be looking for another job 

The Challenge of Distance & Distraction 

One of the primary hurdles in building a connected workplace culture is the physical separation of team members. With remote and hybrid work becoming increasingly prevalent, employees are no longer sharing the same physical space, making spontaneous interactions and informal conversations a rarity. This lack of face-to-face contact can lead to feelings of isolation and disconnection among team members, hindering the development of a cohesive culture. 

Moreover, the proliferation and fragmentation of workplace apps pose significant challenges to building a connected workplace culture. With a seemingly ever-growing array of HR point solutions – from benefits to time and pay to learning and development – employees frequently encounter a disorganized maze of applications. This not only negatively impacts productivity, but also exacerbates cognitive overload and decision fatigue among employees, who often struggle to discern where to turn when in need. 

So, how can organizations navigate these challenges and cultivate a connected workplace culture in an era of distance and distraction? 

Developing a Connected Workplace Strategy  

Connection doesn’t happen by accident. Building better employee connections in the digital age requires an intentional act of commitment, being adaptive, and understanding the evolving dynamics of the workplace. 

To navigate this journey successfully, organizations must: 

  1. Act with deliberate intention in choosing strategies that resonate with your unique culture and workforce. This involves clearly defining what connection means to your organization and what the goals are, getting buy-in and participation from leadership, and measuring key success metrics that directly tie to the goals you’ve set. 
  1. Embrace tools and technologies that bridge distances, while being mindful of the human need for genuine connection. The important thing here is to not add to the noise employees already contend with, but to simplify their experience and fit naturally into their day-to-day. Ease of use and accessibility are paramount. 
  1. Cultivate clear and open communication so that every member of your team feels visible, heard, and important – wherever they are on their employee journey. One way to create this type of environment is to develop personalized, targeted messaging and touchpoints that will deliver the right information to the right employee at the right time. Technology can be a huge help here. 
  1. Soak up all the feedback you can. Good feedback practices not only light the way toward areas for growth and improvement but also reinforce the bonds that connect your teams together across digital divides. Establish your feedback channels, encourage employees to share and, most importantly, act on the input you receive. 
  1. Commit to continuous improvement, understanding that the path to deeper employee connections is a dynamic, never-ending process. In addition to analyzing and acting on feedback, be transparent and own up to the areas where you fall short, and, in equal measure, take time to celebrate where you’ve made strides. 

Want to learn more about building a connected culture in the era of distance and distraction? Check our our on-demand webinar and hear how other leading employers are rethinking the employee experience to drive greater engagement, productivity and satisfaction in the workplace. 

Empyrean’s Evolve24 : Unveiling the Secrets Behind Product and Technology Evolution 

Empyrean’s Evolve24 : Unveiling the Secrets Behind Product and Technology Evolution 

As businesses continuously evolve, the need for innovative technology solutions that can keep pace with dynamic workplace demands becomes crucial. Most companies are dedicated to enhancing and expanding the technology and services that support and engage diverse workforces. At the upcoming Empyrean’s Evolve24, Session 5 will offer an exclusive look into how technology and products are crafted to foster a connected and thriving workplace culture. 

Led by Jen Peery, Sr. Director of Product Strategy, and Kelly Clark, Chief Information & Technology Officer at Empyrean, this session promises to peel back the curtain on the intricate processes behind product development. Attendees will gain insights into the strategy, planning, and cutting-edge innovation that transform ideas from roadmap to reality. This behind-the-scenes exploration will highlight Empyrean’s commitment to not just meeting, but exceeding, the expectations of our clients with technology that enhances user experiences and empowers employees. 

Our experts will delve into real life examples that demonstrate the tangible impacts of our solutions on real-world business operations. This session is an invaluable opportunity for attendees to see firsthand how strategic product development can result in robust technology solutions that are both scalable and adaptable to a variety of workplace environments. 

Learn more about Evolve24 and how thoughtful technology can revolutionize the way companies support and engage their workforce, paving the way for a more connected and productive future. 

Empyrean’s Evolve24: Crafting Communications for Enhanced Employee Engagement 

Empyrean’s Evolve24: Crafting Communications for Enhanced Employee Engagement 

In the world of corporate communication, creating a seamless experience for employees is crucial for their engagement and satisfaction. Empyrean’s Evolve24 is set to host an enlightening session that delves into the intricacies of effective communication both on and off digital platforms. Led by Misty Guinn, Sr Manager of Communication Strategy, this session will showcase the art of synchronizing various communication channels to deliver a unified and impactful employee experience. 

This workshop titled “From Design to Delivery: Creating a Seamless Experience for Maximum Engagement & Employee Satisfaction” will explore the entire spectrum of content creation and deployment. Attendees will learn about crafting compelling content, launching targeted campaigns, and the alignment required to develop a comprehensive communications strategy. Through detailed analysis and sharing of best practices, the session will offer a roadmap for effectively executing across diverse channels. 

Misty will delve into creating meaningful educational touchpoints and custom communications that inform, connect, and resonate with employees. The discussion will cover the essential elements that make communications impactful, focusing on how to enhance a benefits strategy’s effectiveness through clear, consistent messaging. Attendees will walk away with actionable insights and practical tips to transform the way they communicate with their teams, aiming to boost engagement and achieve measurable results in employee satisfaction.  

Learn more about Empyrean’s Experience Lab and how you can create custom communications for your employees. 

Empyrean’s Evolve24: Exploring the Future of Work with AI 

Empyrean’s Evolve24: Exploring the Future of Work with AI 

The future of work is unfolding before our eyes, and at the heart of this transformation is Artificial Intelligence (AI). As we gear up for Empyrean’s Evolve24, we will explore how HR professionals can integrate technology seamlessly into their strategies. The session, Amplifying the Human Element of AI: Bringing a Personal Touch to Technology, will dive into the world of virtual assistants, chatbots, facial recognition, and more, illustrating just how relevant AI has become in our daily professional lives. 

During this session, attendees will gain a deeper understanding of the different types of AI currently shaping industries. The discussion will focus on: 

Algorithms that enhance decision-making. 

Systems designed to streamline operations. 

Specific examples and case studies that illustrate the practical application of AI. 

This isn’t just about acknowledging AI’s presence but understanding its capacity to transform traditional business models and workflows. 

Moreover, the spotlight will also be on Empyrean’s unique approach to integrating AI. Rather than seeing technology as a substitute for human roles, Empyrean leverages AI to augment the capabilities of our team, enhancing both expertise and empathy. This session lead by Katie Carroll, Director of Product Marketing, Stephen Higgins, Director of Automation, and Freddie Berberena, Vice President, Member Service + Service Center Strategy, will explore how AI can support and extend the skills of human employees, ensuring that technology adds a personal touch to interactions and services. It’s an opportunity to see how Empyrean not only adapts to the AI revolution but also sets a precedent for others by championing a synergy between human ingenuity and machine precision. 

As we navigate this peak era of AI, Empyrean’s Evolve24 is set to be a beacon for all looking to understand and implement AI in a way that truly complements and enhances the human aspects of work. Learn more about Evolve24 and all the topics we will explore. 

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.  

Cultivating Connection: Strategies for HR in the Digital and Distracted Era with Jim Priebe 

Cultivating Connection: Strategies for HR in the Digital and Distracted Era with Jim Priebe 

The upcoming EPIC conference, scheduled for April 25th, will feature a particularly relevant session for HR professionals, titled “Build a Connected Culture in the Age of Distance and Distraction.” Presented by Jim Priebe, Chief Strategy Officer at Empyrean, this session will delve deep into the opportunities and challenges of cultivating a connected organizational culture in today’s fragmented and distraction-laden environment. 

The statistics are telling: nearly half of the employees surveyed in a recent study report feeling disconnected and distracted, with significant percentages battling feelings of loneliness and disconnection from their work. In the era of digital saturation and hybrid workplaces, the imperative to forge meaningful connections is more critical than ever. Yet, what does ‘connection’ truly mean? This session aims to unpack this question, drawing on extensive research and insights from Empyrean’s vast experience with employee engagement. 

For HR professionals, understanding the multifaceted concept of wellbeing is crucial. It extends beyond mere benefits and individual behavior change to encompass a holistic approach that meets employees where they are, enabling their success and fostering genuine connections.  

Priebe’s presentation will offer valuable perspectives on how wellbeing can serve as a foundation for building a resilient and connected organizational culture, providing actionable guidance and approaches for putting these insights into practice. Attendees learn how to navigate the distraction-rich environment of today’s workplace, ensuring they can enable employee success and maintain meaningful connections.  

This is a must-see event for HR professionals committed to fostering a vibrant and connected workplace culture and looking for the tools necessary to thrive in the evolving landscape of work. 

EPIC 2024 presents an unmatched chance to forge essential relationships and discover innovative, transformative strategies that exceed standard best practices, aiming to nurture a flourishing, people-focused culture in your organization. 

Register for EPIC here and attend Jim Priebe’s session along with a multitude of speakers and keynotes aimed to ignite positive change in your organization. 

Transforming Your Business and Employee Experience with Precision Benefits 

Transforming Your Business and Employee Experience with Precision Benefits 

On Tuesday, March 5th Empyrean will attend the LIMRA Enrollment Technology Strategy Seminar. Tammy Kaplan, a Strategic Account Advisor at Empyrean will be participating in a panel discussion sharing insights and a case study about the impact Precision Benefits has had for a client and their employees. Precision Benefits is our AI enabled technology that empowers employees with personalized benefits recommendations fueled by their individual health data. 

Tammy has a strong passion for delivering positive benefit experiences and lives the Empyrean mission to connect benefits and enrich lives. As Product Consultant within Empyrean’s Strategic Account Advisor team, Tammy consults with clients on best practices in using our data-driven benefits engagement tools. She also leads the client governance program for these capabilities, including oversight of medical and carrier engagement, communication planning, optimizing configuration of communication tools, delivery of reporting and insights, and continued servicing of the program with year-to-year changes in benefits strategy and workplace programs. 

CLIENT 

 A Professional Services Firm with more than 16,000 employees located across the U.S. was having service issues with their previous benefits administration vendor and their health plan costs were over-budget. They wanted to maintain the same level of choice for employees while driving them to right-sized plans through a powerful and engaging benefits experience and needed a partner to help them accomplish these goals.  

CHALLENGE  

It was important to the client that their new platform would make it possible for employees to understand the value of the benefits offered, leading to better enrollment and utilization decisions and a stronger connection to their company culture. It was also important to the client that their new benefits platform could create a positive employee benefits experience through convenient and trustworthy benefits decision-making and healthcare navigation tools. They found it critical that their new solution could educate employees on the best plan options for their individual lifestyles while offering a data-driven benefits shopping experience that would drive better enrollment and utilization decisions, and ultimately better outcomes for both their employees and overall organization 

SOLUTION 

Precision Benefits empowered the client’s employees to use their own health data to help predict their out-of-pocket costs. It also helped them evaluate how other benefits such as an HSA, Healthcare FSA, hospital indemnity, accident and critical illness plans could help offset their medical plan costs. Once enrollment was done, Empyrean provided one platform for employees to access and engage with their benefits while connecting them to programs that support their wellbeing. Empyrean also partnered with the client to deliver robust communications and education to help improve year-round benefit decisions. 

Learn more about how Precision Benefits can elevate the lives of your employees. 

Empyrean Announces an Expansion of Solutions That Champion a Connected Culture Across the Employee Journey

Empyrean Announces an Expansion of Solutions That Champion a Connected Culture Across the Employee Journey

Empyrean expands its business model, offering two solutions that work independently or in concert to help organizations build a connected culture—increasing employee productivity, wellbeing and retention.

HOUSTON — (Feb. 22, 2024) — Empyrean, a company committed to building better corporate cultures, today unveils a business expansion to help organizations build a connected culture by supporting the entirety of the employee experience through two solutions: Empyrean Benefits and Empyrean Connect. 

Empyrean’s move comes in response to the critical market need for more integrated and connected work cultures. Numerous workplace research studies show that employees want to work at organizations where they feel connected to the company purpose and the C-Suite has recognized that a cohesive employee experience leads to higher employee engagement, productivity, and ultimately retention.

“We’re living in a new employment era where it is more important than ever for employers to connect employees with their brand, culture, and employer-provided resources that exist to support the entire employee lifecycle,” said Rich Wolfe, CEO of Empyrean. “The focus of Empyrean’s solutions on creating a connected culture is the answer organizations need to bring their employee value proposition to life; whether it is through recruiting, life events, day to day productivity, or communications.”

Empyrean Benefits is a full-service benefits administration, integrated ancillary services and benefits guidance solution. Empyrean Connect is a robust employee engagement solution that transforms the way organizations create, deliver, and measure internal communications, employee productivity tools and programs, and wellbeing initiatives. While Empyrean Connect offers deeper levels of customization, both solutions can be client-branded and configured to meet the unique needs of an organization.

Empyrean’s expanded market position brings together their innovative technology, a service-first approach, and a deep focus on employee experience. Though Empyrean Connect can be sold independently of Empyrean Benefits, when paired together, Empyrean clients gain a comprehensive support system for the entire employee journey, reinforcing Empyrean’s vision of building a connected culture and helping clients to retain talent.

“More than just robust technologies and great capabilities, companies want a partner that can support the well-being of every one of their employees and create a more connected and accessible employee experience across every touchpoint,” said Jim Priebe, Chief Strategy Officer of Empyrean.

Empyrean customers are already seeing success in the new approach to building a connected culture:

“We have seen a tremendous increase in benefits adoption and overall employee engagement from our highly dispersed workforce. We attribute that change to the power of having a single company app with integrated BenAdmin, all powered by Empyrean,” said Felecia May, benefits director at NextTier Oilfield Solutions.

Learn more about Empyrean Connect: click here.

Learn more about recent enhancements to Empyrean Benefits: click here.

About Empyrean

Established in 2006, Empyrean is a leading technology SaaS company empowering organizations with innovative technology and a service-first approach that accelerates employers’ benefits and employee retention strategies. Empyrean’s platform and services enhances the wellbeing and workplace engagement of over 6.5 million people, fostering stronger connections between employees and employers. By enriching employee experiences, Empyrean not only strengthens employer brands but also cultivates vibrant workplace cultures for organizational success. Visit us at goempyrean.com.

Empyrean Launches the Experience Lab – Transforming Client Engagement Through Customized Content 

Empyrean Launches the Experience Lab – Transforming Client Engagement Through Customized Content 

Empyrean is announcing a new strategic creative communications and content service called The Experience Lab. This service is seamlessly integrated with the Empyrean Platform, providing a comprehensive suite of services to enhance client support. These services include consulting, strategy development, custom content creation, campaign execution, and detailed performance analysis and reporting.   

With The Experience Lab, you can unlock the full potential of your benefits program, creating a more fulfilled and motivated workforce. 

Strategy 

Crafting a benefits strategy is only effective if your employees are aware and engaged with what’s offered. Empyrean’s solution addresses this by delivering a tailored, omnichannel communication strategy to meet your organization’s unique needs. This approach not only enhances the visibility and impact of your benefits but also strengthens your organizational culture by demonstrating your commitment to your workforce. 

By leveraging our tailored communication methods, your organization can enhance its culture through a deeper, more meaningful engagement with benefits. 

The Workshop 

The journey with Empyrean begins with an engaging strategy workshop, a crucial step in comprehending your specific challenges and goals. Our primary focus is to align our strategies closely with your objectives, undertaken with precision and attention. 

The structure of the workshop is crafted to encourage clear and effective communication. It’s a way for both Empyrean and your team to exchange ideas and viewpoints openly. This interactive session sets the stage for constructive dialogue, helping us to establish key analytical benchmarks that will steer the creation of a tailor-made plan. 

This plan, born out of the insights gained during the workshop, will be specifically designed to tackle your identified needs, ensuring a smooth transition into a solid partnership. 

Insight Report 

Following the workshop, Empyrean will present a detailed insight report. This document will highlight crucial findings, offer strategic advice, and present a customized roadmap designed specifically for your needs. The insights from the workshop will be converted into an actionable plan that aligns with your corporate objectives. 

Empyrean understands that the effectiveness of a benefits strategy is measured not just in its creation but in its ongoing management. To this end, we provide structured, regular reporting. Expect quarterly updates, which will give a clear view of the progress made towards the established goals. These reports are essential for monitoring real-world results and making timely adjustments to adapt to any changing needs or circumstances. 

Enabling Your Strategy 

Our dedicated benefits communication team is poised to develop and implement a comprehensive year-long strategy that will enhance your benefits program and actively engage your workforce. We specialize in creating custom campaigns tailored to meet your organizational goals, complete with all the necessary assets to bring each campaign to life.  

The Experience Lab is not just about creating content; it’s about forging strong partnerships. We collaborate closely with employers, consultants, and brokers to support all facets of custom content and communication strategy needs.  

In fact, one of the first brands to work with Empyrean’s Experience Lab was able to reduce the portion of employees who declined health benefits coverage in 2024 by 7%, compared with the previous year. At the same time, the company encouraged 44% of employees to enroll in a newly offered PPO. 

Our aim is to be your trusted partner, working together to enhance the way you connect with your people. With The Experience Lab, Empyrean is set to redefine client engagement, offering an unmatched level of service and expertise in the realm of communication strategies. 

Ethical AI in Benefits: Our Commitment to Progress Together 

Ethical AI in Benefits: Our Commitment to Progress Together 

At Empyrean, we’re enhancing the way you connect your people to their benefits with AI – not by replacing the human element, but by amplifying it.  
 
We’re dedicated to enhancing the human side of Human Resources through AI and believe that the real power of AI lies in its ability to enhance human service, adding a personal touch to technology.   

We understand the importance of maintaining a balance between innovation and ethical responsibility and our commitment to our employees, clients, and to society goes beyond technological advancement; we aim to ensure that our solutions not only advance humanity but also foster a more equitable and inclusive workplace.  

Our core principles: 

Transparency 

We pledge to be open about how and why our AI systems make decisions, providing our clients with understandable and accessible explanations. 

Accountability 
Empyrean takes full responsibility for the AI systems we deploy. We are committed to making AI that is reliable and that our teams can oversee, ensuring outcomes are fair and equitable. 

Integrity 
Our AI systems are designed to respect the dignity and privacy of all individuals. We implement rigorous data governance practices to protect sensitive information and ensure confidentiality. 

Fairness 
Empyrean’s AI is built with bias mitigation strategies to prevent discrimination and ensure equal and just treatment for all users. 

Collaboration 
We believe in the power of partnership, working closely with clients, employees, and the broader community to understand and address the ethical implications of AI. 

Empowerment 
Our AI is created to augment human capability, not replace it. We design our systems to empower HR professionals and employees, enhancing their abilities and decision-making. 

Progressive Learning 
We are dedicated to the continuous improvement of our AI systems. Empyrean’s AI learns and evolves to better serve the needs of our clients and their employees.  

In an ever-evolving digital landscape, Empyrean is committed to being a leader not only in innovation but also in AI ethics. We strive to set a standard for how AI should be approached — with conscientiousness, care, and a deep sense of responsibility to the people we serve.  

Empyrean is not just a benefits administration company; we’re your ally in navigating the evolving landscape of HR technology. By partnering together, your journey with us is always evolving, keeping your business future ready.  

Ready to elevate your benefits with AI? See our approach to AI here.  

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