Employers are increasingly investing in healthcare benefits for their employees, and the COVID-19 pandemic has only accelerated that trend. A recent survey from the Business Group on Health found that nearly half of surveyed employers said their healthcare strategy is integral to their overall workforce strategy, up from 36 percent last year.
But benefits are complex, and can be confusing for employees. About half of employees feel like they understand their benefits, and benefit resources too often go underutilized.
Melissa Shelton, a Benefits Analyst in Ferguson’s Center of Excellence for Total Rewards, joined Angel Rosa, Castlight’s Senior Vice President of Customer Experience, for a webinar discussion where she shared Ferguson’s approach to creating an engaging benefits experience. Castlight’s personalized navigation platform is helping employers like Ferguson, which has over 24,000 associates working across all 50 states, guide their employees to the right care at the right time.
Here are the key takeaways from their conversation:
Designing a benefits system that works
Ferguson identified two key priorities in designing a benefits system that would work for its dispersed employee population:
- First, the company needed a solution for engaging its geographically diverse workforce. With many employees working on the road or in manufacturing and distribution centers, being able to effectively communicate about benefits was critical. This became especially important during COVID-19 amid benefits changes and new safety protocols.
- Second, they needed a solution that would help prioritize preventive care to promote health and safety in the workplace. Seventy-six percent of Ferguson’s employees are men, and the company understood that statistically, this meant they were more likely to delay or avoid care and put themselves at higher risk.
Initially, to achieve these goals, Ferguson launched several programs, including an activity-based program to encourage engagement with wellness activities and a preventive, biometric screening program with incentives.
Melissa shared that the company quickly realized “we needed a comprehensive solution that simplifies the experience, makes it easy for employees to engage with their benefits and resources, and – importantly because of our diverse job types with many in the field – we couldn’t rely on an email.” Ferguson partnered with Castlight in 2018 to help create a more engaging employee experience, and recently launched Castlight Complete earlier this year in January.
Personalization driving engagement
One of the ways Castlight Complete is helping Ferguson employees engage with their benefits is through Castlight’s personalized platform. Castlight leverages a vast suite of data—from goals inputted by the user, to 3.3 billion claims records, to eligibility information, to searches—and develops a unique profile for each person. The platform can then send them the most relevant information, resources, and care recommendations based on their conditions and personal health situation.
For example, a number of Ferguson employees who completed a health assessment through Castlight Complete identified managing their weight as a high-priority health goal. Castlight could then refer them to Ferguson’s digital health program, 2Morrow Weight Management, to help them in their weight loss journey. Since April, there have been 2,400 employees at Ferguson who have viewed the 2Morrow program, indicating that the company is sustaining their engagement even during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Identifying the right care
Castlight’s care navigation capabilities are helping Ferguson meet its second goal to drive employees to preventive care services. By providing an integrated, simple search experience that matches users with the highest-value providers, Complete makes it easy for employees to identify their best care options.
In the first half of the year since launching Complete, Ferguson has seen 110,000 searches for care through Complete, with the number one search being for primary care. Employees who registered with Castlight Complete were 10 percent more likely to receive preventive care. For every search for a colonoscopy procedure done through Complete, Ferguson has saved $142 per person.
Castlight is extremely proud to see that our health navigation technology not only helps our customers create a better benefit experience for their employees, but also results in improved health outcomes. Creating sustained engagement early in the benefits process also helps maintain communication during moments like the COVID-19 pandemic, when employees look to their employers for critical information and support.
Click here to watch the webinar recording.