Choosing the right benefits to meet individual needs is one of the biggest decisions your people can make. For many, enrolling in their benefits can be a confusing and complicated experience that can lead to making decisions based on gut feelings or past choices instead of rational thought. I’ve probably spent more time choosing a meal from the 21-page, 250-item menu at the Cheesecake Factory than the 18-minutes on average that most people spend choosing their benefits, according to a 2019 report from PlanSource. It’s clear that workers struggle when it comes time for choosing their benefits during open enrollment, but it doesn’t have to be like this. The best and easiest way for you to help your people through this process is by providing them with a variety of easy-to-use decision support tools.
Gone are the days of plain forms with radio buttons. Today’s decision support tools are animated, colorful, playful, and entertaining, similar to what we see and use as consumers. They’re also educational. Physical, emotional, and financial wellness decision support tools, such as quizzes, drive desired behaviors and push people to make better decisions. And decision support tools can drive traffic and awareness to your employee benefits website, key to helping employees understand and make the most of the benefits you invest in.
So with that, here’s a few of our favorite decision support tools that we’ve created for our clients to help their people make the best decisions possible.
2-minute medical insurance know-how quiz
This 8-question quiz asked simple—but important—questions about how the medical plan worked. The visual style made it easy to navigate and keep people engaged. The result? More confidence in choosing a plan.
Medical plan selection support tool
Choosing the right medical plan is a big decision. But this medical plan selection tool made the task easy and engaging for employees to choose the right medical plan to meet their needs. Simply spend a couple of minutes, answer a few questions, find the best plan. It’s highly intuitive and fun to use, too!
Interactive infographic decision tree
This visual decision tree is a creative, fun way for people to decide where to go for care. Employees can quickly choose the right care for their condition—their doctor, local urgent care center, or ER. This animated tool is colorful, engaging, and easy to navigate. And employees can use it throughout the year.
2-question financial well-being challenge
This questionnaire was a great way to help employees improve their financial well-being. Answer 2 simple questions, pick a goal, and achieve it by the deadline. It was a fun, engaging way to help employees think about their financial security.
3-minute health savings account investment quiz
This HSA investment quiz made it easy for more employees to learn that HSA investing is an option. And the results drove people to additional information so they could start investing.
Our 401(k) quiz was highly successful for our client, Synopsys. When they noticed shifting demographics of their U.S. workforce, they doubled down on efforts to engage employees around saving, planning, and investing for retirement. They wanted to do this in a fun and nontraditional way, and we were up to the challenge.
We created a short, 8-question interactive quiz centered around the company’s 401(k) plan that was creative, easy to follow, and educational. From the framing of the questions and copywriting to the illustrations, the quiz design was grounded in gamification to drive higher engagement with the 401(k) plan. We added game design elements, such as earning a score on each question answered correctly, to motivate and trigger participation.
The result: More than 25% of Synopsys U.S. employees took the quiz, savings rates increased by 50%, investing jumped 175%, and asset allocation changes increased 190%.
The Synopsys 401(k) quiz received the 2018 Excellence and Innovation Award from Pensions & Investments and the Defined Contribution Institutional Investment Association. The award recognizes DC plan executives and employers for well-executed, creative, and unusual projects that ensure participants have adequate retirement income. It's also the recipient of a 2019 P&I Eddy Award, which recognizes outstanding communications.
So there you go. Decision support tools don’t have to be complex. In fact, those that pull in claims data and make complicated calculations are typically too much for the average person to deal with. Most people want an easy-to-use, simple tool to help them choose their benefits. Health care is an emotional decision that shouldn’t be overpowered by facts and figures. By offering your people lightweight decision support tools during open enrollment, like the ones showcased here, you can help your people feel comfortable and confident in the choices they make.
Peter Turgeon, Director, Innovation, is an advocate for using technology to affect real business change and blends his skills and extensive knowledge of benefits communications to drive engagement.