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Data Reshapes How Honeywell Communicates with Its Employees


Like many organizations, Honeywell offers a variety of point solutions to best meet the needs of its employees and their families. But the data indicated that its people weren’t taking advantage of these programs and didn’t know how to locate details about them.

In this session, Catharine Hamrick, VP Senior Consultant at Segal Benz, joins Christopher J. Rukus, Benefits Director at Honeywell, to share how Segal Benz conducted virtual focus groups, reviewed Honeywell’s benefits experience, and developed and implemented a user-experience strategy that ultimately increased employee engagement with the programs offered.

Learn how to:

  • Take a holistic, strategic approach to improve employee engagement with their benefits
  • Leverage innovative technology to connect directly with employees and gain unique insight, allowing you to quickly take action and solve any problems you discover
  • Explore the barriers and issues your people face when engaging with their benefits

This webinar was previously recorded. View the full transcript below.


Data Reshapes How Honeywell Communicates with Its Employees

Ron Miller: Well, hello everyone and thank you for joining today's special webcast, Data Reshapes How Honeywell Communicates with Its Employees. I'm Ron Miller, a Senior Fellow in the Human Capital Center of The Conference Board. I'll be your moderator for this webinar. I am joined today by Catharine Hamrick, Vice President of Communications with Segal Benz, and Chris Rukus, the Director of Benefits for Honeywell. They're going to present a lot of material on the work they've done at Honeywell to get employees engaged with their employee benefits. We will have a Q&A session toward the end of this presentation. So if you have questions, please write them in the Q&A box.

I'll be monitoring those and then we'll call them out as we approach the last 15 minutes of this hour. And you can download a copy of the presentation. You should have a way to do that there on your screen, so you're welcome to do that. There's contact information in there for Catharine, if any of you want to follow up with her or Segal Benz on the work that they've done. So with that, I'll turn it over to Catharine. It's all yours.

Catharine Hamrick: Thank you so much, Ron. It's great to be here today. I'm just going to quickly tell you what we're going to do and then hand it over to Chris. So we're going to talk a little bit about what the problem was. Chris is going to tell you a little bit about Honeywell. We're going to talk about how we explored that problem together, what we discovered, how we addressed the problem, and then how the work continues to evolve and achieve.

Christopher Rukus: Thanks very much, Catharine. Okay, so I've been with Honeywell for a little over three years. And for those of you who aren't familiar with Honeywell, we do more than just thermostats. That's something we've probably been most famous for over the years. But just to give you an idea of what we do, aerospace technologies is a big part of what we do as far as radar and guidance for airplanes, black boxes on airplanes. We also do building automation, industrial automation and in energy. We've been around for a very long time, a Fortune 100 company. And I mentioned that because our population is around 40,000 U.S. employees, about 60,000 outside the U.S. And the 40,000 that are in the U.S. is what we'll be talking about today.

We have a lot of really smart employees just based on what we're trying to do in our lines of business. Talking about a lot of scientists, a lot of engineers building these new things and were building drones for instance, and a lot of really interesting technology that we've been doing for many, many years. And we're not just a manufacturing company, we're also very much a technology company. So when we are looking at our benefits, we look at benchmarks against both manufacturing and technology. So when I got here, and I've been in the benefits world, been in the administration for over 25 years. As I mentioned, I joined Honeywell in October of 2020.

And at that time, there wasn't a whole lot going on in the world, right? So when I arrived, I get a feel as a new hire, what exactly was the benefit experience when somebody was coming on to see, okay, where are they getting information about their benefits, how are they enrolling, et cetera. And I noticed there was a problem. So when Catharine and I did this presentation with the Midwest Benefits Group on Health Forum in Chicago a few weeks ago, one of the questions that kept coming up during that session was, what keeps you up at night? What are the things you worry most about?

So this was the Honeywell ecosystem at the time that I started. And as you can tell by this slide, it's fairly convoluted. If you try to get an employee to understand this, best of luck. It was not something that was very intuitive. It wasn't something that was very consistent. So when looking at this, the problem was very simple, for me anyway, was there's not a central point for people to access their benefits. There's not a central point for people to go to when they have questions. And people only look at benefits a certain number of times as you well know, usually around when they're new hires, usually around annual enrollment and whenever they need them.

So when employees need their benefits and they are faced with this type of situation where it's very hard to find something that you need, you need a better system. And when people who are literally rocket scientists that work for us are saying, "This is rocket science, this is not supposed to be rocket science. This is something that should be intuitive and easy to access for employees to have a good experience." So this is what we basically started out with. And obviously there's a lot of barriers when you have that convoluted system or ecosystem. Systemic, you have no signal. Either single sign-on or passwords required to access the info that of course, we have so many passwords as it is.

Remember, here's another one to remember, you don't need that functionality. You can always access everybody. All the information that we have out there is now always accessible to everybody who needs it. Flexibility, you only are able to make updates once a quarter on the site that we had, which was very, very hard work because if you're trying to get information and the information as you know with benefits changes all the time, we're trying to put new information out there and if it takes a couple of months to get it out there, that doesn't work either.

As I mentioned with engagement, you're looking at the attention, the lack of time and priority that people have when talking about benefits. We wish they would put a little bit more time and priority and attention into benefits. But when you have them, when you get them engaged, you need to make sure that the user experience is such that they actually want to come back. Privacy, skepticism, concern, fear, that's really more around the information that we have on some of our sites specific to them. And they're making sure to have the information that they feel like their privacy is being invaded for whatever reason, the information that we have on our sites that's specific to them. "Well, can my employer see it? And if that's the case, I don't want to have that type of information out there." That's always a concern.

Preferences and engagement, we'll go over that a little bit more in a few slides, but just trying to figure out the best way to engage with our employees. And there's so many different ways to engage with them. And then culturally, there were a few things like penalties that we had installed many years even before I got here. That was part of the culture and that was what a lot of people have signed up when they talked about our benefits, they were like, "Oh, it's this benefit." Because they know that if they don't register for a specific site, they're going to get dinged a penalty. So that's what we started out with and that's why we hired Segal Benz to help us get a handle on this and try to figure out a way to make a better user experience for us.

Catharine: Thank you, Chris. So that's where we got involved. We were brought in to help explore the problem. We took a three-pronged approach to this. We're going to talk a little bit about all three of them. Online focus groups, very detailed user experience review, and a channel assessment to get a better sense of the online focus groups to hear specifically from participants, from employees, what are they feeling. User experience review to see what it was like for the participants when they were trying to learn about their benefits or to use their benefits. And then finally the channel assessment, how they were learning about those benefits. So let's dive in and look at each of those a little bit.

All right, so let's start with the online focus groups. We use a really wonderful, I think, innovative program platform. I'm overly enthusiastic about this platform. But it allows us to actually reach out and hear from up to a thousand employees at one time. It has artificial intelligence behind it so that you are able to capture all of this information and understand it very quickly. Employees use a laptop, tablet, mobile device, and they answer questions in their own words and then vote on the other respondent's answers. That's where the magic really happens. So we do also ask questions, a simple poll of questions. We can do ranking questions, all sorts of things like that. But the magic is when we allow people to answer those questions in their own words, to use the language that they use, it helps us really understand what they understand, what they don't, and then this voting on it.

So if you can see on this slide here, for example, somebody's put in an open-ended answer there. “I think leadership has done a great job and I don't have any major concerns at the moment.” And it says, what do you think of this response? Agree, disagree? And then there are other, same concept of testing where you see an open-ended answer and you see two and do you prefer this one or this other one? So it really allows the platform to gather a lot of information. The responses are all anonymous, but they can be segmented. We ask onboarding questions to get a good sense of, and I'll show you in a minute what that meant for Honeywell, get a good sense of who's there so that people can speak. And when I say speak, it's all chat based. So it's type really, and feel free to say whatever they want to say.

We don't know who they are, but we do are able to slice and dice the data based on characteristics. Because the platform is collecting all of this information, it allows us to take this open-ended, unstructured data and analyze it and use it very quickly. I love an in-person focus group. You leave there with scribbled notes or maybe you need to transcribe that recording. This, the platform's got it for you. And then later to the platform, this was not true when we were working with Honeywell and doing this a few years ago. After you do these live sessions and they have to be live in the sense that people are answering the questions at the same time so they can vote on each other's answers, we now have the ability to open it up as a flex or asynchronous session after the fact.

And that allows us, it's treated just more like a survey and employees are able to go in and do it on their own time. So high level, that's my introduction to the platform. When we did it for Honeywell, we had six focus group sessions and were able to talk to 544 participants in this ten-day period in October of 2021. Feels like longer ago than that in a lot of ways. And I think what's so wonderful about that, for those of you who have done focus groups, is that typically it's hard. You certainly couldn't have had 544 participants in six focus groups and able to actually capture all of their information, but you're able to do this with this platform.

I talked a little bit about the onboarding questions that allow us to slice and dice the data and allows us to understand who is there. And so as Chris referenced at the beginning when he was talking a little bit about Honeywell, this is a bunch of smart people doing a lot of different types of things. So we want to be able to slice and dice the answers to say, Hey, do the aerospace folks respond differently to these questions, have different needs, value different things than the folks that work in corporate? So that's one of the things that's important about this. The other thing we want to do, and at SBG, I didn't say this out loud, is the Strategic Business Group. So you probably guessed that a little bit by what the types were there. But the other thing this allows us to do is we want to make sure that the focus group participants are representing Honeywell.

So we can look, and in this instance, we could say to Honeywell, "We're feeling great about the information that we gathered, but you do need to be aware that in the focus groups, your aerospace is underrepresented, your corporate is slightly overrepresented." So that's the thing we can see. Length of service is another one that we typically ask. You can see here it is astounding how close to exactly the focus groups in Honeywell. It was very, very similar, the percentage that was there. So length of service is a place where we often see very different views of benefits and how they're communicated with. Age, there you go. You can see again that there's pretty widespread there.

And we come pretty close to matching. The under 35 was underrepresented, unless the under 35 folks were the prefer not to say people. Health enrollment plan. This is in what plan were they enrolled? We thought that could have some influence. Honeywell I think is slightly unusual. They have one plan design, correct me if I'm wrong, Chris, but you're able to choose different networks. So it's important that we capture that there and you can see how that played out. And then we're going to see in a few minutes actually some of the responses that people had to various questions. But what I wanted to call out here before we move into that is that we almost always at the end of a session, take advantage of the opportunity to ask the employees, how did you feel about using this platform? We think that's important.

I should tell you that we're doing this when we do a session, our clients are watching the answers come in with us live. So Chris would've been there as we were. At least several of those six sessions, Chris was there watching these come in. And so we feel so confident that people like this platform, that we're able to ask that with the client watching. So these are some of the things that you heard in the blue. "They're better to type than speak over people. Enjoyed seeing agree/disagree statements with percentages." That's something they can see. "And I would use this platform again." So we really thought this was a great way if we were going to go in and we were going to solve that ecosystem, that tangled up thing, we wanted to hear from employees directly.

All right, so then we did a user experience review. What does that mean? Let's talk a little bit about it. So Honeywell has really fabulous benefits and they have a lot of them. They provide great benefits for their folks, but there's a lot. And a lot can sometimes mean that it's more complicated for the employees. So I think there may even been a few more, but we did a user experience deep dive on each of the ones that you see listed here. And what that meant was 90 minutes to two hours. And I think we lean more towards two hours most of the time of sharing our screen. So it would've been several of us from Segal Benz. Chris, other members of his team, and then representatives from these vendor partners.

And what we would do is we would sign in as Chris or as someone else, if there wasn't a dummy site we could look at and we would spend a lot of time going through and seeing exactly what that experience is like. How easily can I find the information I need? How easy is it for an employee who's been told by Honeywell to go out and to sign up for Castlight to be able to do that and to understand what Castlight is there for? So I'm going to turn it over to Chris to talk a little bit about Castlight in particular. We looked at that whole tangled web, but there were several priorities that we wanted to look at specifically, and Castlight was one of those. So I'll hand it over to you.

Christopher: All right. So yeah, so we've had a relationship with Castlight at Honeywell for almost as long as Castlight's been around, almost 20 years I believe. And they've been a great partner of ours. But initially, the way we look at Castlight now is different than we looked at it when we were doing this review, doing this user experience review that I was talking about. So Castlight for us was really geared toward those who were in our medical plan. We have one high-deductible health plan, Cigna and Horizon are our two carriers. And Castlight, the idea was for people to go to the Castlight site and have access to network providers. So you'd be able to choose doctors that might have better quality, doctors or providers in the either Cigna or Horizon. There wasn't a whole lot of back-and-forth engagement on that.

And we think that was really because people would go to the carriers to get that information from Cigna. We did eventually start putting in additional information onto the site, including claims data as somebody got a claim, that the claims information would go to Castlight. Or for instance, they would also place information about their deductible in the site so people could track the deductible on the site. And then there was an app also, and that app did have the ability and still has the ability now for us to communicate through the app through push notifications. But there were barriers with the Castlight app. And I know Catharine's going to go through it a little bit more in detail.

But the images and icons they were using were limited from our branding options. Honeywell, we couldn't reprioritize any of the content hierarchy, wasn't really a true one-stop shop. And that's what we were looking for, but Castlight really wouldn't fit the bill because it didn't include retirement pay or vacation. So as far as engagement goes, having the wrong email address or not having download the app, direct mail thrown away. So there were several different issues. Even though Castlight, there was a lot of good information on there, it still wasn't being utilized the way we wanted to. And so we wanted to get a better understanding of why that was. And so that's what we had. That was part of our user experience review that we did with Castlight. Catharine, I'll go ahead and hand it back to you.

Catharine: Great, thank you. So when we started to dive into this, and Chris referenced some of this, what we saw is that there were some issues with the single sign-on, on how to get there. There was real confusion about Castlight positioning. I think I'm about to show you a slide with some actual statements from participants where that will come through loud and clear. There was this recognition that I would get penalized if I didn't use Castlight, but no actual sense. Really didn't have specific Honeywell branding on it, even though it was a primary thing that Honeywell was sending people to. When they would give them content to promote, when Honeywell would give Castlight content to promote, it was far down the page, was getting lost, no decision support kind of help getting to what they needed.

Duplication of health assessments. I think this is a thing. This is not the only place we've seen this. A lot of different providers will do health assessments. And so just to get really clear on where it is you want people to do those health assessments and send them there. And similarly, provider searches. Castlight was really where Honeywell wanted people to be going to do these provider searches because you could get a sense of quality and other things, but people were going to their carriers instead and we were finding conflicting results. So those were some of the issues that we were able to find by doing these very specific user experience reviews. So this was also a great place where we can go out and look at that and see that and we can have our hunches and we can say, wow, we're confused.

We don't know where to go. But it's really great when you have the focus group participants themselves, the actual employees sharing this insight as well. So you can see just a few of the open-ended things that we were able to get. I believe it's where when we asked them what is it? I believe it's where I can find out what my benefits are and help me decide on which doctors to use. Okay, sort of. I go to Castlight rarely maybe to pick a doctor, maybe something catches my attention from an email. They send a tool for Honeywell that pushes towards low-cost providers. So the story was just simply not being told as well as it could be told, and we heard that loud and clear from employees.

So the opportunities that came out of that, which you already heard in the way we've described the story, was to make sure that we could really reposition Castlight and tell that story to help have decision support for moments that matter, which is you're going to hear in a minute. We're spending a lot of time around moments that matter, not necessarily on Castlight right now, but Honeywell as a whole. Posting updates and segmenting communication as well as push notifications. So that was some direction to Castlight about how they could help us. And we really wanted to look at coordinating vendor communication calendars and doing this more regular communication year-round and have our benefit partners, have Honeywell's benefit partners help with that as much as they could. All right, Chris, I'm going to let you talk about channel assessment.

Christopher: Okay. So what's interesting about this slide, as you can see all the way to the left, 80% of the people wouldn't mind getting information through email. So now we do here at Honeywell, we do voice of the employee surveys about once or twice a year. And we have pretty good engagement in those, well over 80%. And one of those VOEs we decide to ask as far as communication, just as a whole, how do you like your communications frequency from corporate to the employee population? And one of the big things that came back was, well, you guys send us too many emails. So we asked the same question during the focus groups, and obviously as you can see here, one of the best ways to communicate with our employees according to the focus groups was via email. So we have that dichotomy.

It's a challenge obviously for us because we want to make sure there's a balance between emails and anything else that we do. So as I mentioned earlier, we have a pretty large manufacturing population as part of Honeywell, and a lot of them don't even have computers. They don't use the computers during the day. They have a corporate email address, but they never look at it. So any of these emails that are going out are not getting to them. So that's always a challenge for us. HR Direct is our HR portal. It not only talks about benefits but also talks about anything HR, vacation, policies, any type of U.S. policies that we have. Talks about, you have access to a lot of our vendors and so forth. So that is one place that people can go to and try to find their way around.

Our benefits website prior to the one that Segal Benz helped us to build was much lesser as far as content and usability and just being able to find anything on that site. There was that peer materials as something that we do try to do, especially because of that group of manufacturing employees that don't access computers and don't look at email on a regular basis. Those peer materials are invaluable, not just from us, but also of course our vendors will send them as well. And of course, emails again from benefit vendors. So this just gives you a flavor of what we heard from our employees as to how they like being communicated to. We ask them a lot of different questions. This was just one of them.

And again, just my preference by ages, as we talked about earlier, as Catharine mentioned earlier, one of those pie charts. Our average age is around mid 40s, 45, 46 years old, but we have several different generations across, whether it's millennials or baby boomers or generation X, generation Y, so forth. But again, emails, near the top obviously. But the meetings and webinars and manager and supervisor, that's something I thought was pretty interesting because for those people who are coming in and they are less than 35, they like to have done a lot more webinars and they have their own good uptick on those sessions. So I think what we're discovering, the way people like to receive information on benefits, this is starting to get to be a little bit more prevalent again.

And maybe it's because of those two, three years during the pandemic and people only got emails for the most part. They didn't have a lot of contact with people in a webinar, in a meeting or their manager, supervisor. Especially if they were in an office situation like we are here in Charlotte, all you do with everything was virtual, everything was email. So I think now that we're on the other side of that, I think we're seeing a lot more preference to doing the in-person and the on-site types of benefits engagement with our vendors and with ourselves. So communication, what's working? Just in time, communication from Honeywell, there are many references to the open enrollment email and postcard. When we did this, the focus groups that was in late October, which is just coincidentally about the same time that we do our annual enrollment every year.

And when we asked them, what was the last thing you remembered? What was the last benefits communication that you remember receiving? Yes, there was obviously open enrollment email. That's one of the times to do that as we all know is our best chance to get eyeballs on any benefits material during annual enrollment is usually the best time or the postcards that we send out. And then employees seeking information without a push. They visit HR Direct, as I mentioned, our HR website internally, the carrier websites and our U.S. benefits website at the time. So people were getting information, but still it helped that we have communications such as mailers go out, not only just the emails, but the mailers as well to help direct them to where to go.

But we still need a little assistance in trying to get ourselves to a better spot on our website. And so again, too much information come from too many places with no cohesive story. And as you can see with some of the answers here, almost no one referenced the CMR mail. So we had CMR, Consumer Medical Resource, which is now my Medical Ally, part of Alight, had been mailed to homes. They had remembered that mailer. Some of them remembered that mailer was sent out. But the only thing that they ever associated that mailer or that program with, and we have a surgery decision support program with CMR, was a penalty that accompanied that program.

So just briefly, if you had, there was five certain diagnoses, if you didn't go to the surgery decision support group with CMR to go through to see whether or not there were other options outside of surgery, if you didn't go through that program, you were assessed a thousand-dollar penalty. Now thankfully we've removed that penalty, but at the time, that was the big thing. And the culture within Honeywell at that time was, yes, we need to do some penalties here and there to get people's attention. Well, thankfully that group is no longer with us and the team that we have now, with our management philosophy, and they should not be penalized but incentivized to access our benefits. So I don't pay attention to communications like that.

I ignore emails and mailers like that and just search. It all becomes white noise after a while if you send too many things. It's frustrating to have so many different resources. Yes, that's absolutely right. And that was one of the reasons why we asked Segal Benz to help us. And like I said, as I mentioned earlier, these are people whose day jobs are working with computers, working with airplane technology. I mean, they don't have the time to try to find all these other avenues to find the information that they need in a timely basis. So it's very frustrating for them and that came through during the focal group. And what we discovered, Catharine?

Ron: Catharine, before you jump in, we're about halfway through our time. I just want to remind the attendees if you have a question for Catharine or Chris, please write it in the Q&A section of the app and we will bring those up here as we get to close in about 15, 20 minutes.

Catharine: Great. Thank you, Ron. So I'm going to just quickly summarize here the three key findings and the opportunities, and then I'm going to hand it right back to Chris to tell you what we've done about it because that's actually, that's the important part is. The data in itself is not an end in itself. It's a means to help us get to something else. And so that's what we're going to do. So the three key findings, which I think you've kind of heard us emphasize all the way along. The big one is just there's too much information coming from too many places without a cohesive story or connected experience. And at Segal Benz, we like to talk about brand a lot. And that is what is the story? What is the story that you're trying to tell here? And then your communications can continue to go with that.

Employees recognizing penalties at the expense of understanding the value of the benefit program or service. And as we both referenced, I think there was a sense at the beginning of this project that maybe Castlight could be the health hub, could be the benefits hub. And after spending some time with this, we came back and pretty clearly said it could be the health hub but not the benefits hub. And we think it's pretty important that you have a benefits hub. And we ended up, as you're about to see using Castlight as, I wouldn't call the health hub really necessarily either. So the opportunities were to develop and consistently share that Honeywell benefits story and value proposition, simplifying and providing more direction throughout the year.

So of course there is definitely a push. There needs to be at annual enrollment to make sure people are going out and taking a look. But Chris is going to talk to you about how we're communicating with those Honeywell employees quite a bit more than that about benefits throughout the year and to really focus on reducing and eliminating structural barriers wherever we can. So the things that make it actively hard to get to the information. All right, Chris is going to tell us about how we address the problem together.

Christopher: All right. So some of the recommendations that Segal Benz came back with were obviously strategically use fewer channels, right. We do have employees that, as I mentioned earlier, don't access email. So we have to figure out another way to get information to them. Develop and consistently share that benefits story. In the middle of all this, we decided we actually put together a global well-being strategy, which consists of four pillars. The physical, the mental, financial, individual. And our benefits have been siloed basically into those pillars. And silo is probably not the best word, but because these pillar will help and that can affect your mental health, it could also affect financial well-being as well.

And an individual is really a catch-all for benefits like legal insurance, pet insurance, pet care. And there's so many other things that we have. Daycare, elder care, everything for an individual-on-individual basis that people may need. So when we were looking at building the site, we also looked at that and said, okay, how can we get that strategy into the site at the same time, so people understand how, and strategy holistically is very important to Honeywell and placing those benefits in the correct spots on the site. So we want to use consistent language and terms. We discovered that there were several things like our EAP that used several different names to it, whether it was Cigna or Health Resource or Care Allies.

Try to get a more consistent message across for that. Delivering year-round communication from Honeywell. Obviously, enrollment's big, but that can't be the only time people view the site because people, yes, they will look at the site if they need it, but we also need to keep pulling them back there just to give them an idea of just understanding their benefits. And that was one thing in the focus groups, people just didn't understand what we had. So to be able to pull these people in to a site that showed everything that we had and make it so easy to move around and navigate that we would hope people would come back. And I think we'll show a little later that people did come back depending on how we were communicating to them.

Removing passwords, again with the passwords, we try to make sure that any kind of barrier to viewing this information was removed and then redesigning that and use it as our front door for benefits. And this was the proposed future state that we came up with and the Benefits hub, which is our new benefits website. That's the center, that's the front door, that's the one-stop shop that you could start from. And from there, branch out to these other pieces, other hubs, health hub as we've already talked about, Castlight a lot as a health hub itself so that we now have everybody included with Castlight instead of just the people who had medical insurance.

And there's a lot of well-being points that they can access through Castlight. The 401(k) hub with Fidelity, financial well-being. And then our total rewards, and that's really more specific to people's compensation, bonuses and other items as well. But the benefits hub was the place we wanted people to go to first and we wanted to make sure not only the employee could get there, but also the family member. So we came up with We didn't take a whole lot of thought process to get that together because what make sense, benefits, Honeywell, So it was pretty easy move to go to that site and naming. It's publicly accessible for family members and job candidates. It means yes, anybody here on the call today on the meeting today can access this.

Don't do it right now, wait until the end of the meeting before you do. But yes, please go out and check it out. We have nothing to hide. We're very transparent here at Honeywell. Publicly accessible. Why? Because a lot of spouses will make a lot of benefit decisions for the family. We are 75% male, 25% female across Honeywell. And we realize that spouses do pick and do play a major part in a lot of the benefits decisions. So we want to make sure that the family members could just go out to the site and check it out. And job candidates of course too. I mean, with our trying to regain or trying to attain talent, we want to make sure our talent acquisition group says, "Well, hey, want to learn about our benefits? Here you go. Just take a look." It supports our well-being pillars, as I mentioned, those four pillars of our well-being strategy, it tells our benefits story and promotes benefit partner events.

As you can see on this, you see the benefits at Honeywell on this slide. We actually put a lot of others to be able to put information out here regarding webinars for Fidelity or Bank of America with their HSA. So many different events across the force of the four pillars of course too. And we actually go out to our vendors as well and say, "Hey, is there any information out here that we'd like to add to the dental or to the vision that we can add to make it look more attractive?" And we'll certainly allow them to do that. They just need to provide us the information and then we'll decide what information will look best on our site. So that's another thing that the vendors can do. Why? Because they can access the site as well.

And this is just a Castlight promotion today. This is something that Castlight taking guesswork out of managing your benefits, finding in-network providers, participating. They have challenges that we can do with them every year and we've had a few of our groups take those challenges and remove the penalties. So this is just an example of a promotion that we use for Castlight. So how the work continues to evolve? So 2022 is a big year for us. We launched in August four significant size campaigns even in a short year, obviously the biggest one would be the fact that we had a new benefit site and that, like I said, August, that was only about two months prior to annual enrollment opening up. So we want to make sure that we got as much information out prior to that so that they knew where to commence in October.

We saw increase in resource, website usage, a couple of participation in live events for great engagement. We had about 5,000 people attend some mental health webinars. 4,000, we have a biometrics screening process that we do here at Honeywell every year. We just actually opened that up. In the next week actually will be the first week we open it up. And actually we'll have a whole lot of information on the website starting next week. Multi-channel campaigns, you're reaching the broader targets, email, Yammer live events that are also on the site. Of course we did mailers as well, specifically around the launch of the website and increasing knowledge of specific topics in enhancing overall well-being deliverables. So the campaigns, as you'll see definitely resonated with our employees.

All the health and well-being information that we'd sent out, the information about annual enrollment, biometric screenings. So we had a really great campaign over the course of the remaining four months of the year, considering how much work had been done for the first eight months of the year putting the site together. And this is just some metrics that we saw. So as you can see, the peaks here are around the mailers, that first peak and then the AEs come in emails. The first day of annual enrollment, as you can see, obviously a hundred thousand page views, 200,000 users. That's over the course of the month of October, which is again our annual enrollment month.

And here we have year-end, November and December site visits also. Again, the spikes that we have correspond to that site communication. Annual enrollment is ending, check your statements in December. So it was very easy to tell when we had sent something out either via email or mail and being able to view the utilization on the site was very easy. As you can see here, it's very easy to say that people were engaged. As soon as you get those communications out, they knew exactly where to go. And this is again, only about four months after the site had been launched. We continued to improve the site. So this year we're really excited to be able to launch a Spanish version of the site, which should be coming out hopefully in the next month.

From an inclusion and diversity standpoint, Honeywell is very big on that. And our inclusion and diversity group and officer, when she heard about this was very excited about it. We have a substantial Spanish population, especially in our groups in the aerospace industry in Arizona and Texas and California. So that's going to be very helpful for them. We integrated banners and articles with enterprise-wide focus on the moments that matter. Those moments that matter are what happens when you're managing a loss, for instance, mental health for the month of May. We did a special communication on that. We've launched a few other benefits this year already.

Teladoc for telehealth purposes for people who are enrolled in our medical plan. And we also introduced Bright Horizons, which as I mentioned earlier, pet care, elder care, college admission counseling, that's something else that we've introduced as part of the site. And with help from the vendor, of course, in coordination with the vendor to be able to either send out mailers or emails or update information on our web. And we improved our parental leave. We doubled our parental leave from four to eight weeks at the beginning of this year. And that was another thing we promoted. So it's been a busy 2024 so far. Biometrics, as I mentioned, is coming up this month.

And again, we can't just do the emails. The mailers are big too. We also do a lot of digital signage and Segal Benz has helped us out a lot with that. The digital signage we have in a lot of our office buildings, our hub locations in Charlotte, Atlanta, Houston and Phoenix, they use those digital signage all the time. We have about 70 sites across the U.S. with over a hundred people, and they're all very big on digital signage if they have it. Otherwise, the table tends to promote benefits content to the manufacturing group and introducing new benefits, as I mentioned, to improve our well-being across our four pillars. So yes, it's a constant thing. As Catharine will say, we talk all the time, probably once or twice a week, and we probably email each other almost every day.

What's great also about the site is the fact that we can make updates on the fly, usually within a day or two. Any small changes to text or something like that, it's going to go up. And so that's been great. So it's been a pleasure working with the Segal Benz group for the last few years, and I know there's only good things to come.

Catharine: Thank you, Chris.

Ron: Yes, good job to both of you. It's exactly 45 minutes past the hour, so hats off to you. Really good question came in about your website. Who maintains it, Chris? Is it HR? Is it a third party? Is it Segal Benz? Who keeps it up?

Christopher: Segal Benz. Yep.

Ron: Okay. All right.

Catharine: Yeah, we work very closely together. As Chris was just saying, it's teamwork. So we have fabulous web developers, tech folks on our side. We meet to talk about content at least once a week. But then there's other, as he referenced, emails that come over of here's something that we need to update. I think one of the things that has really been great is how much the benefit partners have joined in. They recognize how much the site is being visited. We don't show this stat, but Chris and I have talked about it. One of the things that's so great because we've sent people then throughout 2023, we sent people there very regularly, once a month.

We saw that even the baseline of visits to the site, even when we don't push people there continue to rise, which is really great because that means that people know to go out there to look for the answers to their questions, even if we're not telling them what we want them to go look at. So we work on it together.

Ron: Chris, how did you know that you had a problem you needed to address anyway when you started doing this?

Christopher: Well, I mean, coming from other companies, and I actually did a former company, I had helped to create a benefits site for that other company because we needed a one place to be able to go and find the information for people for benefits. At that company, we did everything internally. We did outsource the site, but everything else was done internally. So we knew that there was a problem there. Here when I arrived three plus years ago, for me it was surprise. It was very eye-opening for a company as big as Honeywell and is nationally known as Honeywell, the information for benefits in particular, it just wasn't intuitive trying to get around to get the information that you need. It just wasn't there.

I mean, there was some site sites, but you had to say, okay, well this site, I need to enroll, but this site has all the information. I can get to the vendor from here, but I can't get to the vendor from there. It was very convoluted. That's just the experience I had. And as a benefits professional for over 25 years, that's something that you know you have to fix. Because if people don't know what you have, then they automatically think your benefits aren't that good. And that's not what we want to think because of the millions and millions of dollars that we put into benefits every year, we want to make sure the employees are using those benefits as much as they can. Even before our well-being strategies went into place, I knew that there was a gap there.

There just wasn't enough engagement with our benefits and why? Because people couldn't find stuff. And then people's attention span, let's face it, on benefits isn't probably going to be very long unless they need something really bad. And then they're put in a spot where they're searching around for half hour, an hour, and then they give up or they start calling people to try to find out where do I find this information, why can't I find it easier? So it was pretty apparent from the get-go that there was a problem here.

Ron: And then your focus groups validated your belief.

Christopher: Exactly, yep.

Ron: Sounded like, yeah. Question on that. Why did you decide to take the approach of the, I assume you went virtual on the focus groups because we're still in the thick of the pandemic at the time, but why did you choose to do the focus group the way you did as opposed to, for example, surveying all employees?

Catharine: As we noted going through, we're just able to talk to a lot more people in a shorter amount of time and capture data that we can act on much more quickly doing the online versus in-person, requires less resources.

Christopher: Yeah. I also add to that the VOEs that we do are companywide. So it's not just specifically U.S. And so we have 60,000 employees outside the U.S. and so those surveys that they try to do are going to be worldwide surveys if it's going to come from corporate. So for us to try to do something this specific and the questions that we were asking during these focus groups were all benefits-specific, that was it. There was nothing else. It was just benefits-related questions like, do you like your benefits? How many benefits do you know about? Where do you find information on your benefits? How do you like to be communicated regarding benefits?

So since it was such a specific niche, it made sense to do with these focal groups instead of just trying to throw out a survey to all 40,000 employees. And I would note that about 25% of our U.S. population isn't on our medical benefits. So then you're only getting a part of the puzzle. There's only some 30,000 people that actually may even, if we may even look at it, the other 10,000 or whatever, it wouldn't probably even look at it. Well, it doesn't apply to them. So that's why we did it the way we did it.

Ron: Pretty soon it's going to be three years since you did the focus group. Are you thinking about following up and doing it again?

Christopher: So we actually do some surveys now through Castlight. So our relationship with Castlight has gotten actually much better as a result of these surveys. As I mentioned, we opened up the Castlight to not just people on a medical plan, but for everybody. And we actually do quarterly sweepstakes, and we actually have some really nice prizes every quarter. People getting points for just going in and learning about their benefits. I mean, there's several different spots within the Castlight site that they can learn about life insurance. They can learn about Bright Horizons, they can learn about Teladoc. And by doing so, they're earning points. By doing their biometric screens, they're getting points. So it's a much more engaging site.

And yes, you can still track your steps, you can track what you eat, you can track your sleep, all that good stuff. You can connect your Apple Watch to the Castlight app. So it's something that a lot of people have gotten a lot more use out of from a wellbeing standpoint. And I think that in part because of the work we did with the focus groups has enriched our relationship with Castlight.

Ron: Yeah, it strikes me that the way you're using Castlight is quite broader than what their normal application is. How did you get them to come along with you, and what were the implications to you of asking Castlight to take on a much bigger role in this? And another question came in related to this. How did you get all your vendors to align with your whole initiative to brand and get the right language in there and so forth? How did you get successful in that area?

Christopher: So as far as branding goes, yeah. Well, a lot of it had to do with the communications, the mailers, because a lot of things that we've sent out in the past they would be just from Cigna or just from Horizon or just from MetLife. I think for part of the reasons, and for some of the stuff we don't use Honeywell's logo on only because as I mentioned earlier, some people are reticent to the fact that we have access to their medical information, especially the biometrics for instance. We don't do a lot of co-branding with them only because they believe that Honeywell has their information, which they don't. So we have to be careful on where we are with the branding.

But for the most part, going forward with a lot more concerted effort to add Honeywell's information to it, and we believe that that has helped. And people, instead of just saying, well, my Medical Ally, what does it have to do for me? But the postcards all have Honeywell on them now, whereas they didn't always have that in the past. And what was the first question again, Ron?

Ron: Well, Castlight, you seem to be using their site in a much broader application than the typical Castlight customer might use them for.

Christopher: Okay. Yeah, I mean, I think again, from what we learned from the focal groups is that people didn't know about their benefits. And so this was before the site went live. We were trying to figure out a way to get people engaged knowing what kind of benefits they had. And by doing that, incentivizing them through points to learn about their benefits. And so in working with Castlight, it was number one, making sure that everybody was going to the site, going to Castlight, and hopefully registering. But we didn't want to force the registration, which is what we had been doing, because if you didn't register and you were in our medical plan, then you were going to get dinged a hundred dollars.

Well, we thought that was ridiculous, so we decided that this isn't helping us. We want to associate Castlight as a site that, well, the only thing that they're going to remember about Castlight is the fact, well, I got dinged a hundred dollars for not registering. That was not the primary focus on what we were trying to promote Castlight for. We were trying to promote Castlight for more of a wellbeing and knowledge perspective about our benefits and taking care of themselves. So we did a 180 in a way in that we did allow all the employees to be able to access it. We want to draw them in with the incentives of the sweepstakes. And that has certainly helped.

I mean, over the course of that first year, we had well over a million points. People going in and reading about all these different benefits that we had that they probably didn't even know we had to begin with. Why? Because we still hadn't built the site yet. And so that was really good. No, we have a really good relationship with Castlight. Like I said, we been with them for over 20 years, and I think that it was decided at that time we needed to revamp what Castlight meant to us and what meant to our employees, and so we rebranded Castlight in that year as well.

Ron: All right, thanks. We're getting pretty close to needing to wrap up here. Let me throw one other question, might be able to handle pretty quickly. Catharine, there's a person asking if they're in 150 employee company, how would you weigh using SharePoint versus a custom-built website?

Catharine: I think my quick answer is that I would probably need to talk to them directly. I'm happy to do that, to talk about what's on there, et cetera. Your SharePoint is probably behind a firewall, which means that spouses and family members aren't seeing it. So that would concern me. And we do create websites for companies way smaller than Honeywell. So just to say that. We're a big fan of public site that is engaging, which SharePoint can and can't be, and everybody's able to access it.

Ron: All right. Thanks Catharine. Maybe one other quick one for you, Chris. In addition to the quarterly prizes, what other health incentives do you offer?

Christopher: Those are the big ones, and it's just the size of the prizes is pretty big. And we're talking about $2,000 vacations, a thousand-dollar Amazon gift cards, a thousand-dollar Lowe's gift cards. So we want to go big with those instead of doing the $25 here or $50 there. And one of the things that, as far as the surgery decision board, as I mentioned earlier, there used to be a thousand-dollar penalty. Now it's a $400 incentive. We also have other incentives aligned with our quality cancer program. For those people who are diagnosed with cancer, there's a program through my Medical Ally that they can go through that helps them get through that diagnosis. There's a lot of care management, a lot of support there that's provided by my Medical Ally. That program, they'll get another $500 contribution to their HSA.

Ron: Great.

Christopher: So those are just a couple.

Ron: Great. All right. Well, I think we're pretty much out of time. There were a couple questions we didn't have time to get to. I apologize about that. Catharine, you want to close with the last two, the next two pages? And then I'll wrap it up.

Catharine: Sure. I'll be super fast. Didn't want to end without giving you the opportunity to get out to the Segal Benz website and do a lot of case studies and blogs and all sorts of things. I hope it came through in the conversation that while we do benefits and HR communications, this is our actual, what excites us and motivates us to do our work every day is helping great organizations. Like I know all many others inspire their people to improve their health, their finances and their futures. That's really what it is about for us. Happy to chat at any time. You got the QR code over there to get out to the website to see, but feel free to send emails directly to me. And as Chris has already referenced, Chris and I talk multiple times a week. So if you've got a question for Chris, you could send it to me, and I'll get it to him too. So thank everyone very much for being here with us today. Back to you, Ron.

Ron: All right. Well, thanks Catharine and Chris. That was great. If you enjoyed today's program, please visit The Conference Board's website for a full roster of upcoming webcasts. myTCB is a new members only website offering members a curated and personalized view of the full range of membership benefits available from The Conference Board. Here you can view the latest research and insights, conferences and events, data and benchmarking tools, peer networks, and access experts in one centralized place. Sign in and check it out today. Chris and Catharine, thanks again. Hope you all have a great day. We enjoyed having you here and have a good rest of your week. Bye-bye.

Christopher: Thanks for having us.