Eclipse 2019: Stories of Success, Sundance Style
In true Eclipse fashion, we opened our 2019 conference by celebrating success. We invited clients and partners to share their PlanSource wins ‘Sundance-Style’—meaning via a short, engaging presentation. See a preview of this year’s success stories and check out the full video below!
The Employee Experience in Today’s World: How to Leverage Total Rewards, Culture and Leadership to Boost Productivity and Reduce Turnover
Kacie Sizemore | Culture Curator, Joyus, LLC
Employee experience is really hard to get right. Every employee has a unique position about how they feel about their experience. It’s also the most important facet that a company has that they can somewhat control. If the experience is bad—people won’t stay. It doesn’t matter what the company’s mission is, etc.—the experience is key.

To exacerbate the issue, the average ‘employee engagement’ is only 32%, and that hasn’t changed in 10 years!

What can companies realistically do to improve and elevate the employee experience at the organizational level?

In her ‘Success Story’ presentation, Kacie walks through how the employee experience starts at the top with culture, which needs to be clearly defined and communicated. From there, leadership needs to carry that message through with programs and perks that support the culture and with specific KPIs that drive organizational results. And finally, using total rewards statements can help tie everything together by demonstrating culture priorities, programs and investment in employees.

Kacie recently worked with a data company and recommended a cultural overhaul that was supported by total rewards statements. When she was hired, the company had a 24% turnover rate, which cost the company $38,000 per employee to replace. Over one year, she was able to help them reduce that to 20%, saving $1 million. Over three years, she reduced it even further and saved the company $4.16 million.

These changes are hard, but the right kind of hard, and the results can be extremely rewarding.

Benefits 360: Creating Better Benefits for the City of Cincinnati
Justin Peter | Vice President, Marketing, 4myBenefits
In this short presentation, Justin walks through how technology and communication can vastly improve benefits engagement and drive organizational results.

50% of employers have an active enrollment, which is very important! When Justin started working with the City of Cincinnati, however, they were buried under mounds of paperwork, inefficient processes and disengaged employees.

A short look at the current city structure—they have over 6,000 employees spread across 30 departments and 88 buildings. The city is comprised of a very diverse workforce from every angle of that definition—age, income, education, etc.

Previously, they were using paper for enrollment! Employees would have to sift through 100+ pages of benefits materials, manually file 10 different applications, and the HR team had to file information into 2 different systems. Because of this antiquated approach, they relied heavily on passive enrollment, which was not helping control costs or engage their workforce.

After partnering with 4myBenefits and upgrading to a modern, online benefits experience, the city saw unprecedented results. 98% of employees were enrolled on time and 33% enrolled within the very first week. The city also saw a 240% increase in HDHP enrollment, a 200% increase in worksite product participation, a 20% increase in voluntary product participation and did all of this with a 16% reduction in annual premiums.

How, you ask? A simple equation. 4myBenefits implemented PlanSource as the new benefits administration software and reinforced the modern experience with an employee contact center, decision support tools and a custom benefits package through Voya. And, the city used a holistic communication strategy using 4myBenefits’ ‘communications escalator’ approach to actively engage employees throughout the experience.

Altogether, the City of Cincinnati was able to provide a better benefits experience and invest in a modern technology solution at no additional cost while driving down premiums—a win/win for all parties.

Using Creative Retirement Plans To Impact Your Bottom Line
Dominic Casanueva | Retirement Benefits Consultant, Merrill Lynch
When we are talking about success for retirement plans, which are measured over years and decades, how do we define ‘success’ along the way? Dominic shares his perspective and a success story on how he was able to deliver amazing results for a client that had no plans for retirement.

This particular success story took place earlier this year (2019). As we all know, retirement plans can go up and down and there are no guarantees in life. A new client approached Merrill Lynch. The company was small, only 4 employees, but had several challenges that they wanted to address through a creative retirement structure.

First, the company had no existing retirement plans, which was a problem in itself. The owner was worried that they were going to lose existing talent because they had a clear gap in their benefits; two of the roles had a very high turnover rate for this reason. Furthermore, there was an employee that had been with him from the beginning (20+ years) and he wanted a great way to thank that employee for their loyalty and provide an incentive for them to continue to stay with the company. And finally, the owner himself had no funds set aside for retirement.

As a seemingly unrelated issue, the company had astronomical tax bills every year, an issue that was eating away at their bottom line and their ability to provide better benefits.

Merrill Lynch looked at adding a creative retirement plan structure through PlanSource to address some of these complex issues through creative plan design. PlanSource enabled this to work through flexible configuration tools that allowed a ton of flexibility and customization.

With PlanSource, Merrill Lynch designed a multifaceted retirement plan that addressed the key issues the client faced: maintaining an attractive and competitive compensation package, rewarding the loyal employee with a generous package, providing the owner peace of mind with a comfortable retirement plan and creatively using funds to lower the company’s annual tax billing—all of which was totally legal and financially ethical.

Did you miss this year’s Eclipse? No worries, check out the full ‘Stories of Success’ Session here!