It’s time to prioritize ‘prioritization’: How interconnectedness improves benefits usage and value.

As an HR leader, you put considerable effort into selecting which benefits you offer your employees, and put just as much care into selecting the vendors that provide those benefits. The vendors you’ve chosen offer high quality services, but when they operate in a vacuum—that is, without linking to or communicating with the other vendors in your benefits ecosystem—employees could miss out on opportunities to engage with important benefits. Your team spends a lot of time coordinating vendors, creating communication campaigns, facilitating warm hand offs and referral workflows, yet the results are often sub-optimal. And when vendors act in their own self-interest, rather than working toward the greater goals of the company, to the employee, it sounds like noise from an uncoordinated orchestra.

The solution is not necessarily to add, remove, or change benefits or vendors themselves. Rather, focus on optimizing the benefits you currently offer in order to maximize their value. As health benefits and benefits ecosystems grow in complexity, the risk of lost savings opportunities grows, and the need to connect and prioritize them becomes crucial to realizing their worth.

Benefits vendors must be linked and integrated with one another. Then, recommendations can be prioritized and targeted across benefits for each individual. When this occurs, the employees who can benefit the most from a given service or product can get the right message, in the right way, at the right time.

Here’s what an interconnected benefits ecosystem looks like in action. Take the case of 35-year-old Donna. After a doctor’s visit confirming she is pregnant, she receives a recommendation to check out your company’s maternity program. After the pregnancy, when she adds her child to her health insurance, a recommendation about her life insurance benefit enrollment is triggered. Soon thereafter, she will begin seeing recommendations educating and reminding her about her child’s well-baby visit and vaccinations, and later, to let her know about free telemedicine resources, since, as a first time parent, she is more likely to use the ER than the average person.

A central “brain” that takes the whole employee picture into consideration and recommends the right benefit to each individual is key. Predictive analytics, big data, and behavioral science are key components in facilitating interconnectedness, and delivering measurable results.

What if your benefits “home” came with recommendations for every employee, similar to Amazon’s personalized recommendations, along with one-click ordering?