Alex the Benefits Counselor - by John Sumser - HRExaminer

If you make it fun, people will pay attention.

Candidate Experience meet Employee Experience

HR is not fun.With the possible exception of a strange exercise offered by the OD department, few employees smile when they think of HR. Between administrivia, Employee Assistance, payroll, training, recruiting, referral programs, absence management and the rest of it, HR has the very tough job of explaining and implementing infrastructure.

It’s sort of like a whole department devoted to the seatbelt speech that you get each time you fly. There is nothing fun about it.

Perhaps this is why the typical HR generalist has a hard time understanding the whole Candidate Experience thing. Why should a candidate experience a different sort of HR than the rest of the company?

At the end of the day, the HR task is thankless. Faced with an endless array of options and opportunities, the team has the novel challenge of trying to get compliance in benefits submission. Many people never complete their benefits enrollment forms (or make major errors when they do).

Enter Alex, the automated benefits counselor. A product of an interesting company called Jellyvision, takes one of the driest bits of administrative hell and makes it pleasant. The process is simplified and well explained while keeping the tempo upbeat and moving to completion.

This is one of the places where you should watch the video. The experience of using Alex to complete the form turns an awful thing into a small pleasure.

The video demo shows you the end result of the hard work that the Jellyvision team execute. Alex is an interactive tool built on complex branching designed to simplify the process down to the basics. Alex establishes a new benchmark in benefits administration.

All around us, people are realizing that the ‘stickier’ the experience, the better the results. Check out this safety video from VirginAmerica. By mnaking the burdensome ritual of listening to the board flight attendant talk about seat belts into something fun,VirginAmerica gets better safety compliance while making customers smile.

The folks at Jellyvision have a twenty year track record in making dry things fun. That’s the real work at the company, turning infrastructure drudgery into the foundation of workplace delight. It’s an interesting task they’ve set out for themselves. The company began as an educational film group. They wanted to find boring subjects in order to make them interesting. Their underlying theory is that learning happens more effectively when people are laughing.

If you make it fun, people will pay attention.

Wouldn’t it be interesting to see SHRM endorse that as an aim of the profession. Alex may be the first step in the movement to improve employee experience.