How to Break Through the Employee Benefits Noise, with Zendesk’s Global Benefits Manager

Person sitting on floor with laptop

One of the not-so-fun aspects of transitioning to remote work during COVID? We’re getting more emails. Slack messages. Calendar reminders. Text messages. In an effort to maintain strong connections with our coworkers, we’ve over-inundated ourselves with a flood of communication.

And Jen Bergman, Global Benefits and Well-Being Program Manager for Zendesk, says all that added noise is making it even more difficult to get our important employee benefits messages across. A New York transplant living in Wisconsin, Jen had no plans of pursuing employee benefits as a career (or leaving New York for that matter!) But 15 years later, she’s proud to have followed her instincts, building a wonderful family of five and experiencing an extremely satisfying career. 

And this year, we’re proud to welcome Jen as a speaker at Engage 2022. We caught up with her for a sneak peek at what she’ll share during her session, and to learn her best tips for driving benefits engagement amidst all of the other messages employees are receiving these days. Here’s what she had to say. 

Jen-Bergman headshot

Name: Jen Bergman

Title: Global Benefits and Well-being Program Manager

Company: Zendesk

Where can we find you online? LinkedIn

How do you like your coffee?  This might be my favorite subject next to benefits! I definitely prefer a bold coffee – usually just a splash of milk.

Tell us a bit about Zendesk. 

Zendesk is a trusted and beloved customer service software company and the champion of great customer service everywhere for everyone. We build software to meet customer needs, set teams up for success, and keep businesses in sync. 

What energizes you about your job? 

My position was newly created when I joined, so that gives me a lot of opportunity to shape the role. Although we have been around for many years, there is still this great “start-up” energy throughout the organization—so new ideas are encouraged, and we are growing every day. There is a tremendous focus on employee well-being and engagement, and I get to be right at the heart of it. 

What most excites you about participating in Engage 2022

Benefits and employee well-being is – and has been – such an important topic for so long, and it is made even more complex by the pandemic and the change in work dynamics. As a complete Benefits Geek, the idea of coming together with others in this space and hearing about their experiences and learnings is super exciting to me.

Why is it important for employees to engage with and take full advantage of their health and wellness benefits? 

Health and wellness benefits are a key part of your compensation package. When used well, they protect you, can improve your health, save you money, and show you that your company does care about you!  

"[Employees] are receiving so much ongoing education and messaging right now, so we’re competing with that when it comes to benefits."

What is the biggest challenge to driving employee engagement with their benefits? 

Time. There is so much for employees to learn about, be a part of, and keep up with right now, especially in a digital environment. They’re receiving so much ongoing education and messaging on many important fronts, so we are competing with that when it comes to benefits.

What’s the one biggest thing benefits teams should be prepared for as we head into 2022? 

Getting creative! The challenge to attract and retain talent has never been greater and the need for benefits and well-being programs to deliver has never been more urgent. We will all be asked by our organizations to stand out and deliver something better than we ever have.

Which employee benefits and perks should employers be most focused on in the coming year and why? 

We need to continue to focus on programs that will help to prioritize employee self-care. Burnout and Zoom fatigue are not going away and their effects are very real.

What is your top tip—you can only pick one!—to help employees choose, use and engage with their benefits? 

Partner with other areas of your organization. Look for synergy with other events or teams where you can add messaging that is relevant. The more that you integrate your messaging, the more accessible it will feel.

"Partner with other areas of your organization. Look for synergy with other events or teams where you can add messaging that is relevant."

What’s missing from the HR + benefits space right now? What aren’t we talking about/doing enough of?

Making things easier. There are So. Many. Solutions. We as employers are all trying to offer so many solutions, plans, and programs. I understand why employees get confused and overwhelmed, and I think that Engage 2022 is a step in the right direction on this – we need to be able to serve up solutions as people need it rather than having them track down what they need when they are in crisis mode.

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