Radical Listening - The Secret to Benefits that Get ROI

Female employee providing feedback on her benefits

We love it when our Bright Horizons presenters make an impression.

And blogger and consultant Laurie Ruettimann had a lot of great things to say about our own Kristin Henderson, whose recent presentation at the Human Capital Institute – on radical listening – showed how we used a scientific approach to transform 401k usage in our house.

The Science of Benefits ROI

Our 401k program was an important employee incentive (huge for teacher retention), not to mention a financial wellness benefit. But it was hovering around 20% usage. 

“With no data, you might assume the 401(k) plan wasn’t advertised enough,” explained Laurie. “Or maybe it was too hard to sign up.” 

But as Kristin showed, we had the data – more specifically, answers from our employees that gave us hard facts to act upon. 

“Through the act of radical listening — and analysis of both experience (X) and operational (O) data,” wrote Laurie, “Bright Horizons found that only 33% of employees were confident of their ability to create a household budget and only 23% believed in their ability to create a financial plan.

Forget about retirement, she wrote. “Most employees needed help with primary financial literacy.”


A few carefully constructed financial wellness programs later, and 401k usage is on the rise. Booyah. 

How Are Your Benefits Working? 

The same approach works for education programs, dependent care, engagement – HR across the board. Kristin will be writing more about it soon.

“Almost 70% of people who intend to stay in their job for the next two years say their company listens and responds to feedback,” points out Laurie. “And employees who say their company responds to their feedback ‘extremely well’ are 5x more likely to stay in their roles than even those who say they respond moderately well.”

Listening. Data. Response programs.

Works every time.

Read Laurie’s whole article, here.

Bright Horizons
About the Author
Bright Horizons
Bright Horizons
In 1986, our founders saw that child care was an enormous obstacle for working parents. On-site centers became one way we responded to help employees – and organizations -- work better. Today we offer child care, elder care, and help for education and careers -- tools used by more than 1,000 of the world’s top employers and that power many of the world's best brands
Female employee providing feedback on her benefits

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