User Meeting 2021 Recap

Post-Event Video and Recap

Lindsey Martin (Senior Systems Architect) leading a presentation on life events.


Last week, Steele held its 4th Annual User Meeting on Thursday, July 22, 2021 at the Dallara IndyCar Factory. This is the biggest event of the year for Steele’s benefits enrollment customers. Between high-speed 2 seaters and extensive presentations for our benefits services and tools, the event was a major success with almost double the attendance rate when compared to our previous User Meeting in 2019.

To celebrate these milestones, we’ve assembled video from the day of the event in a post-event wrap-up below.

Thank you to our sponsors, customers and staff — we could not have pulled this off without you all! Moving forward, we’d like to go through the User Meeting agenda and present some key insights, takeaways and resources brought to you by the team here at Steele. Stay until the end for our photo gallery from the event!


Welcome and Steele Updates

Wes Steele (CEO) detailing recent updates within the company.


Company founder Mike Steele and Katy Esser (Vice President, People) kicked-off the event by thanking our sponsors and outlining the day’s agenda. Wes Steele followed up with a look into current trends within the benefits administration landscape and Steele’s current and future positioning as a valued service provider. The livestream recording has been archived below.

One of the biggest highlights from the Steele Updates segment was the Selerix license acquisition announcement. While we covered why this news is so important for Steele in last month’s blog post, Wes Steele summarized it as such:

“The [Selerix] license enables us to have new levels of connectivity with external partners, streamlines the integrated benefits experience, and provides employers with increased flexibility in how they operate. Employees working with us under this license puts them in the best position possible for their needs.”

Next, the event split into two breakout sessions: a bootcamp for newer users, along with a user roundtable discussion for more experienced users.


User Bootcamp

Mike Blink (Regional Sales Director) answering questions at the User Bootcamp.


Hosted by our very own Mike Blink and Lindsey Martin, the User Bootcamp was held to guide new users and bring current ones back to the basics of the Steele system. This breakout session covered the new version of the user guide and a review of the system’s tabs. During this session, users were walked through where to find information in the system. This session was also captured on the livestream.

Speaking with Mike and Lindsey after the event, they both expressed how it’s always good to review and remind the users of all the features of the system to help them use the system to its full potential. “Anything we can do to make the end user experience easier is what we strive for,” they ended.


User Roundtables

Brett Steele (Regional Sales Director) facilitating discussion at the User Roundtables.


Several Steele team members joined together to spark conversations between peers and challenge each other with new ideas and practices within the Steele systems and services. This session was not livestreamed.

Beside founder Mike Steele, some of the Steele team members at these discussions included Brett Steele, Katie Steele (Director of Engagement), Ben Hunter (Customer Success Executive), Ryan Gibson (Director of Enrollment), Steve Sonntag (Chief Financial Officer), Melissa McAlister (Customer Success Executive) and Connie Burgess (Vice President, Customer Success), who noted how quickly the conversation turned to employee self-service life events and how that is working well for those customers who currently allow it. Continuing, Connie explained:

“It was eye-opening to some users who currently are processing life events manually through HR and [this roundtable] gave them ideas on how they could implement it in their own companies. The fact that they can hold the events for approval and/or uploading of verification documents was a big selling point.”

Melissa McAlister brought several powerful insights back from the roundtable after the User Meeting. One customer revealed to her how communicating with bus drivers in their school system was difficult in the past because they did not have an email address that they checked regularly. Because they can text employees now through Engage, one of Steele’s key services, bus drivers are getting the communications they need. Melissa also explained how one Steele customer said they had 85% better participation in open benefits enrollment since implementing Engage.


Hot Topics

Steele team members listen to the Hot Topics presentation.


After the first round of breakout sessions, the User Meeting attendees reconvened to review the hottest topics the Steele team gets asked. During this session, Mike and Lindsey returned to discuss self-service life events, follow-up queues, dependent documents, and reports. This topic wrapped up a couple of different features of the Steele system into a way to use them all together.

Mike and Lindsey said that this segment created a buzz around the crowd on how each group was using their systems. “Each system is unique and it was fun to see the interactions,” they elaborated. “Allowing employees to complete life events via self-service always takes workload off the end users which is incredibly helpful”.

In the end, there was a discussion on what reports could be ran for additional information changes made in the system by employees. The Steele team is well versed in the reports offered in the system and can readily advise on reports that best fits the user’s need and the information they need to see.


Selerix Product Roadmap

Ruthie Gray (Vice President of Product Management) from Selerix.


Joining us as our event’s guest speaker, Ruthie Gray from Selerix Systems discussed the future of the Selerix Platform in the coming months and years ahead. For an in-depth look into new features and updates, watch the recorded livestream from Ruthie’s talk below:


Day-to-Day Life Events

The audience during our day-to-day life event discussion.


In the second half of the day when the second round of breakout sessions were held, Mike and Lindsey returned one more time to provide an overview of what a life event is. During this session, they reviewed what exactly counts as a life event and how they are set up. They reviewed the different types of life events, how Steele sets up the defaults in the system, and different options with life events. This session was also recorded.

Mike and Lindsey had a great conversation on how each employer will have different configurations. Employers could have different plans that are allowed to change, different waiting periods for those changes, and different rules. The group discussed if they should allow only tier changes to plans, how long they should give employees to make changes, and what was best practices when it came to documentation.


Advanced Life Events

Christine Tollison (Vice President, Technology) answering questions for seasoned users.


Meanwhile, two other sessions were held away from the livestream in the main hall. The first, hosted by Steele’s Christine Tollison in the upstairs meeting hall, was designed for clients who have used the system for at least one year and wanted to learn more about self-service life events, and also for clients who are already using the self-service feature. According to Christine, 70% of those attended did not currently offer self-service to their employees, so she provided a demonstration of what the employee’s experience would look like.

While our team is still currently in the process of analyzing event survey data, numerous attendee’s shouted praise for Christine’s demonstration, following comments like “can’t imagine not having this now” or “such a time saver”.


Open Enrollment

The Steele team gathers downstairs for Open Enrollment dialogue.


Downstairs in the theatre, several Steele team members joined to discuss ways to promote and execute open enrollment. This session was attended by primarily users who were new to Steele. Here, they discussed the pros and cons of different types of benefits enrollment methods, who is responsible for various action items when it comes to open enrollment time, how to select the appropriate enrollment date range, and the types of communications available for pre, mid, and post-enrollment. This session also was not livestreamed.


Steele Engage Discussion and Panel

Katie Steele facilitating the Engage panel.


Our final portion of the 4th Annual User Meeting concluded with a discussion and customer panel for Steele’s Engagement Services. To learn about Engage in-depth and to hear how it has dramatically improved one HR manager’s benefits enrollment process, check out our blog and video post here.

The panel was fronted by a discussion from Wes, Mike and Katie introducing Engage. Then, with Katie leading it, the Engage User Panel further highlighted the ways that Engage makes communications easier for our clients. The ability to text and set up automated messaging allows HR users to focus on other aspects of their jobs rather than keeping up with repetitive communication tasks.

According to Katie Steele, several customers expressed interest in obtaining Engage services after this segment, and those who already had Engage expressed that they walked away from the segment with new ideas for how to use this service to improve the way they approach benefits enrollment.


In Conclusion

Benefits made simple.


The end of the User Meeting closed off with some parting words from Katy Esser and the rest of the Steele team. Like the complex documentation needed to build the high-speed 2 seaters at Dallara IndyCar Factory, the benefits enrollment services provided here at Steele follow a carefully documented process with proven success.

While listening to Wes speak during a presentation earlier in the day, Steele’s Melissa McAlister wrote down a quote he dropped that rang true to our core beliefs, saying:

“The best technology in the world is only as good as the process-driven service behind it, and that’s one of the things we are laser-focused on here at Steele”.


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Event Photo Gallery