Idea Exchange 2021: Takeaways from our Virtual Conference (Part 1)

Woman working from home with feet up in socks

Highlights from bswift’s annual client and channel partner event

From April 21-22, bswift hosted our annual client and channel partner conference, Idea Exchange. With virtual as our new reality, Idea Exchange went virtual this year because many trending topics and conversations simply couldn’t wait! Our attendees had the opportunity to join us for a variety of informative sessions.

So, what were our key takeaways?
Here are the highlights from our session with Chris Cox, Senior Vice President of Pharmacy at CVS Health, and our preview of bswift’s recent study with Forrester Research!

Stay tuned for part 2 of our recap coming soon! We’ll share highlights from a live recording of an episode of our bWise podcast, and our session with Bonnie Washington, Vice President of Public Policy at CVS Health, on upcoming legislation changes affecting benefits and health care.


CVS Health’s key role in the COVID-19 vaccinations

Our clients and channel partners heard from Chris Cox, Senior Vice President of Pharmacy at CVS Health, about one of the hottest topics on employers’ minds today as it relates to returning to work: the COVID-19 vaccines.

Chris shared helpful information about CVS Health’s efforts around the vaccine, including:

Addressing vaccine hesitancy: After the pause of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine (the vaccine has since resumed), Chris shared that nearly a third to a half of people said the pause may make them less likely to get the vaccine. Addressing vaccine hesitancy has been a focus for CVS Health for several months, and with these recent events, will continue to be at the core of their efforts.

Easily accessible locations: Based on CDC’s Social Vulnerability Index, Chris shared that CVS Health pharmacy locations are distributed equally across low to very highly vulnerable populations, with about 85% of the entire U.S. population located within just 10 miles of a store making CVS Health’s local presence a critical tool in vaccine distribution.

Store expansion: With nearly 10,000 locations total, CVS Health has plans to activate their entire retail footprint to administer the vaccine through state and federal partnerships.

Improving the customer experience: CVS Health is focused on offering an enhanced digital flow that enables a high touch, safe and efficient experience for in-store COVID-19 vaccinations. In fact, CVS Health’s NPS score on their in-store and digital experience is over 90%.

For even more about CVS Health’s efforts around the COVID-19 vaccines, check out our resource page.


Preview of bswift’s custom study with Forrester Research

Our attendees also got a hot off the press preview of a study we recently commissioned with Forrester Research.* This study focuses on how the pandemic and remote work affected the employer-employee relationship, employees’ perception of benefits, and employer needs with respect to interacting with, managing, and accessing benefits. Our presenters shared the top-level findings, dug into a few challenges and highlighted the opportunities for employers in the new future of work.

Here are a few of the key findings we shared at Idea Exchange:

Employer and employees’ top priorities align: Employer and employees needs have evolved during the pandemic, but closely align. Here are the top three:

  1. Making the employee support/help desk more efficient
  2. Improving the effectiveness and relevance when engaging with employees
  3. Improving benefits education programs.

Data security concerns are rising: Our survey found that 82% of employers are more focused on data security due to the rise of remote work. (Hear from bswift’s data security expert on protecting your organization in a post-pandemic era here.)

Increased need for virtual health benefits: During the pandemic, employee needs have changed – and employers need to catch up:

  1. 59% of employees used telehealth in the last year, but just 35% of employers offer it.
  2. 41% of employees used virtual mental health in the last year, but only 19% of employers offer it.

Employers struggling to respond to top employee challenges: Employees reported experiencing new challenges during the pandemic, but employers reported difficulty responding. These challenges include:

  1. Preventing employee burnout
  2. Virtual employee engagement (Check out our recent article on embracing the digital age to virtually engage employees here.).
  3. Providing mental health support.

Check out the full findings in the upcoming study! Take a deep dive into everything we uncovered, and our recommendations for how employers can respond to employee needs in the new work environment.


We hope you enjoyed Part 1 of our recap of Idea Exchange 2021! You can access the recordings of these sessions here. Stay tuned for Part 2, coming soon!

* Source: A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of bswift, March 2021.

Empathetic Leadership: An Imperative in Today’s New Work Environment
Idea Exchange 2021: Takeaways from our Virtual Conference (Part 2)