Your team works hard to offer a broad range of benefits to keep employees happy and healthy. But, even if your organization offers the best benefits in the world, they’re only valuable if your employees are enrolling in, and using, them. Keeping benefits engagement steady (and working on ways to improve it!) are crucial to ensuring your benefits programs are successful.
In this article we’ll explain why benefits engagement matters, how you can measure it, and, most importantly, how you can improve it.
What is Benefits Engagement?
Before we dive any deeper, let’s begin by defining benefits engagement. Benefits engagement is a multifaceted metric that measures:
- Employee participation in the benefits education process
- Benefits enrollment rates
- Benefits usage
- Employee satisfaction with the company’s benefits
Benefits engagement is impacted by various factors, including:
- How much each employee knows about the benefits offered
- How easy it is for employees to learn about each benefit available
- How simple (and fast!) it is to enroll
- How much benefits cost for employees
Employee perception greatly affects benefits engagement. That’s why it’s important that your employees are aware of, and more importantly - value - the perks available to them.
If employees aren’t enrolling in and using the benefits offered, it’s almost as if your organization doesn’t offer any at all. Plus, when your team members do use their available perks, they’re generally happier and more productive at work. In both cases, your organization’s bottom line is affected.
There are many ways you can communicate the value of your benefits to your employees. Check out this blog for some ideas: How to Get Year-Round Benefits Communication Right
How To Measure Benefits Engagement
You can gauge your employees’ level of benefits engagement by compiling and analyzing data like:
- Attendance at educational events like webinars or benefits fairs
- Open rates for benefits-related emails
- Benefits enrollment rates
- Benefits usage data
- Survey responses when you poll your workforce about their benefits enrollment experience and overall satisfaction with their perks
Armed with this insight, you can create a plan to get your team members more engaged with their benefits.
How To Increase Benefits Engagement
You can increase your workers’ benefits engagement by addressing each factor that impacts it. Here are 3 strategies you can use to implement changes depending on how your company’s benefits engagement may be lagging:
1. Expand Employee Knowledge (and Ease of Learning)
- Provide a steady stream of benefits-related information year-round. Your employees can’t learn everything there is to know about their perks from a single open enrollment presentation.
- Create educational materials in various mediums to cater to different learning styles.
- Follow a benefits content calendar and share resources that showcase different perks each month.
- Remember that your employees are busy, so send out each benefits-related email multiple times to increase their chance of seeing it.
- Post all of your company’s benefits-related content to the organization’s intranet, so employees can get the information they need anytime.
- Host live webinars to discuss the benefits offered and allow participants to ask questions. Record each event so that employees can watch it later.
- Put on a virtual benefits fair so that team members can meet with your benefits carriers and vendors from anywhere.
- Schedule regular meetings (virtual or in-person) with your benefits broker or carriers, and invite employees to attend so they can ask questions.
- Post all of the contact information for your benefits carriers and vendors on the intranet, so your workers can reach out to them when needed. Offer to make contact on their behalf.
2. Increase Ease of Enrollment
- Test, test, test!
Run through your organization’s enrollment platform on various devices including your computer, cell phone, and tablet. This will help to ensure it is easy to navigate for your employees, regardless of the device they may use.
- Personalize the enrollment experience
Personalization helps to better guide employees to make the best benefits decisions. For example, if a team member has children, the platform should prompt them to consider getting dependent life insurance or accident insurance - and explain why these types of coverage are important!
- Provide tutorials
Create and share a step-by-step tutorial on how to complete the enrollment process to make it as easy as possible for your team.
- Be available!
Have the human resources or benefits team available to answer questions and assist with enrollment as needed.
Pro Tip: While it may not make the process necessarily easier for your workers, consider requiring active open enrollment. Your employees will have to log in to the system to confirm their selections each year. If they don’t, they’ll lose their coverage. This practice forces them to be more engaged and aware of their coverage. The key here is to ensure every team member knows and understands this requirement.
3. Assess Plan Value and Cost
- Assess your firm’s benefits package to ensure it supports all workers — regardless of their life or career stage.
- Survey your team members annually to get their feedback on the available perks. Adjust your benefits package based on the trends you see.
- Shop around for the best price for each benefit every year. (Your broker should handle this!)
- Offer a high deductible health plan (HDHP) with a health savings account (HSA). Many of your employees can save money by opting for this coverage over a traditional plan with a high premium.
Pro Tip: Make open enrollment season fun to drive benefits engagement. Consider running contests that reward employees for participating in educational events or completing their enrollment well before the deadline.
How Picwell Can Help
Increasing your company’s benefits engagement (and maintaining it at a high level) must be a continuous process. We’re here to help make that process easier for you — and your employees.
At its core, Picwell is a benefits decision support solution. Our system helps each employee understand their options and choose the right plans for their needs. The tool is user-friendly and generates results quickly based on just a few basic inputs.
But behind the scenes, a complex algorithm runs calculations that factor in your employee's information plus details about the plans offered and data from a vast database of other Picwell users like them. The result is personalized plan recommendations that employees can trust.
Plus, we offer other helpful resources too! Our Post Enrollment Insights report provides data that can help you shape your benefits engagement improvement strategy, such as enrollment rate by plan.
We also give your human resources and benefits team access to our Customer Success Toolkit which contains a library of email templates and marketing materials. That way, sending out important benefits-related communication becomes easier than ever.
And the best part? Your employees can rely on Picwell throughout the year — not just at open enrollment.
Interested in learning more? Book a 30-minute demo so we can discuss how Picwell can help your organization!