The key to a successful benefit program is properly engaging the employees in the enrollment. This can’t be achieved with a passive/online enrollment. By bringing in an enrollment specialist, brokers can achieve an engaging enrollment resulting in increased participation and a more engaged/productive workforce for their clients.
A prevalent misconception is that employees do not want assistance in selecting benefits and will ignore recommendations from their employers. According to polls, employees trust their company to deliver optional benefits that are important to them, and they rely on their employer for benefits information.
Auto-enrollment, in which employees are automatically enrolled in coverage most frequently income protection but has the option to opt-out, is becoming a common way of enrollment. In fact, according to a 2013 study done by Unum and the CFA, 85 percent of respondents agreed that businesses should automatically enroll new employees in disability insurance, with the option to opt-out if they do not want it.
Another technique that can boost enrollment rates is for employers to impose “active choice,” in which employees must learn about the insurance benefits available and then accept or decline each benefit. When utilized consistently, active choice increases employee engagement and frequently more than doubles participation rates. Employers should be confident enough in the value of their benefits to urge employees to pause and examine if each perk is appropriate for them.
Regardless of advancements in enrollment technology, employers should recognize that simply providing online self-service, effective pre-communication, and live customer help is unlikely to result in optimal knowledge or participation. Many employees are hesitant to go online and select benefits to purchase, especially if they have questions or require additional information.
More importantly, many workers today undervalue the chance of being unable to work due to serious illness or disability; thus, they must be reminded of the importance of financial protection for employees at all levels of the organization. Employees can benefit from education and descriptions of what benefits cover and how much they cost, which can help them evaluate what best fits their budget and encourage them to get the coverage they require.
While technology is important in today’s enrollment scenarios, research reveals that employees need and desire assistance and recommendations about the best benefits for their family, and they prefer to ask questions of a live person. As a result, the most effective enrollment strategies mix high-tech and high-touch techniques. Employers should not underestimate the significance of a face-to-face counseling session or a call center session, even when combined with online enrollment.
Access to a live chat, call center help, co-browsing with a counselor, or access to a video conference call to communicate with a certified benefits counselor are all ways to make benefit counselors available in an online enrollment world. This two-pronged approach to acquiring perks at the workplace combines the best of what technology offers with the personal touch that employees crave.
Employers have the resources they need to achieve optimal enrollment results and help employees at the workplace, which for most of us, is the only place to receive affordable financial protection benefits, thanks to today’s accessible technology solutions and knowledge about consumer purchase behaviors.