Increase Employee Engagement in Annual Benefits Enrollment Period

January 19, 2024
Each year, the fourth quarter brings the annual benefits enrollment period

Each year, the fourth quarter brings the annual benefits enrollment period. Yet, despite this annual occurrence, many employers are not applying the best strategies to encourage their employees’ engagement. With employee benefits vital to both retaining and attracting new employees, improving enrollment strategies is important for all organizations, regardless of industry or size. Understanding how employees respond to enrollment periods is the first step to building an effective enrollment initiative.

A recent study conducted by Voya found that:

  • 61% of employed Americans are more likely to remain with their current employer if they are offered ways to improve their overall financial well-being, physical health benefits, and financial wellness benefits.
  • 72% of employed Americans indicated that they would spend more time reviewing their benefit elections during the annual enrollment this year due to concerns regarding inflation.
  • 54% of employed Americans are interested in receiving more mental health benefits and resources and 48% would select a workplace that provides more mental health benefits.
  • 80% of employed Americans said that receiving more benefit information at times outside of the enrollment period would be helpful in their better understanding of the employee benefit options.

Here are strategies which enable employees to achieve their goals relative to employee benefit options presented during the enrollment period:

  1. Start communicating early, in advance of the enrollment period, by advising employees how to prepare for enrollment, and by providing easy to understand information on the various benefits being offered.
  2. Have thorough answers ready for frequently asked questions (FAQs) and consider preparing a FAQs sheet to provide in advance, as well as, during the enrollment process. For complex benefits, consider having a product specialist on hand to answer employee questions.
  3. Prepare benefit information in various formats that suit different generations of employees. Additionally, make this information accessible in a variety of formats (i.e., online, employee portal, mobile app, printed product sheets).
  4. Provide decision-support tools that help employees properly compare and consider the best options for their particular life circumstances. Reach out to insurance companies and other benefit providers for these decision-support tools.
  5. Don’t neglect mental health and wellness benefits, as they have become increasingly more important to employed Americans.
  6. Encourage employees’ active engagement in the enrollment process, discouraging the “status quo” and encouraging them to review options each year to best address changing needs and/or economic status.

Employees, who see that their employers place a high priority on accessing the best benefits for them to achieve their goals and greater financial security, are likely to remain loyal to their employer.