How engaged are your employees with their benefits? It’s an important question that deserves some thought during the day.
For many of us, open enrollment season has arrived, when employees will have the opportunity to make important decisions about the benefits provided by their employers. It is a truly disruptive time in which we remove employees from their normal workday and explain to them in a short amount of time about complex topics that may have unintended consequences depending on their choice.
This is also the time of year when Human Resources must put on their marketing hats in order to come up with, create, and launch an effective communication strategy in a short amount of time while still completing their daily HR tasks.
Given this, it’s easy to see why professionals in this industry regard open enrollment as one of the most important events of the year.
Open Enrollment Stats That Should Shock You
In 2020, the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans (IFEBP) published a Benefits Communication Survey which found the following
- 80% of employees failed to read the information given to them during open enrollment
- 49% of employees don’t understand the benefits materials they receive
- 31% of employees feel that there is no real value to their benefits
Those statistics are eye-opening and should make everyone sit up a little straighter.
When it comes to employee benefits, management should strive for three key goals:
- Employees are aware of their financial and other voluntary benefits.
- Employees make use of their financial and other voluntary benefits.
- Employees who use their benefits and see a perceived value are more likely to be an engaged employee.
The first goal, communication, is the most difficult for Human Resources to achieve. If an effective communication strategy is implemented and launched, the other two goals will be positively reinforced and should improve in theory.
But what happens if the communication strategy fails? Do you wait for next year’s open enrollment, or do you look beyond it with communication campaigns about your benefits throughout the year?
Always Be Onboarding (ABO)
At Edukate, we believe that communication is essential, and that you should always be onboarding (ABO) your customers. In other words, when there is important news that may affect the User base, we effectively communicate a message along with a Call to Action (CTA) for the User to do something (i.e. complete a form, etc.).
You say this sounds like marketing? You are correct; this is an effective marketing tactic.
So consider a traditional 401(k) plan, which is typically introduced and discussed during open enrollment. But what if an employee is unfamiliar with the concept of a 401(k), let alone the long-term benefits of investing in one?
Furthermore, because this is a financial topic, it is unlikely that employees will discuss it with their coworkers. In this case, the employee is forced to make retirement decisions based on 1 or 2 recommendations or gut instinct.
That is where ABO excels as a tactic.
After open enrollment, you can use the information gathered to create an engagement campaign centered on your company’s 401(k). This can take the form of an email drip campaign that highlights important information and includes a call to action in each email.
This campaign can also be supplemented with a lunch-and-learn or webinar where employees can ask questions in a relaxed setting. However, before you embark on any new initiatives, benchmark your metrics so that you can track any changes. Now try to do this on a quarterly basis with your most important benefits.
It’s understandable if you’re feeling overwhelmed. That’s where Edukate comes in. We specialize in assisting organizations in ensuring that their employees understand their benefits and how to use them effectively. Please let us know if you’d like to learn more about our new offerings.
Regardless, you didn’t sign up for marketing when you took the HR job, and but you also didn’t expect to deal with a hybrid and remote workforce, or the concept of quiet quitting. =)