Annual Enrollment (AE) season is here for many employers, but how well prepared are you to engage employees once Open Enrollment season is all wrapped up?

For some employees, AE (or OE) can be the only time of year when they are engaged with their benefits – and disengaged employees can take a serious toll on the success of your benefits strategy.

As a Human resources leader, how can you cut through the noise to ensure your employees are actively engaging with your benefits every day – and making smarter decisions for themselves in the process?

Empyrean’s latest At-A-Glance Guide takes you through five crucial tips to foster year-round employee benefits engagement. These tips will help you gain more from your benefits strategy after enrollment is over – and your employees will get more from their benefits, too.

1 | Aim to Excite, Not Overwhelm

67% of employees are uncomfortable when reading about their benefits, and 75% of employees don’t fully understand how their benefits work to begin with.1 This means employees need regular nudges throughout the year to gain the confidence to fully absorb (and get excited about) the information you provide.

However, employees can feel overwhelmed when presented with too much information all at once. And if participants are tuned out, the effectiveness of your engagement efforts will be diminished.

Try distilling your benefits-related messages down into bite-sized bits of information. Instead of sending out one long email highlighting all of your benefit plans and programs, break messages up benefit-by-benefit.

2 | Plan Out Your Communications Calendar

You’re likely sending out the bulk of your benefits-related communications around Annual Enrollment – but it shouldn’t be concentrated in just that one month. What is your communication strategy during the other eleven months of the year?

Make your engagement goals easier to achieve by creating a dedicated benefits content and communications calendar. Make sure you include all pertinent offerings, programs, and tools and technology platforms, so employees stay aware of everything available to them throughout the year. If you miss out on a benefit, chances are employees will too.

A communications calendar will help you stay consistent, keep your messaging fresh and varied, and strengthen the connection between your benefits and events that are already on employees’ minds throughout the year. Download the full guide now for an example content calendar with ideas you can use year-round.

3 | Think Outside the Inbox

While emails are certainly a valid way to get your benefit communications out to employees, be sure to consider alternate channels as well. To better understand the type of communications certain employees might best respond to, take a moment to consider the various benefits-eligible populations within your overall workforce.

While emails will reach the typical desk-job employee, they might miss others that work elsewhere. Mobile-based communications, like text messages, may be better suited for employees that primarily work away from a computer (such as shift workers, retail workers, and those who are frequently on a job site).

4 | Leverage Your Resources

Take advantage of the resources and tools available to you through your partners, vendors, and carriers to help enrich the employee experience and boost your communication efforts. In addition, explore if your benefits administration technology partner offers solutions to make daily engagement much easier to achieve and maintain.

For example, Empyrean Pilot+ leverages real-time claims data, consumer behavior, and artificial intelligence (AI) to provide employees with personalized and plan-specific guidance. Recommendations span providers, prescriptions, spending accounts, voluntary benefits, and more. Participants also get financial updates and cost predictions that add transparency to health care planning and financial wellness, and can also receive alerts for claims filing and appealing charges.

Taking advantage of the resources available to your workforce, including data-driven digital engagement tools, will supercharge your engagement efforts while enabling employees to make smarter care and cost decisions all year round.

5 | Avoid Surprises

With 92% of employees choosing the same benefits year after year,2 any change to your benefits offering might come as a shock to unsuspecting employees down the road. A strong communication strategy will help your workforce avoid unwelcome surprises, support a better understanding of your benefits program, and increase employee satisfaction.

Getting your employees to engage with their benefits (and stay engaged) is not an impossible task – it is just one that requires a strong framework and the right resources to accomplish.

Download Empyrean’s newest At-A-Glance Guide and learn how to engage your workforce and gain more from your benefits strategy all year long. 

As you read, we’d love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to contact us with questions or comments at info@goempyrean.com.

References

  1. “2017 Alfac WorkForces Report: Employee Overview.” Aflac, Inc. Columbus, GA. February 2017.
  2. “2017 Aflac WorkForces Report Reveals Employees are Uninspired about Researching Benefits.” Aflac, Inc. Columbus, GA. July 2017.