Benefits Communication: Marketing Benefits to Employees

shutterstock_174875483 - CopyOpen enrollment is right around the corner and employees are as confused as ever about their benefits. Almost half of employees report that making health insurance decisions are very stressful. This is in large part because they find the open enrollment process to be complex and baffling. There are also issues when it comes to employees understanding their benefits. While most know details like their deductible size, only half know their out of pocket maximums or what their employer contributes.

Even so, there are many approaches a company can take to reduce the stress of open enrollment. However, that only addresses half of the issue. Social media has left its mark on how employees approach benefits communication. It is not uncommon for people to rapid-fire communicate using 140 characters or less. There is greater access to information than ever but diminished attention spans make it difficult to absorb the knowledge.

Consumerism also affects how employees want benefits presented to them. HR teams need to market benefits selection to a mobile-centric audience. For example, companies can present benefits in a similar manner to shopping on amazon. This is more likely to improve the benefits selection process than a wordy internal email. The process needs to be instinctual, easy, and fast. HR teams need to deliver mobile communication for an impatient audience while providing an adequate amount of information so employees can make informed benefits decisions.

Your company must keep up with benefits trends and adapt to modern employee benefits expectations. Modernizing your approach to employee benefits communication is not a simple overnight fix. To learn more about optimizing your benefits offerings, contact the experts at Chelten Consulting.

Reducing the Stress of Open Enrollment

laptopsOpen enrollment intimidates many employees. They are unsure of which benefits to choose and they often lack confidence in their final decision. Employers can improve the open enrollment experience by making a few changes.

  • Clear benefits communication. The majority of employees do not understand their employer’s benefits. Employers should use clear language to explain the offered benefits. This helps explain the value of the benefits and the positive effects it can have on the employee’s life. Employers should also be sure to explain the difference between their traditional medical insurance benefits and voluntary benefits.
  • Benefits customization. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) mandates certain health coverage requirements that employers must provide. However, many employees desire the ability to customize their healthcare to meet their current life needs. Plus, having the ability to pick and choose supplemental benefits increases their loyalty to the company. This is often referred to as GAP coverage or Group Supplemental Health plans. These plans help to fill in the gaps of traditional coverage.
  • Support tools and resources. Employers should provide a variety of methods to disperse benefits information. Examples include a website, an app, and consultants that employees can meet with one-on-one. Having multiple methods of access to benefits information allows employees to choose the resource that they are most comfortable using. The focus, however, should be on one-on-one communication with a health benefits consultant. The majority of employees are most comfortable choosing health benefits after consulting with an expert face-to-face.

Reducing the stress associated with open enrollment can improve employee participation and benefits satisfaction. Employees who understand their benefits have more confidence in their final decision as well. To learn more about improving employee health plan satisfaction and employee morale, contact us.