Let's face it; annual enrollment is a process that rarely inspires much joy among employees. It can be confusing, time consuming and stressful. But, the fact remains that while benefits are the most important perk employers can offer employees, improving enrollment participation is one of the most challenging goals for HR professional to achieve.
So, how can you motivate employees to participate in annual enrollment? Keep reading to learn more.
Identifying what keeps your employees from being motivated to enroll in benefits is the first step to answering this question. While every employee workforce is different, here are a few of the most common obstacles we see:
"I'm busy:" If an employee already has a long list of "to-dos" and meetings filling up their calendar, they are less likely to prioritize benefits enrollment.
"I'm confused:" If employees do not understand their healthcare options, or if the enrollment process is difficult to complete, employees will be demotivated to participate from the start
Once you have an understanding of the factors that inhibit employees from participating, you can begin crafting an effective enrollment communication plan that provides your employees with the information they need to get started.
Here are three ways to motivate and drive employee participation during annual enrollment:
1) Provide Value
According to Aflac’s Benefits Open Enrollment Survey, more than half of respondents said “they are likely to accept a job with slightly lower compensation but better benefits.” Unfortunately, while there is a perceived value at the start of their time with the company, we often see this enthusiasm dissipate when it comes time to enroll.
Sometimes the easiest way to convey value is to refresh their memory with what is currently being offered and how utilizing the benefits will save them money, time, and stress.
2) Provide Relevance
Utilize behavioral data (such as employee participation in wellness programs, retirement seminars, flexible benefits, etc.), and tailor your enrollment messaging to individual benefit classes - making it easier for your employees to decide what options will work best for their current lifestyle.
If you haven’t done so already, consider additional options such as online enrollment software that can provide custom healthcare plan selection recommendations based on employee input and machine-learning algorithms through integrated decision support tools.
3) Provide Incentive
Benefits are valuable, but not nearly as exciting as buying a car, or house ... or a gumball out of a spiraling gumball machine. That’s why incentives are important because they can entice the majority of eligible employees to enroll before you need to start worrying about the critical deadlines.
Save yourself from having to individually follow up with dozens of enrollees — leverage what you can (i.e. discounted premium) and use your pre-enrollment communication pieces to make enticing offers (gym memberships, gift cards, etc.). For teams, offer a group incentive like pizza or sandwiches for teams or departments that enroll early.
Benefits administration and enrollment should be easy for everyone. Learn how — when done properly — you can improve your pre-enrollment communication efforts and drive annual enrollment participation when you download our annual enrollment survival guide e-book. Click here to download the e-book!