How to Strengthen the Employee Benefits Experience to Differentiate Your Company in a Competitive Labor Market

Part 3

Written by Allison Loehman | November 16, 2018

Online Benefits Enrollment Software

We've reached the halfway point of our four-part series in which we break down the top ways HR teams can strengthen the employee benefits experience to differentiate their business in today's competitive labor market.

Part Three is by far our favorite topic to provide counsel on - how to take advantage of modern benefits administration software to deliver a better benefits experience for your employees. Leading online benefits enrollment software platforms are designed to enhance the employee experience and eliminate paper processes while helping employers highlight available offerings and drive engagement.

However, as with any software, there are a lot of options out there, so it's crucial to define the key capabilities your organization will evaluate when comparing providers. We'll walk you through how to identify these, in the section below.

Before we dive into Part Three, make sure you are caught up:

Part One: Update your benefits strategy by reviewing your existing benefits mix, digging into your current participation data, and examining your past communication plan.

Part Two: Define your benefits enrollment goals using the S.M.A.R.T goal-setting technique, then develop a solid communication strategy to promote benefits offerings and reinforce specific employee behaviors to help reach your desired outcomes.

Part Three: Take advantage of key benefits administration software capabilities

In this section, we'll highlight three benefits administration software capabilities that we've found to have the most positive effect on enhancing the enrollment experience and fostering engagement: flexibility, decision support tools, and communication options.

  • Flexibility. Enrollment technology should be flexible and configurable enough to handle your organization’s unique plan requirements, including multiple benefits classes. It should also easily work with your existing payroll and talent management solutions. Moreover, it should be available on any device and deliver a strong user experience that makes it simple to navigate plan designs and contribution strategies. Finally, it should provide actionable data insights to help your benefit and HR managers guide ongoing benefits decisions.

  • Decision support tools. The goal here is to help guide employees through their benefits choices so they can find the best plan for their needs. Making use of decision support tools embedded within your benefits administration platform, employees ideally should be able to: better anticipate any health-related costs they might incur; choose from a ranked list of plans that helps ensure they are neither over- nor under-insured; and identify the impact of their choices. If not integrated, consider a stand-alone decision support solution like BeneFITwise by benefitexpress. This improved decision-making can help employees and employers alike save on annual and long-term healthcare costs.

  • Communication options. Benefits teams must be able to respond both pro-and-re-actively to employee needs and increase engagement in the benefits selection process.

    Look for benefits administration software that offers numerous custom content areas to provide tailored strategic messaging - such as a welcome page banner, individual enrollment pages, video library, document library and more. Additionally, you will want a built-in communications module that allows delivery of automated, transactional communications to your employees based on specific events, or designated benefits classes – bonus points if this can be accomplished as part of the routine operation of the platform, at no additional cost to you.

    Next, look for dynamic delivery methods that allow employees to select how they prefer to receive communications – whether by text, email, print, or all of the above. Within your benefits platform, employees should also have a variety of ways to access information, engage in conversations and interact with the tools themselves. This might include multiple communications options such as texting, email, and even call center functionality.

    In addition to platform communication capabilities, you'll want to see what à la carte creative communications offerings the vendor can provide.

    From custom-built digital solutions, such as informational micro-sites available to new hires or employee family members – to designed, integrated marketing campaigns intended to enhance enrollment results with posters, print communications, postcards and strategic HTML email campaigns – make sure your benefits administration outsourcing partner has a team of benefits experts that can provide a range of strategic communication services for your organization to help keep benefit choices top of mind.

Now that you've updated your benefits strategy, defined your benefits enrollment goals, and evaluated benefits administration software providers, we can turn our attention to Part Four: Start early and tailor your benefits education options. Make sure to visit us next week for the series wrap-up!

Are you ready to evaluate benefits administration software? Talk to a benefitexpress product expert today!


Topics: Benefits Technology, For Brokers & Consultants, For Employers