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Article | EX Insights

How digital tools can help you simplify benefits enrollment and improve the employee experience

Benefits Administration and Outsourcing Solutions|Health and Benefits|Inclusion and Diversity|Retirement|Total Rewards|Wellbeing
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By Mike Tyukodi | May 4, 2022

Employees are looking for security, simplicity, and flexibility in their Total Rewards package. Digital tools can help meet these needs and are a great way to improve the employee experience during this year’s benefits enrollment season.

Since COVID-19, the way we live and work has changed, and unfortunately, your employees have gotten tired – both mentally and physically. They have faced layoffs, shutdowns, started the Great Resignation and are now faced with significant inflation challenges. It is no wonder that, after all this, employees are showing a greater interest in security and are more willing to pay for benefits that help them better manage their unique work/life challenges*.

This year’s benefits enrollment season presents employers with a unique opportunity to reengage employees in a way that fits with the current environment.

Here are three ways to simplify benefits enrollment while still providing the choice and security that employees desire.

  1. 01

    Personalize the benefits enrollment experience with a digital hub

    With the rise of flexible work arrangements, the way we communicate with employees has had to evolve. New employee experience platforms have gained in popularity, but our WTW 2022 Global Benefits Attitude Survey shows there’s still room for improvement. In fact, 34% of employees said that a one-stop digital hub would help them get the most out of their benefits.

    With the right digital hub, employers can use targeted and personalized content to highlight programs important to key segments of their employee population, such as working mothers hit hard by the pandemic. With a personalized digital hub, employers could highlight new mental health resources alongside a simple comparison of what benefits have changed from the previous year, and then connect them to a Virtual Benefits Fair where the employee can download resources and watch videos posted from new providers.

    From the employee’s perspective, a digital hub offers a quick and straightforward way to find information and execute tasks – like enrolling in benefits, checking retirement savings or taking advantage of an employee assistance program. It simplifies decision making by only presenting content and information relevant to each employee and their unique situation.

  2. 02

    Provide decision support tools to enhance the benefits enrollment experience for your workforce

    While offering benefits flexibility and choice increases the perceived value of benefits, it also brings a new level of complexity. In a sea of choices, employees need help making choices right for them.

    Decision support tools help employees compare plan features, expected premiums and anticipated out-of-pocket costs over the course of the year and help them check if their preferred doctors and hospitals are covered. More sophisticated tools can even consider the employee’s prior claim history to recommend packages that appear to fit their needs.

    While your employees are making choices during benefits enrollment that impact their Total Rewards package, it is a good time to remind them how your organization helps ensure their basic needs are met. With an added view of the details that make up their Total Rewards, employees can think beyond their basic health and security needs to how they can best balance their retirement planning, vacation or paid time off needs with a new mix of benefits. Employees might also discover voluntary benefit programs that have been added over the course of the year, like pre-paid legal or concierge services, and opt to redirect some of the money they allocated to their medical plan in the past, given changes in the way they may be working this year.

    With the right decision-making tools, employees can evaluate their needs holistically, taking a fresh look at new benefits that may not have been important to them last year, and determine what is right for them given where they are now.

  3. 03

    Expand the digital communication tools you use to reach employees in new ways

    More than half of employees want to continue working remotely or keep a mix of in-person and remote work. Where this is possible for your business, the need to connect with employees in new ways is great. In addition to digital hubs like employee experience platforms and decision support tools, here are a few additional ways of grabbing your employee’s attention using digital tools and helping them make informed decisions.

    • Text or email campaigns: Start a dialog with your employees by inviting them to opt into a text and/or email campaign. Notifications for the opening of the enrollment window, reminders of deadlines, and simple links to enrollment applications can be sent and tracked through a centralized service.
    • Personalized video: Grab your employee’s attention right off the bat with a personalized video that welcomes them by name! Then, give employees important highlights of the enrollment process in 60- or 90-second segments.
    • QR codes: Send a postcard to your employees’ homes with a QR code that drives them to the right online resource for more information. While a little old school on the technology side, QR codes can save a company thousands of dollars by eliminating costly printed materials like brochures.

    After several years of living through a global pandemic, this year, employees are looking for security, simplicity, and flexibility. Implementing some of these suggestions can help streamline benefits enrollment, reinforce the value of your Total Rewards package, and meet employees’ needs in the moments that matter.

Author

North America Talent Line of Business Software Sales Leader

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