|Copyright:||Copyright Business Wire 2011|
|Source:||Business Wire, Inc.|
Despite Sharp Increase in Online Enrollment, Only 32% of employees say they carefully review benefits details and options</em>
Only 32 percent of all employees described their approach to open enrollment as one that incorporates a “careful review” of their benefits details and options. Millennials are more likely than their older co-workers to say they carefully enrolled in available benefits options (50 percent vs. 30 percent of Gen Xers and 31 percent of Baby Boomers). Yet research indicates that Millennials may be underinsured. A smaller percentage of Millennials (78 percent) are currently enrolled in available benefits as compared to their older colleagues (92 percent), particularly life (48 percent vs. 71 percent) and disability insurance (53 percent vs. 68 percent).
While online benefits enrollment has become the new normal—with its use more than doubling in five years to 62 percent—many of the same communication and engagement challenges still persist. A majority of workers, regardless of age or life-stage, say they try to better understand their benefits options by reading their benefits materials (77 percent) and reviewing their prior year’s selections (66 percent), however, a minority reported that they have attended benefits meetings (37 percent), spoken with a benefits advisor (29 percent), used online planning tools (28 percent) or spoken with a carrier representative (14 percent) prior to enrollment.
“Most employees are not taking full advantage of available company resources to help them make informed decisions about benefits. In fact, employees’ benefits engagement and decision-making has not substantially improved with the advances in technology, despite the convenience it offers,” said
While some challenges continue, the research found that online enrollment can help improve employee perceptions of employer benefits communication and education efforts. 61 percent of workers who used an online benefits enrollment tool and found it to be a very easy process gave top ratings to their employers’ benefits education and communication efforts, compared to 35 percent of others.
To improve benefits communication and education efforts, Guardian recommends employers take a three-step approach to aligning communication strategies to their organization’s needs, preferences, culture and goals. This includes:
- Audit – Review all current materials, communications and approaches. Understand what’s working or not working. Find out what channels are most useful to employees. Assess what engages employees and why.
- Test – Assemble your future strategy by building on successes and stopping activities that don’t have value. Resist going “all at once,” test one new idea / tactic at a time.
- Measure – Evaluate each new tactic and determine what success means for each. Incorporate results and feedback into future initiatives and refine measurements as you go.
The full research study can be viewed in its entirety at: www.aboutemployeebenefits.com/enrollmentreport/.
Guardian has launched a multi-carrier online enrollment platform as part of their EnrollmentWorks program. This new system enables organizations of 50 or more employees to manage their benefits carriers with a single online system. For more information, visit http://www.aboutemployeebenefits.com/.
About the Survey
Benefits & Behavior 2011: Spotlight on Enrollment Trendspresents the findings of a telephone survey conducted among a national probability sample of 2,000 adults. In total, 874 adults qualified to answer questions pertaining to their employee benefits: 469 men and 405 women, all of whom are 18 years of age and older, living in private households in the continental
A mutual insurer founded in 1860,
For more information about Guardian, please visit: www.GuardianLife.com.