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Employers can achieve their goals with post-enrollment feedback

For many employers, they work with their broker to put together their benefits package, they provide communication to their employees about their benefits, then they perform enrollment and that’s the end of the line. While this seems to cover everything necessary for offering benefits, it leaves out a critical final step that can help to improve the employer’s offering: employee feedback after enrollment. Post-enrollment feedback provides invaluable insight into employees’ benefits preferences and the best ways to communicate with employees.

Employers know what they want, but don’t know if they’re getting it

Seven in 10 employers indicate that conveying the value of their benefit package and making sure that employees understand their benefits are their top communication objectives. But, despite this focus, just 38 percent have a formal employee benefits communication plan. And, of that 38 percent who have a formal communication plan, only 65 percent of them formally measure the success of their benefits communication. While employers clearly value educating their employees about their benefits, they rarely have a formal plan to provide that education nor do they have the resources to tell if they’re being effective.

Employee feedback provides a solution

Whether an employer has a formal communication plan or not for their benefits program, it’s often difficult to tell exactly what is (or isn’t) working in their communication. That’s where post-enrollment feedback becomes so important. Surveying employees and finding out what helped, what didn’t help and what was guiding their decision making provides invaluable information on a number of important items for employers:

  • Discovering employees’ benefits preferences – Many employers never survey their employees on their benefit preferences to determine what protection they’re looking for. Understanding employees’ needs and adjusting the plan accordingly can help lead to better participation and better benefits satisfaction.
  • Determining what materials they used – Employers underutilize potential communication channels, finding out what works for the employees can help you communicate more effectively in the future.
  • Reaching the decision maker – The employee enrolling in the benefits isn’t always the one making the decision. If a spouse or other family member is the key influencer in the decision to purchase benefits, you can make efforts to boost participation by targeting them with your communication.
  • Understanding the employee group – On the whole, too few employers are tailoring their communication to their employee demographics. A better understanding of who your employees are and what they value, can help you focus your communication to speak to employees.

Many employers think they are effective at communicating their benefit plan to employees, however, very few can actually say that with certainty because they don’t have any feedback from employees to back it up. By closing the loop and soliciting post-enrollment feedback, employers can get the information they need to determine if they’re being effective or what they need to do to deliver more effective communication and superior benefits protection.

Source: Help Employers Connect the Dots: Benefit Communications. 2016 LIMRA Employer Study.

Posted on January 24, 2017 in Employee Communication Enrollment

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