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One-on-one communication: Adding value to your open enrollment

By: Mike Dahlinger, Regional Sales Director, Michigan

Anything worth doing, is worth doing well. When it comes to benefits enrollment, it’s certainly worth doing, but are brokers and employers doing everything they can to maximize their enrollment? If you’re not using one-on-one communication, the answer may be no. While it’s possible to enroll without one-on-one communication, you’re missing out on the added value of this approach.

Increased participation and satisfaction

Employees who enroll one-on-one with a benefits counselor are, simply put, more satisfied with their benefits and more likely to enroll. Compared with other communication methods, face-to-face enrollment can increase benefits participation by as much as 21 percent.1  

Not only that, but employers are saving money on their existing employees while attracting new talent cost-free; it all starts with one-on-one communication to boost engagement, benefits participation and benefits satisfaction. Increased participation in and greater satisfaction with benefits creates a ripple effect throughout an organization that improves the workforce and saves costs on recruitment. More satisfied employees are less likely to be absent from work and are more productive while they’re at work. They also are more likely to recommend their employer as a place to work which can help attract new talent. 

An opportunity to address important initiatives

We often ask employers: “What would you say if you had 15 minutes to sit down and speak with each of your employees face-to-face?” With one-on-one enrollment, you essentially have just that. Employers can use one-on-one enrollment to address a wide variety of important company initiatives, such as: 
  • Dependent audits – On average, 3-10 percent of dependents on an employer’s plan are ineligible for coverage.2 One-on-one enrollment is a great chance to conduct an audit which can save an employer thousands by removing ineligible recipients of healthcare coverage.
  • Wellness programs – Another great way for employers to save on healthcare costs is through a wellness program. However, they don’t see those savings if employees aren’t engaged with their wellness program. Using one-on-one enrollment can educate employees and encourage them to get excited and get involved.
  • 401(k) participation – It’s estimated that 1 in 4 employees leave money on the table by not saving enough in their 401(k) to activate the full amount of their employer match.3 This not only impacts the employee, but can also impact other employees who have funds returned due to non-discrimination testing. You can see dramatic increases in participation to correct this problem through one-on-one communication to boost participation.
  • Customer service initiatives – In every industry, customer service is more important than ever and in some, such as healthcare, it even has a direct effect on how a hospital receives compensation. To make sure employees are onboard and following through with the latest initiatives, one-on-one communication can help reinforce the message and the practices for employees.
A means to a valuable end

One-on-one communication is a means to an end; but, the ends that one-on-one communication achieve can be vital to a company’s success. Increased participation, benefits satisfaction and engagement in important company initiatives add value that makes sense for just about any employer. And, the best part is that this communication can come as a value-added service itself when enrolling in voluntary benefits. With it, you’re not just enrolling employees, you’re enrolling employees well.

1 Consumer Benefit Analytics Enrollment Research. 2017.
2 Mercer.us. Dependent Audits—An Easy Way to Save on Healthcare Costs.
3 Employees missing out on $24B in employer matches. CNBC. May 12, 2015.
 

Posted on February 06, 2018 in Employee Communication Enrollment

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