Study Shows Ineffective Benefits Communications Compromise Employee Engagement
The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America has released a study that shows a strong correlation between how an employee perceives the value of his or her benefits package and the experience of the benefits enrollment experience. Of those employees who received benefits communications along their preferred channels, 70 percent were very confident in their selections. Almost 60 percent of those who did not receive such communications were not confident. Similarly, workers who enrolled in their preferred channel were very satisfied (70 percent) with their overall benefits package.
From the employer perspective, the survey found that just 37 percent feel that their benefits communications are very effective in helping workers make the best benefits decisions. Only 34 percent of employees share that view.
“Employee benefits are not the easiest to understand to begin with and as healthcare continues to evolve with employees needing to take a greater role in the decision-making process, the right education and communication is critical,” said Elena Wu, vice president of Group Marketing and Learning Services at Guardian. “As we gear up for the annual open enrollment period, it is important for employers to realize that the benefits selection process must be top-notch, and communicated effectively, in order to ensure the highest employee satisfaction possible.”
Workers, who are increasingly taking a self-service approach to enrollment, want to receive benefits communication through a variety of channels included multimedia options such as email, only, by mail, and during office group sessions. Almost 20 percent of employees want to receive communications through at least six channel options. The study showed that when benefits communications are received through preferred channels and enrollment takes place in preferred channels employees are more likely to make better enrollment decisions and feel more satisfied with their chosen benefits.