Businessolver Blog

4 Ways to Get ROI From Your Annual Enrollment

4 Ways to Get ROI From Your Annual Enrollment
Posted on Thursday, September 14, 2023 by Sherri Bockhorst

Annual enrollment is the perfect time for HR teams to maximize employee engagement for year-round results. We’ve compiled some tried-and-true tips for keeping the energy going from our latest webinar.

Employee engagement is a top priority for over 60% of HR professionals, according to one of our recent surveys. Yet over 85% of employees say they’re confused about their benefits. With healthcare costs constantly on the rise, it’s critical for HR teams to pull every lever possible to maximize their benefits spend and drive the value of those offerings for employees.

We hosted a live AE discussion to uncover how HR teams can use technology to help bridge the gap between employees and their benefits by taking the high energy and visibility at annual enrollment to drive year-round engagement and results.

Watch the live session to hear our panel’s top tips or keep reading for our takeaways.

1. Don’t set it and forget it with benefits

Annual enrollment is the one time of year HR teams can expect guaranteed employee engagement. So why not maximize this moment for continued attention even after your employees have enrolled?

Often, even your most seasoned employees will need a refresher (or reboarding) of their benefits so they can continue to connect the dots between their wellbeing and what’s available to them via their total rewards package.

Give it a listen: Hear our panel talk about “reboarding” at the 10:35 mark in the recording.

Here’s what our panel recommends:

  • Look at your data: This can be as simple as looking at participation and utilization data to understand where your benefits strategy needs to shift to improve employee engagement. If you’re seeing unfavorable trends, such as low participation or high utilization of the ER, these could be great indicators of where your employees could benefit from more education or resources.
  • Help employees understand the value to them with year-round communication: Employees will never be benefits experts, but HR teams can help them connect the dots by highlighting the benefit of those benefits for their employees. It could be as simple as showing what pre-tax savings could look like with a spending account or breaking down the safety nets your voluntary coverage options provide.
  • Use decision support tools: Decision support tools can really help amp up your benefits engagement at AE and provide actionable insights for HR teams. When decision support is in play for Businessolver clients, 60% of employees enroll in a HDHP and an HSA (compared to only 20% without decision support). But beyond enrollment, HR teams also get access to employee insights, from benefits understanding to risk tolerance, to help tailor their engagement strategies.

2. Use preferred communication preferences

What are your employees’ preferred methods of communication? Where will you be guaranteed to capture their attention? Email is—no surprise—the most popular way to engage employees, but we’ve also found that over 35% of those same employees also want text message reminders.

But email isn’t the only way to reach employees. Mobile apps, break room posters, and even telephone calls can help ensure that you’re getting benefits information front-and-center with employees year-round. Ask any marketer and they’ll tell you that an effective communication plan needs to make a connection with someone across a variety of channels to “stick” or be effective. Benefits are no different!

AE is the perfect time to capture these preferences as employees are already coming into the benefits platform. Adding this simple question to the enrollment experience can make a big impact on the effectiveness of your year-round engagement strategy.

Give it a listen: Fast-forward to the 26:00 mark in the recording to hear our panel talk about reaching deskless employees with omnichannel communications

3. Market the value of your total rewards program

If employees don’t understand how a benefit is relevant or valuable to them, they likely won’t enroll in it. Much like how HR teams need to show the value of their benefit spend, your employees need to understand how the total rewards program benefits them.

One of the easiest ways to do this is by getting personal. Personalization is table stakes in a successful employee engagement strategy and, with the right technology and data in place, can be really simple to streamline. Here’s what that looks like:

Give it a listen: At the 35:50 mark in the recording, our panel talks about why employers need to infuse the “so what?” employee value story into their benefits engagement strategies.

  • Using decision support to do some benefits “match-making” for your employees by having them answer questions about their wellbeing needs, their risk tolerance, and emotional responses to different scenarios.
  • Using in-platform nudges and reminders about benefits employees are eligible for or already enrolled in. Our technology helps drive a 17% activation rate (click or call) when employees see personalized messaging about a benefit.
  • Leaning on year-round communication strategies to get info in front of employees outside of the benefits platform

4. Build year-round opportunities to engage employees

We’ve mentioned year-round communications a few times in this article—and for good reason. Benefits communications are one of the top ways HR teams can keep that engagement momentum at AE rolling strong year-round.

Give it a listen: Learn more about what a year-round communication approach looks like at the 14:00 mark in the recording.

Here are three ways you can streamline your benefits communications:

  1. Define your benefits communication calendar ahead of time.
  2. Simplify your messaging and content—no one likes to read (or can understand) benefits jargon.
  3. Be proactive and build themes or “early reminders” into your plan, looking at where you can showcase benefits before enrollment or during peak seasonality.

As HR teams look to put their benefits budgets to work long-term, technology is key to unlocking success and efficiencies across all aspects of the employee benefits experience.

Looking for a better employee benefits technology solution? Check out our Empathetic Technology report to get the conversation started with your CFO and CEO.