Businessolver Blog

Annual Enrollment is Just the Beginning

Annual Enrollment is Just the Beginning
Posted on Wednesday, October 17, 2018 by Businessolver Team

Employees need relevant information about their benefits all year long. 


Chances are, you’ve got annual enrollment on the brain right now. And, so do your employees — for approximately 17 minutes, that is.

The importance of “benefits literacy.”

That’s right. Our data shows that the average employee spends only about 17 minutes selecting their benefits each year. And maybe that’s ok for those who are highly engaged with and knowledgeable about their benefits. Those with a high degree of “benefits literacy” have a strong foundational understanding of how benefits work and can use them without much stress.

But that’s a very slim minority of people. Most are somewhat in the dark about their benefits.

Benefits knowledge increases with experience but not by much. 

And, the proportion of employees who self-report the lowest understanding of benefits is staggering. According to data collected through the Benefitsolver MyChoice decision support tool, 38% of adult employees under 29 years old and those who are making $30,000 per year or less claimed to have “no benefits knowledge.” None. Zero. Of course, benefits literacy levels tend to increase with age and income, but only modestly. Even among those who are 60 years of age or those making more than $120,000 per year, as many as 21% claim to have “no benefits knowledge.”

Clearly, 17 minutes isn’t enough. Communicating with your employees about their benefits regularly (i.e., not just during AE) makes it much more likely they will understand how their coverage works, appreciate the value of their benefits, and feel good about you as an employer. 

Personalize your benefits messaging for better results. 

But it’s not just a matter of frequency. For your employees to truly pay attention, you must also personalize your messages as much as possible. Take retirement, for example. Someone who is in their 30s or 40s is in a completely different frame of mind compared to a recent college grad who is living paycheck to paycheck. Both employees are worth your attention — we all need to save for retirement — but the message must be different for each if you hope to have an impact.

To help you educate your employees about the right benefits at the right time and in the right place, we held a special webinar on October 25. In the, Get Personal: Better benefits messaging for your multigenerational workforce presentation, you’ll learn:

  • Why benefits literacy is an important part of the ROI for your benefits spend
  • How to leverage AE data to drive positive change throughout the year   
  • The best timing and channels for educating employees 

Featured presenters include myself and:

  • Jennifer Benz, CEO Benz Communications
  • Nataly Youssef, CEO RECLAIM (MyA Health, Inc.)
  • Rae Shanahan, Businessolver Chief Strategy Officer