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How to engage employees in their benefits throughout the year

Simple? Offering valuable employee benefit programs. Not so simple? Getting your people to use those benefits 

Most of us can relate to situations where we’ve had access to useful resources, yet didn’t utilize them as much as we should have—or sometimes even at all. Whether it’s a gym membership or a subscription to a magazine, we often don’t take advantage of the things we have at our fingertips, even when they could benefit us greatly. 

The same can be said about employee benefits. While the average employer offers around 30-40 different benefits programs to their employees, the percentage of employees actually using them is staggeringly low—less than 5%. Not only does this mean that employees are missing out on opportunities to make smarter healthcare decisions, but also employers are losing healthcare dollars by providing experiences that don’t drive results they are looking for, like higher enrollment in specific plans, greater utilization rates and, ultimately, smarter employee healthcare choices.

So how do employers create this ideal experience for their employees to drive true benefits engagement and utilization? 

The power of simplicity 

The #1 tech ask of employers is a single, comprehensive site for all information on pay, benefits, and HR. And with everything from HSAs and 401(k)s to wellbeing programs and investment funds, employees must access and keep track of a lot of information. Not having everything in one integrated, seamless platform can make it hard for them to know what’s even offered, let alone find out how to access it. And without that efficiency factor to encourage utilization, engagement rates—and healthcare savings—won’t be optimized.  

Accessibility your people want (and need)

With 96% of Americans now owning a cell phone—81% being smart phones—the way people prefer to access and receive information has changed drastically. Technology is shifting how we interact with the world, meaning your employee expectations are changing too Do they respond positively to push notifications and text messages? Or do they prefer accessing a mobile app or using a chatbot? Organizations should consider the spectrum of access in which their people prefer to receive and respond to information to simplify their overall experience. Take a look at how your current benefits administration provider is optimizing these trends to offer ways to make employees’ lives easier—are you staying ahead of the curve?   

Know your audience

Almost everything can be personalized these days—including how many personalization tactics an organization wants to implement. Whether it be simple email campaigns, or an intelligent, adaptive omni-channel solution targeted to specific issues, personalization can be done on a spectrum based on where organizational needs and priorities lie. And with 70% of employees being comfortable sharing health information with their employer or third-party vendor for personalized benefits guidance1 , employers should take advantage of the opportunity to provide a better experience for their people. You may be offering the most incredible benefits programs and resources in the world, but they’re only effective if they’re being utilized. How do you reach the right employee with the right message at the right time to be sure you’re optimizing engagement? 

Creating an ideal benefits experience to drive engagement is critical, and your benefits administration provider plays a large role in the success of your strategy. Is your current provider delivering the right solutions to promote engagement?

Consider your current benefits administration provider—how many boxes can you check?

Integration:

  • One common portal to access all benefits-related programs and payroll
  • Omni-channel customer experience (web, mobile, email, phone and more)
  • A secure platform regardless of multiple integrations
  • Automation-enabled processes for streamlining tasks

Accessibility:

  • One point of access for all/most platforms and tools
  • Flexibility across platforms for multiple mobile access points    
  • Convenient access for dependents

Personalization:

  • Data-driven enrollment guidance or suggestions
  • Year-round, personalized communications
  • Personalization in your channel of choice

If you haven’t checked off most of these items, you may not be providing the optimal benefits experience for your people. And with so many employees looking for a better benefits experience, you could be missing out on an opportunity to revitalize your organization’s employee experience entirely.

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