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MetLife Reveals Six Essential Strategies For Driving Employee Participation This Fall Benefits Enrollment Season

To help employers achieve a successful Fall Enrollment season, insights from MetLife’s 11 th Annual Employee Benefits Trends Study reveal six simple strategies that can help increase employee participation and deliver a better return on a company’s benefits investment.

“Our research indicates that the majority of employees are on ‘autopilot’ when it comes to enrolling in the employee benefits provided to them through work. As a result, when employees simply roll-over the previous year’s selections, they are often missing out on important new coverage options and potentially leaving money on the table,” said Michael Fradkin, Senior Vice President, Voluntary & Worksite Benefits, MetLife. “There are also significant advantages for organizations when their employees take a more active role in their benefits enrollment. Employees who actively engage in reviewing and evaluating their workplace benefits options are three times more likely to be satisfied with their jobs, and more than twice as likely to recognize and value the benefits offered through their employer.”

MetLife Highlights Six Key Strategies to Drive Employee Enrollment & Encourages Employees to “Stop. Watch. Enroll.”

Nearly one-in-three employees are not engaging in their annual benefits enrollment, and less than half (42%) of employers are very satisfied with employee participation in voluntary benefits. MetLife analyzed data from the study to identify several strategies that employers can use to drive participation during this enrollment season.

1.
   

Upgrade the Enrollment Experience: Employers that recognize the importance of a good customer experience during benefits enrollment and upgrade their experience to meet the expectations of today’s employees will see increased engagement. Nearly half of employees who are engaged in benefits enrollment say that their employer’s benefit enrollment process offers a customer experience comparable to the best online shopping experience.
 

2.

Use a Simple and Straightforward Enrollment Process: Complicated processes can deter employees from participating in benefits enrollment. Companies that focus on making the process simple and accessible, with easy-to-use decision-making tools, can see a payoff in the form of increased engagement.
 

3.

Aim for Online Enrollment: Forty-two percent of employees say they prefer online enrollment, yet only 35% had the opportunity to do so at their company. Online enrollment is more likely to be characterized as simple and straightforward compared to paper or phone enrollment.
 

4.

Communicate Clearly: Communications are compelling when they demonstrate that the company knows its employees. More than half (54%) of engaged employees say it’s very helpful when benefits materials provide personalized information reflecting their needs and life stage.
 

5.

Communicate Frequently: Engagement increases when employers communicate about benefits throughout the year, with 43% of engaged employees saying that ongoing education about how to use their benefits would be very helpful.
 

6.

Foster Feedback: Proactively seeking – and incorporating – employee feedback on the enrollment process can foster greater employee engagement. Four in ten engaged employees indicated that their employers obtain feedback on how to improve benefits communication and processes compared to just 17% of non-engaged employees.

 

“As a leading provider of employee benefits, MetLife is in a unique position to increase awareness about the value of the benefits available at the workplace, help employees evaluate their options and ensure they get the financial security they need,” Fradkin continued. “To provide employers helpful tools to engage their employees in the Fall Enrollment period, MetLife recently launched a series of educational videos. These videos encourage employees to stop auto-enrolling, watch informative videos that will assist in the evaluation process and take action to enroll in the benefits they need.”

MetLife’s ‘Stop. Watch. Enroll.’ video series, which was produced in partnership with the experts in DIY online content, Lifehacker, a studio Gawker production, includes topics such as Getting Insurance at Work, Life Insurance, Disability Insurance, Auto Insurance, Accident and Critical Illness Insurance and Legal Services. The video series can be viewed online within MetLife’s new YouTube Learning Center: www.youtube.com/metlife.

For additional insights about effective enrollment tactics and best practices – including strategies for applying a generational perspective to drive participation – employers should visit BenefitTrends.MetLife.com. Visitors to the site have the option to sign-up to receive updates as new content from MetLife’s research is released.

Methodology

MetLife’s 11th Annual Study of Employee Benefits Trends was conducted during October 2012 and consisted of two distinct studies fielded by GfK Custom Research North America. The employer survey comprised 1,503 interviews with benefits decision-makers at companies with staff sizes of at least two employees. The employee sample comprised 1,422 interviews with full-time employees age 21 and over, at companies with a minimum of two employees.

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