How Can Agencies Improve Their Clients’ Employee Benefits Engagement?
April 5, 2023
By Praby Ram
Founder at agencyEZ
We examine how agencies can help their clients by deploying strategies that improve employee benefits engagement.
Employers spend a significant amount every year on employee benefits as the average premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance continue to increase.
Yet, many employees may not know how to best leverage their benefits as they lack a good grasp of their options. Employees enroll in one of the plan choices as a last resort to complete the enrollment process or get auto-enrolled in a plan that may not be optimal based on their changing needs.
The Challenge of Understanding Healthcare Costs
Part of the challenge is that understanding healthcare costs are not straightforward and frequently, employees’ plan selection may not be the one that is right for them.
When your clients try to use their existing HRIS system to let employees self-enroll, the quality of engagement can get worse. A lot of these systems merely let the employees select a plan from a list.
Sometimes they are given information websites on the plans but the overall experience for the employee is not a motivating one to be engaged. They end up making decisions without knowing their impact.
As an Employee Benefits Advisor, How Can You Help?
As an employee benefits advisor, you can influence and change this status quo.
It starts with advising your customer to enhance the quality of employee engagement around benefits. You must deliver an experience that is engaging, simple, and allows for quick access to all related benefits.
If this cannot be achieved by their current HRIS systems, as an advisor you can present technology options designed with engagement as a key focus. Solutions that do not require investment, IT infrastructure, and implementation.
Considering the Benefits Experience and Ease-of-Use
Logging In to Select Benefits
Introducing simplicity to the benefits experience starts with how an employee can log in to another experience. Here are some key questions to consider.
- Do they need to create and remember another website password?
- Or can this be integrated as a Single Sign-On with the HRIS system, in which case it requires some level of integration.
- Or can the employees use their preferred social sites such as Google, Facebook, or LinkedIn to simply log in to the benefits site?
Guiding the Benefits Plan Selection Process
From a benefits plan selection stand point, can the experience guide the employee on their plan selection?
A plan selection process is made complicated by asking a lot of questions that may test employees’ patience. A guiding process could be as simple as showing a comparable view of plans based on scenarios listed in the respective Medical SBC documents. Or it could recommend an option based on the employee’s risk profile.
The key is guiding without overwhelming the employee. What if you are able to share a custom video you prepared specifically to the client’s situation with simple illustrations? Employees can listen to this at their pace.
Benefits Enrollment Systems Integrations & Automations
Is the benefits experience an integrated one?
The enrollment process may require additional documentation such as an HSA Authorization document or a voluntary EOI application.
Can the employee complete all of those seamlessly within the experience so they do not have to go offline and do additional work?
Can you automate all the associated carrier and wellness site registrations?
When an employee completes the enrollment, there might be procedures the employee must take in terms of registering at carrier sites or a telemedicine site. Can you educate the employees on their welcome procedures and can they be simplified or automated, if possible?
Benefits Engagement is a Continuous Process.
Once the enrollment is complete, at the end of every quarter, you could find statistics on how the employees are engaged with using their telemedicine or wellness program. Based on this, you could develop a custom email or podcast on how they could benefit from these programs and educate them.
It is important to create avenues that promote employee engagement. If the right technology can help a proactive advisor, it is possible to take a series of steps over a period of time to see improvement in the engagement quality. This ultimately benefits everyone and helps lower the overall cost of the benefits program.
agencyEZ is a responsive cloud technology that benefit advisors can leverage to assist their clients to improve employee engagement and enhancing their quality of service to their clients.
About the author
Founder & Chief Executive Officer
Email me or connect with me on LinkedIn to learn more about our solutions for insurance carriers and brokers.