Communication – People Helping People

Even in a technological world, there are still some aspects which require a human touch. When calling a customer service line in addition to a fear of being put on hold for a long time, there is a threat of bad music, and a disembodied, prerecorded voice. Frustration grows while suffering through countless menus with no option to talk to a real person.

Actually, a 2016 Open Enrollment Survey* found that 48 percent of employees would rather do something unpleasant, such as talking to their ex or walking across hot coals, instead of completing their annual benefits enrollment.

Whenever employees try and learn about their benefits, they soon discover the sheer magnitude of information to be absorbed. Assistance is almost always required.  It is important that employees have benefits; it is more important that employees make informed decisions about those benefits.

Providing a communications staff which is well-trained at engaging employees in the decision process is the mission of BenefitVision; helping employees have a better vision, a better understanding, of their benefits. It is widely known that this connection can affect the work ethic of the employees as well.  When employees fully perceive the value of their benefits, they have lower rates of attrition.

It’s generally estimated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics that replacing an employee costs a business one-half to five times that employee’s annual salary. Employers who deliver an education campaign about their benefit package can save the unwelcome costs of turnover. Providing effective communications about benefit options must be a top priority.

The most important message is that “effective communication of the benefits is as important as the benefits themselves” says Ron Kleiman, CEO of BenefitVision. “When an employee feels like they matter to a company, they will be producing the best work possible.  A full understanding and appreciation of benefits is one way to gain respect and loyalty from employees.”

* Conducted by Lightspeed GMI on behalf of Aflac, the survey includes responses from 1,900 employees across the U.S. in various industries and business sizes. Its results point to a need to simplify benefits information and enrollment.

Why does everyone hate Open Enrollment?

With increases in the cost of employee benefits, Benefits Departments continue the search for effective cost containment strategies. Most employers are extremely busy re-evaluating benefit plan options, shopping for new providers, raising employee contribution levels and searching for increased efficiencies within their HR technology strategies.  Additionally, pressure to explain their plans to every employee and transmit the data in a short period of time is stressful.

And…it’s no wonder that almost every study out there suggests that employees dread open enrollment because they have difficulty understanding the benefits and health insurance options available to them.

A Harris Poll survey really hit home:

  • Nearly half (49%) of employees eligible for employer-sponsored benefits say making health insurance decisions is “always stressful,”.
  • Researchers note that “others use more critical language, calling their benefits communication complex (18%), disappointing (15%), boring (10%), or a waste (7%).”
  • Only about half of employees know their out-of-pocket maximums (53%) or their employers’ contributions to the costs of health insurance (47%).

Outsourcing has its advantages.  Enrollment firms can staff and deploy Benefits Representatives who are trained on their client’s benefit plans, but can the client expect consistent delivery of the client’s critical messages?  And what about newly eligible employees throughout the year?

BenefitVision can work with you to find the most effective strategies and methodologies for every learning style.  We can offer a choice for employees to call-in or log-on to get the information they need.  With either method, our seasoned Benefits Representatives explain and compare the features of all of the benefits as they review the plans with the employee. The data is captured and sent to back to our clients and/or their vendors.

Surveys taken have shown that the employees have a greater appreciation of the benefits the employer has offered, and are confident that they have made the best choices for their family’s future needs.   Benefits Departments are relieved from the redundant tasks that require additional resources they cannot deploy.

If you hate open enrollment, BenefitVision is your pain relief.

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