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How to Keep Your Employees Happy—Part 2: Make Benefits Enrollment Easy

By Madalyn Altschuler, Manager, MarketLink & Benefits Communications

clock June 13, 2016 at 10:00 AM

iStock_000021963294Large.jpgResearchers in the social sciences are seeking to understand the components that create the elusive condition we call happiness.   The happiness factor is coming into play in the work arena as well with studies showing the importance of job satisfaction in retention of top talent. As discussed in How to Keep Your Employees Happy—Part 1: Quality Benefits, studies suggest that employee benefits play an important role in the overall satisfaction employees experience in their jobs.

To understand further, major healthcare providers analyzed benefits programs and benefits education as tools to recruit and retain talent, as well as raise employee satisfaction [1]. They found that employees want the entire enrollment process to be fast and easy, with plenty of decision support tools and enough time to review materials via any device — phone, tablet, laptop, paper — so they can make the right choices 24/7.  And finally, they want quality benefits that help them take care of themselves and their families.

“The recent research reiterates not only the importance of delivering quality benefits programs, but also the value of streamlining the enrollment process from end-to-end,” said Shawn Pynes, Director of the Employee Benefits Division of Marsh & McLennan Agency (MMA). “When employers simplify enrollment and make benefits education a priority, employees respond positively.”

Technology Makes A Good Thing Better

One of the best ways to achieve these objectives is by implementing an online benefits administration system. This kind of technology solution should:

  1. Offer customized tools and resources to help employees better understand their plans.
  2. Include all the forms, plan summaries and documentation an employee needs to access during the enrollment process and throughout the year.
  3. Help employees make smarter decisions.

“Effective benefits education makes employees much more likely to consider their place of employment a great place to work,” Pynes said. “A robust technology platform can significantly improve the benefits experience for employees. The more flexibility and ease-of-use in enrollment and administration, the more employees feel comfortable, and the more your HR team stands to gain time and money.”

The Virtues of a Mobile, Cloud-Based Platform

Utilizing technology to create a cloud-based, access-from-anywhere experience allows individuals to make these benefits decisions at home, where they can review options with their dependents and take time to make a thoughtful selection.

An online platform such as MarketLink allows employees to retrieve information anywhere they need it—at the doctor’s office or at home during open enrollment. Instant access to information brings benefits education and decision support tools right to the employees’ fingertips at any given moment.

Give Employees Enough Time

Unum research showed that employees would like to receive benefits information three weeks before the enrollment deadline. This provides enough time to discuss the options with their spouse, do more research, and talk to friends and family.

With an online, cloud-based platform, employees have more time to consider their options, and it’s easier for HR to disseminate the information. As a result, the decision-making process is simplified for both employers and employees.

And, in the end, everyone is happier.

Want to find out more? Click here to learn about MMA's MarketLink.

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Madalyn Altschuler is Manager of MarketLink and Benefits Communications for Marsh & McLennan Agency, [email protected], 858.587.7472

[1] Please see studies by MetLife, 9th Annual Survey of Employee Benefits Trends, and Unum, Beyond The Usual Benefits

 

 

Topics: Employee Benefits, Human Resources

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