The modern workplace runs on data.
For each new initiative any team takes on, success must be measured by clear numbers, collected over time.
As a result, most organizations now have more spreadsheets than ever before, covering everything from website views to employee demographics. But how can this data have an impact and avoid being forgotten?
Undoubtedly, your HR team is home to a wealth of these insights. Now that it’s time for Annual Enrollment, there is no reason to let this data go to waste. This time of year, data about factors such as employee demographics, benefits utilization, preferred communication channels, and local cost of living becomes more valuable than ever.
As your team checks that AE to-do list twice, it’s wise to take an extra step and consider your enrollment process through the lens of data you have available. The Businessolver 2019 State of Workplace Empathy Study reports that employees find benefits one of the most valuable ways for employers to demonstrate empathy. Ensuring each step of your AE process is best-suited to the current workforce helps underscore a commitment to this value—and can encourage benefits engagement from employees.
Not sure where to start? Make a list of the data your HR team has collected. No matter where you begin, there’s a way you can leverage the information to improve the enrollment experience.
Here are our tips for making the most of your data during AE:
- Start where you are. Don’t have an enormous collection of employee statistics? You are not alone! This doesn’t have to be a limiting factor, however. Even the most standard HR data, such as gender breakdowns, salary distribution, or past benefits utilization, can be of great help during AE. Looking at these numbers can help show patterns. Did you find that only a small percentage of employees enrolled in your 401(k) program? An informative email about its benefits and how to enroll may change that this year.
- Make the most of AI. If your company utilizes an AI-assisted enrollment tool, you may have the option to offer enrollment support for employees who speak languages other than English. Many of today’s AI solutions allow employees to ask benefits questions in their preferred language, within the same interface where they select their coverage. Benefits are already complex enough—providing that information in clear translations shows empathy with employees’ needs and makes it easier for all employees to maximize their benefits.
- Use demographics trends to point to relevant coverage. Look at the broad strokes of your employee demographics, which can help define the benefits you put front and center in your AE communications. Are most of your workers recent graduates? Highlight your financial education tools or student loan payment assistance. Does your employee population skew over 50? Point out any retirement options or support for caregivers, who may be managing the care of older relatives.
- Consider your communications channels. How do your employees prefer to communicate? Even if you don’t have hard data on this factor, you probably know this one from experience. If email is the quickest way to get a response, that may be the best way to share AE reminders and links. Keep in mind all ways to reach employees—from text messaging and print, to Slack and AI chat channels—and use what works best.
Once AE is over, use the time to gather additional data that can be used next year. Consider asking employees how they feel about their benefits. Did they have trouble enrolling? Are there outstanding coverage questions? Collect this information in an anonymous survey and you’ll be even better equipped for this time next year.
In the meantime, check out our report below that uncovers the state-of-mind of employees as they are making their benefits elections, offering new perspectives on what’s driving their decisions and how to help them overcome some of the barriers to making good choices.