Employees Report that Open Enrollment Could Be Improved

Ever wonder what goes into a top-notch benefits enrollment experience?  As many HR departments prepare for open enrollment, time spent to review and improve practices and procedures would be well spent, according to a recent survey by Namely, an HR platform for mid-sized companies.
 
Key among the survey findings is the fact that 36 percent of employees give their HR department a "C" or lower when it comes to open enrollment. While 57 percent of respondents said their employer prepared them "pretty well," only 27 percent give them an "A." The biggest causes of open enrollment frustration are 1) constant changes in plans, 2) collateral that's hard to understand, and 3) the rushed process.
 
Additional findings include:
 
  • One month is the magic number when it comes to open enrollment. HR departments should build in extra time: 50 percent of employees want at least one month to make their selections. Of all age groups, Baby Boomers were most likely to want more time, perhaps due to additional healthcare concerns and family complexity as retirement nears.

 

  • HR reps are not the go-to for benefits advice. Only 1 in 5 employees say they consult their HR representative. Instead, they turn to coworkers and family members to help make plan selections.

 

  • Good healthcare matters more than fun perks. With rising healthcare costs, employees aren't taking healthcare for granted. 72 percent of employees are willing to give up perks in exchange for better healthcare benefits. Of the perks they're willing to ditch, 47 percent of respondents selected the company holiday party and happy hours. But only 7 percent of employees are willing to sacrifice vacation days—perhaps because time off is a health benefit in and of itself.

 

  • Employees vastly underestimate how much employers spend on healthcare. 53 percent of employees think their employer spends under $5,000 on their healthcare benefits annually—where the average per-employee spend in 2016 was $8,669.
 
Source: Namely