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4 Ways to Break Down Barriers to Benefits Enrollment

Every employer wants to increase workforce engagement and strengthen company culture, and most of them know that offering employer-sponsored benefits goes a long way toward these goals. However, when they see low enrollment numbers, employers may be left to wonder what they can do to drive more participation.

Read on to learn four approaches employers can use to boost enrollment.

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More enrollment methods

Thanks to technological advancements, the modern workplace offers more enrollment methods than ever before, both online and offline. While a wide majority of employees prefer electronic or online enrollment, others still prefer to enroll via paper, phone, or even in person, often with the aid of a benefits manager as a guide.

In fact, 39% of employees seek out the opportunity to meet either one-on-one or by phone. Employees who enrolled via a live meeting reported the highest understanding of their benefits, according to a study by LIMRA (Life Insurance Marketing and Research Association).1

Preferred enrollment methods may be influenced by the number of eligible employees, industry, internet availability or proximity of employees to an office. Therefore, enrollment should never be one-size-fits-all. By understanding their workforce's needs, companies can provide more accessible enrollment options that fit everyone, thereby driving higher participation.

More available benefits

Research has shown that the more benefits that are available to employees, the more likely they are to participate.1 When a company offers a strong benefits package with balanced offerings, employees may feel more inclined to enroll. A balanced portfolio ideally offers both traditional benefits that are a mainstay in the American workplace as well as nontraditional benefits that reflect a company's commitment to employee well-being.

Traditional Benefits

  • Health insurance – Major medical coverage
  • Supplemental insurance – Additional medical coverage like accident, critical illness, and dental
  • Paid time off – Includes vacation time, sick leave, and other time-away policies
  • Retirement benefits – Pension payments, 401(k), and related retirement accounts

Nontraditional Benefits

  • Flexible work options
  • Tuition assistance
  • Child care allowance
  • Wellness and mental health programs
  • Financial well-being programs
  • Gym/fitness program discounts

For employers who are unsure of what benefits to add to their package, a company-wide poll could offer insights into the kinds of benefits that their employees value. For example, in addition to traditional benefits, nontraditional programs like mental health and self-care as well as financial wellness are growing in popularity.2

Some traditional benefits can even help to cover these programs. For example, Critical Illness Insurance from Allstate Benefits can include an optional rider that provides a benefit for eligible lifestyle enhancement programs such as stress management (12 weeks or longer), health management or even financial wellness.

More benefits information

Unsurprisingly, a higher frequency of benefits communication is associated with higher enrollment rates, a better understanding of benefits, and even higher satisfaction rates.1 When employers provide more information about available benefits throughout the year—not just during open enrollment—employees have more time to consider their choices and discuss options with their families.

Also, most life events that inform people's decisions about benefits selections (e.g., marriages, births, deaths, accidents, illnesses) occur outside of open enrollment. Therefore, people may want to stay informed about their options year-round when they are living through these events. Learn more by reading 3 Ways to Improve Enrollment with a Year-Round Approach.

More ways to communicate

With the growing prevalence of online platforms, there are plenty of avenues employers can utilize to inform their workforce about benefits. Employees of all working generations from Gen Z to Baby Boomers, overwhelmingly prefer to receive benefits communications via work email.

To a lesser extent, they also like to access benefits information online in a company intranet or benefits portal, or receive print materials mailed to their homes.1 Ideally, using multiple convenient communication methods will appeal to a broader range of employees.

By giving employees more enrollment methods, more available benefits, and more benefit communications delivered using more sources, employers can tear down obstacles that keep employees from enrolling.

Allstate Benefits provides the tools that employers need to make enrollment a success year after year. Employers love our broad suite of products, library of customizable benefits marketing materials, and flexible enrollment solutions that allow employees to enroll with ease whether online, by phone or in person. It's all part of the Good Hands® promise.

Click here to learn more about our supplemental insurance options or request a quote by clicking here.


12022 BEAT (Benefits and Employee Attitude Tracker) Study, LIMRA

22023 employee benefits & workplace predictions: DEI and wellbeing efforts | BenefitsPRO

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