Have you had the opportunity to catch up on our latest webinar, “Creating a Better Open Enrollment Experience?” Watch the replay here.

As organizations prepare for an open enrollment season that is sure to be anything but “normal,” many leaders are rethinking how to provide an elevated employee experience during this challenging time.

The following findings from the 2020 MetLife Employee Benefit Trends Study highlight how employees have been impacted by COVID-19 and how their attitudes towards work and benefits have changed.

  • Two-thirds of employees are feeling more stressed than before the pandemic, which could lead to lower productivity, engagement and loyalty, as well as increased absenteeism
  • Roughly 50 million U.S. workers are feeling tired, stressed and/or burned out at work during the pandemic
  • 74% of employees are concerned about at least one aspect of their well-being as a result of the virus
  • 69% of employees say having a wider array of benefits would increase loyalty to their employer
  • Employers who offer 15 benefits or more find a 19% increase in employee loyalty and feeling that their employer has their best interest in mind, versus those who only offer between 5-14 benefits
  • 1 in 5 employees feel that they completely understand the insurance benefits that are offered to them

Given the pandemic’s emphasis on the significance of benefits, this year’s statistics are particularly concerning. As open enrollment season approaches, there are several ways in which employers can tackle these issues:

Rethink how you hold open enrollment with virtual solutions. In-person group meeting restrictions leave many organizations with no other choice than to turn to virtual options. However, even before the pandemic many of our clients were already transitioning to alternative enrollment meeting options. Why? Group meetings are impersonal and fail to allow employers to tailor their messages to specific individuals and their needs. As a result, many employees tend to miss important messages when the content of the meeting doesn’t feel relevant to their lives.

As an alternative, many organizations are now partnering with enrollment firms to offer a consultative one-to-one approach to employee education. Enrollment counselors review benefit options with each employee individually over the phone and can even go a step further and help them enroll in their benefit elections through the organization’s technology platform. This personalized education and support is especially important in today’s world, where there is increased confusion surrounding benefits due to the virus.

Consider expanding your suite of offerings with voluntary benefits. It’s evident that the pandemic has resulted in elevated anxiety and new stressors for many employees. Voluntary benefits can help create a more customized experience by allowing employees to select the specific benefits that best fit their needs and goals. Voluntary benefits are offered at no additional cost to you as the employer. However, even with employees picking up the tab they’re gaining in popularity because they offer value, flexibility and convenience.

As your organization prepares for your next open enrollment, make sure your benefit offerings and communication strategy are equipped to support your employees during this time of crisis. To learn how Marsh McLennan Agency’s EnrollSMART approach is helping organizations overcome today’s challenges and provide a personalized, elevated employee experience, contact an MMA advisor.

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