The COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 has changed the average workplace in many ways, both big and small.
As companies have adjusted to the new normal of restricted operations, nearly all sectors have been impacted in some way. With huge numbers of employees continuing to work remotely, the standard employee benefits enrollment process has become another logistical hurdle to deal with. Some organizations are even considering delaying and even canceling benefits enrollment this year.
But delaying or canceling enrollment could impact your organization’s recovery from the pandemic very negatively. As the reality of the national health crisis has set in, so has employees’ awareness of just how important their financial and health benefits are in challenging times.
To them their health benefits are likely to be more important to them than ever before, and having them be affected just because management thought it was too much of a logistical challenge to be bothered with may very will be the reason great employees jump ship.
So how do you deal with these dual concerns — enrollment logistics and employees’ need for benefits? The answer is simple: virtual enrollment. Here’s a look at why virtual enrollment is the right tool for these unexpected times.
The Value of Employee Benefits
Most managers know what the value of offering good employee benefits is, but in case you need a reminder, consider the following: according to Glassdoor’s Employment Confidence Survey, about 60% of people report that benefits and perks are a major factor in considering whether to accept a job offer.
The survey also found that 80% of employees would choose additional benefits over a pay raise. And it was conducted well before the COVID-19 pandemic hit! Your company needs the best talent more than ever right now, so anything that can be done to secure and retain the best employees will help a lot.
Benefits Counselling is Key
As HR managers know, counseling is a key part of an employee's benefits experience, but the standard practice of conducting it in the office is not an option for many employers right now. A large number of employees haven’t returned to their workplaces yet and even if they have larger numbers of employees are rarely allowed to meet.
However, while sensible return-to-work strategies have employees coming back to worksites slowly over time, decisions on scheduling enrollment counselling sessions need to be made sooner rather than later to align with coverage effective dates.
Virtual enrollment can help, as you can make use of the same technologies you are currently using to conduct business remotely can be utilized to provide the kind of benefits counselling you would usually perform onsite.
Virtual Enrollment Offers New Benefits for Employees Too
There is a less-expected advantage to virtual enrollment over in person enrollment: it offers an employee's family members a chance to participate in the benefits counseling Since family members aren't usually involved in benefits counseling, this is an additional plus for many employees.
The chances are good that those employees who have family cover will want to carefully review it now in light of the pandemic. And those who had previously turned it down may want to change that. Either way, a virtual benefits counselling session will allow them to do that with you and feel more secure that they are making the right choices.