How much time do employees need to review benefits materials? Here’s their answer.
They want at least three weeks.
In a recent study, 97% of employees who were given three or more weeks to review benefits materials during open enrollment said that was enough time.
The payoff for employers: That same group was far more likely to rate their benefits and benefits education as “excellent” or “very good” — compared to those given less time to review their materials.
Those figures come from a study of 1,700 employed adults conducted by Harris Interactive for Unum, a benefits provider.
The problem? The study found only 50% of participants were given at least three weeks to review their benefits materials.
In its breakdown of the study, Unum recommended a three-plus-three benefits communication strategy during open enrollment. Based on past experience in the field, it said: “Allowing at least three weeks to review at least three types of education methods adds up to better benefits education.”
The education methods employees said they’d be most likely to utilize (in order of popularity):
- Print materials
- Personalized statements
- An employer’s intranet or website
- Email communications
- Group and one-on-one meetings where benefits are presented and employees can ask questions, and
- Online interactive tools.
If given enough time, employees said they are utilizing these education methods: 91% who were asked to review benefits within the past year had accessed information made available to them.
- 85% of employees who rated their benefits education as “excellent” or “good” rated their benefits package as “excellent” or “good,” and
- 80% who rated their benefits education highly also rated their employer highly.