- Across all generations in today's workplace, talking to an actual person is the preferred method for getting information about their insurance coverage, a Colonial Life survey of 1,506 U.S. employees found. Just over three-quarters of respondents said they turn to HR professionals, family members, friends or colleagues to learn about benefits.
- Only 11% of respondents said they found the web helpful in answering their benefits enrollment questions, with only 10% of millennials and 7% of Gen Z saying the internet is their go-to source for assistance.
- When it comes to who they're asking for help, older workers generally turn to HR professionals; half of Boomers and 42% of Gen X look to them for assistance. Younger workers are more likely to turn to their peers and coworkers for help. Friends and family are also important resources for younger employees: 37% of Gen Z and 22% of millennials use them as a source of advice.
Even as job seekers continue to prioritize benefits when looking for a job, workers' ability to use their benefits to the best advantage often requires outside assistance. Few employees understand fully what's available to them, what's not, and how to best leverage the coverage they have. According to a poll by Maestro Health, over a third of employees surveyed said they either know nothing about or don't fully understand their healthcare coverage. One-third said they don't understand their medical bills. As employees gain eligibility for benefits, including a growing number of part-time workers, access to assistance will become even more necessary.
More companies are looking at their employees as they would their customers, treating them with a more service-oriented approach. In fact, creating a positive employee experience is a top-tier priority for business leaders this year, according to a report from Ceridian. Open enrollment may provide businesses an opportunity to prioritize the employee experience. A separate poll from Colonial Life found that almost 70% of employees spend an hour or less researching their benefits during open enrollment. Employers may be able to work toward their employee experience goals and aid workers overwhelmed by benefits decisions by providing bite-sized communications at a proper cadence, Aflac VP of HR and CPO Brenda J. Mullins wrote last year in an HR Dive opinion piece.