Are You Missing the Mark When It Comes to Open Enrollment?

As many HR departments prepare for open enrollment, Namely, an HR platform for mid-sized companies, has released the results of its open enrollment survey and identified what is most important to employees in a top-notch benefits experience.


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The survey findings were based on 517 respondents. All respondents were between the ages of 18 and 65—all respondents were based in the U.S. and employed full-time.

According to respondents, 36% of employees give their HR department a “C” or lower when it comes to open enrollment. While 57% of respondents said their employer prepared them “pretty well,” only 27% give them an “A.” The biggest causes of open enrollment frustration are 1) constant changes in plans, 2) hard-to-understand collateral, and 3) the rushed process.

One month is the magic number when it comes to open enrollment. HR departments should build in extra time to their open enrollment cycles. According to the survey, 50% of employees want at least one month to make their selections.

Of all age groups, Baby Boomers were most likely to want more time, perhaps due to additional healthcare concerns and family complexity as retirement nears.

HR reps are not the go-to for benefits advice. Only one in five employees say they consult their HR representative. Instead, they turn to coworkers and family members to help make plan selections.

Good health care matters more than fun perks. With rising healthcare costs, employees aren’t taking health care for granted. In fact, 72% of employees are willing to give up perks in exchange for better healthcare benefits.

Of the perks they’re willing to ditch, 47% of respondents selected the company holiday party and happy hours. But only 7% of employees are willing to sacrifice vacation days—perhaps because time off is a health benefit in and of itself.

Employees vastly underestimate how much employers spend on healthcare. According to the survey, 53% of employees think their employer spends under $5,000 on their healthcare benefits annually—where the average per-employee spend in 2016 was $8,669.

“These results underline the urgency for HR departments to invest in a better broker experience through modern technology,” says Matthew Monahan—Vice President of Benefits for Namely—in a press release. “The survey confirms that employees want great benefits choices, ample time to make their selections, and a knowledgeable HR representative. ”

For more information on this survey, click here.