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NFP Benefits Trends Report: Education is the Key to Success

by Caroline Boyland July 19, 2022

Education is the Key to Success

In case you missed it, NFP released their 2022 Benefits Trends Report, and the findings were incredibly enlightening. The report opens with an acknowledgement that there are gaps in traditional employer-sponsored benefits programs, and that if employers want to win the war for talent, they’ll need to deliver the supplemental benefits that employees want and need. These are the benefits that will both drive growth, and enhance overall wellbeing.

Current state of affairs

If you’re in HR, there’s no possible way you haven’t heard of the Great Resignation. Employees have spent the past year, to year-and-a-half, job jumping—constantly searching for bigger and better (bigger salary, better benefits). In fact, NFP reported that 70% of employees are more likely to work for an employer who offers employee-paid voluntary benefits. The pandemic has had more and more employees looking to their medical packages, and thinking will this be enough? This is leading to a desire for supplemental plans, like hospital indemnity, critical illness, and others.

Meet employees where they are

The report also highlighted that of course, all employees know they have their own unique set of needs, challenges, and goals—but, “many still feel helpless” when addressing these. This is where employers can begin to have a real impact. Employers have the power to offer an array of benefits that meet their employee’s goals, but often, many don’t know where to start. Brokers can empower employers to make informed decisions on what benefits to include, how to optimize the process, and what tools they need to create the best benefits experience and education.

Finding enrollment success

The report then goes on to outline various ways employers can find success during open enrollment—highlighting that the majority of employers reported that “more benefit choices and customization” as well as “better communication and education” were the top 2 actions they could take to positively impact employee satisfaction.

“When it comes to the enrollment process itself, there are a few enrollment support options employers can choose from.”

Self service — NFP explains that while this option is inexpensive and relatively easy for HR teams, it often leaves employees wanting more. They call it a missed opportunity to educate on best practices and empower good choices.

Virtual Decision Support — NFP likens the insight and literacy provided by a decision support tool to Spotify, Amazon, and other every-day tools that educate you on what other people “like you” are buying/listening to/ choosing/ etc. Decision support tools can be instrumental in educating employees about the supplemental benefits that are available to them and how those plans are beneficial to them. Once the tool is in place, decision-support assisted enrollments require little-to-no effort from employers, while providing employees with the education, communication, and confidence to choose the best benefits for themselves and their families.

Call Centers & Face-to-Face Counselors — These consist of real advisors who can provide guidance during enrollment. These are high-touch resources and can be pricey, but the investment can be worth it.

What it comes down to, is that self-service often results in under-utilization of benefits and unsatisfied employees. NFP states that "facilitating more understanding of the offerings – how they work, why they’re important – improves satisfaction. It also supports the narrative that you, as an employer, are a partner in employee well-being.”

If you’re interested in learning more about how a decision support tool can help employers and brokers create satisfied, healthy employees, learn more here.

And to check out the full 2022 US Benefits Trends Report from NFP, click here.

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