The onboarding process is an important time for employees and HR departments alike, as workers begin to acclimate to their new roles and enroll in their company’s benefits.
The benefits employers offer are particularly important in retaining and attracting employees. In fact, 7 in 10 employees say they need their employer’s help to make sure they are healthy and financially secure, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute.
In today’s environment, many new hires start remotely, meet with benefits counselors virtually and are choosing benefits differently. According to a Unum consumer survey from August 2021, 1 in 3 workers (36%) planned to enroll in different benefits this year.
Here are some other differences to expect in the new world of enrollment.
More Flexibility, Access, and Virtual Connections
Colonial Life has offered virtual enrollment for more than a decade. Since the pandemic, we’ve found that many employees have come to expect flexible and virtual enrollment options. New hires have more control and convenience over their benefit choices than ever before. Here’s what they need to know:
- Instant, online access to benefits counselors. When offices closed in the U.S. in 2020, Colonial Life had to move quickly. In a few months, we stood up a virtual meeting platform for benefit counselors, expanding the number of virtual counselors.
- Convenient enrollment. There are multiple channels to enroll, and the ability to connect with benefits counselors during off-hours. If 10 p.m. on a Wednesday is the best time, Colonial Life can make it happen. Virtual makes it possible.
- Engage family members. Employeesare encouraged to have loved ones join in the conversation and select the best benefits.
- Easy, direct access to benefit materials. Employees can also search and review information online before connecting with a benefits counselor.
Benefits to Consider
The last two years have highlighted the importance of certain benefits. We have seen increased interest in short term disability, critical illness, and life insurance.
- Many people forgo disability insurance because they don’t think they’ll ever need it. However, many disabilities are caused by common illness or conditions, such as: pregnancy, back disorders, accidents, cancer, and heart attacks.
- In Colonial Life’s Small Business Benefit Trends report, 39% of small businesses now include a critical illness plan that covers treatment for COVID-19 and other infectious diseases. Colonial Life’s critical illness pays a lump sum benefit to patients who are hospitalized for up to 56 different serious conditions including a heart attack, stroke, or cancer.
- Last year, 31% of Americans said the pandemic prompted them to shop for life insurance. Although not something many people want to think about, life insurance can help provide peace of mind and protection for loved ones.
Colonial Life wants to make the enrollment part of this process as simple as possible. Our goal is to provide people with financial protection in times of unexpected need, and we hope these changes help new employees better understand and choose their benefits with confidence.