Pension & Benefits News Digital tools are not the best way to prepare employees for open enrollment
Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Digital tools are not the best way to prepare employees for open enrollment

By Pension and Benefits Editorial Staff

Just 11 percent of employees name the Internet as the place they turn to learn about benefits at enrollment season each year, according to a survey of 1,506 full-time U.S. employees from Colonial Life. That number falls to just 10 percent of Millennials and 7 percent of Generation Z workers. Meanwhile, 76 percent of all employees turn to humans—HR professionals, coworkers, family and friends. The survey found that number is even higher for Millennials (83 percent) and members of Generation Z (91 percent).

While providing information through digital tools is critical, it’s not the best way for employers to engage their workers, said Richard Shaffer, senior vice president for growth markets at Colonial Life. “Many benefits providers and experts are running away from human interaction and human touch in their business model,” Shaffer said. “But we are finding that now, more than ever, employees want to turn to a trusted human for benefits advice.”

While every generation depends on people for benefits support, an employee’s age does impact which humans are trusted advisers. Baby Boomers and Gen X workers prefer to turn to HR professionals (50 percent and 42 percent, respectively). But younger employees turn to coworkers (26 percent for Millennials and 31 percent for Gen Z) and friends and family (22 percent for Millennials and 37 percent for Gen Z).


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