Member Engagement: The Effects of Open Enrollment and Employee Benefits

By Kendra Lusty | Updated on Oct 15, 2021 9:00:00 AM

Open enrollment season is also known as hug-a-harried-HR-professional season. Okay, I just made that up, but the fact remains that open enrollment is a busy and stressful time of year for those in Human Resources.

Every year, the stakes grow higher as businesses fight to keep the best and brightest working for them. We expect 2022 will reveal just how important it is for businesses to nail their employee benefits packages.

That’s because rising healthcare costs (which are a constant challenge, making employees feel like they’re taking home less and less of their paychecks) won’t be the only major challenge in the coming year. The lingering effects of the pandemic and government lockdown are already showing signs they will cause extra complications.

We can already feel the effects of inflation shrinking the purchase power of every dollar. Beyond that, supply chain disruptions, droughts, fires and labor shortages have led to a 33% rise in the cost of common food staples like beef, wheat and sugar worldwide.

Plus, this year businesses found their employees leaving in droves – enough it has been dubbed “the Great Resignation.” While some are changing fields or staying unemployed to care for children, many more are taking advantage of a white hot job market to switch to a career with better pay, better chance to advance and/or better benefits.

Combined together, this triple whammy of factors means competition is fierce to find and retain excellent employees.

Why does all this matter when considering the relationship between businesses and their customers or members? How do employee benefits help businesses increase customer retention and strengthen member engagement? Every business and organization—from the smallest mom and pop restaurant to multi-million member associations—relies on happy and engaged employees to accomplish their goals.

Happy Employees = Happy Customers

Want to better serve your customer base? Want to help your members be more engaged? Studies show that the best place to start is with employees. According to a Cornell University study, companies on the Fortune Magazine Best Companies to Work For list boast higher customer satisfaction scores.

This trickle-down effect is powerful, with one report suggesting that companies with engaged employees see 233% greater customer loyalty and 26% greater annual increase in revenue. 

At Access, we believe in the power of employee engagement so much, we have an entire department dedicated to employee benefits. It is called Access Perks. Through it, we help companies harness the power of discounts on everyday expenses to help employees stretch their paychecks. The current economic climate only makes this more essential if employees aren’t able to focus on their job because of financial woes.

Proper benefits can help alleviate many of the things that would otherwise distract employees from keeping members and customers happy.

Now if you need to convince the powers that be in your HR department, here are some recent articles from Access Perks that explain the influence of employee benefits:

HR Representatives: Your Company’s Secret Heroes

New Call-to-actionDo you know what it means to be in human resources? HR Representatives have to be technology gurus, safety foremen, legislative experts and all-around multitasking wizards. Pandemic conditions have only made their efforts of support in the background more essential—and more stressful. Learn more about what your friends in HR are up to in this article: You Can’t Spell HERO Without HR

The Most-Needed Benefits for 2022

As recently as early 2020, rock bottom unemployment rates meant that businesses had to fight to keep top talent working for them. COVID-19 has changed this (and a whole lot of other things.) Businesses are turning their focus from offering ALL The benefits to offering the RIGHT benefits. In the near future, the most influential benefits will be those that support financial health and those that allow flexibility in the workplace. Learn what benefits will be essential in this article: Employee Benefits: What’s Trending for 2022

The Rising Cost of Employee Benefits

The cost of health insurance rises about 5% every year, and experts are predicting that 2022 won't be much different. The many reasons for this are largely out of business’ control, but will still force them to make hard decisions on behalf of their employees. For some, this will mean cutting benefits or passing more of the cost on to employees. For others, it may mean educating employees about the best ways to use their benefits, or providing financial relief through everyday discounts to offset rising costs. Learn more strategies in this article: Employee Benefits Costs: 10 Ways to Combat Rising Health Insurance Prices

Tips for a Smooth Open Enrollment Season

Hopefully the previous articles have given insight into the importance of employee benefits. With open enrollment season upon us, things work best when the entire company takes ownership of the process. Required active enrollment, Q&A sessions and education-focused communication are just a few things you can do to make sure your company’s benefits are right for all employees. Learn how to help ring in your new employee benefits year in this article: 2022 Open Enrollment: 10 Tips for HR Professionals

Resources for Your Own HR Heroes

There’s a lot more information and insights where those came from on the Access Perks blog. Feel free to share with your HR or operations team. It’s one way you can ensure you and the rest of your company can enjoy benefits that actually deliver value.

Access Perks Blog

Access Perks Website

Discounts on everyday purchases are a popular employee benefit because they help employees maximize their paycheck’s purchasing power. The best employee discount programs will help them save at local restaurants, retailers and service providers in their own neighborhoods – places they shop anyway. Access Perks is the largest provider of local, everyday discounts on food, travel, recreation and more. Right now, businesses looking to provide Access Perks to their employees will enjoy the first month free.

P.S. We love working with businesses who like to attract new customers with special offers – merchant partners who offer a discount are given an Access Perks membership for each employee. To access the power of the Access network for your business as a participating discount provider, click here

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Topics: Customer Engagement, Member Benefits, employee retention, employee perks, member engagement, loyalty programs, best employee discount programs, membership benefits

Written by: Kendra Lusty

For over a decade, Kendra Lusty has been a writer for Access Development, and currently focuses her research and writing on topics related to loyalty and engagement.

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