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How to retain your people by promoting employee benefits


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Today’s employers are looking for ways to retain talent and promote employee benefits to their people.

What are some of the factors affecting this trend, and how can they be addressed?

The days of just working a job are gone. Employees want choices and a chance to thrive. They expect a personalized experience with benefits that matter and a financial future they can feel good about. And they’ll keep looking until they find it. Hundreds of thousands of workers in the United States will leave their job this year in pursuit of something new.

Why are employees leaving?

A recent study showed that over 55% of Americans are actively looking for a new job. Even though reasons are individual, the results brought forward three important themes:

  • Employees are looking for more flexibility and/or a better work and life balance
  • Employees do not feel supported by their current employer
  • Previous financial concerns have only increased since the beginning of the pandemic

The above factors, combined with the increase in more remote-based jobs, have created challenges for employers. In addition to fighting to keep top-performing employees, companies are trying to strengthen their recruiting teams to be able to add talent back into the organization. It’s tough to do when a workforce is changing by the day.

What can be done to retain employees?

There are many strategies organizations can deploy in an effort to attract and retain top talent, but the best strategy aligns with addressing the recurring themes and stressors employees face daily. Sadly, many of the point solutions now being offered to employees to support their mental health or virtual care needs are drastically underutilized due to a lack of knowledge on the employee’s part. Many employees take lesser-paying roles because they “think” the grass is greener on the other side while, in fact, their previous employer offered the same or better benefits. 

Alight understands these challenges. We have worked to put together solutions that not only help employers recruit and educate talent on potential benefits, but also inform them on the totality of the offerings and resources in a highly personalized way. This creates a significant impact on the retention of talent and potentially saving organizations hundreds of thousands of dollars in the cost of turnover. 

Below are recent studies that show the real potential impact that Alight Benefits Guidance can have.

What is Alight Benefits Guidance (ABG) and how does it help promote your employee benefits offerings?

Alight Benefits Guidance is high-touch benefit enrollment support that focuses on employee education and provides excellent service. It’s led by licensed and salaried benefit counselors who have, on average, 20+ years of industry experience. This fully customizable solution can add tremendous impact and consistency to the initial benefit onboarding process.

Measuring the ROI of employee benefits - the “Impact on Retention” study

Alight has long thought that ABG has had tangible impact on retention for those employers who utilize the solution versus self-service only enrollments. ABG shared over two and a half years’ worth of data from five large clients in different industries with a top consultant to review and validate the findings. The results?

There is overwhelming evidence to support a strong correlation between employees who meet with a benefit counselor during their initial onboarding and their corresponding length of employment compared to employees who only utilize self-service.

A look into the data

The study began with five large clients and over 170,000 employee records. This data for initial onboarding was compared and separated:

  • Employees who met with a benefit counselor
  • Employees who did not meet with a counselor
  • Tenure of employment

There was roughly a 67% decrease in employee turnover during the two-year period of interest for the subpopulation that met with a benefit counselor compared to those who did not.

For every 100 employees that termed in the first two years, 33 of them could have been retained if one-on-one benefit counselor services had been provided.

The chart further outlines the data set over the two years:

chart: The “Impact on Retention” study

Digging deeper

For further validation, ABG pulled additional data of roughly 1,200 other employees who had been hired/termed by multiple Alight clients utilizing ABG for employee benefit onboarding. These employees were selected specifically because they had utilized a counselor at one employer and not the other and fell outside of the largely COVID-impacted months.

The data clearly answers what we are looking to understand:

  • What impact does engaging with a benefit counselor have on increasing tenure and engagement?

  • What happens when employees who utilize the solution at one employer choose not to at another?

 

 

Number of
Employees

Average
Length of
Employment

Standard
Deviation

Min days of
employment

25%-ile

Median days
of employment

75%-ile

Max days of
employment

Counselor
Contact
Tenures

581

191

168

3

72

136

248

1225

Non-contact
Tenures

622

120

148

0

23

62.5

165

861

 

Looking at the chart, the results are clear. There is more than a two-month increase in average employment tenures when the employee spoke with a counselor compared to when that same employee did not.

The overall spread of employment is also much better for the subset of employee populations who met with counselors, indicating that the quality of employment is more stable – meaning the tenures of employees last longer and terminations are less common. 

Based on the evidence, we believe it is fair to suggest that employers who offer employees the ability to meet with benefits guidance during their initial onboarding provide more positive outcomes for both employers and their employees.

Financial impacts of Alight Benefits Guidance and promoting employee benefits

The chart looks at the potential positive financial impact offering new hire services can have on a client. For this review, we selected a prospect in the manufacturing industry with industry standard turnover (~31%). The ROI is an example of impacting turnover between 5.6 – 7.5% and reducing a newly hired employee’s benefit onboarding by 50% (industry standard of four hours down to two).

chart: Financial impacts

Considering the impact on reducing turnover, decreasing the time spent on benefit matters at work and impacting the amount of time it takes an employee to be fully onboarded during their initial enrollment, the savings are considerable. Actual ROI on the above case is between 350 – 500%+!

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