Are You Ready for Enrollment?
Updated: Jan 27
The fall season can be one of the best times of the year. It’s the start of football season, pumpkin flavored coffees, cooler weather and of course, one of HR’s busiest times of the year – open enrollment.
For a variety of reasons, benefit options often change and with that come new demands on employees and employers during open enrollment. This can often times lead to stress and anxiety not only for the HR professionals, but for the employees trying to compare benefit plans, understand various changes in their policies, and how it will impact their families throughout the following year.
To make the enrollment process as smooth as possible, it is important that employers educate and communicate to their employees effectively. The following four tips can help HR professionals meet their annual open enrollment challenges and in turn provide their employees with important information to make informed benefit decisions.
Organize a Focus Group: One of the best strategies to boost engagement during open enrollment begins long before benefits season. Set up meetings with finance and your third party administrator to discuss how best to improve, communicate, and deliver a successful enrollment experience. By involving everyone early on in the process, you increase your chance of improving engagement come open enrollment time.
Plan Ahead Using Thoughtful Content: Content and word choice are an important part of a successful enrollment season. Think about how you can best convey your message and lean on your team to help guide your decisions. Discuss any plan design enhancements and include them in the materials. Thoughtful execution allows you to influence what information your employees see and read first.
Get Creative with Communications: Simple is better. Benefits can be confusing, so all communications should be presented in a clear format. Identify new imagery including photos, graphics, and financial examples. Simple charts and engaging videos help to make difficult benefit decisions easier for the average participant. Think about the creativity you have available, but keep the key message and “what you need to do for enrollment” information central to the enrollment materials.
Improve the process: In order to improve this year’s open enrollment experience, it is important to review what worked well last year and identify what can be improved. This exercise is an important step to providing clear direction while setting executable goals. Know what you want to measure and how you are going to measure it.
Eighty percent of employees believe their overall benefits packages influence their engagement on the job and with their organizations, according to the 2014 Aflac WorkForces Report. The report goes on to say that only nine percent believe their HR departments have effectively communicated health care reform and subsequent changes to their benefits packages. By working with both your internal resources and the Mezrah Consulting Team, you can be assured your open enrollment season will provide your employees with a personalized and informative experience.