4 Tips to Facilitate a Successful Open EnrollmentOctober 11, 2016 - By: Andrea Meyer
It’s time for the excitement that comes with Fall! Cooler temperatures, colorful fall foliage, hayrides, family holidays, and for many businesses, open enrollment for next year’s benefits. Given the multitude of choices and decisions that employees face during open enrollment, communication and education have become critically important components of a successful open enrollment period.
Here are some tips to help your company ensure that the process goes smoothly this year:
1. Take employee demographics into consideration.
When engaging with employees around their benefits options, it’s increasingly necessary to consider the wants, needs and communication preferences of each demographic group at your company. It’s important to tailor your communication efforts in order to properly inform employees of the decisions they must make and help them figure out what will best meet their needs for the new plan year. Using a variety of avenues to get your message out will improve the odds of it reaching all of your employees with their varying communication preferences. A few suggestions are email, printed materials, online information, interactive online presentations, onsite meetings, and reminders via text message.
2. Provide resources early.
It’s crucial that you are talking about employee benefits throughout the year, not just at open enrollment time. Remind your employees about the value of their benefits, provide information on all of the options available to them, and pass along news articles that are pertinent to their benefits. By continuing the conversation year-round, your employees will be better informed on their benefits and options. As open enrollment approaches, provide resources for your employees as early as possible so they feel they have ample time to process information, conduct personal research and weigh their options.
3. Host information sessions.
Along the lines of providing ample resources, consider holding informative learning sessions for your employees leading up to and/or during the open enrollment period. Be sure to keep your message simple and concise, and anticipate questions from employees. Honestly discuss changes to any plans, especially cost changes, and what that may mean for the employees.
4. Make the process convenient.
One sure way to increase participation rates is to make it easy for the employees. Utilize technology and set up an online enrollment system for your employees. This will allow your employees 24-hour access to check eligibility status, and review or make changes to their benefit elections. By reducing the amount of paperwork and manual entry, open enrollment should go more smoothly for your company, making it your best open enrollment yet!
We hope these tips help you tackle this year’s open enrollment and more efficiently support your employees as they make benefit decisions for themselves and their families.