Employees can enroll in or make changes to their benefits package during open enrollment. This is an important time for human resource professionals because it allows them to ensure that their employees understand their benefits and have the ability to make changes if necessary. A successful open enrollment period can reduce the number of questions and problems that arise throughout the year, as well as keep employees healthy and productive.
This year, open enrollment may be unique because many employees will be working remotely or in a hybrid office environment, and the concept of “quiet quitting” has entered the workplace. Lastly, because inflation remains a problem, Americans continue to count every penny they spend. All of this adds up to a challenging open enrollment in 2022.
Given the above, the following are a list of tips for a successful open enrollment:
Have a multi-channel communication strategy
During the open enrollment season, multi-channel communication is essential. Planning should begin well in advance, and employee input should be sought to ensure that the strategy is simple to understand and meets everyone’s needs. Content should be available in a variety of formats, including brochures, short videos, one-sheet takeaways, and email drip campaigns. This enables employees to consume information in the most effective manner for them. Because audiences have a short attention span, the communication strategy should be concise and to the point.
Make deadlines and meet them
Setting deadlines for your open enrollment strategy is essential to ensuring that your communication strategy is effective and that any partner benefit deadlines are met. Having a timeline and sticking to it will help to ensure that you are providing your employees with the most accurate and up-to-date information.
Adjust to today’s working environments
In 2022, there is no typical work environment with remote work and hybrid employees. Given this, human resources must adapt to today’s challenges in order to have a successful open enrollment.
For example, if your company has a predominantly hybrid workforce, an in-person benefits fair that is either thematic or more experiential will be more fun or enjoyable for everyone involved. A Zoom call is great if your company has an entirely remote workforce, but it’s just another meeting. If you choose to use videos, keep them short (2-3 minutes) so they are easy to distribute and consume. Also, ensure that any content from open enrollment is stored in an online repository that everyone can access.
If your company uses a communication tool like Slack or Microsoft Teams, you should set up a “channel” for open enrollment and any general questions that employees may have. You can make it available all year or just during open enrollment – just make sure one of your human resources is the moderator of this channel. This will be an excellent resource for employees to ask questions and obtain clarification on the benefits available to them.
Have a Lunch and Learn
A lunch and learn is an event in which employees gather to learn about a specific topic while eating lunch. These events are typically informal and allow employees to ask questions and learn more about the topic at hand – in this case, employee benefits. Lunch and learns can be used to reinforce any open enrollment communication, such as benefits, how to maximize them, and any upcoming deadlines.
Avoid Information Overload
During open enrollment, it’s critical to avoid information overload with your employees because it can be confusing and overwhelming. You can assist your employees in making the best choices for their benefits by communicating in simple language and sticking to the basics.
Communicating Complex Subjects
When communicating a complex subject to your employees, it is generally beneficial to break the subject down into smaller bite-sized chunks of content. For example, introducing a traditional 401(k) and a Roth 401(k) to your employees, as well as the rules for each, as well as how to review your account and make adjustments, would be difficult at best with a one-sheet takeaway. However, a short and to-the-point email drip campaign with actionable content is appropriate and serves as a companion piece to any official documents from the benefits provider.
Always be On-boarding
Despite the short window of opportunity during open enrollment, it is critical to continue the conversation about employee benefits throughout the year. This will help to ensure that your employees understand and take advantage of their benefits.
Edukate now works with businesses to develop and implement engaging financial education campaigns that help employees make the most of their financial benefits. Our services include quarterly engagement campaigns customized to your organization’s needs in order to instill financial confidence in employees so that they can make the most of their benefits and whatever life throws at them.
If you’d like to learn more about our employee engagement services, please contact us and we’ll set up a consultation.
If we missed any tips for a successful open enrollment, please let us know in the comments.