It’s that time of year again when employees at companies across the country need to start considering their insurance choices for the coming year. That can mean a lot of extra work, but it doesn’t have to. You can get better employee engagement with a few tweaks to your process for rolling out your open enrollment period, making it easier for employees to make sound decisions while streamlining your outreach efforts for better efficiency.
The first three tips all have to do with how you plan your communications and outreach before the open period. First, remember that your employees need time to make decisions, so making the information about their benefits choices available well in advance of the actual enrollment period helps to meet the needs of the people who have complex decisions or simply need time to make them. That brings us to the second point, which is that you need to keep the entire process people-oriented throughout the communication, open enrollment, and post-enrollment phases of the process. Their needs have to be centered, and they have to understand how to use their benefits. That’s the third point, do the research to identify the needs of your employees. You can use surveys, casually poll socially connected employees, or employ other methods, but you need the info if you’re going to reach them effectively.
The last three tips are things you can start before or during the actual enrollment period, and they’re designed to bolster your planning with extra steps to make sure the information spreads. First, make sure you’re communicating to spouses and partners about the availability of the benefits options, because it helps families start the conversation when all the adults have the information they need about healthcare and other benefits. It’s also important to keep communications personal and to include an element of surprise, so your employees feel like their colleagues are delivering a message, not a big insurer. Last but not least? Leverage all your resources. Use company newsletters, email, billposting, outreach ambassadors, and any other infrastructure available to spread the word that open enrollment is here. And remember, you don’t have to go it alone. By partnering with a benefits enrollment company, a lot of the communications and even the enrollment itself can be automated with a benefits administration system. And the best part is that you won’t lose the human touch, because they can partner all that technology with onsite benefit specialists…making your annual enrollment a huge success.