A seamless Open Enrollment experience is one of the most pressing organizational priorities this time of year. And as different as 2020 is, providing that seamless experience is even more important. In fact, with a drastically altered outlook for most employers, it is even more essential to keep things running smoothly as we head into 2021.
Along with the standard Open Enrollment speed bumps and frenzied push for employees to make key benefits decisions, this season brings the added nuances of workers who are sidelined at home – uncertain about their future and concerned about their health and well-being.
To help you roll out a successful Open Enrollment period despite all the newfound challenges and changes, we put together a list of tips, tricks and data you can use to ensure it’s one of the most seamless seasons yet.
Eradicate Employee Inertia
Your employees are tired. That’s right. Employee inertia is a real and unfortunate thing. In some cases, the line between remote work and at-home responsibilities (i.e. homeschooling) is blurring just a little bit too much. Some employees are so distracted, 1 in 5 don’t even pay attention to their benefit plan information.
Ways to Get Employees Engaged in the Enrollment Process
- Punch up your communications with subject lines that scream “don’t delay!” Something as simple as “if you don’t decide, you could lose out on key benefits” can be quite effective.
- Incentivize employees who enroll in or confirm their benefit elections within the first week.
- Send weekly reminders that plug important deadlines with links to easy, convenient tools to compare plans.
- Reach out to employees individually to confirm their participation.
- Request manager intervention for employees who simply won’t “wake up.”
- Prioritize one-on-one communications and support throughout the Open Enrollment process.
- Host a virtual Open Enrollment to liven up the experience.
- Use your data to assess and track each employee, ensuring everyone has a chance to make meaningful changes.
- Launch a strategically effective Open Enrollment Communications Campaign.
Take an Active Approach
More than half of employees dislike or are indifferent to the Open Enrollment process. Yikes! Having them take an active approach (asking them to review their plans and make changes if needed) versus a passive approach (letting them continue with their previous plans) can shake up that indifference and encourage them to make important benefits decisions. With the amount of unforeseen fluctuations in the average employee’s life this enrollment season, it’s more important than ever to lend them a helping hand in the decision-making process.
Benefits of Taking an Active Enrollment Approach
- The 50% or more employees who are indifferent to the Open Enrollment process become engaged in their elections.
- The employer has the most up-to-date information available for all employees.
- Employee retention is improved thanks to the reinforced value of the benefits package.
- In a time when health and wellness are paramount, employees can take a deep dive into their healthcare coverage and learn how best to safeguard themselves and their families.
- With the new data that’s derived from an active enrollment approach, benefits needs can be reassessed for the organization at large.
By actively engaging employees in the Open Enrollment experience, it’s easier to overcome employee inertia, increase employee retention and discover which benefits are the biggest assets to the entire organization. Once you’ve successfully grabbed their attention, a targeted communication approach comes next.
Stay tuned for Tips for a Successful Open Enrollment: Part 2 to learn more about how to roll out employee communications that target every member of the organization across multiple channels and in meaningful ways.