In Tips For a Successful Open Enrollment: Part 1, we broke down the numerous ways an active approach to Open Enrollment can help combat employee fatigue and ensure the 50% of employees who are indifferent to the process are excited (or at least compelled) to take action.
In Part 2, we’ll now take a look at the most effective ways to communicate with them once you’ve gotten their attention (and if you still haven’t).
Communicate Early, Often and in Bite-Sized Portions
Simple, small helpings of Open Enrollment information that happen early and continue to be fed through often are the best way to reach employees who have other things to prioritize. A few examples could include:
- Short, witty messages (think email campaign subject line) that get them clicking. Sometimes, too much information makes employees gloss over. With short, engaging messages, they’ll be more apt to reach out with questions or click for more information.
- Prompt them to think about changes in their life that could require updates to their elections.
- Stick to relevant information only. An overload might get deleted instead of digested.
Tailor Your Messages to Every Employee Audience
The modern workplace, especially in the current business climate, could include a wide variety of employee audiences. Target each one individually and offer them solutions that coincide directly with their unique work situation. Examples:
- Work from Home Employees or Remote Field Employees benefit from emails they can access from wherever they are. Complicated portals that require VPN or specialized login could be a roadblock to communication.
- Satellite Office Employees who are present in the workplace but far away from headquarters should feel included in the Open Enrollment process. Videoconference them in so they’re able to fully participate this year. Bonus: if you record your OE presentations, they’re available for those who need a refresh or may have missed out.
- Employees Who are Caregivers to family members or young children might need dedicated time or “office hours” when they can sit down to discuss complex benefits issues one-on-one.
- In-Office Employees are a great audience for rolling out technological tools like wikis and OE websites, since they’re close to IT staff and can more easily ask for help.
Above All Else: Address What’s In It for Them
What your employees really want to know: what’s in it for them? Each generation will have a vastly different answer to this question, so it’s important to think ahead about how to communicate based on what their unique priorities are:
- Employees Who are Approaching Retirement are likely concerned with post-retirement savings and healthcare considerations. They’re also more likely to prefer face-to-face communication, e-mail or even direct mail.
- Employees Who Have Dependents and Young Children are likely concerned with growing a healthy, happy family and childcare or dependent expenses. These employees are probably a bit younger and prefer e-mail, text, direct mail or even social media.
- Employees Who are Millennials are likely concerned with building a path to financial security through retirement savings and paying off student loan debt. This group is generally the most tech-savvy of the bunch, preferring text, social media, employer intranet and even short videos to communicate their “WIIFM” benefits.
While it’s not the most conventional year for Open Enrollment, you can still use it to your advantage. The workplace may be scattered about or rightfully preoccupied, but this year is a chance to create a cohesive Open Enrollment communications plan that engages them and lets them feel seen, heard and helped during these unprecedented times.