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6 Open Enrollment Strategies That Will Save Time and Boost Engagement

October 28, 2019 / Corporate Wellness

Written By: Gabrielle Purchon

Your open enrollment strategy can do more than get employees to opt into their health benefits.

It’s an opportunity to boost engagement in your employee wellness program, spread the word about lesser-known benefits and help employees make the most of everything you offer. It’s also the perfect time of year to open the door to an ongoing conversation about the ways your organization supports its employees’ health and wellbeing. If you incorporate the following action items into your open enrollment strategy, you’ll have more time to dedicate to engaging your employees and boosting participation in all the fantastic benefits you offer.

3 Things to Do Now

Don’t Wait Until Open Enrollment to Talk About Your Benefits

When it comes to employee benefits, it’s best to assume that people won’t do their homework.  Start communicating early, and often. Multi-channel communications are the most effective because no two employees are alike, and each will have their own preferences. Open enrollment notifications should go out over email, company chat, be posted to your intranet and to your wellbeing platform’s communication hub. Don’t overlook physical reminders like posters in the hallway or the break room. Be sure to include information about all the employee benefits you offer not just the benefits employees need to enroll in.

Download our free guide to writing an eye-catching and impactful employee benefits newsletter.

Compile the Most Frequently Asked Questions

Generally, employees have the same questions time and again when it comes to benefits. What’s the difference between an HSA and an FSA? When is the enrollment deadline? How do I make selections? Can I add a spouse to my plan? Answering these over email or on a one-off basis is not sustainable even for small organizations.

Note the common questions you receive and create an FAQ that’s hosted on your intranet or centralized communication platform, then distribute it at the beginning of next year’s open enrollment process. You can post it in the hallways, mail it to employee’s homes, or attach it to all your open enrollment communications.

Create Time for One-On-One Informational Sessions

Group presentations or Q&A sessions might sound like the easiest way to provide people access to their HR team, but employees may shy away from asking personal questions, especially if they pertain to health or finances. They may also skip the meeting if it doesn’t fit with their schedule or if something else important comes up.

One-on-one sessions allow employees to find a time that works for them and ask questions pertinent to their personal situations. It also gives visibility to your amazing HR team and establishes a personal connection. To keep things manageable, start with 15-minute time slots and invite employees to sign up. Extend it to remote employees either via phone or video chat so they don’t miss out on this great opportunity.

3 Things to Do After Open Enrollment Ends

Start Prepping for Next Year — Today

After this year’s open enrollment ends, first, pat yourself on the back! Then, after a well-deserved break, dedicate some time to reflect on your process and start strategizing and working on your open enrollment strategy for next year. Make next year a success by developing your communication plan and plotting out next steps.

If your goals include building a great company culture and expanding your employee health and wellness offerings, start strong on your 2020 HR initiatives with our free planning tools.

Debrief With Your Team

Since open enrollment is fresh in your minds, it’s easier to remember what worked well, and where the pain points are. Were open office hours utilized? Did a large number of your employee population attend your benefits presentation? Were your benefits communications effective? Celebrate your successes and make a list of the opportunities to improve your open enrollment strategy.

Poll Your Employees

Get feedback from your employees on their open enrollment experience — the good and the bad. Anonymous surveys encourage honesty and can protect the privacy of your employees. Use your wellbeing platform’s survey capabilities to reach employees where they already engage every day. Your survey should give you insight into what your employees need to understand their benefits better and make the process smoother for the future.

Looking for more ways to improve your open enrollment strategy? Our eBook has got you covered. Check it out here!

About The Author

Gabrielle is the content marketing manager and strategist at Virgin Pulse. Her adventurous and food-seeking attitude has led her to jump out of planes and dine at one of the best restaurants in the world. But as someone who strives for balance, you can also find her enjoying quiet moments with a book or face planting in the sand come summer.

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