An excellent experience is essential for engaging employees in open enrollment.
Employees are more likely to enroll for benefits and to reap their rewards if they understand their options, choose wisely, and sign up easily. And the more your employees participate in their benefits, the more productive and loyal they will become for your organization.
Improve the employee experience in open enrollment at your organization with an effective benefits-education plan and efficient benefits technology.
“A better-educated workforce will choose and use their benefits more appropriately,” Flimp Communications CEO Wayne Wall wrote in a BenefitsPro article about preparing for open enrollment. Include the following in your benefits-education plan, he suggests.
- Timeline. Share key dates with employees early.
- Compelling content. Create FAQs, explainer videos, or digital postcards, for example.
- Convenient distribution. Send texts or emails that employees can read on mobile devices.
- Engagement tracking. Compile or calculate metrics like open rates for messages or percentage of enrollments done before deadline.
Communicate benefit options and enrollment procedures to employees early and often. Answer questions quickly and resolve issues promptly.
Connect with employees personally through means like remote office hours, Nua Group partner Chris Renz suggests in a Forbes column on ways to increase engagement in remote open enrollment. “Finding time for human connection is critical to engaging employees in the open enrollment process and ensuring they understand the full program of benefits available to them,” he wrote.
Consider hosting webinars or online meetings in which employees can ask real-time questions. Such events can be effective in emphasizing the importance of benefits selection and educating employees on offerings, Nua explained.
“To empower your employees to make informed decisions, strive to offer information about benefits and plan changes in different formats and through multiple channels,” suggests Paychex in a blog post about open enrollment strategies to make your benefits process easier. “The better the open enrollment communication, the smoother the enrollment experience can be.”
Paychex recommends making benefits information available to employers through:
- An employee benefits website
- Enrollment emails
- Enrollment newsletters
- Home mailings
- Webinar presentations
“Sharing information in different formats also helps explain key details to employees who learn in different ways,” Paychex noted.
Like with any modern consumer experience, open enrollment should be convenient. Employees want to enroll when they want and how they want.
Two-thirds of employers have offered self-service online enrollment to improve the process, ValuePenguin reported in an article on the health benefits enrollment season. Eighty-four percent of those employers have called self-service online enrollment “extremely” or “very” effective.
“Online platforms provide optimum efficiency, accuracy and convenience for your workforce, offering employee self-service options that encourage employees to take initiative in selecting the best plan for their situation,” wrote Michelle Lanter Smith, chief marketing officer for EPAY Systems, in an Employee Benefit News article about improving your employee experience during open enrollment.
Track enrollment progress through your benefits administration system and tell employees who have not finished enrolling what they need to do next. Sending multiple reminders will improve participation and the completion of on-time enrollments, Lanter Smith wrote.
Digital decision-support tools are also becoming popular because they show employees potential costs before they choose their benefits. Artificial intelligence can predict future costs based on previous healthcare, for example. Such tools can be embedded into payroll or existing HR portals and enhanced with national or regional healthcare cost data, Flimp Communications CEO Wayne Wall noted in his BenefitsPro article about preparing for open enrollment.
“By leveraging these easy-to-use tools, employers can help employees enroll in the optimal medical and voluntary plans such as LTD, pet insurance, 401k, dental, FSA, vision, life insurance, etc., for their specific needs,” Wall wrote.
Lower costs. Better outcomes. Two signs that you have improved the employee experience in open enrollment at your organization.
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