Game on: How to win this open enrollment season

3 min read

Game on: How to win this open enrollment season

What is open enrollment season?

For the generalists among us, the benefit open enrollment season is a period when employees can enroll in, or make changes to, their workplace benefit programs. These benefits could be anything from health insurance, health savings accounts, pre-paid legal plans, optional life insurance, or 401k/retirement plans.

The problem is open enrollment can be incredibly noisy, busy, and communications can be complex. When coupled with a limited understanding of benefits, it can be overwhelming for employees to make the right decisions for their needs.

In fact, a recent report from MetLife found that 31% of the workforce stalled when selecting their benefits and 37% wish they’d had more time to make the right choices. One in six employees regret their benefits choices. Let’s face it, open enrollment season is a limited amount of time to tell employees about how global benefits choices meet the financial health needs of your workforce. So employees suffer from procrastination and information overload.

Comms and education for the win

What’s needed is an effective communication and education strategy throughout the enrollment process, so you can guide your people, support employee wellbeing and promote overall job satisfaction. Because, 76% of workers who understand their benefits are happy, and 82% believe their benefits give them a greater sense of overall stability—versus only 47% and 52%, respectively, who don’t.

Here are our top tips to winning during open enrollment season, this year and next.

1. Start early: begin the open enrollment planning process well in advance. This allows time for thorough preparation, employee research, communication optimization, and mitigates risk. Reinforcing your benefit offerings throughout the year.

2. Clear and personalized communication: recognize the diversity of your workforce and personalize clear communication to different employee groups. Use multiple channels and Q&A sessions to ensure that employees receive and understand the information.

3. Technology and accessibility: the benefit tech you invest in should support and not hinder the enrollment process. Test the technology to ensure it is easy to navigate, and provide support for employees who may face challenges using it.

4. Educate employees: offer educational resources to help employees understand their benefits. Provide training on the basics of each benefit, how they work, and how they align with different goals. Provide tools that assist employees in making informed decisions about their benefits such as calculators, charts, or other decision support materials.

5. Early enrollment: promote early enrollment by communicating the pros of making decisions sooner rather than later. This avoids last-minute rash decisions and ensure that employees have adequate time to consider the best options for their circumstances.

6. Feedback: ask employees and HR teams for feedback on the open enrollment experience. This can help you identify areas for improvement and adjust for the following year.

Do you want to find out more about how to enhance the success of the open enrollment season and help employees make informed decisions about their benefits?

Then download our latest ebook below, ‘Global benefit edu-action and drive awareness, understanding and action on employee benefits, through education.’

Download the ebook

Find out how to educate and drive action on your benefits to improve your people's financial wellbeing today.