The 2019 Open Enrollment period is slated to run from November 1st, 2018 – December 15, 2018. This is the time of the year where companies of all sizes struggle to get quality employee engagement during open enrollment due to a myriad of reasons such as:
- An overflow of too much benefits information
- Not understanding the differences between the various offerings
- A lack of communication from the organization to its employees on what’s expected for enrollment
Even with technology offering automated benefits management tools, the challenges still persist when it comes to making it easier for employees to sign up for the benefits that are best for them and/or their families. To challenge this disconnect, employers and their Human Resources administrators can follow these tips in creating more employee engagement for Open Enrollment season.
Communication tips for employee engagement during Open Enrollment
1. Keep the initial communications on Open Enrollment simple
The very first message regarding Open Enrollment should be short and simple. This is not the time to throw everything at them all at once with boatloads of information on the varying offerings.
Provide them with a clear message of the importance of the upcoming Open Enrollment process, varying deadlines, contact information and any upcoming meetings you have planned.
2. Keep the language simple and clear on the documentation of your benefits packages
When describing what each plan is and what is covered by whom, make sure to use bullet points in highlighting key details and while comparing and contrasting the available offerings.
Confusing industry jargon can lead to disengaged employees.
3. Use your means of communication methods
Just like in real life, employees are people too. They all have different thoughts, feelings, problems and more. The point is, the same can be said in how they communicate too.
While some people prefer their communication method to be delivered via email, you may have others who need a hard copy brochure to get your message across. They might need something tangible they can hold in their hands like a poster or flier to bring home to their families to discuss.
Whichever way they prefer to receive their open enrollment information, the last tip is to make sure to change up the look-and-feel of each communication as well. Try to keep it fresh and engaging with design and layout changes, even as the information stays pretty much the same throughout.
4. Create engaging messaging around the individual and/or their families
Organizations who are successful with higher employee engagement rates during Open Enrollment do a great job of cutting out the noise by highlighting what’s the most important information for an individual and/or their families in the offerings they are choosing from.
For example, employers may choose to dive deep into what the actual costs are for employees on high deductible health plans (HDHPs), forecasting what potential payments would look like in varying healthcare scenarios. Or, they might highlight a new voluntary benefit—such as critical illness insurance—added to their offering package, addressing the key components that make the benefit so attractive to add with their traditional healthcare selections.
5. Follow up all Open Enrollment activities with tailored messaging based on enrollment status
Everyone begins the Open Enrollment process on their own time and at their own pace. Jerry from sales might just be starting his elections, while Laura from logistics just wrapped her’s up.
Would it make sense to send them both an email prompting them to get started on their Open Enrollment task list?
Organizations should be creating follow-up messaging based on which part of the process each employee lands on. Running this type of messaging, however, typically takes some sort of automated email software, or a really good manual process put in place to keep track of where everyone lands during the enrollment period.
Promoting voluntary benefits to create employee engagement
In 2016, the cost of care hit over $10,000 per person. With more-and-more employers turning to High-Deductible Healthcare plans (HDHP) to help offset the rising costs of healthcare and to keep premiums lower, we are seeing more people struggle to find the coverage they need as a result.
To add to the fire, according to Heathcare.gov, “The IRS defines a high-deductible health plan as any plan with a deductible of at least $1,350 for an individual or $2,700 for a family.”
Voluntary benefits are extremely important for employers to offer because it gives their employees the power to prepare for the worst when it comes to their healthcare. Today, a traditional healthcare plan might not be enough to support a person or their family financially in the event they get really sick.
Voluntary benefits such as critical illness insurance, accident, disability, hospital indemnity, long-term care, short-term care and more can be promoted to employees in a more engaging way. Something that points out the financial hurdles they would hypothetically have to leap in the event of poor health sneaking up unexpectedly.
Employers should be making voluntary benefits a main topic of discussion with their overall healthcare presentations. They can provide reporting that shows the effects had on people who don’t have the coverage in the event something unexpected happens to them medically that wouldn’t typically be covered with a traditional healthcare plan, creating simulations of both single and family-orientated employees with varying income levels.
Employers can retrieve engaging materials on these topics such as whitepapers, FAQ sheets, videos, webinars and more to help promote voluntary benefits to get more employee engagement during Open Enrollment.
Also check out:
Two Congressional Bills to Potentially Update HSA, HRA and FSA Plans
The InfinityHR platform offers benefits brokers, administrators and end users the scalable solutions they are looking for most. The HCM platform includes the following modules:
- Benefits Management
- Applicant Tracking
- Employee Self-Service
- Performance Management
- Time and Attendance
- Time-Off Tracking
- Workflow Management
- EZSign (electronic signature)