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on October 12, 2021 Human Resources Employee Benefits

Learn from Last Year's Open Enrollment

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Last Year's Open Enrollment Was a Challenge. Here's How to Make This Year's a Success

Open enrollment is testing enough in regular circumstances. In the pandemic era, it’s even more of a challenge as enrollment has gone virtual, meaning HR departments are having to find more creative ways to communicate benefits and offer employees maximum support in a challenging time. 

Human resources have been forced to embrace the usage of various technological means to try and bridge the gap. More HR teams are using SMS messages and apps to get the word out about employee benefits enrollment. Unfortunately, several frontline employees had to settle for shop floor benefits review sessions, with many receiving brochures at the office or in the mail. 

A good chunk of today’s workforce remains far from tech-savvy, preferring one on one in person reviews rather than going virtual. With time having passed and working from home becoming an accepted norm, there are ways to make open enrollment easier within your organization in 2021. 

How Can You Make Enrollment Easier This Year? 

With open enrollment typically running from November 1 to December 15, it’s important to get the logistics right during what can be a stressful period for your HR department. 

If you haven’t already, make sure you evaluate how benefits have been understood by your employees and see how you can optimize your communication ahead of the next open enrollment period. Send your employees updates well ahead of time, with consistent reminders as the days count down. You should make your communications monthly to highlight the best elements of your benefits package ranging from financial wellness to health benefits. 

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With better communication, employees can make better choices with their benefits plans, putting you and your workforce in advantageous positions. Better usage rates will also drastically improve your ROI. 

What Technology Can Help You Ease the Enrollment Process?  

There are a few simple and effective tools you can use to make the enrollment process more seamless for you and your employees. To evaluate how receptive your employees have been to your benefits, you can draft surveys and distribute them to employees so they can relay their feelings about the benefits. 

By embedding micropolls into your monthly messages, you can ask questions about the benefits, what more you can offer and what parts of the benefits package are unsatisfactory to employees. Then use this to make continuous improvements year after year. 

Showing this type of investment into your employees can improve employee retention for your organization as they become more motivated to perform daily tasks and feel more comfortable with their financial wellness.

Active Enrollment Can Help

Another way to make open enrollment less stressful is to offer active enrollment. You can provide employees with decision support tools and guide them as they make their benefit choices. These tools can help them make the right decision based on family, income and health factors. 

You can also do one on one enrollment on videos, a potentially better and more useful route than self service enrollment. This adds a personal touch to assure employees that you’re invested in their best interests regarding their benefits.

The previous year was certainly a challenge for HR. However, many have come out of it with a modern, flexible approach to open enrollment. Take these lessons, and make your open enrollment for 2022 a success. 

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Sydnie Kerr

Customer Content Manager

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