Employee Benefits

How to Make Sure Open Enrollment is Valuable for Employees

Open Enrollment can be overwhelming for employees and HR alike. Employees need to re-evaluate their benefits selections and make changes, and employers need to choose benefits that balance value and cost.

Benefit changes and trends are placing new demands on employers to remain competitive and challenge employees to take a more active role in getting the most from their coverage.

To make the enrollment process run smoothly for your entire company, it’s important to strategize, educate, and communicate effectively.

Open Enrollment Process Tips

It is important to evaluate your open enrollment process (not just your benefit offerings) to be sure both your HR and employees can understand their benefits, make their choices easily, and process enrollment quickly.

For many businesses, now is the time to take your benefits enrollment online. Not only does this make accessing benefits easy all year – HR can manage data in a matter of clicks – not by sorting through a stack of paper.

Read More: Pros, Cons, and Recommendations for Online Enrollment | The Multi-Generational Workforce, Benefits, and Technology

Not ready to give up hard copy enrollment forms? Make sure your forms and benefit documentation is helpful and easy to understand for employees. Austin Benefits Group provides completely custom enrollment forms, creative and educational benefit guides, and at-a-glance highlight sheets. These all-in-one benefit documents provide the most helpful information for your employees to make better-informed decisions, learn about benefit types, and relieves the benefits burden from your HR team.

Read More: About Austin Benefits Custom Employee Communications

Do you have a small team? Consider implementing passive enrollment – employees are automatically enrolled in previous elections if they do not make changes. This can narrow down your paperwork as only employees who need to make a change submit an enrollment form (or online submission). Get a demo of our SMARTBENEFITS platforms to see our all-in-one Benefits & HR solution.

Open Enrollment Strategy Tips

Survey Employees

Not sure what your employees are looking for or experiencing at Open Enrollment? Just ask! Set up a short survey about your benefits and/or your enrollment process. Just remember – if you ask for feedback, make sure you follow up with employees about the company response. Employees want to know their feedback matters.

Consider New & Non-Traditional Benefits

Employees tend to make more changes when they receive new options. Look into new voluntary options, such as dental insurance, vision insurance, long-term care insurance, and critical illness. Outside of high-value traditional benefits, look into trending benefits your employees may need such as: pet insurance, travel insurance, identity theft protection, adoption assistance, etc.

Read More: Benefits Boutique – Voluntary Benefits Guidebook

Partner Up

Don’t overlook making Open Enrollment easier on your HR team – help them spend more time on what really matters to your company. Partnering with a benefits broker offers expertise, new ideas, technology solutions, strategic planning, negotiating power, and more.

Request a No-hassle Consultation

Open Enrollment Marketing Tips

Maintain Good Communication

Establish solid communication habits (during and outside of Open Enrollment) between your HR department and employees. Conduct meetings and seminars and offer calculators, intranet education information, online enrollment and benefit fairs. When you can (or with the help of a broker), offer one-on-one meetings with employees to determine exactly the type of assistance and resources they need.

Easy-to-Understand Tools

Making benefits decisions is already stressful – make it less difficult by implementing helpful tools. Online Enrollment or all-in-one enrollment forms are a top priority. Create a benefits hub where all documentation, helpful links, and more can be accessed at any time.

Showcase tools offered by your benefit carriers to illustrate value – think telemedicine (virtual visits), mail-order prescriptions, employee assistance programs (EAPs), discount programs, etc.

Read More: About SMARTBENEFITS Online Enrollment + HR platform

Simplify Plan Information

Seeing a fat stack of black and white benefit plan documents lumped together makes us pull our hair out! Utilize simplified benefit highlights, presentations, and keep plan information clearly identified to make it easier for employees to get to know their benefits.

Make sure to provide federally-mandated documents, and show employees how to decipher these documents to empower them with benefits confidence.

Customize Benefits Resources by Population

For example, if you have older employees make sure you focus on retirement benefits and long-term care. For employees with families, illustrate how they can save on healthcare expenses, utilize Dependent Care accounts, and the importance of protecting their income with disability insurance.

Be sure your communication methods offer variety but are expected by your employees. If you don’t have common areas in your office benefits posters wouldn’t help your team. Ask us about our customized Open Enrollment Experience communication materials.

Host Benefit Information Online for Easy, Year-Round Access

It’s easy to focus on making Open Enrollment successful, but if employees have a hard time with their benefits the rest of the year – the value isn’t there. Make sure employees can access benefit documentation, provider information, and ask questions all year – using an online platform is an easy solution.

Make this your best (and easiest!) Open Enrollment yet. Contact the experts at Austin Benefits Group for guidance on making the most of open enrollment and smarter benefits year-round.

Cathy Siska COO

Cathy Siska
Chief Operating Officer