It’s a little-known fact that the details and complexities of open enrollment can be a challenge to communicate.
However, when looking over the campaigns I’ve had the chance to create, open enrollment is a favorite. This time of year is a great opportunity to engage your employees by sharing the ways you’re already investing in their total wellbeing.
Sure, the endless acronyms and definitions of those acronyms may not make the job easy, but putting a little extra effort into properly explaining your benefits can have a positive impact on your employee engagement ROI.
Here is a list of my top 5 must-haves when creating your open enrollment campaign.
Grab Attention With a Colorful Theme
Every year, we struggle to top the last year’s theme for open enrollment. We’ve used game boards, concerts, superheroes and now–trivia–as a portal to take benefits communications from drab to fab. A recent study by RingCentral gathered that 89% of employees said disjointed communication tanks employee morale, lowers productivity, impacts customer satisfaction and the company bottom line. This research shows the importance of thoughtful and creative communications that will engage employees.
Break Down the Language Barrier
Every industry has their own speak. Not everyone is well versed in the world of deductibles, co-insurance, 401(k) and, most importantly, picking the right healthcare plan. All the benefits jargon should either be explained or removed entirely to provide the best experience for employees. A great way to understand how your information will be received is to run it by a coworker outside the field. If they come back with questions or comments, make any necessary corrections so your message will be understood.
Communicate the Month Before Your Launch
Our team starts socializing open enrollment with our employees about a month before the actual start. While we’re still ironing out any plan details, we use the month ahead to give employees a heads up on what they can expect. It’s also a great time to explain the positive impacts of enrolling in certain plans–like cashback opportunities for getting an annual checkup!
Don’t Communicate in a Vacuum
Emails, webinars, the company intranet, print–each of these are essential platforms in any campaign. Everyone is unique, which means the preference among 1,700+ employees will depend upon the person. We make a serious effort in giving everyone the opportunity to understand our benefits through their preferred platform. Technological advances are only increasing the number of ways we can reach our audience, so don’t limit yourself to one–use them all!
Communicate Your Benefits Year-Round
Open enrollment happens once a year. Make an effort to keep the conversation going as you highlight the features and possibilities within your benefits plan throughout the remaining 11 months. This will provide an easier campaign for you and an easier enrollment process for your employees in the future.
There are endless opportunities to create a positive experience for your employees during open enrollment season, regardless of your budget. The best you can do is make an effort to break down barriers, think outside the benefits guide box, and continue the conversation.