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Aug 1, 2016

After months of planning and building your benefits package, open enrollment is finally right around the corner. Now, how do you ensure your employees are paying attention and participating?

One of the most effective ways to maximize engagement is to limit the confusion and hesitation employees feel around open enrollment. Start by arming them with the proper education and resources so they can make an informed decision and choose the benefits that best fits their individual needs. Try the following engagement-boosting tactics in this year’s open enrollment.

Inform employees

Employees don’t often understand how benefits work together. Utilizing data is especially powerful when it comes to helping employees choose the right mix of health and voluntary benefits. Showing employees how they used their benefits the previous year within the enrollment process makes it easy for them to tell if they are over or under-insured. Predictive data that estimates out-of-pocket costs also helps highlight financial risk exposure and promotes the value of supplemental gap benefits like, critical illness, accident or voluntary life plans.

Target communications

You know what you want to say, but it’s equally as important that you say it at the right time with the most effective medium. New communication tools let you communicate timely, relevant information to the appropriate employees and eliminate one-size-fits-all information overload. These tools also reduce administrative time and capacity by establishing event triggers, such as open enrollment start and end dates that automatically send your message only to employees that need to take action. But effective and interesting communication is more than what you say, it’s how you say it. Consider an integrated multi-media approach that uses a variety of targeted communications including video, text, virtual assistants and email. More importantly, base your delivery method on employee preference, and you’ll go a long way toward ensuring employees read your messages – and even better, take action.

Create a positive experience

Choose a benefits management platform designed to make the enrollment process seem less daunting. Encourage progress and detail exactly what needs to be completed to finish enrollment by the deadline so employees feel confident as they make their choices. Benefits administrators deserve an excellent user experience too. Visibility into who has completed their benefit elections and who hasn’t even logged in gives you an opportunity to schedule dynamic reminder messages and keep your enrollment timeline on track.

Encourage participation  

Reward employees that participate during open enrollment. One way to maximize engagement is to make open enrollment more fun. Many benefits administrators offer drawings for prizes and gifts to employees who complete their enrollment within a specific timeframe. And be strategic about the timeframe you select for the incentive so it keeps employees engaged over the entire enrollment period. For instance, hold a daily drawing for a free lunch or restaurant gift card for a group of associates that complete their open enrollment that day or week. Then, enter those winners into a drawing for a grand prize.

With more plan options than ever before, it’s critical to involve your workforce in the benefits enrollment process to ensure they feel confident in their benefit choices and have the coverage that fits their individual needs. Not only does this increase employee satisfaction, it also promotes the value of your benefits package and can result in financial and time savings for employers and employees alike.

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