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Managing Employee Benefits Enrollment: 10 Tips for a Smooth, Efficient Process

17 Aug

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Chances are, your employee benefits enrollment will be here before you know it. For most employers, open enrollment takes place in October-November. These days, it’s more important than ever to get it right, because a competitive employee benefits package is one of the most compelling retention tools that employers have.

That means now is the time to plan for open enrollment 2024—and these 10 tips can help you have your smoothest, most successful employee benefits enrollment yet.  

1. Start Early—and Get Everyone’s Attention

While veteran employees will know it’s open enrollment season, it’s still beneficial to announce it—and with a bit of fanfare. Let your employees know what to expect, how they will receive their materials, and what the timeline will be.

If you’re changing your enrollment process—even just a little bit—give them a heads up. The more prepared they are, the better.       

2, Communicate Benefits via Multiple Channels

Keep in mind: you may be communicating with up to four generations of workers, each with their own media preferences. An effective employee benefits enrollment strategy includes many forms of communication: email, intranet, print materials, group meetings, one-on-ones, texts, etc.  

You may also want to mail at least one announcement letter or postcard to your employees’ homes. This will get their attention, while bringing spouses and partners into the fold. 

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3. Highlight What’s New

Adding new voluntary benefits? Tweaking your health plan? It’s important to call attention to changes upfront, especially those involving premiums and plan design. For most employees, open enrollment can be somewhat overwhelming, so simplifying the information is very helpful.

4. Provide an Enrollment Checklist with Due Dates

On that note, arming employees with a step-by-step checklist, complete with due dates, makes it easier for them to do their part. You may also wish to broadcast a daily countdown—perhaps in an entertaining way—as the final deadline approaches.

5. Hold Enrollment 2024 Meetings

Hosting both in-person and virtual meetings is a great way to kick off your employee benefits enrollment campaign. Use these sessions to explain the more complex aspects of your benefits, answer employees’ questions and underscore that this is all for and about your workforce.

If your employees work onsite, consider hosting a lunch-and-learn or two—the promise of pizza is bound to boost attendance. Or, if your providers can swing it, hold a benefit fair, where employees can engage with them directly to learn more about their products. If you’re offering voluntary benefits, this is a great way to improve participation.

6. Make It Visual

Let’s face it: few people enjoy reading extensively about insurance, even when it’s their own coverage. The more  visual and interactive you make your communications, the better your message will come across. Try mixing in short videos, memes, infographics, and charts to convey your benefit offerings.       

7. Offer Incentives for Early Birds

If you really want to emphasize early enrollment, consider offering rewards to the first wave of employees who submit their enrollment forms. Something as simple as gift cards—say for the first 10 or 20 employees—will generate worksite buzz and create some positive competition. 

8. Provide One-on-One Consults

Holding group meetings is very effective, but enhancing them by offering optional one-on-ones ensures that every employee gets the support they need. It helps employees choose the right benefits for their particular situation, while demonstrating that you value your people and are willing to go the extra mile on their behalf.

9. Get Ahead of Common Questions    

What is open enrollment for benefits? Can you change benefits after open enrollment? When do benefits start after open enrollment? These are very common questions—and your company may hear others specific to your plan. Instead of asking HR to field them again and again, why not create a Q&A that employees can refer to proactively?     

10. Request Employee Feedback

After it’s in the books, ask your employees to share their feedback concerning the enrollment process. It shows employees that you care—and you can use that valuable input to improve next year’s experience, so your open enrollment process will just keep getting better! 

It also pays to create an employee benefits survey so you can find out what benefits your employees are loving or lacking.

Planning a smooth, efficient employee benefits enrollment takes a bit of time and effort, but it’s worth it—and your employees will appreciate it. If you could use some help, at VensureHR, we not only offer businesses access to cutting-edge employee benefits, but help them hold stellar open enrollments, too. Learn more

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