Why Your Company Needs an Open Enrollment Checklist

As a company, it’s important to take a close look at your employee benefits package and how well it is meeting the needs of your team. That’s why open enrollment is such a crucial time of year. 

HR handles a wide range of important tasks for businesses daily, weekly, and monthly. This includes implementing new benefits strategies and helping employees navigate the open enrollment process.

Maximize Your Resources

The fall is a great time to dot your i’s and cross your t’s. This includes ensuring you have all of your compliance documentation for 2020. Auditing your FTEs (full-time employees) is also a good idea. This will help you determine whether or not you need to comply with ACA reporting requirements for your business in 2021. 

One of the biggest challenges with open enrollment is getting employees to understand their benefits. It can be helpful to have educational materials available that address frequently asked questions (FAQs) so you can minimize the number of calls and emails your team receives. 

You can use online tools to deliver helpful content throughout the year. This helps employees feel confident in their benefit selections. Partnering with a PEO gives your business access to the building blocks of a competitive employee benefits package, including health care, retirement plans, and voluntary benefits. 

Leveraging their group’s buying power, they negotiate competitive rates with trusted providers, ensuring affordability. Plus, they offer support from local experts passionate about helping businesses succeed. 

Boost Employee Engagement

Keeping employees engaged throughout the open enrollment checklist is challenging. Employees juggle busy schedules, family responsibilities, and health and wellness goals. The first step in building engagement is to provide clear communications about the upcoming process and any nuances employees should know, such as varying deadlines or more in-depth information on healthcare options. 

Consider sending a short video message from HR leadership or an on-staff benefit coach. You can also host virtual benefits fairs, allowing one-on-one sessions with your vendors or an on-staff benefits advisor to answer questions. 

Once you’ve set a clear plan for how to reach your employees, test out different channels to understand which ones are most effective. Employees may prefer to receive information through a company mobile app, email, virtual meetings or their manager’s office. 

Engagement software can help you tailor your communication strategy and make it more engaging. Providing employees with physical resources like guides, checklists, technology how-to instruction lists, and flyers can also foster a deeper sense of ownership in their chosen benefits. 

Moreover, these materials can be easily shared on a company website or social media. You can also use the tools built into your well-being platform to poll employees on their open enrollment experience and gather feedback to improve next year’s process.

Create a Personalized Enrollment Experience

Employees may be overwhelmed by the amount of information presented during open enrollment. This is why it’s crucial to provide multiple personalized touchpoints that allow them to complete their elections on their schedule and at their own pace. 

These touch points should be in emails, web portals, interactive media, and mobile apps. Physical resources such as guides, checklists, technology how-to instruction lists, and flyers can also be helpful. 

Schools can use data and analytics to tailor their communications to each family’s needs. For example, if an employee is a parent with school-age children, the digital experience might surface targeted communications or nudges encouraging them to save in dependent care flexible spending accounts (FSAs) or 529 college savings plans. Or, if an employee commutes to work by public transit, the system could prompt them to explore options to reduce their monthly transportation costs.

Incorporating language around benefits assistance during new hire onboarding and throughout the year can also help employees feel confident and prepared to make informed decisions about their healthcare coverage. 

This can ultimately boost employee engagement, particularly among those navigating the process for the first time. It’s also important to recognize the hard work of those completing their open enrollment early or all in one day. Whether by giving them extra time off or providing a gift card, you can show appreciation for their dedication to your company.

Increase Employee Satisfaction

For most employees, open enrollment is a busy time. As a result, employees may only sometimes take the time to review their options and make the best decisions for themselves and their families. This can lead to confusion and frustration.

However, you can do a few things to ensure your employees have a positive experience during open enrollment this year. First, take the time to set goals and devise a strategy for reaching these goals. Then, create and implement a plan for communicating your objectives to your staff members. 

Second, communicate with your benefits providers and insurers to get updates on their programs. This includes new telemedicine services, flexible spending accounts, and wellness programs. 

Final Words

Finally, keep records of employee questions and comments and their preferred communication methods. You can use this information to improve your communication strategy and increase the efficiency of your open enrollment process. HR handles many important business tasks daily, weekly, monthly and annually. 

It’s no wonder many small business owners feel overwhelmed by the work they must do to keep their companies running smoothly. To help reduce the stress and workload, HR teams should consider partnering with a local Hawaii professional employer organization to assist with their benefits and payroll needs. 

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