Six Ways to Improve Open Enrollment

Employee Benefits

Six Ways to Improve Open Enrollment

Improving your open enrollment process should strengthen your organization’s talent retention. By implementing the following strategies for open enrollment, you can increase engagement with your employees and humanize your process.

1. Highlight Mental, Behavioral and Physical Health Resources  

As mental health continues to be a rising concern for both employees and employers, consider the following to help your employees navigate mental, behavioral and physical health resources: 

  • Promote online health resources, including telehealth and virtual access to clinicians  
  • Share if and how employees can access mental health services through a telemedicine provider 
  • Create an incentive, like a raffle, to encourage employees to download the telemedicine app during open enrollment  
  • Downloading the app and inputting health care information removes barriers to care 
  • Explain coverage of mental health services under medical plan(s) 
  • Highlight all Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) available and explain what they cover, how employees can access them and if the EAP is available to employee family members 
  • Promote programs that support mental health in tertiary ways, such as caregiving benefits like daycare in the workplace or tutoring sessions for dependents
  • Offer information about COVID-19, including any new guidelines, information on variants and vaccine access

2. Use Technology to Reduce Strain on Your HR Team

Many resources can assist you with open enrollment, such as mobile apps, virtual enrollment fairs and chatbots. Your communication can go beyond standardized emails, from targeted email alerts to push notifications during key open enrollment dates. If you want to reduce the burden on your HR team, embrace technology and find engaging solutions to drive utilization and benefits awareness. 

3. Increase Financial Wellness Education

Nearly three-fourths of employees are stressed about their finances as we contend with high inflation rates and market volatility. Many are concerned about planning and saving for retirement, having enough emergency savings and paying off their debt. The stress this brings can hinder their mental and physical health, as well as workplace productivity. Employers can emphasize all financial benefits available during open enrollment, including additional life insurance, disability insurance, long-term savings plans and 401(k) retirement plans. 

 4. Distribute Information Through Multiple Channels

  • Utilize mobile apps, explainer videos or gamification to convey open enrollment information 
  • Divide open enrollment meetings into smaller sessions to individually address medical, dental and supplemental insurance options 
  • This is a more digestible format for online meetings, empowering employees to explore their desired benefits 
  • Incorporate a quiz or trivia game after a session to engage employees and help increase information retention 
  • Prizes or a department leaderboard may incentivize employees to engage further 
  • Create short, concise guidebooks that focus on key points 
  • Digitize the guidebooks into brief, interactive chapters to make them easier to digest and share with spouses 
  • Create short, targeted communications that convey key details about open enrollment 

 5. Add in the Human Element

  • Work with your broker or consultant to provide a dedicated enrollment and communication team to help enroll employees one-on-one with a benefits counselor 
  • Give employees access to a call center enrollment with multilingual capabilities where licensed benefits professionals can educate employees about their specific benefits 
  • Provide employees with videos and materials on open enrollment and then schedule small group sessions to answer questions 
  • Compile these answers into a resource to share with all employees 
  • Set up an online scheduler to give employees the option to meet virtually with the HR team 
  • Use virtual breakout rooms to discuss topics in smaller groups 

 6. Share Company Messages and Build Culture 

Use open enrollment to share company-wide messages that convey primary objectives, future plans, address employee concerns and reinforce key messages for your organization. If your policies around PTO, sick time, remote work or work flexibility have changed, highlight those changes and how they benefit your employees. 

Open enrollment is a unique time when all employees hear the same message from your CEO, leadership team or HR director. No matter how you approach culture in open enrollment, you should maximize the potential to connect with your workforce and build trust in your organization. If you have offices throughout the country, consider having a local leader kick off in-person open enrollment meetings or add a custom video greeting for virtual meetings. Use this time to demonstrate your commitment to their health, family needs and safety.

Use Your Resources

As you continue to demonstrate your commitment to your employees, your Brown & Brown service team is here to help strategize and execute a successful open enrollment communication plan for you.

Employee Benefits Team