It’s that time of year again – Open Enrollment Season! This is an exciting yet daunting time of year for HR executives, business owners, and employees. Unfortunately, and ironically, open enrollment for benefits often equates to stress for business owners as they face tough decisions surrounding coverage options and endless questions from employees. But with proper planning, you can skip the stress this year. Take a look at our three tips for a successful open enrollment season (and learn why it’s such an important time of year for your company).
Why is a Successful Open Enrollment Season Important?
Open enrollment is the only time of the year that employees can make changes to their employer-provided benefits (without a qualifying life event). Most companies are so focused on the employee-related tasks of the season that they don’t realize they’re benefiting from open enrollment as well.
If your business meets the requirements, you’re obligated to provide elective insurance options for your fulltime employees. Open enrollment season allows you to browse the market and see if there’s a provider that can save you and your employees on premium costs without compromising coverage. Keep in mind that switching providers means employees may have to seek out new in-network doctors and specialists. Make sure any potential savings are worth the stress and frustration switching could cause.
If saving money isn’t enough to spark enthusiasm about open enrollment, maybe the ripple effect of benefits will. A Glassdoor survey found that health insurance is the most important benefit employees look for. Satisfied employees tend to be happy employees, and happy employees are linked to a 12% increase in productivity. Put simply, a great benefits package during open enrollment can lead to increased employee engagement and impressive growth to your bottom line.
As an employer, making sure you’re offering great benefits during open enrollment helps you save money, attract and retain top talent, and increase revenue. Are you ready to plan for a successful open enrollment season?
Successful Open Enrollment Tips
1. Set appropriate goals
The best way to measure the success of your open enrollment period is to track its progress towards a goal. Maybe you want a higher percentage of your team to enroll in coverage or perhaps you want to add new types of benefits that create a more competitive package.
If you’re struggling to come up with an achievable yet challenging and beneficial goal, think about your company’s benefits philosophy. Match your benefits accordingly. For example, if you’re committed to being a safe space to discuss mental health concerns, offering benefits that cater specifically to mental health is a great goal to set.
2. Maximize communication channels
A successful open enrollment season requires tons of communication. Conversations during this time are happening simultaneously on multiple levels. Employees are talking to their spouses about their coverage options. Those same employees need a place to turn when they have questions. An HR department needs resources to provide answers and multiple contact options to ensure information is getting into the right hands.
As an employer, the best way to ensure effective communication is to offer several avenues. Make sure employees are provided with contact information for HR and the providers they’re considering. Make sure HR has current home addresses, emails, and phone numbers for employees. Hold an Open Enrollment Day where employees can sit down with members of HR with their questions. The more options and avenues for communication you give, the better results you’ll have.
3. If it’s broke, fix it
Even a successful open enrollment season experiences a few hiccups. Look at past years and make note of what worked and what didn’t. One way to measure the success of previous years is to send out a survey to employees before you finalize your plans and then adjust based on your findings.
For example, if you notice a high percentage of employees noted slow email response times from your HR department, you can brainstorm ways to provide answers faster this year. Or if you remember employees scrambling to meet deadlines, you can consider providing an in-house sign-up session.
Every open enrollment season is unique, and every year deserves a custom approach. But with each season, you’ll gain experience that will help you improve your open enrollment process.
Just remember, if you have a sincere desire to improve the lives of your employees, you’ll always be on the right track to having a successful open enrollment season.