Top 5 Tips for Open Enrollment Communications

If Open Enrollment snuck up on you, you’re not alone. New COVID measures and claims related to the virus have Human Resources and Benefits Teams stretched thin. Add to that, a spread-out workforce (field employees, people working from home, split shifts in the office to accommodate social distancing) means the way you communicate to your employees is different— what you used to do won’t work—and now you have to come up with new ways to reach your employees and new considerations to keep in mind.

1) TONE

Now is the perfect time to remind your employees that their health, and the health of their families, is of the upmost importance to your organization. The tone of your Open Enrollment communications should be familial and reassuring.

2) TIMEFRAME

While most folks expect Open Enrollment to occur in the October/November timeframe, you still want to give them plenty of notice. A good rule of thumb is to begin with reminders about a month out, with more detailed information sent closer to, and then throughout the enrollment period. This is especially important if you have an active enrollment.

3) COMMUNICATE TO YOUR EMPLOYEES WHERE THEY ARE

By this, I mean, don’t rely on one form of communication to get the job done. Open Enrollment is the time to use all the communication vehicles at your disposal in order to reach everyone. Digital means of delivery are great, but at a time where we’re all experiencing some digital fatigue think of including home mailers, text messages, and payroll system reminders. Provide talking points for your managers and front-line supervisors so they can help you spread the word.

4) CELEBRATE THE WINS

We all love good news. Adding benefits to your plan, or making something easier? Tell your employees all about it! On the same token, be up front with any changes. Your employees need to be able plan for any financial impacts of the changes, so don’t bury them in the fine print. Now is also a good time to remind folks of the supplemental programs and coverage available to them outside of the typical medical, dental, and vision coverage like EAP program benefits, which at many times come at no extra cost to employees.

5) BE MINDFUL OF THE CURRENT CLIMATE

Many organizations have health incentive programs that allow their employees and eligible dependents to participate in activities in order to get reduced premiums, company matches in spending accounts, etc. Our current climate presents challenges and barriers to doing some of the things that typically show up in programs like this (i.e. going to a gym). Instead, consider adding activities that are easily attainable or reinforce new health and wellness practices you’d like to see your employee base embrace (i.e. wearing a mask).

Need help with your Open Enrollment communications? We’re here to help! Click here to learn more about Cardigan’s Open Enrollment communication services.