A little preparation can go a long way in ensuring a smooth, successful open enrollment season. Once you have a system that works for you, you can repeat it from season to season with just a few tweaks.
Plan Well in Advance
Don’t wait until the last minute to begin educating employees on their benefit options. Develop a roll-out strategy that advises employees of what can happen if they don’t take any action, relevant dates, what their share of the costs will be, important deadlines, and changes to benefits from the previous year. Start several months before open enrollment actually begins and as it gets closer, make yourself available for questions.
Stay Current With the Latest Changes
It is not uncommon for benefits to change from year to year. Stay on top of the changes and create material that will convey those changes to employees in a way that is easy to understand. It is important to keep your ear to the ground so that you are fully versed in the most current state of employee benefits when open enrollment begins.
Prepare Your Staff to Field Questions
When you are about a month out, begin prepping your staff to field questions and help employees make good decisions regarding their benefits. Provide educational material as well as face to face meetings or classes to ensure that everyone is on the same page. This way you can make sure that all employees get the same accurate information, and everyone is prepared for a smooth open enrollment season.
Set Up Technology Tools
Keeping up with technology can be a job in itself. You may want to appoint someone to research the most effective technology tools to make open enrollment easy. Using technology for this purpose is a two-fold approach: Identifying the tools and knowing the most effective way to use them. Look into email, social media, websites, SMS, and private Facebook groups as potential devices to add to your open enrollment toolbox.
Review New Benefit Options
Take a look at any new benefit options that are available and see what you may want to include in what you offer employees. That way you can provide employees with the most current, applicable choices for them and their families. Look at different options with your current providers, but also look at other providers to see what else is out there.
Prepare Communication Strategies
There are a number of ways to communicate with employees to inform them of important dates, deadlines, and their benefits options. Hard copy material is a popular choice, as is email. However, as technology has become more advanced, creating a website that employees can access from their mobile devices wherever they are could be a great help to you.
Survey Employees to Determine Needs
Surveys are a great way to determine what employees need in a benefits program. You can create a paper survey, or develop a web-based survey with a service like Survey Monkey, Typeform, or another survey program that will collect the necessary data for you. You can also hold Q & A meeting or forum so they can ask questions and you can gather feedback on what employees want and need.
Consider Wellness and Preventative Medicine Benefits
Wellness programs benefit not only the employee but the organization as well. Employees who participate in them are healthier, happier, and are more productive with fewer sick days. These programs help prevent chronic disease and can even reverse some conditions. What may be the most appealing aspect of adding a wellness program to employee benefits program though is the fact that they can help reduce the overall cost of healthcare.
Set Goals for Optimal Success
Setting enrollment goals will help you track successes and keep you on track for meeting employee needs. Set goals regarding how many employees sign up, how many enroll in wellness programs, and other items that are specific to your organization. This will help you stay focused on what you need to do, but it also helps you measure your success.
At Employers Select Insurance Services, Inc., our business is making sure that your business has the employee benefits that are right for your staff. Visit our site today and download our Annual Open Enrollment Checklist then schedule a call at 916-248-4777 and a member of our knowledgeable, friendly staff will contact you to discuss how we can help you have a successful open enrollment season.