The key component to open enrollment meetings are, unsurprisingly, thorough communication. The most popular problem is that employees choose the wrong plan for themselves simply because they do not understand their choices. So let’s break down how to resolve that dilemma:
Helping your employees make the right choice
- Collect questions before the first meeting. Your employees likely have questions before the meeting(s) even start. Invite them to share these (easily gathered via an online survey) a few weeks prior. By compiling the answers before enrollment begins, you’ll save yourself valuable time during a very busy month.
- Ask employees to review materials before enrollment begins. Again, another headache-saver, cheers for preparation!
- Utilize the company blog. Your company blog can be a great tool for providing explanations and supplemental information. Direct your employees to visit this resource before heading to the HR department.
- Host a guest speaker. Even small business owners can outsource some of their processes, and a great option is through a guest speaker program. Having an objective voice in the process can help to improve employee engagement and trust, and often reveals areas of improvement for employers to heed. It’s hard to know it all! Ask for help.
- Make materials easy to access year-round. It’s typical to hand employees folders full of pamphlets and leave it at that, but they’re going to need to be able to review this information easily throughout the year and the best way is to have a one-stop shop where all this stuff is stored. Create a shared folder where they can quickly search for the information they need throughout the year.
Hosting a virtual enrollment (or hybrid) this year? With the amount of remote office staff still significant, it’s likely you’ll be preparing materials and presentations for over the Zoom platform. In order to guarantee that a virtual open enrollment is effective requires some extra attention to the details but the payoff can be immeasurable, and there are tools specifically designed for remote enrollments that can really make the difference between wrapping up a successful OE or ending up with a mess on your hands.
Let’s talk about AI
- The right AI. Using artificial intelligence to assist employees in their benefit choices can be a great idea. These platforms offer customized options through a series of inquiries that determine an employee’s needs, helping them navigate the process on their own. This is key as it alleviates the amount of questions management will have to field. In addition, phone consultations with professionals are typically an option, which is also a great time-saving feature.
- Which vendor is right for you?When choosing a vendor for AI, or any vendor for that matter, there are a few factors you’ll want to consider: Is the tool easy to use? A complicated platform will cause headaches, and waste everyone’s time. What customer support is offered with the system? Will you be able to get issues resolved quickly? It’s expected that tech tools will sometimes falter, but it shouldn’t cause a major delay in the process.
- Also, does the platform make sense for your company? Does it offer the right kind of customization to suit your needs? You don’t need to pay for a lot of features that are of no use to you and could even cause confusion. In some cases, AI may not be the best choice for your team.
If AI isn’t a good fit, what else could be?
AI isn’t the end-all be-all, there are other useful tools you can utilize. Most notable of these are informative emails, vendor webinars, and of course booklets. The digital postcard is a popular tool for remote enrollment. It’s an all-in-one resource housing all the data and supporting links your employees need to complete their enrollment. It’s easy to use, and even easy to distribute to employees who do not have email addresses since they can be printed with QR codes.
In regards to materials, make sure any information presented to employees is clear in its language since they will be doing most of the research on their own in a remote enrollment. The easier the content is to understand, the more successful the outcome will most certainly be. It’s equally important not to bog your team down by offering too many tools. Too much of a good thing is a very real possibility.
We’ll leave you with one more tip: prepare for procrastinating! The data shows that employees procrastinate until the last minute before deciding on a health care plan. Again, the more easy to use an enrollment tool is, the higher chance a successful outcome will be.
If you have questions on the tools best suited for your open enrollment process, Eos HR can answer them, as well as assist in making the process as painless as possible. We offer small businesses an HR team that will help them navigate the challenges of a remote workforce. Schedule a free consultation today to learn more.
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