Employers have long been faced with effectively creating an effective open-enrollment communication strategy. When employees are unaware of what benefits are available or don’t know how to access them, utilization can drop significantly. This means both employees and employers are not getting the full value of the benefits they offer. Moreover, if employees don’t understand or use their benefits, satisfaction with employers can decrease, leading to decreased productivity and higher turnover rates.
The key is effective and continuous communication about benefit offerings—not just during open enrollment but throughout the rest of the year. Every organization’s communication strategy is unique and should be tailored to the company culture. However, employers should consider utilizing a variety of tools to promote benefits education.
Let’s discuss open enrollment and how you can guide your employees in making the most of their benefits. Benefits may not spark the most enthusiasm, so how can you get everyone’s attention? Here are some tips for crafting an effective open-enrollment communication strategy.
#1: Expand Communication Strategies
Before designing your executive compensation plans, it is important to understand how employees prefer to receive information about their benefits. Although printed materials have traditionally been used to communicate with employees and serve as a useful reference resource throughout the year, there are many other options available that may better suit the needs of diverse employee audiences based on factors such as age, location, and technology proficiency. It is important to survey employees to determine which approach will be most effective for your organization.
#2: Use a Mobile App or Website
Employees can access benefits information quickly, conveniently, and from anywhere with an online benefits site or mobile application. With this digital format, employers are able to update the content frequently without incurring printed material costs. Employees can also use the site to ask any questions they have about their benefits programs.
#3: Strategic Use of Texts and Emails
Businesses often utilize both emails and texts to communicate benefits information, but the way these tools are used will depend on the target audience. For example, texts can be beneficial for engaging younger or more tech-savvy employees, as well as those who travel frequently or don’t have traditional office jobs. These shorter messages may focus on prompting actions, such as enrolling in benefits or submitting receipts.
Emails are great for providing more detailed information and linking employees to related websites and resources. However, it is important to keep emails brief so that employees are not overloaded with too much information and are more likely to read the communication.
#4: Give Employees A Chance To Ask Questions
Providing executive compensation plans information to employees is only one part of an effective communication strategy. HR should also provide frequent opportunities for employees to ask questions and voice their opinions on what they need from their benefits plan. To reach a dispersed workforce, webinars using video technology, town hall meetings, and “ask me anything” sessions with members of the HR team can be helpful.
To ensure all employees have access, multiple sessions should be held for different time zones and schedules; these should be recorded, posted on the company employee website, and include an option to email or text in questions for employees who cannot attend a live event.
Creating an effective open enrollment communication strategy can help ensure employees are actively participating in the open enrollment process and making informed decisions regarding their benefits.
An effective open enrollment communication strategy should include a clear timeline, use multiple channels to communicate information and provide resources for additional support. By creating an effective open enrollment communication strategy, employers can reap the benefits of improved employee engagement and satisfaction with executive compensation plans.