How did your open enrollment go this year?
If you’re feeling like the process could have gone better, what went wrong? Whether your benefits weren’t competitive enough or you had issues with communication, implementation or technology, start by assessing what went wrong with open enrollment this year — and then consider making a few big changes.
Review the feedback you receive from employees, business partners and internal teams. Combine it with strategic and competitive assessments about your benefit programs. Use both to gauge how competitive your benefits are and to prioritize how and where to invest for next year.
Analyze Employee Feedback
If participation was down, your benefits might not have been what your employees were looking for. Or participation might have been down because employees didn’t know they needed to enroll by a specific deadline.
Start to get a handle on the specifics of your situation by analyzing employee feedback. Review emails they sent you and your benefits partners during open enrollment. Find out from partners what questions and concerns employees raised most often. After enrollment, gather additional feedback by surveying employees. Not only will you get more information to help you going forward, you’ll also assure employees that their feedback matters and that you’re listening.
Audit and Assess Open Enrollment Processes
There are numerous ways to implement open enrollment. If you had problems this year, your processes might have contributed. Given the number of partners and the amount of data needed to successfully implement open enrollment, data transfers are a common pain point. Audit your implementation processes to identify where inefficiencies and problems occurred.
Improve Benefits Technology and Implementation
If you find that you need to adjust how you implement open enrollment, consider upgrading the technology you’re using. More companies are investing in benefits technologies that are designed to make your life easier and the enrollment process easier for your employees. Talk to your benefits technology partners to ask questions and learn more about how new technology can help you streamline and improve open enrollment implementation.
Strengthening open enrollment results next year might come down to strengthening your communication plan. Communicate with more detail and transparency about the level of benefits offered, about how premiums are determined and how costs are shared or changed from the prior year. Communicating clearly, frequently and across multiple channels is one way to start building more effective benefit communications.
Invest in Better Benefits Offerings
Your assessment might reveal that your company lags competitors when it comes to benefits. If your employees feel that their benefits are lackluster, real investments are needed to meaningfully enhance benefits programs and close the gap. Research some of the best and most innovative benefits being offered today, including financial benefits, generous parental leave, and onsite health clinics and health advocacy services. For your employees and, in turn, your company as a whole, use what you learn to create a benefits package that is both cost-efficient and effective when it comes to recruiting and retaining employees.
Learn more about how implementing some of these changes helped one of our clients boost employee engagement in open enrollment.
Winston Benefits is a Benefits Administration, Enrollment, and Communication company. We provide employers with a technology enabled benefit process in order to help communicate, enroll and administer their employee benefit programs while empowering their employees to make better benefit decisions. Contact us to learn more.