Over the last three years, businesses have faced disruptions on an unprecedented scale – a global pandemic, inflationary pressures, a recessionary environment, and geopolitical conflict. However, through all these changes, one thing that stays constant is the open enrollment season.
In this blog, we’ll delve into some strategies employees can adopt to ensure their programs are relevant and measurable and don’t introduce unwelcome administrative and technical complexities.
Open enrollment is the period when employees can enroll in or make changes to their employer-sponsored benefits plans for the year ahead. Companies offer various benefit plans, such as health and life insurance and retirement savings programs. Employees then choose the specific benefit options they wish to opt in to.
Open enrollment season also presents a window of opportunity to look beyond traditional benefits. For example, this is a great time for HR leaders to introduce and promote non-traditional benefits like financial wellness benefits. These programs can be enrolled in, all year round, but it makes sense to highlight them at this time of the year when employees are setting time aside to contemplate their options.
The open enrollment period is an ideal time to review your benefits package, as it can play a major role in improving the employee experience and reducing turnover. But this only works if your people see value in your offerings.
This requires an understanding that every person is unique, and any employee may be facing a situation far different from those of their colleagues. Compare a financially struggling single parent of two children working in an entry-level position to an executive approaching retirement with no kids at home and a comfortable nest egg. Between these two scenarios lies an array of personal situations that impact employees’ mental, physical, and financial well-being.
Thus, a critical part of the preparation and planning process is gaining a clear picture of those varying situations before you assemble your suite of employee benefits offerings. Here are some ways to better understand your workers:
Use this feedback to determine how to customize your benefits package to meet your employees’ most pressing needs.
The traditional communications model for enrolling employees into benefits plans is limited to on-site meetings such as lunch-and-learn sessions, town halls, and emails. The downside of this approach is companies often miss connecting with people who don’t attend these in-person events or read their emails frequently.
Ideally, you should diversify the channels available to employees to get the information and assistance they require. These could include one-on-one virtual consultations, easy-to-digest online FAQs, visual content like videos and graphics, texts, push notifications, and two-way messaging.
Some companies conduct open enrollment meetings on platforms like Zoom to boost employee awareness and engagement. This is convenient for employees who may be traveling or on vacation, as presentations can be recorded and uploaded to a video-sharing platform like YouTube and accessed on demand. It’s also helpful for employees who wish to discuss their benefit options with their spouses in their own time.
Today, increasingly specialized point solutions from various care providers address distinct but sometimes overlapping needs. Solutions include behavioral health and urgent care services, vision and dental plans, chronic care case management, prescription drug plans, and financial wellness and mental health services.
This fragmentation can appear to be the only way for employers to meet the needs and preferences of their diverse, multigenerational workforce. But with solutions offering different sign-up processes and little cross-coordination between services, employees and HR teams can quickly experience frustration.
If you’re considering going down this path, you should evaluate potential benefits providers’ platforms based on:
Once you’ve wrapped up the 2024 enrollment season, it might be tempting to put it behind you and move on to other business priorities. However, standing back and analyzing what went smoothly and what didn’t will tee up an even more successful enrollment next time.
You might compile a post-open enrollment report detailing accomplishments (backed by hard data) and proposed ways to improve for the following year.
Showing your people that you’re committed to their physical, mental, and financial well-being is more important than ever, and your employee benefits package can either reflect or detract from that commitment.
We trust these strategies will help you and your employees navigate the upcoming open enrollment season and enhance the experience throughout the enrollment window and beyond.
At Payactiv, we work with employers seeking to attract and retain talent by improving the scope, quality, and relevance of their employee benefits packages. Our easy-to-integrate earned wage access and complimentary financial wellness benefits are proven to win employee loyalty and develop a market reputation that catches potential hires’ attention. Over half (54%) of recently surveyed employees rate earned wage access as an “extremely important” benefit for employers to offer, and 70% of users report improved satisfaction with their company because of Payactiv.Learn more about our services.
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