5 Open Enrollment Ideas for 2020

5 Open Enrollment Ideas for 2020

This year, in a world dominated by COVID-19 headlines, the way so many Americans do their work has changed. Will the new Zoom culture going away with an eradication of the coronavirus? Will your teams hang up Microsoft Teams when they get back to the office? It’s too early to say.

Indications are some of the changes to the way we approach meetings could be permanent. Also, the virus threat is likely to linger through the Fall with a vaccine likely not yet available. How will this reality impact your open enrollment? This article is five ideas for how to make your open enrollment better in a coronavirus world.

Ditch the paper enrollment forms

You’ve known you wouldn’t use paper enrollment forever. You have reasons your reasons for not pulling the plug on paper yet. Maybe an employee in your benefits department is more comfortable with paper. Maybe you’re worried about losing personal touch. Maybe you’re worried about picking the wrong solution, or you don’t have the budget.

Before coronavirus, some of these reasons may hold water. Now, in a world where a deadly virus can live on surfaces, it makes no sense to pass papers to your new hires or at your open enrollments. Time to start planning for that benefit administration technology implementation.

Hold virtual group meetings

OK, the obvious talking point here is that virtual group meetings are better than in person meetings in order to prevent unnecessary gatherings. And that’s true. But, there are benefits beyond that as well. For example, holding a virtual group meeting is a great way to include the spouses of your workers in your benefit education.

With employee loyalty tied to benefits education, you can’t forgo education just because you can’t meet in person as a group. So, why not hold a virtual group meeting?

Educate employees one-on-one via co-browsing sessions

Employees that understand benefits, appreciate their benefits. Employees that appreciate their benefits are loyal to their employer. Interestingly, benefits communication gets you further with employee loyalty than spending more dollars on benefits. Put simply, you can’t afford turnover, so you can’t afford not to communicate!

Since we know benefit understanding is important, what better way to help employees understand benefits than to meet face-to-face with them (virtually) and educate them in the options you make available? There is no substitute for personal education with each of your employees, and with tools like Zoom and Gotomeeting, doing this is still possible.

Drip text (SMS) messages about your enrollment

Every HR department has the same complaint – employees don’t read their e-mail! This year, you’re likely to be physically in front of your employees less than you were last year. Given that, how are you going to get your open enrollment messages across?

How about two text messages a week promoting your enrollment? Need ideas what to communicate? Here’s a few messages to borrow:

1.      Extra, Extra! Read all about it! Open enrollment dates are …… and details linked here

2.      Click here to view the dates and times for our virtual open enrollment meetings

3.      Insure your 401(k) against fraud, click here to learn about our new voluntary benefit

4.      Don’t forget, virtual open enrollment meetings are happening now! Click here for details

Quiz employees about your benefits

Why does Facebook use click bait that includes surveys and quizzes to draw you in? Simple – because it works to create engagement.

·      Want employees to better understand your HSA? Ask them, POP QUIZ, how well do you know your HSA?

·      Want employees to know the plans have changed? Ask them, 4 Questions to Get to Know Your New Health Plan

·      Have a carrier change to your critical illness insurance? Ask them – Do you have a PHD in Benefits Education? What do you know about our new critical illness plan!

Creative engagement of your employees does more than just get you through open enrollment. It also promotes engagement, and that has ties back to productivity and loyalty for you. Tip for content creation – don’t be too wordy.

BONUS TIP: Hire an enrollment firm

Do some of these ideas hit you as solid, but you don’t know where to start? Or you don’t want to re-invent the wheel. Or, you just don’t have time to implement these ideas considering your day-to-day commitments? Many employers are in the same boat. Consider hiring an enrollment firm to help you.  Our programs such as SteeleEnroll are built to help you.

If you don’t have a budget to hire an enrollment firm on a fee for service basis, ask your carriers to help you pay for it, or add a new voluntary benefit to off-set the cost.