Open Enrollment: Why an HR-Guided Approach is Better Than a DIY One

Open Enrollment: Why an HR-Guided Approach is Better Than a DIY One

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Open enrollment calls for a proactive strategy to help your employees understand your benefits offering and election process. 

As a business owner, your goal is to educate employees so they make the right choices. Although you might be tempted to come up with a DIY approach, outsourcing is often the better choice to set you on the path to success. 

Here we look at why an HR-guided approach is better than a DIY one

Fewer Logistics Challenges

An effective open enrollment plan requires logistical vision. 

What will your enrollment look like? Will you have an active or passive enrollment? Active enrollment allows employees to select their benefits each enrollment period, while passive enrollment automatically re-enrolls employees. Will you use technology to create a more streamlined employee selection process? 

If so, how will you decide what that would look like and what software works for your needs? How will you work with IT to choose a compatible system to improve user experience and reduce the need for employee training on the system? 

DIY methods that don’t take a proactive approach to address logistical challenges certainly present more risks. 

Crucial Data for Smarter Planning

Data offers valuable insight to help drive your benefits strategy. 

For example, if you find employees have less-than-optimal plans, it could be time to overhaul your benefits. This helps avoid long-term issues with recruiting top talent and employee churn. 

It also tells you you’ll need to use active enrollment as employees will have new choices available. If data shows more people have optimized plans or you have a high percentage of long-term employees, your benefits contribute to employee satisfaction. This also tells you that a passive enrollment model is ideal.  

Clearer Communication 

Communication is crucial to a compelling open enrollment season. 

How will you roll out your open enrollment season to ensure everyone knows when and how to participate? What tone suits your company culture to communicate with your workforce and increase buy-in and engagement? 

The DIY approach can lead to poor communication. Emails might be missed or ignored in busy inboxes. Too many emails, announcements, or meetings are stressful for busy employees who see one more task to add to their list. You want to maximize communication channels and avoid becoming repetitive with ineffective, unnecessary messaging. 

Thinking more like a marketer helps you find unique but effective ways to keep enrollment top of mind without being too invasive. Tactics such as posting a link on your ERP or customized messaging app are subtle but effective solutions you might miss.

Better Education

HR has accountability to ensure each employee understands their options. 

This is separate from communication, with education focused on individual benefits. How will you educate employees to make the right decisions for their families? HR departments need to share information in multiple ways using access points and materials designed for self-education and self-service. 

These methods suit the employee. While brochures help, independent learning is more relevant today. These methods can be combined with HR-driven interactions that maximize education, so each employee has optimal plans.

Improved Employee Engagement

Creating a culture where health and wellness come first helps set the tone for your open enrollment. 

Finding incentives that increase employee engagement so they understand why you offer specific options helps them make smarter choices. DIY approaches may overlook the importance of engagement, so employees fail to see the positive aspects of their participation. Using health and wellness as the incentive helps confirm the organization’s commitment to well-being. It also empowers employees to become more invested in their own well-being through enrollment.

The HR-guided approach to open enrollment ensures you invest in the most critical elements to maximize employee engagement and improve satisfaction.  

About Focus HR Inc.

Focus HR, Inc. uncomplicates the people side of business by providing small business owners with outsourced HR, project HR, and Leadership Coaching. For more information, please contact us today! If you liked this post, please subscribe to our blog. You can opt out at any time. To learn more about FocusHR and for updates, please like our Facebook page and follow us on LinkedIn.