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Boost Employee Retention Through a Great Open Enrollment Experience

by Julie Miles / November 8, 2022

The open enrollment season is just around the corner! While some employees and company executives may find this an exciting season, a vast majority perceive it as stressful and quite intimidating. Open enrollment seasons often result in stressful and time-consuming situations where business owners must make crucial decisions about coverage selections and answer a never-ending stream of difficult questions from employees. 

As you may already know, solely retaining top talent in your organization with high salaries, flexible work hours, or even through an inclusive workplace culture is no longer possible. Offering a wide range of employee benefits plays a significant role in retaining your employees, emphasizing the significance of the yearly open enrollment period that usually starts in autumn. This post will discuss how you can boost our employee retention strategy by implementing a great open enrollment experience.

What is Open Enrollment for Benefits?

Open enrollment for benefits refers to a season where employees can modify their employer-provided benefits. It is considered the best time for companies to highlight what they offer their employees apart from their monthly salaries. 

According to a recent survey from isolved, the most common types of employer-provided benefits include health insurance (92%), dental insurance (84%), and retirement plans (81%). The survey also revealed some of the top-ranking benefits that employees rank highly, but least likely to be offered by their employers include lifestyle discounts (27%), student loan debt relief (22%), and pet insurance (21%).

How to Prepare for a Great Open Enrollment Season

Employers quickly realize that the value of their employee benefits depends on how well-informed their employees are on how these perks might improve the quality of life for themselves and their loved ones. However, this also requires active effort from employers to understand their employees’ needs and how to communicate with them. Below are a few tips on preparing and implementing a great open enrollment season in your organization.

Set Realistic Goals

The best method of assessing the effectiveness of the open enrollment process is to set realistic objectives. Perhaps, your main goal would be to get more employees to enroll in your benefits package, or maybe you want to find more inclusive and appealing benefits packages for your staff. 

If you are having trouble coming up with an attainable and satisfying objective, consider your firm’s benefits philosophy. Adjust your perks following this philosophy. For instance, you may offer benefits tailored especially to mental health if you are devoted to providing a safe area to discuss mental health issues.

Optimize Your Communication Channels

One of the key methods of ensuring an excellent open enrollment experience for you and your employees is to maximize your communication channels. Providing your staff with comprehensive information about your benefits packages is a multipronged operation. It requires multiple employee education sessions, paper mailings, online tools, virtual assistants, call centers, and advisory third parties. 

While some employees may prefer a one-on-one session to explain the value of your benefits package, others may require a third party to help them evaluate their options. As an employer, providing and maximizing different communication channels is crucial to ensure that your employees are well informed about their benefits.

It is also advisable to generate content about open enrollment in different formats and share them through various delivery channels. For instance, you may put together a live webinar, several podcast episodes, or even a digital recording and share them via emails, social media groups, and other intranet platforms. This ensures that the information is easily and readily available to all employees, regardless of whether they are in the office or not.

Incorporate Micro-Learnings For a Better Experience

Micro-learnings are short educational activities and resources that focus on subjects that relate to popular employee benefits, including health and finances. This mode of sharing knowledge aids in increasing staff engagement while creating a greater interest in pertinent benefits. 

Excellent instructional material on these subjects is already available from reputable online learning providers, like various YouTube and LinkedIn Learning channels. This implies that you are not required to write original material. Alternatively, you can easily deliver compelling programming to interested employees by compiling it from various web sources.

This mode of proactive packaging and promotion of vital benefits information is priceless for employees. It means they do not have to do independent research on these subjects, significantly reducing the time spent on this process. Additionally, the ease of “anytime” access to top-notch instructional material regarding health and other employee benefits improves the well-being of your employees.

Use an Integrated Platform with Self Service Features

Using an integrated solution with self-service features not only simplifies the open enrollment season but also enables employees to search and elect benefits at their own pleasure. As a result, it reduces the pressure often experienced during this period as they can make estimates and selections from the information provided by the employer through the platform. 

Present a list of employer-provided benefits and related information on this platform to reinforce why your company is a great working environment. These solutions enable employees to take their time to understand the benefits and their value. However, be careful not to bombard them with too much information, which often results in losing them in the noise. Rather, strive to strike a balance of clear and useful information to help them make the best choices. Note that a well-integrated solution for open enrollment also allows employees to adjust their retirement plans, such as altering their contributions, making withdrawals, and even borrowing loans.

The Best Time to Plan for Next Year’s Open Enrollment Period is Now

With the corporate world becoming increasingly competitive in attracting and retaining top talent, employers need to prioritize providing their employees with a great open enrollment experience. It is crucial for your staff members to feel that they are working for the best in the industry based on the value and utility you provide in your benefits package. Providing employees with top-notch benefits packages plays a vital role in employee retention. 

So, review your previous open enrollment seasons and take in employee feedback to enable you to make adjustments, following the tips mentioned above, for an excellent open enrollment experience next year. Remember to optimize your communication channels and provide your employees with easily accessible information in multiple formats to ensure they get as much information as possible. 

At Platinum Group, we are ready to help you plan and streamline your next open enrollment season. With the help of our open enrollment checklist in our guide, we can help you better prepare and provide a better employee experience. For more information on creating a great open enrollment experience, read our brochure or contact us today.


Tags: Employee Benefits Employee Retention Benefits Administration Asheville HCM

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Julie Miles

Julie Miles

Julie’s passion is to act as a liaison between the Platinum team, their wonderful clients, and the community, striving to tell their stories and make connections.