For employers with re-enrollment approaching, it’s busy season. From selecting benefit options to making sure employees attend re-enrollment meetings, there is a lot to manage.
To help this year’s re-enrollment go smoothly, cross these off your re-enrollment checklist:
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
Employees need to hear a message an average of seven times before understanding it. The more communication, the better.
If you administer your plans through Benefit Resource, you can use the Email Communication Tool to select templates to send to your employees.
Your communication calendar leading up to re-enrollment should be simple:
- One month before: Keep it simple with a high-level overview of what to expect, including information session dates and times and deadlines for signing up.
- Two weeks before: Reminder that re-enrollment is approaching. To get more people to open the email, use emojis or a creative subject line (e.g. Don’t be late for a very important (benefits) date! Re-enrollment info inside…) Within the body of the email, consider adding a quote or cartoon. (In this case, we’d recommend a white rabbit with a clock). Also, make sure you don’t just send emails to spread the word.
“I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.”
– Douglas Adams
- A week before: Skip the typical “dates and deadlines” reminder and opt for providing a resource instead. It can be in the form of an infographic or downloadable PDF (like this guide to benefits jargon), a blog like the Top Searched Open Enrollment FAQs, or an online calculator to estimate expenses. One advantage of providing these tools is that employees can access them outside of work. This gives them time to research options and ask questions early.
- Day of: Give employees a quick email in the morning restating re-enrollment session times and who their contact is for questions.
- The week after the benefits meeting: Anticipate employees’ questions and send a recap including: what to expect next (e.g. your benefits card should arrive in X weeks) and where employees can find more information on their benefits.
Use humor and make it fun(ny)
Re-enrollment can be fairly stressful. It adds to employees’ already full plates and requires a large decision in a relatively short amount of time.
By peppering communications with humor, you up your chances of keeping employees engaged (and focused). Feel free to use cartoons, quotes and memes or gifs throughout re-enrollment.
Know your audience
Different employees need to hear different messages. Try to avoid clumping information together. Instead, consider adding subheads to re-enrollment emails based on where employees are in the enrollment experience. One section could be titled “This is My First Time Enrolling” while another could be “I Am Already Enrolled in a Plan.”
You can also funnel employees in the right direction by giving them tailored materials. For example, first-time enrollees will want to read New to pre-tax benefits? 4 facts you should know.
Make it a game
Once people show up at re-enrollment sessions, have some games ready:
- Pass around a Magic 8-Ball and have employees ask “Should I re-enroll in my benefits this year?” Emphasize that obviously, more thought should go into re-enrollment than asking a Magic 8-Ball.
- Administer a pop-quiz on benefits and give a $5 gift card to the employee with the highest number of correct answers
- In a room with a projector or screen, create teams and then set a timer for 30 seconds and have the teams write down the definition of the words on the screen (e.g. “premium”, “deductible”, “pre-tax benefit”, etc.)
If it’s worth doing…
As with most endeavors, when it comes to benefits re-enrollment, if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well. For a smooth re-enrollment, start by checking these items off your list. Comment below with what worked best at your company!