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"Hush. I know Benefits Enrollment is Around the Corner!"

Mar 27, 2018 3:54:06 PM / by Elizabeth Byerly

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Talking to the voice in your head again? Relax, you can quiet that pesky voice and stop stressing. Benefits season doesn’t have to take the stuffing out of you or your team. Here’s three suggestions (actually reminders) for making it successful and easier.

Look back and check out your peers

Get the team and other key stakeholders on the same page for the coming year by asking, researching and answering these key questions:

  • How was your trend last year?
  • Where is it heading this year?
  • What could we have done differently?

It's also a great idea to benchmark against peer groups and understand trends to ensure you remain competitive. Two starting points: taking a look at our Global Benefits Attitudes Survey (it's renowned research and it's free) and using a benchmarking tool and tracking dashboard.

Be relentless in your communication

A couple of weeks ago we polled many in our HR Trove community to learn how often they communicate around health and wellness. Here's what respondents said:

Communication Frequency Chart small

*Totals over 100% are accounted for by single respondents selecting more than one option. 

There are many advantages of continuous health benefits and well-being communication for employees and families, which is why it's a best practice and so important. Aside from this, it makes your job easier in enrollment season!

Spreading the effort of reinforcing key aspects of how plans work, terms, processes and more throughout the year means you can point people to this information and materials during enrollment. Voila! You have time to focus on the administration side of things (or new offerings) and it's less overwhelming for employees.

Make employees think

You've heard the various stats like "Consumers visit 38 sites before booking." Expedia says and others about how little time employees spend on benefits enrollment decisions. Yes, some of this can be attributed to the plain fact that this isn't exciting stuff (among other reasons). But, employers have to take a good bit of the blame for having passive enrollments for many years, or still having them. This practice sends a clear message it's okay to ignore thinking about benefits each and every year. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Set your employees up for successful decision making:

  • Skip the defaults and require employees to review their choices and make selections for the coming year. Help them think through how their needs may have changed since the last enrollment.
  • Make sure information is clear and easy for employees ― and families ― to access. At a minimum, provide a succinct enrollment guide that gives the highlights of their choices, what steps they need to take and key dates. Make sure it is easy to read like these example pages: 

Enrollment guide example pages

  • Use a variety of channels and media to engage people in different ways. For example, online, smartphones, print, video, or face-to-face.
  • Give employees time to review their options before they have to complete their enrollment. (Remember, some people may be on a week’s vacation!).

Whether your enrollment is coming up shortly, in the summer or in the fall, don't stress, you have time to get it done well! Get your high-level game plan together and start working the tasks so you can walk and not have to run. 

Enrollment Prep Planning Template - Free Download


Elizabeth Byerly

Written by Elizabeth Byerly

Product Development Director, Communication, The HR Trove by Willis Towers Watson Elizabeth is a seasoned consultant now combining eCommerce, communication, change management and marketing for The HR Trove by Willis Towers Watson. With over 30 years of experience under her belt she has been helping others across industries maximize opportunities and solve problems with creativity, innovation and hard work. And, she’s had fun doing it!