It’s 2020, and whatever we considered “normal” went out the window a long time ago. And with open enrollment season on the horizon, now is the time for HR teams to start thinking about how to adapt. Much of the workforce will likely still be remote this fall, which means your tried-and-true employee engagement strategies might not work this year. Say goodbye to the office-wide benefits presentations and stacks of paper handouts—open enrollment is going virtual.

Coming up with a whole new approach may feel daunting—you had open enrollment down pat! But don’t worry. Engaging and educating employees on your benefits offerings can be just as effective with a virtual strategy. Let’s take a look at six basic tools you can use to reach your employees virtually this year. 

1. Email campaigns

If you’re like most HR pros, you’re likely using email already to spread the word about open enrollment. Hopefully that means you won’t have to reinvent the wheel this year—just a few tweaks will help you communicate with employees virtually. Since you won’t be able to rely on in-person open enrollment meetings this year, emails will carry even more weight. 

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2. Open enrollment cheat sheet

Email campaigns are a great place to start, but a long, text-only email might make your employees’ eyes glaze over. Create a more visually appealing one-page PDF to promote your most important benefits resources and provide employees with a cheat sheet while they’re enrolling.

What should your cheat sheet include? We got you started with an open enrollment overview template. Highlight what’s changed since last year, offer helpful tips, and show employees where to enroll all in one place. Just download the template, fill in the blanks, and hit send!

3. Benefits FAQs page

Even if your open enrollment communications plan is perfectly executed, employees are going to have questions. And answering those questions is going to take up a lot of your HR team’s time.  An easy-to-digest Benefits FAQ webpage (or handout) is a great place for employees to turn before asking a real live human for help. 

4. Benefits guide

An annual benefits guide might be a mainstay for you. It might usually take the form of a printed packet handout, but this year, think of it as a digital asset first. Instead of printing and shipping a physical version to every employee, save or reallocate that budget to other, more pressing matters. It’s also important to remember that with the current state of the world, last year’s guide will probably need some work before you can send it out again.

5. Virtual office hours

Working from home doesn’t mean you can’t invite employees to swing by your virtual “desk” to get some one-on-one benefits guidance and advice. Virtual office hours are a great substitute for the real-life interactions you’d usually have during open enrollment, and all you need to make it happen is your usual video conferencing platform. 

Working from home doesn’t mean you can’t invite employees to swing by your virtual “desk” to get some one-on-one benefits guidance and advice.

6. Benefits webinar or video conference

Chances are, you usually kick off open enrollment season with an all-company benefits meeting or town hall. A good replacement? A town-hall style benefits webinar or video conference that runs through enrollment basics. Don’t forget to record the session so that employees can review it later, and make sure there’s time at the end for a Q&A. Wondering what else you need to make your benefits webinar successful? Check out our other tips. 

Believe it or not, there are more ideas where these came from! Download Virtual Open Enrollment Made Easy: A Jellyvision Playbook for bonus tips and tools, plus a few templates you can use to reach out to your employees. 

And of course, if you’re looking for an easy—and scalable way—to make sure your virtual open enrollment is a success, ALEX is here to help. For ten years now—well before this pandemic was even a rumor—ALEX has been helping HR teams engage employees completely online, reducing workload and streamlining finance and benefits counseling. Want to learn more? Get in touch with our team!

Bonus Resource

Download Virtual Open Enrollment Made Easy: A Jellyvision Playbook