The Open Enrollment Prep Work You Should Start Doing This Summer

Mark Rader Benefits Communication, Open Enrollment Communication

Do your Q4-self a favor: check off these open enrollment strategy to-do’s now, while there’s still time to take stock and try something new.

1. Review last year’s OE communication plan with your team

Look over last year’s employee communications (PowerPoint presentations, emails, mailers, etc.) and answer these questions:

• What parts might have been unclear or raised more questions than they answered?
• What parts did a better than average job of grabbing employee attention?
• How eye-catching and memorable are the images included in your content?

Ask your company’s communication specialists (writers, artists, and/or marketers) for feedback, too. They deal with words and images all day long, so they can definitely help with yours.

2. Set clear goals

Work with your team to figure out your top three goals for open enrollment. Maybe you want to migrate more employees to a new plan. Or boost HSA or 401(k) contributions. Or cut down on the time your team spends answering questions. Once those are nailed down, think about what kinds of communications would most effectively motivate your employees to take the actions needed to achieve those goals.

Specifically, identify what they have to gain if they take those actions, and what they might lose if they don’t. Then highlight those potential benefits (and losses) in your messaging (e.g. spending 10 minutes with our new benefits decision support tool could help you save hundreds of dollars on health care this year.)

For more specific advice using marketing tactics to engage your workforce, download our new eBook, 3 Secrets to Creating the Most Engaging Open Enrollment Ever.

3. Get feedback about your benefits AND benefits communications

Sign up for an online survey provider (like SurveyMonkey) if you don’t already have one. Then build a brief, anonymous survey so your employees can tell you how they feel about their benefits. Ask them about their communication preferences, too.

Here are two examples for reference:

To get our complete three-month open enrollment communication timeline (and much more!), download our latest Ultimate Open Enrollment Communication Playbook now!


If you enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy:

Blog Post: 7 Open Enrollment Questions That Scare Millennials the Most…and How to Answer Them Like a Pro

eBook: Speaking in Human — Benefits Communication Advice from the Humans at Jellyvision to the Human Who Is You

eBook: 8 Clever Ways to Get the Word Out to Hard-to-Reach Employees