6 Must-Have Tools for a Successful Virtual Open Enrollment

Originally Published 7/21/21, Updated on 5/1/24.     

With open enrollment season on the horizon, now is the time for HR teams to start thinking about how to (continue to) adapt. Your workforce is more diverse than ever and you need to communicate with individuals just starting their careers to employees planning for their retirement. You also may be sharing important (and difficult) information about changes to your benefits package. This means you need to make sure your virtual open enrollment is on point. 

Whether open enrollment is fully virtual for your organization, or you have a hybrid approach, the key to success is the right tools. So let’s take a look at six must-have tools to use this open enrollment season.

1. Email campaigns

If you’re like most HR pros, you’re likely already sending open enrollment emails to employees. Hopefully, that means you won’t have to reinvent the wheel this year—just a few tweaks will help you better communicate with employees virtually. However, if you have to deliver bad news to employees during open enrollment, it can be hard to know where to start. We put together some templates (email, Slack, and texts) and tips on how to notify employees of benefit changes.

If you need help with benefits emails year-round, Jellyvision Custom Solutions is the answer!

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.

3. Benefits guide

An annual benefits guide might be a mainstay for you. These resources 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 so many recent changes, last year’s guide will probably need some work before you can send it out again.

4. Online open enrollment software

You can’t do this all alone. You can’t be everywhere at once, and you can’t sit down with each employee every time they have a benefits question. Even large HR teams can’t answer those midnight queries like “Does my healthcare plan cover this trip to urgent care?” Nope, no way!

Enter: open enrollment software. Your backup, your pinch hitter, your digital team member, your safety net that ensures no question goes unanswered, no matter how small. Tools like ALEX can help you eliminate benefits confusion, drive smarter decision-making, and reduce healthcare costs—for your employees and your company. 

Pro Tip: ALEX can help!

Create a QR code for your benefits engagement tool!

Your team members have used QR codes for the past few years at restaurants and shops—and you should too! Using a QR code on printed materials is an easy way for your employees to access ALEX on the go during open enrollment, and get the benefits information they need when they need it.

Services like QR Code Monkey, QR Code Generator, or Flowcode help you create a QR code that links to your company’s open enrollment software in a matter of minutes. You’ll also be able to brand and track your links, so you know how often they’re being used. Or, if you’re using Google Chrome, you can click the URL bar and a small, square icon will appear to the far right. Click it and a QR code will be generated, ready for you to download!

Your employees can simply scan the QR code with their phone’s camera—and boom! You’ve got folks engaging with your benefits engagement tool in a new, faster way. 

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. Just alert staff that you’ll be on Zoom at certain times each week, grab your favorite beverage, and get ready to chat benefits with your people!

6. Benefits webinar or video conference

Chances are, you usually kick off open enrollment season with an all-company benefits presentation 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. Also, make sure there’s time at the end for a Q&A.

And of course, if you’re looking for an easy, scalable way to make sure your virtual open enrollment is a success, ALEX is here to help. 

ALEX will help your HR team untangle the complex web of employee benefits, reduce workload during open enrollment, and streamline your overall communications!

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