Preparing Employees for Open Enrollment

With several of our customers headed into open enrollment season, I was curious to learn more about ways we can positively impact the employee experience during this period. FBG’s own Account Executive, Jenna Igoe, shared some useful information with me regarding best practices she uses for the customers and employees she serves.

Jenna’s first recommendation is to consider conducting an employee benefit survey 4 to 5 months months before open enrollment. This allows you to understand the satisfaction level of each benefit from the perspective of the employee. You may learn about issues employees are having with their benefits as well. The key, as with all surveys, is to communicate the results/action items to employees and highlight areas of the survey feedback that led to benefits enhancements or changes.

Next, Jenna cautions employers to prepare employees well in advance for upcoming plan changes. She cited an example of introducing a new type of plan for employees, such as a High Deductible Health Plan. Before the plan is introduced, a communication campaign explaining the change and the plan elements will prevent shockwaves going through the employee population. Sharing short videos about the new plan, providing plan details to the extent possible and identifying plan benefits help employees to prepare for what’s to come.

Lastly, providing personalized support to employees during enrollment is critical. Jenna recommends that employees have access to a benefits expert who receives their calls or emails and responds in a timely fashion. This benefit could be extended to an employee’s spouse or partner for the same purpose. Employees may not be comfortable asking questions in group open enrollment meetings; providing a personalized resource helps employees to choose the best possible plan for their current situation.

I’m grateful to Jenna for sharing these insights with me and hope they’ll help you as you prepare to take your employees through their next open enrollment season.