3 Considerations for Open Enrollment in 2020
Updated: Sep 24, 2020
Just like 2020 has been the year like no other, this year’s open enrollment season will be markedly altered – onsite company presentations and benefits fairs will likely not be a part of the process. As you plan for open enrollment this fall, what should you consider?
Re-Envision Your Communications Strategy. Without onsite information sessions and benefits fairs, how will you communicate the value of your benefits plan to your employees while engaging them and making them active participants in the process? The first step is to assess your company culture and determine what will work best – offering multiple virtual benefits education sessions, providing recorded sessions, developing a virtual benefits fair, compiling all information on a company portal, sending emails or mailing information to employees’ homes – or perhaps a combination of these strategies? Providing multiple avenues of communication will be important to reach all of your employees. When communicating, use simple, easy-to-understand language and include specific details about each option and how it will benefit employees and their families. Be sure to include question and answer time in any virtual programs and provide employees with the name, phone number and emails of individuals who can answer questions, no matter how you choose to communicate. Take the time to assess participation and be prepared to modify your message if you are not getting the engagement you expected.
Assess Your Current Benefits. The benefits your organization offered last year should be re-evaluated with the pandemic in mind. With employees juggling work and likely some form of home schooling, as well as worries about themselves or family members getting sick, mental health issues are on the rise. Evaluate the programs and resources you have in place to help your employees manage the increased stressors they may be facing. Likewise, with so many layoffs, many families are now living off one income. Consider offering financial wellness programs to help your employees manage finances and plan for their future. The pandemic also transformed how many employees received medical care – traditional office providers started offering care via telemedicine during lockdowns. Telemedicine can save your company money while providing your employees with the added convenience of receiving care from the comfort of their home. Decide if adding telemedicine to your benefits makes sense for your organization.
Consider Adding Perks. It’s been a difficult year for everyone and adding a great perk or two can lift employees’ spirits and help you create a fun company culture during the pandemic. Choosing perks will depend on the number of employees you have and your current company culture, but consider offering student loan repayments, pet insurance, membership to an online fitness or cooking class, gift certificates for a dinner out, or discounted access to your company’s products or services. Or consider offering tuition reimbursement or professional development opportunities or starting an employee recognition program. Whatever you choose, your employees will appreciate the perks!