School’s in session: 4 Tips to get straight A’s during enrollment season
Annual enrollment is the busiest time of year for benefits professionals. We understand. So, instead of a whole white paper, we’re offering up this quick tip sheet designed to send pros and employees to the head of the class.
- Send employees to study hall.
Statistics show that 46% of Americans take less than 30 minutes to make benefits decisions and in that brief time, 89% of people choose the same plans as the year before.
Remind employees that benefits decisions take careful thought and planning for their life, family, finances and health. No way all of that happens in 30 minutes or less.
How to do it: Suggest employees block 45–60 minutes on their calendar to review benefits material, then an additional 30 minutes to actually complete enrollment. Research shows just the act of scheduling makes you much more likely to complete a task.
- Simplify the Syllabus
During enrollment season, employers pack in a ton of information—telling employees about medical plans, wellness programs, life insurance, retirement planning, voluntary programs, work-life balance and more. Employees, in their haste (and perhaps confusion), tend to just pick a medical plan and call it done.
Use communications to help workers see their benefits as an extension of their lives so that they can make holistic decisions. To do that, segment your communications to reach employees in various life stages or other demographic slices (not contributing to their retirement plan, or maxing out their HSA). It’ll make your messages—and your plans—feel more personal and relatable.
- Avoid teaching calculus on day one.
Break down unfamiliar and complex health insurance terms into straightforward concepts and simple equations so employees can see what they’re paying for coverage and why. The reason people often zero in on per-paycheck costs is because it’s easy to understand. Deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums? Not so much. Give employees basic information to see how their plan choices affect their health and wallet over the long term.
How to do it:
Create a series of benefits tip sheets based on employee demographics. For example: “Benefits for your family,” “Benefits every millennial needs to use,” “10 Best ways to make your HSA work for you.”
- Offer opportunities for extra credit
Give employees the confidence and freedom to ask any and all questions they may have. Town halls, lunch and learns, benefits fairs—whatever it takes to make sure employees are well informed with accurate and actionable information.
How to do it: Lacking time and resources for in-person meetings or benefits fairs? Schedule a series of short webinars to walk employees through what’s changing in the year ahead, help them understand their choices, and offer tips and reminders about how/when to enroll. In just 20–30 minutes, you can boost employees’ confidence and trust.