Open enrollment season presents exceptional opportunities to educate employees about the value of the employer-sponsored rewards that comprise a significant aspect of their jobs and employees’ overall experience. Benefits changes impact employees in profound ways, so effective and engaging communications are critical.

Key conversation

Organizations need to educate and communicate to their workforce what is most important to employees and their families, helping them navigate the complex world of employee benefits. At the same time, companies need to demonstrate their investment in employees by helping to create the right buzz around open enrollment—not that it’s an annual chore, but rather the chance to promote the company’s commitment and dedication to employees’ total well-being.

"On average, individuals spend 30 minutes or less reviewing their benefits."

We know, on average, individuals spend 30 minutes or less reviewing their benefits. The annual open enrollment period is the one time of year when organizations truly have a captive audience, providing an opportunity for them to showcase their commitment to employees. It is critical for companies to engage employees and their families in the process by creating a great user experience.

Open channels

While many companies continue to use traditional methods such as print, video and e-mail to communicate key messages and enrollment deadlines, others are now leveraging various technology platforms to further engage employees.

Technology and social media platforms have enabled companies to add to their information and communication using a mix of tools that are user-friendly, interactive, adaptable, educational and fun! And since dependents often make family benefits decisions, having mechanisms in place to reach out to these decision makers is essential, whether it’s through invitations to onsite meetings, access to web-based portals, newsletters, communications mailed to the home or discussion boards for questions. All of these tools can be helpful for everyone involved in the process.

Consistency is king

Finally, remember the value of year-round benefits communications. As great organizations, you should communicate throughout the year, employing strategies that allow employees to absorb information in pieces that are easy to understand. Where appropriate, integrate social media tools to communicate year-round through optimized blogs, embedded videos and podcasts, mobile apps and other delivery channels.