It’s coming! Pretty soon, you won’t have to manage open enrollment anymore. But once you’ve celebrated with a glass of champagne, consider these crucial post-open enrollment steps to take to ensure an even smoother process next year!
Assess the Situation with Your Team
Hopefully, you had some help during open enrollment. If not, do some reflecting on how your open enrollment process went. Did you have employees who didn’t complete their paperwork? Endless questions from multiple departments? Was your wellness program well received? Track what your goals were, whether or not you met them, and most importantly, how much planning went into each step of the process. At Clear Company, we consider these the steps of our open enrollment process:
- Goal Setting: Whether it’s successfully moving your employees to a different plan, starting a wellness program, or increasing enrollment in an HSA, it’s important to not only define your goals but attach a number to them. For instance, how many people need to sign up for the wellness program in order for you to meet your goal?
- Planning: You have your goals in hand and no one knows your employees better than you, so it’s time to start planning for next year. Grab a calendar and your team and get cracking!
- Communication: In order to achieve the goals we’ve made for ourselves next year, we need to communicate with our team and our employees. Sending a few flyers and a hastily written email is not a great communication strategy.
Find Out How Employees Feel
Nearly every HR professional dreads open enrollment season. It’s exhausting and often the HR department is shouldering most of the burden. But your employees don’t love this time of year either. Or maybe they do...you’ll never find out unless you ask. There are several free or inexpensive survey tools out there to help you figure it out. The University of Miami has a great template you can start with. Many company intranets have a polling feature built right in. Use one of these tools to find out if they understand the benefits being offered at your organization, if they understood the open enrollment period/rules/parameters, and whether or not your lunch-and-learn on the subject was helpful or not. Whatever you ask, make it a scaled answer with room for comments rather than a yes or no question.
Track How Benefits Are Used
Do you know which plans are a hit and which benefits should bite the dust? You won’t know unless you check the YOY enrollment information, which is crucial to do when it’s fresh in everyone’s mind (including your CFO) so you can alter your benefits package to something your employees will appreciate even more. This can also show you how you can do a little better with your communication or seminars about open enrollment or which tactics you should double down on!
Rewrite Your Materials
Yes, before you put the lid on your open enrollment storage tub, take the time to rewrite your open enrollment materials. Most employees don’t understand the jargon in these materials and some end up just choosing a plan in frustration to meet the deadline. If you write your open enrollment materials in a digestible format, it will be much easier for your employees to grasp the valuable benefits your company offers (and you spend so much time managing!) Also, check that your materials are short and to the point and draw attention to the main benefit. Many practitioners worry they’ll miss something so they over-explain benefits. Instead, break the content into manageable chunks.
Check The Activity
Finally, take note of pure activity. How many questions did you answer? How many phone calls did you make or emails did you send? Your activity during this period can give you a heads-up on how to plan next year or assemble a support team to help!
Okay, now you can sit back and relax. You did it! You made it through the Open Enrollment season. Ready to tackle next year? Download our HR Planning Checklist to start the year off right!