7 Things We Learned From 2020’s Virtual Open Enrollment
Last year, HR departments had to overcome some of their biggest challenges yet. HR teams have had to:
- Learn how to deal with a new remote lifestyle
- Create and promote new policies
- Figure out how to track time and attendance
- Distinguish new communication methods
The above challenges are just the tip of the iceberg. New tracking methods have needed to be introduced that allow HR members to see which employees are actively participating and engaging from home. Additionally, the challenge of hosting virtual open enrollment proved to be nothing like HR departments had ever seen.
Would you say your open enrollment this year was a major success? If it wasn’t, what were you able to learn that you can adapt for the future? Virtual open enrollment may be here to stay…
Here are 7 things we learned from virtual open enrollment:
1. Leverage Multichannel Communications
Communication is hard enough as is, let alone in a virtual format. Employees digest information in different formats, so making sure to leverage as many channels as possible was quite important to a successful virtual enrollment. Take advantage of channels such as:
- Employee social channels
Send out polls and inquire as to where your employees are communicating the most. Integrate as many channels as possible to reach as many employees as you can. Multichannel communication has always been more effective than single-channel communication and making use of this strategy can result in higher employee engagement.
2. Create an FAQ or TOC
By creating a frequently asked questions or table of contents document for open enrollment, your employees can have any concerns or issues addressed immediately. A simple document or PDF with all the benefits information that can be shared prior to the start of open enrollment can help your employees familiarize themselves with things they’ll see in the coming days.
3. Use Bribes (Such as Scavenger Hunts)
Bribes, a.k.a. incentives, is a great method of increasing employee participation in virtual open enrollment. These incentives give employees more reason to participate actively in open enrollment. Letting your vendors provide gifts can also help increase participation and build strong vendor relations.
4. Hold “Virtual” Office Hours
When employees have questions about virtual open enrollment that haven’t already been answered, having someplace to turn is quite important. Holding virtual office hours can provide employees with a place to ask questions and get them answered. This also helps limit the time you are being interrupted by employees with other questions.
5. Put Deadlines on Employees’ Calendars
Send out calendar invites to your employees with deadlines for certain forms or applications to ensure more people know when they must submit these items. Your employees are accountable for their choices, but make the process easier by helping them have the right info from their homes. Company calendars are a great resource that any organization can learn to use to effectively increase communication.
6. Centralize Benefit Resources
Put all virtual open enrollment resources and information into one shared intranet or online portal. Doing so will allow employees to access videos, flyers, documents, powerpoints, or other necessary information during and after open enrollment. Additionally, centralized benefit resources provide lower operating costs and a greater emphasis on knowledge sharing.
7. Gather Feedback After it Ends
Finally, listen to your employees during these difficult times. What worked and what didn’t work? With the possibility of virtual open enrollment becoming normal, ask questions such as:
- What would you have liked to see more of?
- Which benefits vendors were more memorable?
- How can we improve this virtual enrollment for next year?
These small feedback questions can cast great insight into the minds of your employees.
Most of the largest challenges around virtual open enrollments were dealing with engagement and overall participation in videos or sessions leading to a general lack of understanding about benefits being offered. Some of this has to do with the new virtual format while some of it is just not having the right tools to keep your employees engaged…
What is your #1 takeaway from your virtual open enrollment in 2020?
Identifying it may help you create a plan for the future if this form of enrollment sticks around.
To learn more about TruConnect’s patented financial wellness program with no credit check loans that cost employers nothing to implement and manage, contact TrueConnect today.