1. Require everyone to attend benefits meetings and be clear about deadlines.
What happens when employees opt out of benefits meetings? They miss critical information that relates to their health and their bank accounts. These are both topics that tend to create quick stress for HR managers and employees alike—typically at very inconvenient and sensitive times, such as right before an enrollment deadline or right after a doctor’s visit. Make employee benefits meetings mandatory and set clear expectations for making decisions.
2. Distribute information prior to benefits meetings.
Get your options out early, ideally several days before your employee benefits meeting or webinar. This gives employees time to come to the meeting prepared with questions. When one person asks a question, others will benefit from hearing the answer. The people who don’t read it shouldn’t be shamed though. We all take in information in different ways.
3. Quiz employees on their benefits knowledge.
Employees who use their benefits regularly will take more of an interest. Those who don’t won’t—until they have an unexpected emergency. Take your meeting a step further and give a pop quiz at the end. Address FAQ’s: How do you access the company paid gym membership? How much is your deductible if you’re on the Employee Only Bronze plan? When is the last day to make changes? What qualifies as a life changing event? Encourage participation by giving prizes for right answers.
4. House all benefits related information in one location.
Your employees need to know where to find benefits information when they need it, and they won’t always need it during business hours. Make sure they can access a phone number, app, or portal when they need it.
5. Send out critical announcements and updates via multiple platforms.
Everyone communicates differently, so don’t rely on only one method to share benefits information. Some people need a text, some need an email, some need written documents. If you have mission critical information to convey, send it out in a variety of ways to increase the likelihood that it will be read and absorbed by your employees. And try not to be amazed that people don’t always read what you send out because some just need to talk it through.
Here’s to your best (and smoothest) open enrollment so far!
Guest Blogger: Kim Kent
Bio: Kim delivers successful outcomes to clients who engage her expertise for a variety of Human Resources projects. Early in her career, she earned her 2-15 license and served as a benefits consultant for mid-market companies. Kim later joined Peoplr where she delivers recruiting, compensation, benefits, HRIS, and talent management services. Originally from North Dakota, Kim fled the snow to earn a Bachelor’s in Communication from the University of North Florida (UNF). In her spare time, she geeks it out at Disney World or with her Star Wars memorabilia collection.
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