It’s the most won­der­ful time of the year.

No, it’s not Christmas—it’s Open Enrollment!!

When the autumn leaves fall and the weath­er turns cool­er, we know it’s time to start think­ing of open enroll­ment hype and meet­ings and meet­ings and meet­ings. So how do you change nor­mal and ordi­nary com­mu­ni­ca­tion about employ­ee ben­e­fits and change them into rock­star com­mu­ni­ca­tion? We have some tips that may help!

 

COMMUNICATE EARLY

Peo­ple need time to process all the infor­ma­tion you share about their employ­ee ben­e­fits. Once they have received the info, they typ­i­cal­ly need to ask ques­tions, compare/contrast plans, and weigh deci­sions. By com­mu­ni­cat­ing with your employ­ees ear­ly, you give them plen­ty of time to make their choic­es with­out feel­ing rushed by a short deadline.

 

COMMUNICATE CLEARLY

HSA, FSA, PPO, HMO, LTD? What? You can see how your employ­ees can get con­fused with all the terms and plan names that get pre­sent­ed to them dur­ing open enroll­ment. The Soci­ety for Human Resources Man­age­ment (SHRM) sug­gests cre­at­ing a glos­sary of com­mon terms for enroll­ment meet­ings. Anoth­er way to clear­ly com­mu­ni­cate ben­e­fits is to think ahead to the com­mon ques­tions asked each year and make a FAQ sheet with the answers.

 

COMMUNICATE FREQUENTLY

Did you know that it takes 8 times to read some­thing before you retain that infor­ma­tion? Think of all the mate­r­i­al that gets shared at open enroll­ment meet­ings. There is no way that an employ­ee would be able to retain that info in one sit­ting. So, com­mu­ni­cate about your ben­e­fit plans all year long. Do triv­ia con­tests with prizes in your com­pa­ny newslet­ter about dif­fer­ent ben­e­fits top­ics. Use mul­ti­ple chan­nels to fre­quent­ly com­mu­ni­cate such as print, dig­i­tal, and ani­mat­ed videos!

 

COMMUNICATE PERSONALLY

Share “real life” exam­ples of a sam­ple employ­ee with spe­cif­ic health issues and how they can uti­lize their ben­e­fits. This helps your audi­ence think of addi­tion­al sit­u­a­tions in which they could see them­selves need­ing some of the insur­ance prod­ucts offered in your meet­ings. Host small Q & A ses­sions after larg­er meet­ings to allow for more per­son­al­ized atten­tion. When you com­mu­ni­cate per­son­al­ly, you are able to explain the val­ue of the ben­e­fits to your employ­ees better.

By focus­ing on these com­mu­ni­ca­tion tech­niques, you will reap the rewards of a well-informed and con­nect­ed employ­ee when they are choos­ing ben­e­fits. Plan ahead, speak with a clear mes­sage, per­son­al­ize exam­ple sit­u­a­tions, and repeat, repeat, repeat. Here’s to a great open enroll­ment season!