Adding Zing to Open Enrollment Communication

Mercer PeoplePro Blog Open Enrollment Communication

Three Cheers for Active Open Enrollment Communication

Getting excited about open enrollment communication may seem a bit over the top to some but not to me. Why? Because it’s the one time of year when you can bring together all the value your company offers employees and their families and be assured of getting some well-deserved attention. Of course, you could simply focus some of the attention on any changes being made, but unless they are significant why not go all out and use this occasion to explain all, and I do mean all, that you offer to your employees.


Generational Differences

Given that you may have several different generations in your workforce, you may find that each group has different needs and so, they value different things.

For the younger set, they’re probably more likely to be interested in cash and training and development. While an older group will most likely find health coverage and retirement planning to hold more of their interest

Dig Deep

While your employee benefit policies may hold all the answers sometimes some very interesting benefits can be hidden or obscured. Did you know that discounted gym memberships as well as discounts on Rx or vitamins can be found in some plans.

To uncover some real gems I suggest that you look beneath all of your insured coverage and even some of the risk policies. Take a deep dive and you may be surprised to find that for certain events, your covered employees, have access to an EAP or to travel assist coverage while sailing or traveling the globe.

They may even have lost luggage coverage or referral access to certain hospitals or physicians around the world. And think about how you can take this as an opportunity to bond with risk management. They will enjoy the limelight too!

Hidden Treasures

I was quite surprised to learn that our life insurance came with funeral assistance and free counseling which proved to be a big help to many beneficiaries who otherwise had to ferret it all out during a time of emotional crisis.

No time to read all your policies? Talk to your broker or consultant and find out what else there might be hidden within your policies that could prove invaluable to your workforce.

If you have an EAP program, it may be that they offer a free ½ hour of financial or legal counseling in addition to their typical services. Take this opportunity to publicize it and let your employees know how they can learn more.

Add Some Zing to Open Enrollment Communication

While the main focus of open enrollment communication is and should be on making changes or elections, either forced by an active enrollment process that gets lots of attention or a passive one which gets little employee attention and action, I would encourage taking advantage, in some fashion, of these hidden treasures.

Use them to add a bit of surprise and excitement to your open enrollment communication. They are an ideal way to differentiate your offerings from your competitors’ offerings and increase appreciation among your staff.

Given the richness of what you find embedded in these policies, you might consider bucketing them into primary and secondary benefits and be clear that the secondary do not offer robust types of coverage as found in a stand-alone type of policy, but they are there for them and can assist in time of need.

Open Enrollment can be enlightening and more meaningful for your employees if you simply take some initiative. Although, fun is not unusually synonymous with Open Enrollment, you could make finding these hidden treasures into a scavenger hunt or some Pokémon game.

Try it and see that the winners will not only be you, for your creativity, and your company for the robust value that they offer, but the employees and their families who now understand all the benefits — hidden treasures and all — that they have, especially before they need them.

Who knows, this may even make a passive enrollment more appropriately active. Now, wouldn’t that be something!

HR Expertise On Demand

Interested in adding zing to your open enrollment communication? Our HR professionals are happy to help. Schedule an appointment today and enjoy a free consultation, plus 2 free hours towards your first project. To set up your free consultation, visit MercerPeoplePro — we’re standing by and ready to assist.


Written by Mercer PeoplePro Pension & Savings specialist, Nancy Lazgin

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