Understanding your company’s benefits and being able to leverage them fully is often a different experience for each staff member. HR and benefits technology can be confusing and difficult to learn since it is often only used once a year during annual enrollment, leaving staff members asking numerous questions that need to be answered. Fortunately, there are several ways that you and your HR team can share useful details with staff members throughout the year. This helps ensure that your employees are ready and fully equipped to successfully complete their annual enrollment and take full advantage of the benefits that your company offers. 

1. Utilize Your Company’s Intranet to Store Vital Benefits Links and Details

If you don’t yet have a robust HR and Benefits technology platform, you can start small.  Using your company’s intranet or by creating a simple microsite you can store details about all your benefits programs.  These sites should be easily accessible to employees and not contain any personally identifiable health or financial information.  They should house all the benefit plan summaries, provider network information, and any perks that employees may not remember they have access to.

2. Train HR Staff to Share Tidbits Throughout the Year

Are there changes that are coming up in your programs that staff will need to understand? Instead of introducing all the changes at once in a massive company meeting, why not train staff to drip the information to employees? Using one month to discuss wellness initiatives for the coming year, perhaps a different month to cover the various free or low-cost health screenings that are included in your benefits package . . . when you reduce the overall quantity of information introduced at once, there’s a better chance that your staff will understand and utilize their benefits. 

3. Create a Communications Schedule

The months leading up to your annual benefits enrollment can be quite hectic, and even a general idea that you want to communicate early and often can be missed in all the details your HR team is handling. If you proactively create a communications schedule that tracks the progress throughout the year, then you can ensure that vital information is flowing to staff members at all times. This doesn’t have to be an in-depth document. Simply noting that you want to send reminders to check satisfaction of current insurance programs in August or introduce potential new options in September may be enough to keep your staff on track with their communications.

4. Leverage HR and Benefits Technology

With the right HR and benefits technology in place, it becomes much easier to share details and capture concerns from your staff members. Engaging an expert to assist with this software is critical, as even seemingly minor glitches can quickly disrupt employees. You should ensure that all annual benefits software is up-to-date and ready to use many weeks before your annual enrollment. This gives you time to address any last-minute concerns with your HR and benefits team and software provider — and reduces the potential for confusion when your staff all start completing their annual enrollment at once. 

It’s easy to see what a big role your HR and benefits technology plays in the success of your annual benefits enrollment period. Having a complete and cohesive communication strategy helps provide the framework for your HR team.