It’s no secret that open enrollment can be an overwhelming time for HR professionals and employees alike. As a dedicated HR professional, you probably spend months preparing for open enrollment, ensuring that you’ve distributed resources, held educational seminars and worked to enhance employees’ understanding of their options. Yet, even with this amount of dedication and hard work, you may not be achieving the results you desire. Perhaps a low percentage of employees know which plan best suits them, or you find yourself constantly buried in enrollment paperwork.
If this sounds like you, it’s officially time to utilize HR and benefits technology to streamline the open enrollment process. Not only can HR and benefits technology save you significant time, energy and resources, it can also help employees navigate open enrollment with less stress and frustration. Take a look at the following tips to learn more about how benefits technology can enhance your company’s open enrollment process.
HR and Benefits Technology
There are numerous ways in which HR professionals can use technology to improve efficiency throughout open enrollment. The following suggestions will boost employees’ engagement while choosing their benefits and help HR professionals keep their heads above water throughout the enrollment period.
The Power of Going Paperless
One of the most prevalent issues that HR professionals report concerning open enrollment is employees’ lack of understanding about their options. In fact, in a recent survey, 35% of employees report not having a full understanding of their most recently chosen benefits package. This common lack of understanding among employees could be due to an excess of information being given to them in the form of flyers, handouts, pamphlets and packets. As convenient as it can be to physically hand employees enrollment information, these resources are often lost, forgotten or simply ignored.
To avoid wasting time and resources on paper resources, try going paperless for the next open enrollment period. Sending employees digital materials instead of paper will help them keep track of necessary information and reduce the number of papers you need to sort through. The decision to go paperless for your next open enrollment cycle will benefit both HR professionals and employees.
Distribute Online Resources Early
Yet another way to ensure that open enrollment goes off without a hitch is to distribute resources and information early on multiple digital platforms. You may be worried that enrollment information will get buried in employees’ inboxes; after all, the average worker does receive an estimated 121 emails per day. To avoid this, mobilize numerous platforms, like dedicated employee portals, where you can easily send important information for employees to review.
As an HR professional, you will undoubtedly find that bombarding employees with enrollment information day in and day out isn’t the most effective strategy. Rather, make sure that you’re getting in touch with employees early and regularly about upcoming enrollment. Start discussing open enrollment around six weeks before the period begins. That way, employees know what’s coming and won’t be as overwhelmed with their options when it’s time to choose a plan.
Invest in Open Enrollment Software
Last but not least, investing in open enrollment software can reduce the amount of administrative work that you, as an HR professional, have to complete throughout enrollment. The beauty of open enrollment software is that it automates repetitive tasks that would have otherwise taken up the bulk of your time during enrollment.
Moreover, it provides employees with a valuable educational resource that’s available 24/7. It allows employees to look through potential benefits plans on their own time, whether at home or at the office. Providing a digital resource of this nature gives employees access to a wealth of information straight from their devices so that you don’t have to spend as much time answering the same questions over and over.
Streamline Enrollment to Improve User Experience
Each of these HR and benefits technology suggestions is sure to streamline open enrollment for HR professionals and employees in small-to-midsize companies. The transition to digital resources, communication and online enrollment software will ultimately save HR professionals — and employees — considerable time, energy and resources throughout open enrollment.
Furthermore, each of these changes will help rectify the most prevalent issue concerning employee benefits: a lack of understanding about options. By implementing these ideas, your next open enrollment can be your best one yet, with employees truly appreciating their benefits.