Summer is upon us, with thoughts of back-yard barbecues, visiting the beach, and…planning for annual benefits enrollment! For a successful enrollment in the fall, it’s important to start planning now, including developing a detailed communication strategy.
What are some key steps to planning?
Look back. Were there big benefits changes in 2015? How did you communicate during benefits open enrollment? What went well, and what could have gone better? Can you use 2015 enrollment materials as a starting point?
Look ahead. For 2016, will benefits largely stay the same, or will there be changes? How do you anticipate these changes will impact employees? Will any additional communication be needed for any large-scale changes?
Determine the schedule. When is the annual enrollment period? From there, work backwards to develop a detailed timeline for enrollment communication.
Develop key messages. You’ll need to let employees know key dates and action steps, and provide an overview of changes. Figure out how benefit changes might affect different groups of employees, and if targeted communication is needed.
Determine the communication pieces. What works best in your environment? Online pre-enrollment newsletters? Employee meetings? Print enrollment brochures? Plan to communicate early and often, repeating key messages using different media.
Coordinate with plan providers. What materials will employees receive from plan providers? How will your communication materials supplement or coordinate with these pieces?
Develop a brand. If you don’t already have an HR or benefits brand, consider developing one. You’re spending a great deal of time, energy and a significant portion of your overall organizational budget on benefits. When you brand your communications, you automatically increase visibility, awareness and your company’s role as the plan sponsor.
BeneCom Associates will collaborate with you to create a customized strategy for open enrollment. We build your plan around your organization’s specific culture, audience, and organizational objectives. For more information, click here or call us today at 860-674-2626.