(By Larry F. Hill)
Here comes that glorious time of year when HR again wonders, “What’s it going to take to get employees thinking about what they need to do for enrollment this year?”
Human resources professionals know how important benefits communication is, especially during annual enrollment time when there are upcoming changes to plans and programs. But even with few or no changes, open enrollment (aka annual enrollment) is still the time for employees to think about their needs for the upcoming year, and make sure they have the right benefits and coverage in place.
Especially at smaller businesses, HR staff is often overloaded. That can translate into delaying open enrollment communication until the enrollment window opens, and then delivering all the information at once. Which gives employees only a week or two to start thinking about next year, understand the changes, and enroll.
This year, try kicking off enrollment season with a simple open enrollment notice, or announcement. It can help alleviate that last-minute fire drill by alerting employees in advance that open enrollment is coming.
If you’re thinking, “Oh, great, one more thing for my to-do list,” you’re in luck. Feel free to download this sample open enrollment notice to employees, customize it however you see fit, and get it into employees’ hands about three weeks before open enrollment begins.
Of course, you’ll want to adapt the sample notice to fit the benefits you offer, the changes you’re making (if any), and your company’s communication style or standards. But whatever form your open enrollment notice to employees finally takes, getting it to employees in advance of your open enrollment window will help get them thinking about their needs now, so there’s less scrambling (and frantic phone calls to HR!) during open enrollment.