So you’ve evaluated your benefits offering and have decided to stick with the same plans for this year’s open enrollment. Without any new benefits to offer, you probably feel like it will be difficult to get employees excited about their benefits. Many will just stick with the same plan because it’s comfortable and easy. But that’s not always the best option - and it will be your job to show them that.
Getting your employees excited and tuned in to open enrollment is crucial because even though your benefits haven’t changed, their lives likely have. Your employees need to look closely at the benefits your organization offers and ensure they are still in the best plans for their needs. Not sure how to do it successfully? Don’t worry. We’ll share five ways to get your employees excited about their benefits — even when your plans haven’t changed.
1. Improve Your Educational Materials
If you’re offering the same benefits as last year, then this is a great time to perfect your educational materials. As you know, your educational materials can either capture your employees’ interest or bore them into ignoring (or even deleting) your message. So, if you want your workforce to think twice before hitting that delete key, you’ll need to up your game.
Here are a few tips to help you do that:
- Cater to short attention spans and jam-packed schedules by creating brief, snappy content.
- Use a combination of text and images (and include links!)
- Make the most important and compelling points first so your team members get the information they need fast — and may be more inclined to read, watch, or listen to the rest.
- Use (office-appropriate) humor to make a dry subject more fun.
- Reel employees in by giving your content click-worthy subject lines or document titles.
Pro Tip: Some employees like to learn the nitty-gritty details about their benefits, so be sure to include links to additional resources at the end of your message too.
2. Communicate Across Various Mediums
Your employees like to consume information in different ways, so your benefits-related messaging should cater to various learning styles. The best way to do that is to poll your staff and ask them what mediums they prefer. Then, use those channels the most in your benefits communication strategy.
But, if you don’t have time to conduct (and act on) a survey, consider educating your workers through a combination of approaches, such as emails, text messages, webinars, intranet files, mailers, benefits fairs, etc. That way, you increase your odds of reaching every team member, no matter where they are.
3. Make it Personal!
When you send the umpteenth email about open enrollment to everyone in the office, many (or most) of your employees will blindly scroll past or even worse - they’ll click "delete." But, you can make them feel special — and more likely to pay attention — if you take a moment to personalize your message.
At a minimum, try to have every message address each employee by name. Most email software programs offer this functionality. By taking this extra step, your team members may feel like you’re actually talking to them personally — and not just shouting at the masses.
If you have the time (or the technology), you can (and should!) go a step further to customize your outreach. Reference specific life events and recommend they review select benefits in light of those changes. For example, if you know your team member welcomed a new baby to their family over the past year, your communication should suggest that they look at dependent life insurance coverage or accident insurance. The same goes for those employees who adopted a pet - now would be a great time for them to review any pet insurance options your organization offers.
Reminding employees about specific benefits that pertain to them will not only help them make sure they are covered under any event, they will also be more in tune with the broad array of benefits available that they may have overlooked in years past.
4. Use Storytelling
People love a good story. It’s human nature. Telling a story will help employees feel connected to others (and even entertained!). This will help you bring what employees have long considered the “dull” topic of benefits to life through the art of storytelling.
If you have time, ask your workers to share how using their perks made a difference in their lives. Then, with their permission, use their anecdotes in your benefits-related communication. It will help encourage the rest of your staff to enroll in and use their benefits because they’ll be able to see themselves in their coworkers’ stories.
Pro Tip: If you don’t collect real-life stories from your team members, it’s OK to use plausible fictional narratives in your content too.
5. Run An Active Open Enrollment
If you want to force your employees to pay attention, consider running an active open enrollment. With an active open enrollment, your team members must log in to the benefits platform and approve their elections to ensure their coverage carries over to the following year.
Once they’re logged into the system, they’ll have the opportunity to re-evaluate their benefits and make changes to their elections as needed. While they're there, this is your opportunity to capture and maintain their interest so that they make the most out of the process and learn about all of the benefits available to them. Personalization and compelling copy will go a long way here.
Pro-Tip: While having an active open enrollment can lead to a higher percentage of completed signups, that alone won’t necessarily ignite excitement about benefits. You’ll need to heavily communicate that employees must enroll by the deadline or go without coverage for the next year. This is when a solid communication strategy will be key to ensuring your employees learn and get excited about their benefits.
Remember: It’s New Information For Someone
As you try to make your unchanged benefits package seem more exciting, remember this: even if the information you share isn’t “new”, it’s still new to many of your employees who didn’t receive or connect with your message previously. And an employee who just had a baby will likely pay more attention to certain life or disability insurances now than they may have in the past. Plus, by implementing the tips above, you can make old information fresh by repackaging it in an attention-grabbing wrapper.
If the idea of making your benefits package more captivating seems daunting, don’t worry. We’re here to help make the enrollment process easier and more efficient. Picwell DX is a sophisticated, interactive benefits decision support solution that helps employees make the right plan choices for themselves and their families. All they have to do is answer a handful of simple questions about their preferences and past medical care, and the system’s algorithm does the rest.
But that’s not all! Picwell users will also receive thorough and engaging benefits education — for both medical and supplemental benefits. We’ll even write your benefits-related emails for you — just fill in a few fields to customize your message and press send. It’s that easy!
So, even if your benefits haven’t changed, you can’t afford to let another year go by without educating your employees about the amazing benefits your organization continues to offer. Schedule a demo today to see Picwell DX in action.