Benefits are vital to my health and financial security, but I don’t rush to enroll. Before I started this HR journey, I used to wait until the last minute to read benefit enrollment information each year.
Whenever the mail carrier delivered that hefty benefit envelop, I immediately open it, scanned it for anything that warranted attention, shoved it in a pile somewhere on the desk, and set a reminder to complete it before the deadline. I wouldn’t say I dreaded it, but some employees might.
Like many workers, I just want to make the best decision for my family. Because I have too much on my plate, most of the time, I put enrolling on hold until I can read the information and compare options with a clear head. Honestly, with everything going on in your life right now, do you really want to sift through an enormous benefits book or sit through yet another hour-long mind-numbing open enrollment presentation?
Seriously, I’ve had my share of sitting through lengthy PowerPoint presentations with that small voice repeating in my head, “Just tell me what I need to know.” Concurring with Stephen Miller, CEBS, “Millennials aren’t the only employees whose eyes glaze over when HR describes benefit options.” Some folk won’t admit it, but that’s exactly how it feels. There are always employees who just want HR to tell them what to do too. Some even prefer HR hold their hand and read every single word line-by-line for them.
When it comes to open enrollment, tell employees what they need to know. Instead of relying heavily on PowerPoint presentations, try different methods. Games, for example, are a creative and exciting way to communicate benefit information. Keep it succinct. Use a format that best fits the audience. For instance, employees who are pressed for time only want to know what’s changing and how it benefits them. Having changes front and center with timelines to compare the options side by side can help streamline the enrollment process.