Open enrollment season is a busy time regardless. Factor in the added stresses associated with the pandemic, however, and that already large task can seem monumental. The good news is, an orderly approach and open communication can go a long way toward a successful season. Read on for some helpful advice aimed at keeping your open enrollment talks moving forward successfully, provided by BCH’s employee benefits experts.

Get Your Ducks in a Row
It’s been an unprecedented year (and then some) for everyone, including employers. So, if you don’t feel you’re as prepared for open enrollment season as you have been in the past, it’s understandable. It’s important, though, to enter into the process in as organized a way as possible. We recommend getting started two to three months ahead of your meeting, consulting with your benefits provider(s), evaluating past offerings, determining what (if any) changes should be made and, most importantly, communicating with team members. Our Open Enrollment Checklist provides a helpful timeline regarding what your company should be doing — and when.

Consider a Different Take on the Open Enrollment Meeting
There’s no rule saying you can’t change your open enrollment meetings up some. With so many companies now accustomed to the virtual meeting, for instance, you might allow employees to be there in-person if desired, or to take part remotely. Our Virtual Open Enrollment Sheet offers tips to get you started down that virtual path. If in-person seems like the way to go but social distancing might prove difficult, consider breaking things out into a couple of sessions. Simple concessions such as these can help ease employees’ minds and ensure everyone feels safe. And when that happens, folks are more likely to be able to truly listen in and focus on what’s being covered. In other words, everyone wins!

Take the Opportunity to Listen to Your Team
Open enrollment season might largely focus around getting people educated about — and signed up for — their benefits for the coming year, but it doesn’t have to end there. While you’re on the topic of things your company can offer, why not ask what your team members might like? Recent reports such as this article by HR Dive indicate many employees appreciated the freedoms remote work allowed, for instance, and that they’d like to see mental health considerations increase. Meanwhile, some big-name companies are making headlines by incorporating benefits such as paid college tuition into the mix. While it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to work in every suggestion your team members make, an open, honest discussion can shine light on the things that matter most to them and can help you create a benefits package that keeps them around.

Of course, this is just the start when it comes to considerations for your open enrollment season. Our Open Enrollment: Three Tips for a Smoother Season blog post offers additional insight you can put to good use. If you have questions, or if you’re interested in evaluating and amping up your employee benefits packages, our team would be glad to help. Feel free to contact BCH today!