You know open enrollment is coming every year so it’s never too early to start thinking about your communication strategy—especially since it gets more and more difficult every year to explain new healthcare requirements and changes to employees.

Make sure employees understand their benefit options and what they need to do by avoiding these five common communication mistakes.

Mistake 1. Communicating too late

What employees
are thinking
  What to do differently
"OMG...I don't have time to figure this out." For employees to choose wisely, they need time to weigh their options. And they need to easily find relevant information when they’re ready. Consider taking a just-in-time approach to appeal to all employees: early action-takers, just-in-timers and last-minute scramblers.

Mistake 2. Being vague about a big change

What employees
are thinking
  What to do differently
"I'm confused. Can I keep my current plan or not?" When there is a significant benefits change, you can bet employees will have a lot of questions. Be very specific about what the change is, why it was made, who it impacts and, most important, what employees need to do differently.

Mistake 3. Not including spouses or partners

What employees
are thinking
  What to do differently
"I don't know what I'm doing. My wife usually fills this stuff out." Not every employee wears the “benefits decision-making pants” in his or her family. That’s why you should directly communicate with spouses or partners to keep them informed about open enrollment options and important deadlines.

Mistake 4. Sticking to the same old channels

What employees
are thinking
  What to do differently
"Is there an app for that?" The 25-page open enrollment guide just doesn’t cut it for all employees. Engage and educate employees by using a variety of channels, such as intranet pages, plasma screens, lunch & learns and videos. Also, consider interactive media, such as iBooks and apps.

Mistake 5. Forgetting to get employee feedback

What employees
are thinking
  What to do differently
"It wasn't good for me." How do you know if your communications are really working for employees? Ask them! Invite employees to participate in a short survey that covers what’s working, what’s not working and any improvements they might suggest.

 

 

 

Join for free to access more information
Register today to learn more