Couple on a date

eHarmony, Match.com, PlentyOfFish. What do these websites have to do with open enrollment? Just like finding a mate, choosing benefits is personal. Employees want to be sure they’ve explored all their options, so they make the best decisions. Too many options and choices can be overwhelming.

Since your goal is to help employees find the plan that best matches their needs, you can learn a lot from what dating websites do well. Here are three takeaways:


Understand your audience by asking questions

Some dating websites, like OkCupid, allow you to answer questions in order to find a better match. Why not take that same approach to find out what your employees have in common?

Host a survey to ask about knowledge of programs, interest in participating and effectiveness of current communication.

If you need to dig deeper and understand why employees are making certain decisions, facilitate focus groups. Doing so can get you answers to questions like: Why aren’t employees participating in a certain program? Or why aren’t employees signing up on time?

The results of your research will allow you to make valuable changes to your benefits options and your open enrollment process.


Develop profiles to help customers (and employees) make choices

When you’re matched with someone on a dating website, you’re able to read more about your potential mate—like what he/she enjoys doing on weekends and what hobbies he/she has. These detailed profiles help you decide if this person fits your lifestyle.

Employees should be able to do the same thing with their benefits—decide which options are the best for them based on real scenarios. How do you accomplish that? Create profiles that are similar to the ones you might find on eHarmony or Match.com:

  • Married man in his late 20s looking to expand his family and stay on budget
  • Single female with two dogs who enjoys keeping fit and invests in wellness

Then, match the profiles to the benefit options that best fit their needs. Use these scenarios in your open enrollment materials to help bring benefits to life:

  • Create scenario slides to help HR explain how employees might take advantage of their benefits options
  • Mail a brochure to employees’ homes so they can review the scenarios with their spouses

Create an interactive experience

Choosing benefits is definitely not as easy as swiping left and right, but it can be just as interactive. How? One way is to develop a learning module.

This tool helps guide employees through difficult decision making and provides education of complex topics in an entertaining way. The module should include:

  • Simple navigation to different sections. This will allow employees to choose what they want to learn more about.
  • Pop-up boxes for employees to click and learn more. It will keep content short on the page, while still providing all the important details.
  • Questions with multiple choice answers. When selected, suggested benefits can be provided. For example, ask, “Do you have a pet?” If the response is yes, offer information about pet insurance. If the response is no, move on to the next question. 
  • A character or theme (e.g., super heroes, space, a mascot) to add a bit of fun.

Help employees choose the ideal benefits by using inspiration from dating sites.