Every open enrollment season brings its own unique challenges. This year, many HR teams will be managing benefits enrollment for a hybrid workforce, trying to accommodate the needs and expectations of in-office workers and remote-only employees alike.
The rise of the hybrid workforce was clearly the fruit of the global pandemic, yet for many businesses, it’s likely to become the new status quo. As such, it’s invaluable for HR professionals to develop a sound strategy for successfully rolling out open enrollment options.
Tips for Open Enrollment in a Hybrid Work Environment
A few guidelines include:
1) Provide plenty of time and education.
Because remote workers are not physically in the building to ask questions, to swing by HR’s office, or to attend in-person meetings, it may be wise to provide a little extra time for employees to study their options and to think about what’s best.
Additionally, try to provide more opportunities than usual for employees to seek answers or clarification. We would advise HR to ramp up their typical number of town halls and Q&A sessions, and to ensure that at least some of those sessions are held remotely.
2) Provide additional options.
As the needs of your workforce become more diverse and more complex, it makes sense to increase access to different carriers and plans, whenever possible.
Of course, this dovetails with our point about providing more time and education: The more options you lay out for your employees, the more opportunity they’ll need to research, study, and think.
3) Build on last year’s offerings.
Think back to how you handled open enrollment at the peak of COVID’s fall/winter surge. Many of the innovations or improvisations that served you well last year could be carry-overs into years to come.
For example, we’ve heard from many HR teams that held virtual benefits fairs, or that developed support apps to help employees navigate the open enrollment process. These are potentially lasting solutions that can help you accommodate the needs of your hybrid workforce.
4) Promote, promote, promote.
There are countless ways to keep the open enrollment process top-of-mind for your employees, and also to generate plenty of ongoing excitement and engagement. Topic-specific email blasts, podcasts, videos, and webinars can all be great ways to ensure that employees feel supported throughout their journey.
And make sure you don’t just limit your promotional activities to the open enrollment season. We highly recommend that HR teams continue promoting benefits engagement throughout the year.
Questions About Open Enrollment?
Do you have additional questions about navigating open enrollment in a hybrid work setting? We’re here to chat with you any time. Reach out to FullHR to ask about potential services and solutions.