#HR Trends and Insights

Simple Ways to Improve Open Enrollment Communication

November 20, 2019

Are companies getting more targeted and personalized in their approach to benefits during open enrollment?
A new survey sheds some positive light on how employees feel about the open enrollment communication from their employers.
Prudential’s survey revealed 65 percent of employees had selected new benefits during open enrollment and said their employers were using a variety of communication tools to pass on information. Further, 35 percent of workers in the survey stayed with the same benefits, but felt they made an informed decision because of the information available.
In 2017, a large survey by the Guardian revealed the opposite and shined a light on the woes some employers were facing as they planned communications for open enrollment periods. Only 49 percent of workers surveyed could accurately say what benefits they had.
The Guardian survey was similar to a MetLife survey that found employees dislike the open enrollment process as much as they hate going to renew a driver’s license. About 45 percent said they are wary of open enrollment, with about 20 percent of workers saying they feel confused, anxious, or stressed for each category.

Changing approaches

With a lot of criticism about employer communication, many companies are changing how they work with employees. Employers are no longer mailing envelopes with brochures to employees. Depending on the age of the employee, they may prefer email communications, 1-1 meetings, or something else.
Some companies feel the 1-1 meetings ensure employees know what they are signing up for, and can reduce the number of problems down the road.
Other teams are looking at enrollment not as a few weeks on the calendar, but as a year-round campaign. For example, while employees may not be able to sign up for health insurance in May, that doesn’t mean you can’t send important benefit information to them.

Which benefits do the employees want?

While health insurance will always dominate open enrollment, it’s important also to remember the other benefits that can improve the lives of your employees. Those include commuter benefits.

Commuter benefits allow employees to save up to $265 per month for commuting costs. They save up to 40 percent on their commutes when using public transportation, rideshares and qualified parking.
Your business will save money too. Payroll costs are lower as your employees are setting aside money tax-free. You can save $41 per employee per month for each employee who enrolls in your commuter benefits program. How much do you save? For 50 employees, that is $24,000 in savings for a year. With 75 employees, that could mean $36,000 in savings. Here you find a guide to understand how commuter benefits work.
Want to learn more? Download the Commuter Benefits 101 Guide

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