Open enrollment is the time of the year when employees get the chance to sign up for their workplace benefits, choosing plan options to protect both themselves and their families. With such an important responsibility, it is critical that employees have the understanding to make effective benefits decisions.
Unfortunately, the process of selecting benefits is not always simple, and that often comes down to a handful of issues that many of our clients experience before partnering with PES. Here are the top three signs employees may need assistance with their open enrollment this year.
#1 Employees find OE stressful, leading to low participation
One of the biggest factors that contributes to employee stress during open enrollment is a lack of communication from their company regarding their plan options, how to enroll, and who to go to for help. When employees feel powerless during this critical decision-making period, they often either wait until the very last day to sign up and rush the process or omit signing up altogether. This means employees can leave themselves under-or-unprotected against unforeseen medical and financial circumstances.
#2 Your HR team is overwhelmed
From planning to implementation, some companies choose to put HR teams at the forefront of the open enrollment process, often at the expense of their other responsibilities. Planning for an open enrollment is no simple task and takes months of planning and years of industry knowledge to execute properly. If your HR team is overwhelmed and stressed before open enrollment even begins, chances are that the many, many questions they will receive from employees during this period will send them over the edge.
#3 Employees don’t read any benefits-related material or engage during OE.
This is another problem that comes down to effective communication. If your HR team is simply sending out benefit guides expecting employees to read and understand them, it’s time to rethink your strategy. In fact, a study by the International Foundation of Employee Plans revealed that “80% of companies reported that their employees do not open or read benefit materials.” Creating an engaging communication strategy is critical for the success of any open enrollment.
The Silver Lining
If you are a broker or employer and have been struggling in any of these areas, there is hope. PES partners with employers and brokers to help facilitate the open enrollment process from planning and implementation, to final reporting and wrap-up. PES is truly a one-stop-shop for the employee benefits experience. To learn more about PES can help your company crush open enrollment this year, visit us at www.pesbenefits.com or call us at 551-225-0000.