Six Best Practices for a Year-Long Enrollment Strategy

An HR executive contemplating the year ahead.

While open enrollment is the primary time each year that many organizations communicate benefits information to employees, there are opportunities throughout the year to continue to educate and engage employees.

A year-long enrollment strategy can not only help deliver higher benefits participation, but it also can also alleviate some of the time and stress that HR and benefits teams often feel at open enrollment. Here are six best practices to consider for a year-long enrollment strategy:

Start early, stay informed. Don't wait for open enrollment to revisit your offerings. Regularly review plans, costs, and identify potential changes. This allows for proactive communication and avoids surprises for employees.

Know your workforce. Conduct surveys or focus groups to understand employee demographics and needs. This helps tailor benefit offerings and communication strategies to resonate with different segments of your workforce.

Communication is key and one size does not fit all. Instead of relying solely on email, use a multi-channel approach. These can include texting, the company intranet, internal social media, payroll inserts, and targeted email campaigns to reach employees where they are.

Offer year-round resources: Don't limit education to open enrollment. Provide financial literacy programs, budgeting workshops, and explanations of specific plan details throughout the year.

Feedback matters. Use surveys and focus groups after open enrollment to gather employee feedback on the process, communication materials, and benefit offerings. This feedback loop allows you to refine your approach for the following year.

Benefits beyond enrollment. Don't let enrollment be the end of the story. Communicate how employees can utilize benefits throughout the year. This could include employee wellness programs, financial planning resources, or assistance programs.

By implementing these best practices, you can help transform your enrollment approach from a one-time, stressful event each year, into a true strategic initiative that fosters employee engagement throughout the year. This can ultimately enable greater participation in your offering, while providing ongoing help to employees in achieving greater financial well-being and financial security.