With open enrollment right around the corner, you need to let your employees know what benefit options they’ll have going into the new year. But communicating with your employees isn’t always easy, especially when delivering a complex and high-stakes message like how they can sign up for new workplace advantages, or modify existing ones.
Luckily, the task of saying the right thing doesn’t have to fall solely on the shoulders of HR professionals. The right open enrollment communication template can help you say the right thing and give your employees exactly the information they need to make the most of your company’s open enrollment period. Let’s talk about it.
Why clear employee communication matters when it comes to open enrollment
A study from Bend Financial found that 53 percent of employees admit to being “completely lost” when it comes to understanding their benefits. And workers who don’t understand their benefits make ill-informed and fast (as little as 18 minutes) decisions when it comes to benefit enrollment. This means that employees are likely under-utilizing the advantages available to them, which results in a poor ROI for your organization.
So focusing on good, clear communication to help your employees better understand their benefits options, as well as the timing and expectations of the enrollment period, allows them to sign up for the workplace advantages which will serve them best. This also means that more employees are likely to engage with your benefits during the open enrollment period if they better understand the process.
How a template can help
An open enrollment communications template can help you to clearly and consistently relay the right information across multiple platforms and employee demographics. With a template, you won’t have to worry about re-writing the same sentence over and over again and can instead focus on filling in the blanks with critical details like benefits qualifications, enrollment deadlines, and more.
Key considerations for finding the best open enrollment communication template for your company
The specific information you have to relay to your people will depend on the benefits you offer and structure of your company. But a good template will help you get the facts out regardless of your organizational particulars. Here are a few questions you can answer to help you find the right template.
With a majority hybrid workforce, relaying information to employees is a more complex undertaking than it used to be. You’ll need to do the research ahead of time to discover the communication methods which will be the most effective at reaching your highly distributed workforce.
Your open enrollment communication template will need to be formatted for the appropriate communication platform. Most templates are designed for email communications, however you should also consider reaching out over text, chat platforms like Slack and Discord, or other internal channels you may use. The template you choose should be able to translate easily between a multitude of communication methods, depending on which your employees are most likely to respond to.
The goal of better communication with your employees is always improved engagement and response. The template you use should allow you to deliver clear understanding and expectation without overwhelming the reader with an excess of information.
A streamlined open enrollment communication often includes the open enrollment timeline, a list of basic instructions, and links directing interested employees towards further information or a place where they can get their questions answered. Consider surveying your employees ahead of time and ask what level of information they want prior to the activity of open enrollment.
Personalization is an important factor to securing employee engagement during open enrollment. Your template should allow you to insert information which is relevant to a variety of employees with different needs regarding their benefits.
For example, employees of older generations are likely to have different priorities than Millennials or Zoomers when it comes to their benefit options. Additionally, long-time employees who are looking to modify their benefits will require different information and instructions than new employees who may not have enrolled in benefits during a previous period.
Language and readability
Your template should avoid the use of too much jargon. An open enrollment communication needs to be accessible, so including only common vernacular and clear statements is critical to ensuring all of your employees will be able to understand the message.
Using a simpler language also ensures that your template will easily translate into different languages. Employees for whom English is a second language may benefit from the clarity that reading your open enrollment instructions in their preferred language will give. Do not rely on an online solution to help you translate – solicit the services of a professional.
Open enrollment communication template example
Here’s an example of a clear and accessible open enrollment communications template.
We are once again reaching our benefits open enrollment period for [year].
[Organization] has decided to continue using [open enrollment solution or software] this year, so previous users will be able to access the portal with last year’s login information. New users can create an account [here] or reach out to [HR professional] for assistance.
Follow these steps to complete the benefits selection process:
Step 1: Log into the [solution] portal.
Step 2: Confirm that all personal information is correct and up-to-date.
Step 3: Follow personalized enrollment instructions as they are listed in the portal.
Step 4: For security purposes, log out and close the [program/browser] after completing enrollment.
Some benefits may be changing this year. Recipients of [benefit(s)] can expect to receive an additional follow-up email regarding these changes. All employees are encouraged to make an appointment on-the-clock with a member of the benefits team to discuss their benefit options.
Please remember that benefits enrollment closes for the year on [date], so make your selections before then, and feel welcomed to reach out with any questions or concerns.
Happy open enrollment season!
You should expect to communicate frequently with your team leading up to your open enrollment period. One of those communications might be a list of the exciting new benefits added to your roster this year – benefits like Origin, a financial wellness solution that helps employees to build better financial futures for themselves and their families with education, financial planning, tracking, and so much more.
Learn more about what Origin has to offer you.