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August 24, 2020

3 Tips to Streamline Open Enrollment in a Digitally Driven Environment

HR teams and benefits administrators are being spread increasingly thin when it comes to open enrollment. Pivoting from an analog enrollment process to a digital one can substantially decrease the workload on HR teams, as well as increase effectiveness and efficiency. This is especially true in today’s increasingly remote workforce environment. Here are three tips to consider:

1. Check Your Employee Tools

As technology becomes more dominant in both the workplace and at home, employers should be using online and mobile enrollment tools more often. In fact, 66% of employers are now more digitally based than paper-based when it comes to managing employee benefits. Decision-support tools that are included in enrollment systems can be quite valuable, helping individuals and families identify the best benefits for them. Further, employees can get many answers from these tools rather than reaching out to HR, thus decreasing the burden on your HR team. Employers should also communicate cost resources and estimators that are available to employees. These tools provide an easy way for employees to calculate what their health care spend will be, depending on the plan selected, and give them time to plan for those expenses..

Determine in what areas you need improvement to streamline your enrollment process in our 2020 Open Enrollment Success Guide.

2. Pair High-Tech with High-Touch

In today’s digital world, paper enrollments are nearly extinct. Consider some of the electronic options available internally or through your broker/consultant. Using the right automated enrollment tools can reduce manual errors, streamline communication and drive better plan participation. HR management systems can decrease time spent on routine HR tasks, such as correcting manual errors and monitoring data, freeing up time for more valuable employee support services. Technology tools can also track the number of employees enrolling in particular benefits, so you can monitor the status and success of offerings in real time. However, be cautious of letting technology completely take over your benefits enrollment. Best practices suggest that pairing high-quality technology with more personal interaction, such as small group meetings and individual sessions (even if via video), call centers and online chats, results in an efficient enrollment process that also builds employee appreciation and trust.

3. Leverage Data

HR managers can use data analytics to help employees make smarter benefits decisions. Ensure that you have year-over-year data on what benefits are being used (and not used) and how employees make decisions when selecting their benefits. Having this information often uncovers what training or educational materials might help employees better understand and, therefore, take greater advantage of underused or undervalued offerings. It will also help you set actionable open enrollment goals, determine the focus(es) of your open enrollment communications and ease the administrative burden of synchronizing data and powerful reporting.

In today’s increasingly remote work environment, employers must embrace a digital strategy for all aspects of the open enrollment process. The good news is that going digital can alleviate unnecessary complexity. With the proper planning and tools, you will be set up for a stress-free, successful process that contributes to overall benefit plan success.

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