The Benefits of Starting Open Enrollment Early

The Benefits of Starting Open Enrollment Early

The COVID-19 pandemic impacted the job market in ways never before seen. It created uncertainty that employees who would’ve typically searched for a new job decided to stay at their current job instead. Furthermore, the pandemic prompted employees to evaluate their circumstances and consider what workplace perks matter most.

As the impacts of COVID-19 lessen, experts predict a “turnover tsunami” in the latter half of 2021 as employees reevaluate their needs and workplaces. Employers should recognize the value of beginning open enrollment efforts early in 2021. Improving and promoting benefit offerings can help demonstrate to employees they are valued and convince top performers considering seeking a new job to remain.

Tailoring Benefits
Employee benefits can be a powerful recruitment and retention tool. The COVID-19 pandemic caused a massive shift in how workplaces functioned. Many workplaces offered remoting work arrangements and flexibility that wasn’t previously offered. Now, many employees want at least some of these benefits to become permanent.

Below are some of the top benefits employees are seeking:

  • Telecommuting
  • Flexible or hybrid scheduling
  • Higher compensation
  • Mental health resources
  • Caregiving benefits
  • Development opportunities

According to Human Resources Executive, nearly 50% of employees are willing to change jobs for benefits that matter to them. Employers should request feedback from their employees to learn more about what benefits they value. Adding or modifying the benefits offered may be enough to retain employees.

Messaging Efforts
After finalizing benefits options, employers should plan their employee communication strategies. By highlighting the benefits offered, employees will understand your unique perks and the benefits of staying with your organization. Additionally, many employees might not fully understand all of the perks and programs you offer or access. To help offset the potential “turnover tsunami,” employers should start the employee benefits communication process early this year to help remind employees of the programs you offer and the benefits of working for your organization.

Your open enrollment communication strategy can include:

  • Group meetings to discuss available benefits
  • One-on-one meetings to go over questions and individual needs
  • Multichannel communication methods (videos, printouts, guides, presentations, and emails)
  • Periodic enrollment reminders, including enrollment dates and workplace-specific instructions
  • Messaging that directs employees to designated points of contact for questions

Get Started Early
Employers should consider starting open enrollment communication early this year. Not only will it provide employees with more time to understand their benefits, but it can also help retain employees who may be on the fence about changing jobs. In addition to providing comprehensive insurance and risk management services, RBN provides value-add benefits and a full-service coverage platform to our clients. RBN can help develop employment policies, retention strategies, employee handbooks, safety procedures, and wellness programs.

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