Benefits Administration, Benefits Communications, Benefits Technology, Open Enrollment

HR Best Practices for Open Enrollment

September 27, 2023 | Winston

Open enrollment (OE) can cause many HR professionals to feel overwhelmed with the amount of tasks at hand and can make this time especially difficult. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of five best practices for OE that HR professionals can focus on to help simplify this time for their departments and employees alike.

1. Prioritize Communication

Effective communication between HR departments and employees ensures a seamless open enrollment process. However, determining the best form of benefits communication can be tricky, especially in today’s unique workforce, where HR and benefits teams have to navigate diverse age groups, remote and hybrid work schedules, and employees spread out over the country. HR teams need to focus on benefits communications that will reach most of their employees where they are. Read our recent blog on Benefits Communication Tools for Open Enrollment for detailed examples of effective communications you can utilize this season.

2. Help Employees Understand Their Offerings

While benefits communications will play a critical role in educating employees throughout enrollment and beyond, there are additional steps that HR and benefits professionals can take to help employees understand comprehensive benefits offerings during this time as well. For example, consider hosting Q&A sessions or designated “office hours” with employees during working hours to optimize the chance of attendance so employees can ask questions and learn more about offerings they may not fully understand.

3. Take Time for Yourself

OE can be stressful for HR departments; make sure you’re taking time outside of work to recharge and refocus. You should also try and implement time for movement, such as stretch breaks or walking, to decrease stress throughout the day.

4. Focus on People Rather Than Tasks

Due to the demanding nature of OE, HR and benefits teams often get wrapped up in smaller tasks that take away from their connections with employees. This can make it difficult for employees to get the information they need. That’s why HR automation, like our HRally® platform at Winston, has become a popular tool for professionals to streamline tasks and meet employees where they are to make benefits changes. According to Workato, HR automation has risen by 599% over the past two years. Many HR professionals have seen the value in investing in automation technology and are putting the tools to the test to manage their tasks and bring the “human” back to “Human Resources.”

5. Consider a Benefits Administration Partner

A benefits administration partner can help alleviate some added stress and even manage some employee questions about OE through call center services, billing and compliance capabilities, and implementing benefits communications on behalf of your department. 

At Winston, our teams are well-versed in HR and benefit teams’ struggles during this time and can help lighten the load to ensure a smoother OE period. Contact us today to learn more about what our team can do for you!

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Disclaimer: This content is strictly informational and should not be used as specific advice on insurance products, legal, accounting, and/or tax related matters. Insureds should always contact the appropriate licensed professional for their insurance, legal, accounting, or tax needs.

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