Rock Open Enrollment With These 5 Best Practices

By Rob Whalen - Oct 5, 2022 3:15:46 PM - 6 MINS READ

You call it fall? We call it open enrollment season

The last whiff of summer days has blown away. The leaves are turning orange, and the weather is finally perfect for cardigans and pumpkin spice lattes. It also means it’s open enrollment season. 

While there is still time before we start celebrating a new year, now is the time to start thinking of eligible benefit plans for your employees. What current programs are available to your employees? Are there any non-traditional benefits? Does your open enrollment strategy correlate with the needs of the workplace? 

Beginning November 1, employees will enroll in benefits plans for 2023. As employers, it is important to ensure that your benefits programs are worthwhile for a multigenerational workforce. Here are our five tips and tricks to make it the most successful open enrollment season ever.  

How to make the best benefits program for your employees

The secret to attracting and retaining the best employees? Benefits. According to a recent survey, 60 percent of employees, benefits were a top priority when choosing a company to work for besides compensation. 

Showing your employees how much you value them can come in various ways; however, through benefit programs, you can provide them with financial aid in often overlooked areas (e.g. gym membership, therapy, etc.). Take a look at your current benefit plans, and determine the proper adjustments for an ideal program for your employees. Check out a full list here:

Enhanced virtual care

Health & wellness programs

Infertility benefits

Pharmacy cost savings

Eldercare/childcare solution

Employee assistance programs

If adding new benefit programs is not in the cards for your company this year, check with your current providers and see how you can maximize the programs already in place. Remember, your employees are your main focus when designing or embellishing employee benefits.

The cutting edge of employee benefit programs

Non-traditional benefits are all the rage now, igniting competition amongst companies to attract and retain talent. By implementing benefits into your workplace culture, you can offset the burden employees will face due to the rising healthcare costs. Life planning accounts (LPAs) are employer-sponsored spending accounts that can support employees' health and wellness. 

The name of the game for this open enrollment season? Flexible benefits. Offering your workforce flexible benefits allows employees to turn their unused PTO into something more useful and valuable. Whether towards retirement or a European cruise, ensure your employees have freedom in what they do with what they've earned. 

Design your benefits with your employees in mind

You’ll obtain useful information regarding demographics/geographics by conducting employee surveys or polls. With this information, you can design your benefits around them! However, conducting your research based on the current workforce is important. Realistically, your workforce won’t undergo too many changes between now and the new year, so you want your benefits to align with the current company culture. 

Each generation has faced its own challenges within its lifetime, meaning they have unique needs. Designing your benefits to be flexible for a multigenerational workforce is the key to making this year's open enrollment a success. 

What’s the best way to spread the word?

How will you get the word out about all these new open enrollment ideas? Thankfully, there are ways to communicate these benefits to your employees before the open enrollment season officially opens. This can include traditional methods such as text messaging or through office hours. However, communicating through a benefits portal, mobile app, a digital postcard, or a digital benefits booklet will allow all the information to be in a single entity accessible to all employees. 

But…inflation is still a thing

It’s been a rough couple of years, to say the least. Not only are we still reaping the destruction that the COVID-19 pandemic created, but we are also experiencing record-breaking inflation

With healthcare costs projected to rise by 6 percent, employers must do everything possible to prevent budgets from overflowing. Of course, there’s the option of shifting costs to your employees with higher premium contributions; however, this is not optimal with a tight labor market. Here are some other options to take advantage of:

  • Offering low deductible plans

  • Structuring payroll contributions (cutting costs for low-wage employees)
  • Improving and/or adding enhanced voluntary benefits/use of vendors (especially in case of disastrous events)

Ready to rock open enrollment?

The countdown to November 1 is on. Before all the leaves fall off the trees and the weather becomes even colder, ensure that you offer your employees the most flexible benefits this open enrollment season. 

Be sure to check out a demo and see how our platform could be the answer to your flexible benefits questions. 

Rob Whalen

Rob is co-founder and CEO of PTO Exchange.

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