Human Capital Management, Total Rewards

4 Tips for HR to Have a Successful Virtual Open Enrollment


With open enrollment season on the horizon and many workforces still being (and some staying) remote, now is the time for HR teams to adapt and embrace communicating their benefits plans virtually.

Coming up with a whole new approach may feel overwhelming—but don’t worry. Engaging and educating employees on your benefits offerings can be just as effective with a virtual strategy. Below are four tips you can use to reach your employees virtually during open enrollment this year.

  1. Make decisions early – Leaders need to be thinking about open enrollment months in advance. Your HR team should be thinking about ways to simplify the process for your employees, as well as what benefits to continue, add or drop. By utilizing virtual tools like online surveys, employers can use direct employee feedback to gain insights into the changes they should be considering.
  2. Effectively communicate – In order to reach all employees, communicate using a variety of channels. This can include emails, texts, informational videos, push notifications, Teams or Slack channels, and Zoom meetings. Employees have individual preferences, so using a variety of channels ensures everyone is notified. The next step is to review all communications, take out the jargon and use more simple language. Employees want to be able to quickly identify what is important and what is changing, instead of spending hours trying to read through text-heavy documents. Use graphics, videos, and interactive elements such as virtual health fairs to keep employees engaged and help them better understand the benefits they have access to.
  3. Add in human elements – While staying virtual has many conveniences, it also means some employees will miss having the human element associated with open enrollment. One way to combat this is to create opportunities for personal interactions throughout the process. This could be done through one-on-one “virtual office hours” scheduled through an online platform, Zoom sessions, or a call center for benefits-related questions.
  4. Bring in outside help if needed – If your HR team is struggling to manage all the facets of benefits administration, it may be time to consider bringing in outside help. A trusted partner can handle the challenges of benefit plan design and effectively communicating in a virtual setting to allow your internal team to focus on other priorities.

Open enrollment is a busy and often stressful time for HR, but it’s also an opportunity to make sure that your benefits plan reflects your center’s overall culture, values, and goals. If your organization is looking for support during the upcoming open enrollment season, please fill out the form below to connect with our experts: