benefitexpress June 5, 2018 5 min read

How to Plan the Best Open Enrollment Communication Strategy

Open enrollment communication strategy

With annual enrollment quickly approaching, you've probably been hard at work drafting and finalizing plan design, but have you taken time to review and set your enrollment communication strategy (ECS) goals?

First, take some time to reflect on last year’s efforts, then set goals for the enrollment. As corporate influence and direction change, so too will the scope and direction of your ECS goals.

Below, find three helpful open enrollment communication goal-setting strategies you can employ this year within your organization.

Set S.M.A.R.T goals

Remember to set S.M.A.R.T. goals: specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused, and time-bound. See the following examples to get an idea of some common goals to set.

  • Increase enrollment in [specific plan] by ___%
  • Increase usage of decision support tool by ___%
  • Decrease inbound calls to HR by ___%
  • Increase views on educational video by ___%
  • Achieve ___% of enrollments by ___/___/___

Rally the troops

Almost as important than the goals themselves is the measurement of said goals. HR teams can track video views, email clicks, survey responses, call logs, webinar attendees, plan elections ... all data that can quickly give an idea of the trends of behavior and attitude in your company.

Take it a step further: find out what time these interactions are taking place. If possible, find out what kind of device is being used to open messages and materials. If you find that a sample of your population is viewing materials on mobile, then you may have to reconfigure how the message appears to be more mobile-friendly.

You don’t necessarily have to go as far as being a part-time data miner to obtain actionable data. All it takes is a few, brief, well-designed surveys to gain enough insight to make changes to your communication plan.

Not every enrollee will be willing to talk benefits, but you have to extract that desire by communicating the value of your offerings. Communicate how the plans will have an impact on their well-being. The best way forward is through personas; these are discussed in the next section.

Create employee personas

Personas are the means by which you segment your employee population into groups that share traits and interests. Your messages will resonate better and are more likely to engage the employee with your message. This also enables you to draw additional insights about your population.

One important thing to remember is that your personas should be dynamic. They can and will change with company growth. This will be something to monitor and analyze later to be sure the personas are still an accurate representation of your company as a whole.

A good persona has definitive traits that have wide applications. Demographic traits like location of work, age, time at company, and work hours are a good start. You’ll have to develop the “about me” section on your own in order to have the best psycho-graphic fit for your industry.

Keep in mind the personas you make may not be all encompassing. Depending on the size of your company, you may only have four personas — and that’s perfectly fine. More personas does not equate better communication; rather, they may get too detailed and make the data inconclusive

Your next steps...

If you've completed the steps above, you are already off to a great start! You have created the necessary foundation needed for building your annual enrollment communication strategy. Continue creating your strategy by downloading our free annual enrollment survival guide.