Open enrollment is coming and, for many organizations, change management comes with it. It’s almost time for employees to make decisions about their healthcare coverage and, in a way, their future with the company. It might be too late to make further changes to your company’s healthcare offerings for the year. But it’s not too late to implement changes that will improve employee engagement, internal communications and your bottom line.
Change management is never easy, and it’s more difficult the larger the company is.
Change Management: What Needs to Change?
Changing everything about how your company gets things done in the weeks and months leading up to open enrollment isn’t ideal. Sometimes it’s necessary. But, everything else being equal, the change initiatives you need to focus on this time of year should concern internal marketing and benefits-enrollment systems. If you’ve had low sign-up numbers in previous years, then it’s time to make a change in how you’re presenting your benefits packages to employees.
You know attractive health insurance options and other features help you keep your best employees and recruit talent. But, if no one knows about them or enough people have misconceptions, then neither your employees nor the company itself will reap the rewards of good benefits plans.
Video communications and online benefits portals are a great way to educate employees and give them sign-up options. These systems allow employees to get the necessary information to make their benefits elections and enroll on their own time. Benefits decision-support tools like PLANselect® have been shown to engage employees at high levels.
How to Make Changes
You know what you need to make changes ahead of open enrollment season, but how can you execute those changes? Here are a few considerations to make before pushing your company in a new direction during this time of year:
1. Analyze your workforce’s demographics and benefits usage
You need to understand and anticipate how your employees will use their benefits for the coming year. How many of your employees have kids? How many families are growing? What medical issues have your employees had and how did they use their health insurance last year? This information will affect your messaging and any changes you might make to how employees sign up for benefits. Perhaps there are new features in your benefits offerings that will help employees with children more. Learn what your employees are looking for, then make it easier for them to find and get what they need.
2. Create groups with the same needs and target them with customized messaging
A big component of change management is making sure certain employees get the improvements they need. Organizations, at times, need to focus on a few different groups of employees. Think of these groups as target audiences. What health benefits will appeal to the subset of employees who have children or younger employees with non-insured spouses? Similarly, organize your change management messaging by target group to make your change communications more effective.
3. Start with the “why” and the “what”
There are many things employees don’t like about change management and employee communications. One of those things is disingenuous language. Don’t try to sugarcoat changes that might put some employees in a bind. Explain why you’re making these changes and what, specifically, employees can expect. Tell them what your changes to the company’s overall benefits strategy is supposed to accomplish.
Keep It Simple
At Flimp Communications, we simplify employee communications of all kinds, particularly benefits strategies. From digital postcards to PLANselect to custom video content, our range of products can help with your change management initiatives. Contact us for more information.