Most companies opted for hybrid work models during the COVID-19 menace to cope with the new demands. Some are still operating entirely remotely, while others are back in the office. However, remote work made most employees prefer being remote or hybrid workers to have a better work-life balance. One of the challenges with a hybrid work model is the need to strategize the best ways to have a successful annual enrollment period. Some agents are back for on-site appointments and presentations. However, this doesn’t mean they should stop incorporating technology in this process.
Nevertheless, what can companies and agents do to ensure all eligible employees participate in annual enrollment? Here are a few strategies for a successful annual enrollment with a hybrid workforce.
1. Let the Benefits Enrollment Process Be Flexible
When it comes to a hybrid workforce (both virtual and in-person workers), you need to allow everyone to choose the enrollment channel that is best for them. Ensure each company has physical and informational meetings, on-site enrollment services, and virtual enrollment services for every employee to work with what they understand best.
Most companies use mobile apps, call-in services, or websites to do the annual enrollment. Other options like 24/7 operational AI-powered virtual assistants can also help your employees in this process. Before choosing any enrollment tool, ensure it is responsive, up-to-date, and easy to understand. Also, have more than one tool for benefits enrollment to avoid inconveniencing HR teams and employees.
2. Have a Creative, Open, and Engaging Virtual Communication Forum
Communication is key to successful benefits marketing. To make such a forum engaging and fun, include fun games with prizes, tags, or points to engage eligible employees during the meeting. Invite other vendors and carriers to these webinars as well. This will make the Q&A session engaging and detailed as the experts will explain more about the programs and policies so that employees get the information they need.
3. Start the Annual Enrollment Process Early
As a benefits provider, encourage companies to start the benefits education process early to give everyone enough time to choose their preferred options on time. Remember, employee benefits affect employees’ lives, families, and finances. This means they need time to select and understand the benefit enrollment programs, policies, and updates each year. This is especially important recently because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Take time before enrollment opens to educate employees on the benefits programs and any changes in policies so that they understand them. This will reduce the last-minute uninformed benefit enrollment, which can be frustrating. Further, find ways to help your employees embrace voluntary benefits enrollment. This type of coverage can help with the many life uncertainties they’ve had, especially in this pandemic.
Connect Your Hybrid Workforce with Benefits
As technology pushes companies to make some desired changes, employ it in your company’s benefits enrollment program. You can do this by providing your employees with flexible enrollment programs and tools that are easy to understand and use. Include an AI-powered virtual assistant, website, in-call service center, or a benefits toolkit. Benefits Zone can help connect employees to all of their benefits and create a smooth open enrollment period.