How to Plan for a Successful Open Enrollment

It’s that time of year again— time for HR to prep for a successful open enrollment! Starting to plan for your company’s open enrollment now, can result in a smoother process. As employee satisfaction becomes an increasingly large factor to attract talent and maintain retention, employers are looking for more ways to exceed their benefit expectations. As you start planning, it is important to consider how you can make the open enrollment period more successful. Let’s dive in!


The first step to success is looking back on last year’s efforts and evaluate what worked and what didn’t work for you and your employees. Each year you should discuss how your previous open enrollment process went. It is important to figure out what went well and what could be improved. Reviewing last year’s process is the best way to improve this year’s. This review factors directly into the next part of the step, setting clear goals. Once you have completed a detailed evaluation, define your goals, objectives and how you plan to measure success for the upcoming enrollment period.

Set Goals

A great way to have a more successful open enrollment period is to create a checklist. Start the list with quantifiable goals (hard goals) and end with recommendations from your employees’ feedback (soft goals). Ask employees how they felt about their understanding of the company’s benefits, how much effort was required to sign up for the benefits and how smoothly the process has gone in the past. Keep this checklist short (no more than three hard and soft goals) to help focus on the most important objectives. 1 

Leverage Technology

How will you administer open enrollment? Do you use a streamlined, user-friendly and integrated system? To help your employees be more informed with their benefits, we create a customized website where your employees can view benefits, print forms, post important documents and look up doctors. We have also partnered with an HR technology company that will allow you to integrate your HR benefits, payroll and reporting systems. All of these elements will make open enrollment more productive and efficient. If you are still using manual processes to manage open enrollment, consider moving online to provide a better experience across the organization.


Make sure to over-communicate with your employees to eliminate potential for errors. Identify what channels and methods you will use to communicate benefits information to employees— email, videos, printed materials, workshops, employee portal. Create bold graphics, make the content concise and end with a call-to-action that is easy to follow. This will demand attention, encourage employees to ask questions and increase engagement throughout the enrollment process. 1 The earlier you start communicating with your employees, the sooner they can start educating themselves on their benefits and what they need to do in order to have a successful open enrollment experience.

Keep these steps in mind as you build your open enrollment plan to set yourself up for success. For more information give us a call or visit our website!


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