5 Strategies for Helping Your Hybrid/Remote Employees Navigate Open Enrollment

Oct 4, 2023 7:10:00 AM

With the rapid rise in the hybrid/remote workforce, HR departments have had to rethink their open enrollment strategy. Just like in-office employees, hybrid or remote employees want the same thing - clear communication and an easy open enrollment process that they can navigate anywhere at any time. 

Thankfully, there’s many new strategies HR departments can put in place to help create a successful open enrollment season for their hybrid/remote workforce. Let’s dive into some of those strategies that will help those employees fully grasp their options and make well-informed benefit choices for the upcoming year.

Strategy 1: Kick It off Virtually

To get everyone on the same page, a virtual kickoff meeting is a great start. By hosting a virtual meeting, you’re not excluding any of your hybrid or remote employees, all while allowing them the opportunity to learn about their options and ask questions. 

The meeting should include your heads of HR, managers, and/or benefit vendors who are best suited to explain all benefits and answer any questions that may arise. This meeting doesn’t need to go into great detail, but rather serve as a top-level view of what to expect and how to navigate this year’s open enrollment.

Strategy 2: Offer One-on-One Meetings – Virtually and In-Person

Even with a kick-off and multiple company-wide meetings, there will always be employees who may not completely grasp their options. Some employees may have questions but might not feel comfortable asking them in a public setting. By offering one-on-one meetings, you can provide these employees with a comfortable environment to ask questions and ensure they have a thorough understanding of all their benefit options.

It would be ideal to conduct these meetings virtually or in-person, if possible, as different employees have their own preferences. For fully remote employees who live far away, virtual meetings provide the opportunity to receive personalized attention from the convenience of their home office.

Strategy 3: Automate Your Open Enrollment Process

There are many moving pieces your HR department manages during open enrollment. By automating the process for those remote/hybrid employees, you not only save your HR department time, but can minimize any errors. 

It also provides an easy, smooth enrollment process for your employees. An automated benefit system allows existing employees to conveniently review information, choose their preferred plan, and update their personal data when a qualifying life event takes place. Additionally, automated employer contributions make it effortless to calculate deductions for each participating employee.

Strategy 4: Go Digital 

In a work-from-home environment, it's important to acknowledge that your team's time and attention are limited. To effectively communicate open enrollment information, organizations must find ways to break through the clutter and capture their attention. This starts with digitizing the process. 

If your company is still using paper benefit brochures, it’s time to create a digital format that can be sent to hybrid/remote employees through email or online sharing programs. You can also host virtual webinars where you can communicate important information and employees can ask questions. By embracing digital solutions, you can enhance the efficiency of your employees' enrollment and prevent any progress if errors are detected.

Strategy 5: Continue to Make Adjustments

As we navigate through the early years of this new hybrid/remote work environment, it is important to acknowledge that perfecting open enrollment right from the start may not happen. Take a moment to reflect on your previous enrollment process, especially in the context of hybrid/remote work. What worked well? What didn't? Once you have answers to these questions, implement the necessary changes in your next open enrollment season to ensure a continuous improvement in your process for your hybrid/remote workforce.

About Proliant

Proliant puts the human in human resources. We provide a fully integrated, cloud-based HCM solution that simplifies payroll and HR processes. The company serves small to large clients in multiple industries in all 50 states and is committed to providing the highest quality customer service in the industry.

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