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Annual Enrollment First Impressions

Annual Enrollment First Impressions
Posted on Friday, November 21, 2014 by Josh Holman

If your company has an Annual Enrollment in the fall, you have certainly considered a Pre-AE Fulfillment strategy by now. Of the thousand thoughts and challenges you face, no doubt you’ve run across a few of these:

How can you ensure your employees receive sufficient information to understand their Annual Enrollment options? How can you drive a successful communication blitz without creating confusion, or without blowing your budget? And the one we’ve all had to deal with: how can you do it on time? Here are 5 things to keep in mind.

1)  The obvious one: Plan ahead! The last thing you want to do is think about annual enrollment before you have to, but take my word for it, prepare ahead of time. There is no harm in beginning to think about your fulfillment as early as May or June.

2)  Use last year’s momentum. Chances are you are working with a team of individuals that can help make some recommendations. Best case scenario: Pick up where you left off from last year and improve on an already used template. Worst case scenario: encourage your team or provider to make some recommendations on what they have found to be successful.

3)  Be concise. You may appreciate having all of the information in one place, but your employees likely want to know the basics: Where do I go to enroll? When do I need to do this? Who will answer my questions? You must balance your Pre-AE communications with the entire process: Do not forget that most of the information can be available once an employee initiates the enrollment process.

4)  Understand your constraints. In today’s data driven world, it is not uncommon to pull data out of your benefits enrollment system to populate your employee communications. While this tactic is a powerful way to communicate with your employees, you should understand whether there are any constraints. Is there data that cannot be pulled? Is there a template that has a fixed look and feel? Understanding your capabilities ahead of time will factor into your overall strategy.

5)  Use visuals with your fulfillment provider. The first version of your pre AE fulfillment samples will not be your final product. Plan on having a few versions to create the perfect message for your employees. As such, be sure to create a process between your team and your fulfillment team to best communicate what you would like to change. A phone call with requests will not get the desired results: Be sure to use visuals! Whether that be a webinar, a mocked-up draft, or screenshots, using visuals will enhance your requests and streamline your road to success.

Pre Annual Enrollment fulfillment is your first chance to make an impression on your employees–make it count! Your benefits administration team (or specific fulfillment team) should be chomping at the bit to make you look good, as this is their first opportunity as well. Use the pointers above to stay focused on your top priorities. From there, you can set your goals high to ensure you have your most successful AE ever!