3 Steps for a Stress-Free Open Enrollment for Midsize Employers

Open enrollment season is here, and many midsize employers are hustling to inform and educate employees about company benefits. No matter your company’s size, you can employ key strategies to engage employees and get on the right path toward a stress-free open enrollment.

  1. Use multiple channels to communicate often

    A multigenerational workforce can present communication challenges for employers. Even though we live in a fast-paced world where decisions are increasingly made using mobile devices, some people still prefer to receive information about their health plan options through postcards, flyers or posters. Others, mainly Generation Xers, tend to prefer email. While many millennials, who spend hours each day watching videos on their smartphones and other devices, appreciate the convenience of text messages and social media. Know your employee demographics and use multiple channels to ensure all employees see the important messages. 

  2. Keep it clear, concise and simple

    Communication is essential to engage employees and ensure they understand their benefit choices. Just be sure to avoid the temptation to throw as much information as possible at employees and expect them to sort through it and find what’s most important. Think bite-size nuggets of knowledge instead of big entire meals. Likewise, try to avoid “benefits speak” (technical jargon) as much as possible. 

  3. Get creative

    Find ways to make Open Enrollment less confusing and more fun. Offer incentives for participating in enrollment, or hold a contest (such as a raffle drawing for the first 50 enrollees). Creating fun messaging and an enrollment theme will help keep employees engaged by building a stronger emotional connection with benefits.

The key to a successful Open Enrollment is to reach employees with simple, creative communications using multiple channels. Even though Open Enrollment only happens once a year, employees use their benefits throughout the year. That’s why it’s a good idea to stay engaged with your employees with year-round communications so that they can make the most of the benefit choices they make during enrollment.

Mercer offers several a la carte enrollment solutions for midsize employers, each designed to fit a different budget and buying preference. These include:

  • Benefits Publishing on Demand – a self-service website where employers can create professional communication materials quickly and economically. 
  • Midmarket and Midmarket Lite – robust bundled communication packages featuring professionally written communication materials including announcement brochures, benefits decision guides, reminder postcards, employee presentations, one-page microsites and more.
  • Mercer Marketplaces 365+ – highly robust health and benefits technology solution, which includes open enrollment solutions ranging from decision support tools to call center support and communication materials.
Todd Renner
by Todd Renner

Partner, Health, Mercer Todd Renner is currently Mercer’s US Health & Benefits Practice Leader for the Enterprise and Midmarket segment as well as the leader for Mercer Marketplace 365+ and Mercer Administration’s portfolio of technology and administrative services. In this role, Todd works closely with internal and external constituents that support Mercer’s consulting and administration solutions geared toward the 100 to 5,000 employer segment. Collectively, this team delivers Mercer’s proven value to a segment that is increasingly demanding top tier consulting and simplified benefit administration from their benefit consulting team. Todd has been with Marsh & McLennan Companies for a total of eleven years and recently rejoined the firm in 2015. Prior to joining Mercer, Todd was Head of the Employee Benefits National Practice at Wells Fargo Insurance Services. Todd earned both his BS degree in Business Administration and his MBA from Wake Forest University. He holds the Certified Employee Benefits Specialist (CEBS) designation.

Partner, Health, Mercer

Register for Mercer US Health News to receive weekly e-mail updates.