Preparing for Open Enrollment: Ways to Up Your Benefits Communications Game

open enrollment

It seems like time moves more quickly than ever these days -- which means that open enrollment for many organizations will be here before we know it.

Now’s the time for brokers to start preparing to assist their clients in all their open enrollment needs. Part of that means stepping up your benefit communications processes to provide the best possible experience for your clients.

Here are some ways to up your benefits communications game in preparation for this year’s open enrollment.

Identify key changes that affect your clients

So many things have changed in the past year. From work arrangements to childcare arrangements to industry trends, some of your clients will be in a completely different space than they were last year.

Additionally, government guidances that were enacted under emergency rulings are expiring. For example, the temporary relief from the physical presence requirement for spousal consents regarding retirement plans has expired. Assistance programs like eviction moratoriums and unemployment are also either changing or expiring depending on the location.

Familiarize yourself with what changes have affected your clients in addition to specific plan changes. That way, you are prepared to tailor specific updates and communications to each client. Providing your clients with only relevant information is not only efficient but important for building a stronger relationship with them.

Know how your clients are working right now

According to Upwork, 41.8% of the American workforce is currently working remotely in some capacity. Many organizations have adopted a permanent remote or hybrid work arrangement -- does that include your clients?

Knowing how your clients are working right now allows you to communicate more effectively. If they are office-based, consider holding an in-person meeting if you can do so safely. Hybrid environments may call for a series of meetings to accommodate schedules, and fully remote organizations would benefit most from a virtual meeting or seminar.

The key here is to communicate with as much human connection as possible (with safety as a top priority) for the most effective communication.

Meet your clients where they are

The focus here is not so much on physically meeting with your clients, but meeting them on the platforms and with the tools that they are most comfortable with.

Consider using professional social media platforms like LinkedIn to communicate widespread updates, industry changes and benefits trends that your clients should be aware of. This is an efficient way of communicating as it allows you to reach many people at once on a professional platform.

Take things one step further by communicating via mobile apps and online portals. The majority of the workforce handles much of their personal and professional lives via their phones, utilizing push notifications and portal updates is a really effective way to communicate, plan updates and approaching deadlines.

Have the resources you need at your fingertips

An important part of better communication comes from being prepared. If you have all the resources you may need at your fingertips, you’ll be prepared for any conversation, question or concern in regards to your clients.

For example, the Clarity Broker Portal offers 24/7 access to:

  • Compliance resources
  • Self-serve implementation
  • Open enrollment support
  • Renewal support
  • General account information
  • Marketing materials
  • Access to Plan Documents
  • And more

Having all this and more available at your fingertips will help you drive efficient and effective conversations about open enrollment.

Extend your communication beyond open enrollment

Remember, your communication with your clients shouldn’t just be focused on the open enrollment timeframe. As a trusted advisor to your clients, you should engage in frequent, meaningful conversations throughout the year.

Clarity Benefit Solutions has the tools and resources that can help brokers like you guide these conversations and support your clients in all aspects of their benefits administration. Learn more by visiting our Clarity for Brokers page here.