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Open Enrollment Checklist: How to Engage a Diverse Workforce

The past year has spurred people to take a closer look at their healthcare plans. Millions of Americans transitioned to remote work in 2020, and 80 million are expected to work remotely throughout 2021.[1] This shift, along with younger generations entering the workforce, have employers seeking more flexibility in the plans they offer employees. In addition, organizations are looking for ways to build more resilient workforces, and open enrollment can be a powerful tool to help employees feel empowered to make the right elections for their personal situations.


Challenges in 2021 for Open Enrollment

With five generations in the workplace, there is no longer a one-size-fits-all benefits package.
Employees are spread out across the country and working from a variety of locations, making it more challenging to educate employees on their health benefits.
Employees are looking for more robust offerings, and their needs are changing. For some job seekers, benefits could be the difference between accepting or rejecting a position.


Your Open Enrollment Checklist

Your checklist includes two sections: rely on tried-and-true processes and enhance enrollment outcomes.



Rely on tried-and-true processes:

Start strategizing early:

Successful open enrollment starts with a solid strategy and well-defined goals. To give your organization enough time to strategize, start to implement your plan months in advance of the actual enrollment period if possible.

Conduct employee surveys:

Use open enrollment as a way to to engage your workforce and increase employee retention. Survey employees to understand what various demographics are looking for with a la carte benefits, and where you may want to add coverage.

Analyze previous enrollments:

Look back at previous open-enrollment periods and study data to understand what worked and what didn’t. There is always room for improvement.

Communicate constantly:

As you learn more about what your employees want, provide as much information as possible—and across different distribution channels—to help them understand changes and options that are best for their personal situation.



Enhance enrollment outcomes:

  • Understand your employees: Look at the demographics, location, and technological comfort levels to plot out the best way to inform and educate your employees.
  • Offer voluntary benefit choices: Employees are looking for a variety of benefits they can choose from based on their specific needs, including identity-theft protection and coverage for out-of-pocket hospital expenses.
  • Embrace support tools and technology: This year has seen a shift toward virtual, self-serve solutions and the ability to consult live counselors, allowing employees to compare plans and get a clear picture of what is offered.
  • Bring backup: Open enrollment is no easy task. Leveraging temporary counsellors via an enrollment partner to expand your benefits team during open enrollment can help you get through one of the busiest times of the year.

To learn more, contact your Aon Voluntary Benefits Enrollment Solutions Consultant today.


[1] "1 in 4 Americans Will Be Working Remotely in 2021, Upwork Survey Reveals," Upwork