Answering Open Enrollment Questions for Your Employees
It’s that time of year again. It’s time for the holidays and for a new period of open enrollment for healthcare. HR professionals and managers are bracing themselves to answer a lot of open enrollment questions for their employees if they haven’t already been doing so. There are a few basic practices that HR professionals and managers can stick to in order to help their employees make informed decisions about their health care.
When your employees come to you with questions about open enrollment and your health care policies, one of the best things you can do for them is to skip the legal and medical jargon. It’s easy for anyone to become overwhelmed by complicated words and terms, especially when it comes to something as important as health care. Instead of focusing on the information first, focus on the individual employee who is receiving the information. HR professionals and managers should break the information down in a way that the employee who is asking questions will be able to understand. Don’t feel like you’re dumbing everything down. In actuality, you’re ensuring that your employees are informed about their health care choices.
In a similar vein, the HR department and management team should keep answers to open enrollment questions short and sweet. Be clear and brief so that you can keep your employees’ attention and they can absorb what you’re telling them. A good guideline to follow when talking about open enrollment and health care is to think about billboards, headlines, or sound bites. This will keep your information condensed and you’ll be able to get straight to the point. It’s not that you should avoid talking about healthcare and open enrollment or that it doesn’t deserve your time but when your employees have questions, you want to get straight to the point. Don’t overload them with a bunch of extra information as this will probably cause more confusion than before.
If you’re conveying information about open enrollment via the written word, make sure you break up the copy so that your employees aren’t reading a wall of text. Whether it’s in an email or a pamphlet, keep the text visually appealing and easy to look at. Including sub headers, charts, boxes of information, and quotes to break up the information will keep your employees engaged and interested. Reading about health care can be a headache, especially when everything is crammed in and too dense. It’s a well known fact that these days, readers have shorter attention spans so if your employees are scanning an email or document and don’t see the information they need within a few seconds, they’re going to tune out completely. HR professionals and managers can design an easy-to-read document to help employees find the answers they’re looking for quickly.
Open enrollment season can be stressful for HR, management, and employees alike. When your employees come to you with questions about how to enroll for health care and what your company’s policy says about health care, you need to be prepared to guide them toward the right decision.