5 WAYS TO SIMPLIFY
Getting employees to make their elections for open enrollment can feel like herding cats. But to be fair, open enrollment materials are generally a chore to wade through, filled with legalese and insurance lingo — terms like qualifying events and evidence of insurability — that would make any normal person’s eyes glaze over.
Besides, employees are busy. When they’re making their To Do list, going through those open enrollment materials is bound to get pushed down to the bottom, at least until the deadline moves it into the urgent category.
As communicators, our job is to make it as easy as possible for employees to understand their choices and take the actions they need to take. Here are five ideas for simplifying open enrollment communications:
TREAT EMPLOYEES LIKE THE CEO
You wouldn’t hand some huge document to the top leadership in your company and expect them to dig through it all on their own. You’d probably start with an executive summary, or at least organize the most pertinent facts in a PowerPoint. Do employees the same favor, by toplining any changes to this year’s plan and the other most important takeaways.
START WITH THE END IN MIND
Being with the call to action. Prep employees with a clear list of the decisions they’ll need to make and the logistics of making their elections happen. If they’ll need to log into the intranet or the HR site, remind them how to do that, for those people who don’t visit that site often. If they’re submitting forms, include the email address or physical location for handing them in.
SPEAK IN HUMAN
You can’t delete all that legal language, but you can include explanations that are more conversational. Wherever possible, try to use a more human voice. To avoid a stiff corporate tone, try writing as if you were one colleague explaining it to another. That makes the writing more approachable, but also keeps it from feeling like you’re talking down to employees.
ADD A LAYER OF FRIENDLY
Think of the text in the open enrollment materials is as consisting of two layers. The layer that spells out the specifics of benefits and includes the legal language and insurance-specific terms is not something to mess around with, except for possibly cleaning it up a bit. But you can add a more colorful, friendlier layer on top of that, using headlines, subheads, callouts and boxed comments.
RESPECT THE POWER OF GOOD DESIGN
Get a talented designer involved and give them as much leeway as possible. For instance, the designer may want to expand the page count to include more visuals and less dense chunks of type, or use a fresh visual theme to unify all the open enrollment materials. Clean, professional design can go a long way towards a more effective open enrollment campaign.
HOW CAN WE HELP?
If you’d like to see Tribe’s capabilities presentation, please reach out to:
President and Chief Strategy Officer