Just as employers across the country begin to button-up their return to work strategy and even welcome employees back into the workplace, the hopes of reaching a sense of normalcy this fall appear to be slipping away at an erratic pace. While only halfway over, 2020 has proven to be a year of uncertainty, with widespread concern and caution taking center stage in all facets of life with no end in sight.
As employees consider their health care needs and finances amidst this enduring pandemic, the upcoming open enrollment season will be a critical opportunity to reevaluate these decisions. But, what will open enrollment look like this fall when no one knows what the fall will look like?
As a benefits professional focused on client management and employee education over the last ten years, I’ve certainly witnessed my fair share of organizational shifts in the way open enrollment is handled and presented across an array of industries and company sizes. But never before have employers felt so unsure and seemingly ill-equipped to manage their company’s annual enrollment than in the current environment. While many organizations have focused on effective virtual communication strategies over the last several months that will surely serve as stepping stones in this endeavor, planning for open enrollment this fall will require a more intentional and developed approach.
Here’s the good news – virtual benefits communications are here to stay regardless of the circumstances. As employees from all different generations have been forced into using technology to not only complete their work but also connect with loved ones, shop for groceries and essentials, and maintain their lives in general, employers have a unique opportunity to leverage digital strategies and solutions in their open enrollment events.