Call it an open enrollment post-mortem. A debriefing. A Monday morning quarterback huddle. Whatever you call it, as soon as you wrap up your open enrollment 2020 initiative, it’s smart to conduct a detailed post-enrollment assessment.
Sure, your enrollment team may be exhausted, or more-than-ready to move onto other things. But taking time for reflection now is the single best way to improve next year’s outcome.
The key is to be objective and thorough—and to solicit multiple point of view. You’ll have the whole year to make improvements as a result of your findings, and you’ll reap the benefits this time next year. Consider these steps for conducting an effective open enrollment post-mortem.
Take Contemporaneous Notes as Open Enrollment Unfolds
As busy as you are during the enrollment period, it’s the best time to jot down your thoughts—while the details are still fresh. Ask your enrollment team to observe and take continual notes, such as:
- Record the questions employees are asking, as well as the context that prompted the question. (Why not set up a communal log for this purpose?)
- Note the reaction when each new communication piece drops. Does it trigger a flurry of positive activity, or does it generate confusion?
- Track enrollment rates and look for patterns. Does one employee group seem to need more assistance than another? Do various groups respond to particular communications or media formats more than others?
Review Available Open Enrollment Metrics
While you may never know for sure how many employees reviewed your summary plan description in depth, there are many metrics you can measure, particularly if you’re conducting your open enrollment online. For example:
- How many employees opened and clicked through enrollment emails?
- How many employees visited the portal, viewed available videos, and attended virtual enrollment meetings?
- What percentage of employees signed up for your new plan offerings and voluntary benefits?
- What percentage of employees kept the same health plan as last year?
- If you offered live meetings and one-on-one consultations, how many employees took advantage of them?
Tracking these metrics year after year will give you a sense of how engaged your employees are with the open enrollment process, as well as their benefit options.
Conduct a Post-Mortem Meeting with Your Enrollment Team
You may have one impression of how open enrollment went, but your colleagues may have very different takeaways. Bringing everyone together allows you to pool information and get more three-dimensional answers to such questions as:
- Did we meet our goals, and do we still agree that those were the right goals in the first place?
- What were the most problematic or time-consuming tasks? How can we streamline these next year?
- What did we do right? How can we build on our successes?
- What did employees need the most help with? Did we get any complaints, and what did they concern—costs, choices, or the process itself?
- What communication vehicles were the most effective—emails, postcards, mailed materials, etc.? What seemed least effective?
Survey Your Employees
Of course, the true test isn’t just what you think; it’s what your people think. Are they satisfied with their benefits and the open enrollment process? Do they see the value in their benefits? Do they want something else?
The best surveys are fast and simple to complete. As an alternative, you might hold a small focus group composed of diverse employees, and listen closely to what they have to say.
Document Your Findings
Once you’ve collected a list of dos, don’ts and do betters, create a written summary—even a straightforward bullet list will suffice. You may choose to share it with our benefit consultants and internal stakeholders. Either way, as months go by and you begin to plan next year’s open enrollment, you already have a roadmap for making improvements.
Keep Improving Your Open Enrollment Technology, Too
And if your findings reveal the need for more robust enrollment software, you have a whole year to find the right solution and put it in place. You might start by exploring EPAY’s benefit administration solution, which is part of our integrated HCM software.
With EPAY’s benefits portal, you can:
- Upload a full range of communications media—videos, brochures, forms, etc.
- Customize the portal’s look to reflect your corporate branding
- Allow employees to compare up to three health plans at once
- Leverage our multi-lingual enrollment capabilities
- Conduct open enrollment efficiently cost-effectively.
Speaking of which, do you know how much open enrollment 2020 is costing your business? Find out: download our Cost of Open Enrollment Calculator. It only takes a minute to complete, and the answer may surprise you!