We’ve all been there as employees… quickly rushing through open enrollment and checking the same boxes as last year just to get it over with. As professionals specializing in benefits, we know how important research and consideration is during this process because it ultimately leads to each employees wellness. Open enrollment is an opportunity for the company to reassess their financial decisions and make appropriate changes. Ultimately, open enrollment can lead to company-wide financial success.
Open Enrollment as a Financial Check Up
Intelligent employers are taking initiative by rebranding open enrollment as a financial check-up and providing advice on matters such as pre-tax paycheck decisions, insurance premiums, and federal and state taxes.
A critical point to hit home is that open enrollment is a time where they can forecast if next year’s benefits will meet next year’s needs. Will they be getting married or having a baby? Will they be getting surgery? Their existing benefits might not cover these life events, so utilizing open enrollment as a time where they can pivot to a more appropriate plan is a great way for them to feel in control of their financial decisions.
In an ideal world, your employees have the support to guide them through the costs and benefits of each option, based on the care they anticipate needing. But at the bare minimum, it is key to remind them to consider how life events might affect their benefits and offer some guidance about the questions they should be asking.
An Opportunity to Save Money
Aside from being a time of reconsideration, open enrollment is also a time to save. Open enrollment is when staff can manage their pre-paycheck decisions—and in turn, save some real money.
The average staff member knows their car payment amount by heart but do they know about the tax-savings account contributions automatically taken from their paychecks? We’re gonna say it’s a pretty slim number!
That’s because most people only think about their tax-savings-related decisions once a year. Helping staff make well-informed tax-saving choices when open enrollment rolls around will set your company apart from the rest and ensure that your staff trusts you for all aspects of their wellbeing. If companies clearly communicate the financial upside of each plan they provide and are enrolling in—and/or contributing to—their benefits, employees are more likely to make wiser decisions with their finances for the rest of the year.
Open enrollment can be compared to making a New Years Resolutions list but with benefits-related goals. This is the time where staff members can sit and reflect upon their financial burdens and goals, their past year, their upcoming year, and how they’d like to be supported from their benefits packages.
Resources for All Possible Financial Factors
In order to meaningfully connect with your staff during open enrollment, offer them resources for all possible financial factors they may be dealing with. From coping with student loans to saving up for a first home to finally reaching retirement – you’ll want to make sure each unique staff member has a unique benefits package and that your company provides the right access and coverage for all stages of life. Also, consider sharing the amazing tech resources we have at our fingertips in the modern era, like informative finance podcasts or personal savings apps for a fun way to reshape the concept of financial awareness and to make it digestible for all individuals.
If you can take the steps necessary to change what open enrollment means for your staff and provide optimal resources for your staff, your company as a whole will be able to see significant results from the ground floor up!