6 Things Employees Want to Know During Open Enrollment

Aug 25, 2022
What Employees Want to Know

HR and benefit communicators routinely face the challenge of getting and keeping their employees’ attention. You know what employees need to know;, and you want to make sure they read, watch and listen to the materials you distribute. One of the most effective ways to do that is by putting yourself in their place. Pretend you don’t know all that you do about benefits and ask yourself this:

What is it that employees want to know (versus what I want to tell them)? 

We’ve asked some people who don’t work in benefits but need to make decisions during open enrollment this fall and winter. We’ve compiled their answers into a list we hope is helpful to you in your communication planning!

Inquiring Minds Want to Know

What’s changing. Employees need to know if there are changes to plans, new carriers, and new premiums. If there are changes, they want to understand how they will be impacted.

What’s new. New benefits mean new choices. Plus, they can make employees feel like you’re giving them more—and that’s positive for retention.

Health benefits. Not surprisingly, this is the benefit category employees care about most. Medical insurance tops the list, followed by pharmacy, dental and vision. This is such a big-ticket item for many families, so employees want to know the details of the plans and if there are ways you’re helping them, like HSA contributions and/or wellness incentives.

Mental health benefits. Again, not a big surprise here, but a reminder that employees continue to face mental health challenges—whether personally or within their family—and they want to know you have resources to help them. Those benefits might include EAP and free counseling sessions, digital tools and resources, and mental health coverage on medical and prescription plans.

Flexibility. Your employees will be looking for benefits that can adapt to their needs. These may include PTO, sick leave, backup care, childcare databases and more.

Student loan support. According to a study by The Society for Human Resource Management, 43 million Americans hold student loan debt and face increased financial stress. If you offer tuition assistance/reimbursement, student loan repayment, loan payments in exchange for unused PTO, etc., make sure your employees know about it!

Need Help?  If you need help figuring out how capture your employees’ attention during OE, we can help. Reach out at helloindy@westcomm.com today!

6 Things Employees Want to Know During Open Enrollment


Benefit Communications Report: New Insights into What Works

Toolkit: Promoting Your Benefits Year-Round

Toolkit: Breaking the Stigma of Mental Health

New Program Communications Checklist

Communications Metric Checklist

Open Enrollment Debrief Worksheet