Engaging your employees at benefits enrolment time – Part 2

communicationsIn Engaging your employees at enrolment time (part 1) I looked at what to do, four to two months before your enrolment period opens. In this post I look at the final two months.


Two months before enrolment

With two months until your employee benefits enrolment period opens you should now know your exact enrolment period and have a comprehensive understanding of what needs to be done and when by. Make sure that you have a communications project plan and it is being kept up-to-date so that everything remains on budget and on time.

It’s time to get specific with some of your communication actions. If you are planning meetings or webinars plan the dates and let everyone know. You should also ensure that everyone who is running a meeting or doing a presentation is using the same communication messages and PowerPoint template so that every employee experiences consistency, this is especially important if you have field-based employees or employees across multiple locations.

Tip: Hold your meetings and webinars in the week before enrolment, at different times of the day, so that your employees don’t forget the key information by the time enrolment opens.

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Four weeks before enrolment

Making decisionsWith just a month to go before your enrolment period opens it’s time to start letting your employees know about it and concentrating on what benefits you are offering and how they sign up.

Here are some communication ideas you can use:

  • Add a line to HR email signatures reminding employees of the date enrolment opens
  • Send an email
  • Put posters on noticeboards and coffee machines
  • Leave fliers on tables in break rooms and the cafeteria
  • Put an article in the staff newsletter or on your intranet
  • Provide a prominent link to an employee benefit enrolment FAQ on the home page on your employee website so it’s easy to find

You should also create and distribute a manager’s toolkit to enable them to help employees and answer any basis questions.

Tip: Don’t bombard employees with too much information all in one go, drip feed it to them over time otherwise they will start to ignore your communications.



Two weeks before enrolment

With just two weeks to go it’s time for the final push. Announce the dates of your launch event, employee benefit fairs, meetings and webinars.

Focus your communications on reminding employees that the sign up window is just around the corner, what they need to do and when by.

Tip: Encourage employees to register to attend your meetings and webinars by incentivising them, offer them a £5 gift voucher, tempting food or entry into a free prize draw for everyone who attends.


Launching the enrolment period

Launching employee benefitsNow is the time to really get your employees focused on choosing their benefits. Your communications should be centred on giving them the information they need to be able to choose their benefits and making them aware of the deadline.

Launch your enrolment period with a fanfare: hold your launch event, do presentations, implement desk drops, send postcards to employees’ home addresses, put messages on your intranet and send emails.

You can make life easier for yourself by setting up automated emails, so that you don’t need to remember to do this, for example:

  1. An email announcing enrolment is open
  2. An email half way through the enrolment period to remind people to select their benefits before the deadline
  3. An email the day before the enrolment period ends stressing the approaching deadline and the consequences of missing the deadline

Tip: Try to segment your emails based on who has registered and who hasn’t.


After enrolment is closed

Give yourself a short break and then write up a review about what you’ve learnt: include what went well, what can be improved and any anecdotal evidence from your employees. But before then make time to celebrate your successful enrolment period with a team night out. You’ve earnt it!


<< Return to Part 1 of this article


John Sylvester

John is responsible for the motivation division of p&mm ltd and a Director on the board of the IPM. Specialising in developing, implementing and directing many large scale staff motivation, recognition and employee communications programmes.
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