Updated: Jan 22, 2019
One of the biggest HR challenges of the year will be here before you know it. While many frontline teams are focused on their summer rush, and November may seem far away, don’t let your annual benefits enrollment period sneak up on you! It can be especially difficult to get great enrollment rates if you have a seasonal workforce, but that’s even more of a reason to plan ahead and think about which HR communication tools will help you achieve the results you need.
Effective communication—early and often—will minimize employee questions and avoid a lack of understanding about your benefit options and deadlines. Thankfully, Crew provides several great ways to easily get the word out about open enrollment. Here are three of our top features that can help:
1. Announcements: This admin-only, no-reply feature sends a notice out to every team member in your organization. It’s perfect for sharing important open enrollment details and dates, and making sure they reach your entire team. To access Announcements, just tap the “new message” button at the bottom of your chats screen and choose “new announcements” from the top of the list. After sending your first benefits announcement, you can simply tap the announcement line item and create new messages in that thread, e.g. reminders about impending deadlines or plan changes. Your announcement is automatically pinned to the top of team members’ notification screens for special visibility. What’s especially helpful is that Crew lets you see exactly who’s read your announcements, and Crew Pro can even send a daily email report that lists which team members have read your messages when.
2. Team Files: Crew is also a great way to share all of your benefits materials, forms and policies, or even a video that quickly describes plan options to your team. Team Files provides a permanent home where your team can easily access those files later on. Once activated, you’ll find this feature on the chats tab. Select “add a file” to snap a photo of your document or upload from iCloud, Dropbox or Google Drive (or anywhere else your device stores files). iOS users can even scan in documents. Next, name the file (for example, “Open Enrollment Glossary & FAQ”) and tap “done.” Everyone in the organization will receive a push notification and Crew message about the new file in their chats tab.
3. Tasks: Assigning open enrollment tasks to your team members—either an individual or a specific group of employees—can also be a good way to get their attention. To create a new task, make sure you’ve enabled Crew’s Tasks feature, and then select the person or group you want to assign the task to from the coworkers tab. Tap the “add-ons” icon at the bottom of the screen, select “new task,” describe your task (i.e. “read open enrollment announcement” or “choose benefit selections”) and hit “done.” The team member or group you’ve assigned will receive a notification, and you’ll be notified when they’ve completed the task. You can also set a reminder for the task, or opt to reward people with Gold Stars when the task is completed (which will serve as another informal nudge for team members who have yet to complete their open enrollment).
Regardless of which of these Crew features you’re using to support open enrollment, there are some communications best practices HR leaders should always keep in mind. Avoid information overload by keeping your messages crisp, clear and compelling, and making your calls-to-action bold and bright. It’s also important to communicate about benefits year-round vs. only during the enrollment period when employees are on a deadline and rushing just to fill out forms. In this way, you’ll better educate your team about the benefits available to them.