04 April 2016

Only Six More Months…Until Annual Enrollment!

We know you’d rather be relaxing with a Mojito than thinking about what’s going to happen in October, but the fact is annual enrollment will be here before you know it.

The typical annual enrollment season is just six months away. Have you started preparing? To help you along your way, we have put together a quick hit list of things to consider.

Create the communications plan

Once you have an idea of benefits changes for 2017, you should start drafting your communications plan. Think through:

  • What you hope to achieve (objective)?
  • Who can bring about your desired result (audience)?
  • What do they need told to be motivated to action (message)?
  • What is the best way to reach your audience (vehicles)?
  • When and how often should you get the message out (timing)?

It may help to get approval and buy-in now. Your plan will drive your communications throughout the entire annual enrollment season. Spend some quality time drafting it and then get approval from leaders throughout the organization. It will make your job of executing the plan smoother.

Gather the communications team

Find the players who will execute the plan and assign roles and responsibilities. At a high-level you’ll need:

  • Executor of the plan
  • Writer/content provider or subject matter expert(s)
  • Designer/IT support
  • Reviewer(s)
  • Final decision-maker

You may even consider including some folks outside of HR or corporate communications to be on the team. What better way to see if your messages are clear than by running them by an actual employee?!

Develop production schedules

Writing, coordinating, reviewing and delivering communications are probably not the only job you have for annual enrollment. Production schedules are a great way for you and the team to schedule your time for your other thousand-and-one to do’s.

When creating your production schedule, be sure to start with the date you plan to deliver each communication and work backward, slotting time for:

  • Content development
  • Writing
  • Design (if applicable)
  • Review cycle
  • Printing/production
  • Distribution

It’s never too early to start to prepare. Giving yourself ample time will help ensure that your communications are “right on target.”

Happy writing!