Open Enrollment – Making the Most of it

No two words can strike terror in the hearts of human resource works quite as effectively as open enrollment.  HR open enrollment is that one time of year when it seems like the entire company is beating down the HR department's door, swamping them with requests and paperwork.  Of course, employees love their benefits and each year you'll have to offer HR open enrollment in order to keep them happy.  But HR open enrollment doesn't have to be an absolute nightmare, and keeping a few strategies in mind may help simplify the process for everyone involved.  There are plenty of reasons that simplifying HR open enrollment is important, of course, and most are glaringly obvious.


  • Poorly organized HR open enrollment can grind productivity in the HR department to a standstill.  Considering that it's responsible for everything from payroll to employee management that can affect your entire company.
  • HR open enrollment done wrong can result in misfiled applications, lost forms, and other human errors that can cost you and your employees big.

There are other reasons to focus on getting the most from HR open enrollment, but those two points highlight the importance of getting it right.  Luckily, proper planning and just a bit of preparation will ensure that HR open enrollment isn't a catastrophe.  Here are a few things to consider when enrollment rolls around.

  • First of all, ensure that you're getting the best rates and deals.  Insurance rates are climbing, and most experts think that they'll increase by eight percent over the next year.  Be sure that you're getting a good deal for what you're offering during HR open enrollment.
  • Also be sure that your HR open enrollment includes options your employees are actually interested in.  A quick poll done a few months ahead of time can help you figure out what matters most to them.
  • Be sure everyone understands their options and the HR open enrollment process before it begins.  Company meetings, memos, and emails that explain the different choices will lessen confusion when HR open enrollment starts up.
  • Consider early HR open enrollment options, like self-service through web portals.  When a majority of your employees go ahead and complete HR open enrollment on their own, the chaos will be far lessened later.
  • Don't be afraid to bring in the pros.  In some cases, HR open enrollment simply isn't possible without outsourcing.  A couple of experts from an outside firm who will handle your open enrollment will leave your HR department free to get their jobs done.
  • Keep HR open enrollment from being a free-for-all.  Whether it's scheduling individual meetings or department enrollment, giving everyone a set time to handle their own HR open enrollment will make things less confusing and less of a hassle.

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