Open enrollment season: It sounds inviting enough. “Open” implies the freedom of choice, the ability for each employee to personalize their benefits package for their individual needs. And yet, for many employees — perhaps the majority — open enrollment season isn’t inviting at all.
Open enrollment is a loathsome annual tradition to these employees, a period of stress and confusion only slightly more tolerable than renewing a driver’s license or passport.
Those last facts come from a MetLife survey that also found about half of American employees dread open enrollment as much as asking for a raise.
For HR teams, this can be a hard truth to face. You dedicate months to researching benefits options, grilling vendors, carefully designing a comprehensive package, and planning a communications strategy, and how do employees respond? Sadly, the word “hate” comes to mind.
Employees hate open enrollment season.
But why? No one expects open enrollment to be fun, but why can’t it at least be an opportunity for employees to recognize the value of your company’s generous benefits offerings?
If you are feeling serious hate vibes from the employees each fall, we have good news: Open enrollment doesn’t have to be a drag — for you or employees.
Here are the most common reasons employees hate open enrollment, along with some tips on transforming an annual ordeal into a pleasant and beneficial experience: