Open Enrollment and Twitter – A Reality Check

Posted on November 5, 2009

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As the leaves turn and fall, and an autumn chill settles in, many employee benefits professionals are deep into the annual open enrollment process. My firm is busy putting the finishing touches on Web-based enrollment systems for several clients. It’s definitely a busy time.

Fail WhaleToday I noticed on Twitter that one of the HR pros I follow, Jason Lauritsen, posted the following tweet:

I am tired. Tomorrow is the last day of benefits open enrollment for us. Exciting day for us HR geeks.

So, that got me thinking – what are other folks on Twitter saying about open enrollment? A quick search turned up lots of enrollment related tweets, but I want to focus on a few from “regular” (i.e., non-HR) employees – the participants in the process, not the people who run the process. I can’t claim that this is any kind of scientific sampling, but it does provide an interesting snapshot of what employees think of benefits in general and open enrollment in particular:

  • kerchevalj: … hey, don’t judge me because I nod off at lunch while reading about employee benefits.
  • gormsby: On November 5th, I got the new flyer announcing the Employee Health and Benefits Fair taking place on November 3rd. Good to know.
  • ceetwo: Day off tomorrow to prep and pack for 5 days of late nights and early mornings and boring lectures about employee benefits.
  • bkGirlFriday: Today I’m going to buy my 3 cardigans for less than 40 bucks. Ah the benefits of the employee discount!
  • crazygirl13: I am a real employee! I can qualify for benefits! Yay!

Reading these, I’m left with two thoughts – one, it’s important to remember that most employees are about as excited about enrolling for their benefits as they are, say, to visit the dentist or get their oil changed. But, at the same time, employees do appreciate their benefits, as illustrated in that last tweet about becoming a “real employee.”

So to everyone with a hand in managing open enrollment this year – work hard to make the process as simple as possible, be understanding, don’t take things personally, and keep your sense of humor. And, if you’re not already on Twitter, consider joining in the conversation, or at least listen in once in a while – you never know what you might learn.

Posted in: Benefits