The world of work is changing dramatically, and that isn’t just caused by the health crisis in early 2020 that caused the majority of the country to work remotely. Nearly 7% of Americans work from home or other remote locations on a fairly regular basis, and that number is likely to increase dramatically as employers and employees see the benefits of this type of engagement. There are a range of technology tools such as videoconferencing and chat that can help ensure collaboration is seamless, but what about times such as open enrollments where employees traditionally gather together to ask questions and gain an understanding of any changes from previous years? While there are certainly some challenges, there are still ways that you can have an extremely successful open enrollment period with staff members working in a variety of different scenarios.
Consider Text Messaging for Quick Reminders
Nearly everyone has their mobile phone in hand for at least some portion of the day, making this one of the most effective forms of communicating with your staff members. While text messaging is not ideal for longer conversations or messages, quick-hit reminders can be delivered with ease and may be more likely to be acted upon than more involved or longer email messages. Since many companies already capture mobile phone numbers, why not try adding timely reminders via text to your messaging plans? This could be something like: “Don’t forget — enrollments ends this Friday!” or “Have you turned in your receipts yet for reimbursement?”. Anything sent via text message should include brief details, deadlines, and next steps so staff can immediately take action.
Engage Remote Workers with Video
One of the most challenging aspects for remote workers is their inability to feel physically present with teams, and that can be particularly important when you’re discussing topics that are as important as benefits enrollment. When you create a short video clip that welcomes your remote staff members to the process, they are able to more quickly engage and gain a feeling of community that might otherwise be absent.
Create Knowledge Centers on Staff
There are always those individuals — who may or may not be in a formal leadership position — that other staff members flock to for answers to their questions. Why not work with these leaders to create an informal line of communication that helps spread knowledge within the organization? If you have remote staff members, approach these helpful individuals and ask that they take a few remote staff under their wing, quickly sharing information and simply being another point of contact for your benefits staff. Of course, you will need to ensure that these communication centers have the right information to share before encouraging them to reach out to others!
Whether your company relies heavily on a remote workforce or you only have a few individuals in the field, these principles will help you keep people engaged regardless of their physical location. The traditional workplace is shifting, but there are tools that will help you maintain a feeling of community throughout your organization — even when a portion of your staff is connecting from a different geographic area. Fortunately, the tools that are now available provide greater options for flexibility and collaboration than ever before. Want to learn more about staying connected with your remote workforce? Contact the professionals at Innovative Broker Services at 916-932-2864 or download our complimentary PDF: 8 Easy Steps to Your Best Open Enrollment Ever.