Many of us are starting, or at least starting to get aggressive, with our upcoming Open Enrollment campaigns… even though it’s hard to believe it’s that time of year again. That being said, we have found that Open Enrollment, more than any other HR activity, is significantly behind in having HR metrics in place and being analyzed.
Which is crazy. Because how much money does your company spend on Open Enrollment each year?
If you’re using a big consulting company, like so many of you do (let’s talk about that) – you’re spending well over $500k year-over-year.
And you’re getting an off-the-shelf solution for your organization without investigating the metrics. Or even getting meaningful metrics in most cases.
So to help you better plan and get the information you deserve from your Open Enrollment partners, here are four metrics you need to ask for and implement for your forthcoming Open Enrollment period (and year-after-year from here on out!).
1. Email Open Rates
While you’re likely using many different channels of communication to reach your organization, most of us still rely on email to deliver a lot of information about Open Enrollment. But I know for a fact, that more than 80% of you, are not tracking your communications appropriately – and that starts with email.
There is no excuse for not tracking your email delivery and open rates.
Your email open rate is measured by:
# Emails that are Opened ÷ Employee Population # that Email was Delivered to × 100= Open Rate %
In order to measure this, you need to have exact details whether you manage this or your vendor does, as to how many different emails are sent out, the various email populations, how many emails are undeliverable or “bounce back,” and how many people open those emails.
Email Open Rates are so important because it gives you an objective number as to how many employees not only received your email (which isn’t a very valuable metric), but also how many people cared enough to open it up. It’s the closest most of us can get to validating the message as being received.
2. Enrollment or OE Info Site Metrics: Visits per Month (or week)
Depending on how your company manages benefits enrollment and information sharing, you may have two different websites or online homes, to measure: your enrollment site and/or your benefits information site. More and more, this information must be available via web to make it easily accessible and saving your company money.
Knowing how many visitors are coming to your site is critical – it’s not just about the number of visits per month (more below), but it also helps you quickly identify if the resources you’ve created are being utilized. For example, if your employee population is 5,000 and you see that you’re only getting 120 visits per month – you can easily identify that you haven’t done a good job at promoting the available resource.
Visits per month or week if you like data, can easily be tracked using Google Analytics. You can create your own internal program/metrics, but why – when Google Analytics is available, free and has significant metrics power behind it?
3. Enrollment or OE Info Site Metrics: Bounce Rates
Now that you know how many visitors are coming to your website, you want to understand what they’re doing when they get there – and the bounce rates will help you determine that.
Bounce rates measure the percentage of visitors that do not interact with your site – meaning they land on a specific page and leave prior to 10 seconds, do not navigate to another page or link. They arrive at your site and then bounce off of it.
And to give you a frame of reference, you want this number to be as low as possible, with 80% being the suggested “do not go higher than” point. So the closer to 0%, the better – and if your bounce rate is above 80%, you have some issues with your site.
Bounce rates will mainly help you identify the user experience, how easy/difficult it is for people to find the information they are seeking from your site, and how engaging your content is. If you’re close to or above an 80% bounce rate, you need to focus on the design and info on your site, immediately.
Bounce rates are available on Google Analytics as well – so use that resource to track that metric.
4. Desired Enrollment Behaviors
I know all of my Benefits peeps out there love this metric and are already tracking it – and this is one that takes a joint effort between your internal Benefits team and your external medical vendors. At every company, there are certain plans that we want our employees to enroll in – whether it’s a lower cost plan, matches more closely with our company’s culture, is better for the employee, or what have you.
When you plan your Open Enrollment activities, you’ll likely be focused on driving employees to a certain enrollment plan/action – and you need to track these desired behaviors and your activities towards delivering the result.
Let’s use a real-life example here. Company T wants to move towards the majority of enrollment in HDHPs (high deductible health plans) with an HSA account, saving the company money and also reinforcing health habits for their employees (annual wellness initiatives are required). They have specific activities planned in their Open Enrollment plan, touting HDHPs.
So throughout the enrollment period, and leading up to it, you need to track how many enrollments there are, how many are choosing HDHP plans over other options. This is one behavioral metric to track.
You should also get more granular and track which activities during the Open Enrollment process are influencing more HDHP enrollments – did you release a video, hold a town hall, do a mailing home, send a reminder of the wellness credits, and so on. All of your activities tied to the desired outcomes, needs to be tracked and turned into metrics so you can gauge your spend and effectiveness. This metric, more than the three above, will take the most effort to track as you’ll need to do a lot of before and after comparisons and work with your vendor – but it will be well worth the effort.