Hunting Easter Eggs During Open Enrollment
For many of us, an Easter Egg Hunt embodies a sense of joy, wonderment, and the sugar highs of our youth.
For me, I was always keen on dominating the egg hunt. Whether just a competition among siblings and cousins at my grandparent’s house or the full-blown community gathering hosted by our city’s parks department, I was determined to exhibit my superior skills of observation and bring home the biggest bounty of prizes.
When dreaming up ways to enhance employee engagement efforts as a benefits advisor in my adult years, I often drew from the egg hunt enthusiasm from my youth as the standard I wanted to achieve during onsite meetings.
Previously, candy and trinkets had long been a staple of engaging employees during the onsite educational events. Stress balls, of course, are fun to throw around an audience, and having a “planted question” by an audience member or enticing someone to share a personal experience was a tried and true tactic to spur conversation and understanding.
But when you transition education online or move to an online environment, how can you recapture, replicate and enhance that level of engagement with your employees from behind a screen? Let me tell you how I did it with the Easter Egg Hunting at Open Enrollment.
The Brad Cecil and Associates Easter Egg Hunt
We were in the first few years of online enrollment with this client back in 2014. During that year’s onsite meetings, I vividly remember a fun spirited conversation and tons of jokes and engagement around the different health plan choices, as well as discussions on how to maximize the vision benefits for sunglasses and regular specs in the same year.
But once the top tier coverage items passed, it was harder and harder to make each insurance offering intriguing and personally relevant to everyone in the room. And by the time emergency travel benefits and employee assistance programs hit the agenda list, everyone (including myself) was on an internal countdown clock to the meeting end time. So, without even knowing the implications or expectations, I announced an “Easter Egg Hunt” for a hidden object that wasn’t supposed to be online.
The rules were simple, I had planted something on their benefits enrollment website that was completely unrelated to insurance and employee benefits. The first person to send me a screenshot of that specific item would get a $20 Starbucks gift card.
Before I could even do a meeting recap with HR, I had multiple employees racing around online to find the hidden object. Several people were asking, “Is this it?” or “Did I win?”
Fast forward to 2018 and February 2020 when there was visible disappointment on employees’ faces at the end of the meeting, and I didn’t mention the Easter Egg Hunt during their Online Enrollment. I quickly rectified my oversight and implemented these three tweaks I learned from trial and error to spur greater participation:
- I included communication with links for instructions on how to actually perform a screenshot for both MAC & PC
- I adjusted the rules from proclaiming the winner as the first employee to email the screenshot to a drawing or raffle system based on entries from the first five submissions.
- I learned to never communicate feedback on how many employee submissions I received.
What makes a good Easter Egg for online enrollment?
For BCA, we use Employee Navigator as their software backbone for Benefits Administration, New Hire Onboarding, Ancillary Self-Billing and PTO tracking.
Previously, I had been tasked with highlighting their Employee Assistance Programs and Travel Accident plans. For that initiative, I’d buried a silly photo of the owners as an extra “educational flyer” or downloadable PDF on financial assistance counseling.
This year, I had suspicions that the educational video buttons for each type of coverage item get overlooked during enrollment. To make sure everyone was clicking the video buttons, I placed a video from BuzzFeed on cute puppies in place of a coverage that I didn’t have an educational video of importance.
The Unexpected byproduct of the Easter Egg Hunt for Online Enrollment
Whether it is the Benefit Guide or the website info, there will likely be small errors or typos that you and your team just miss during proofing and testing before going live.
The Easter Egg Hunt often catches these little faux pas moments. Here are just a few common examples I can remember from just last year:
- I forgot to take down last year’s egg.
- One employee found a provider directory that was no longer active.
- Pricing discrepancy between the benefits guide and the online system.
While I initially cringed at each mistake, it spurred more engagement with employees, and it made each of those super sleuth employees better engaged with the conversations, and therefore, better educated on their company benefits.
Don’t wait until Easter Season—use the Egg Hunt for any enrollment opportunity or anytime you want to drive better education and employee engagement.
About the author: An avid learner and resourceful leader with a passion for problem solving, Bret is a calming force in the chaos and fast paced evolution of health insurance, employee benefits, and the growing burden of regulatory compliance. He helps people develop the confidence to see beyond the problem at hand and start to re-imagine their goals. Whether he’s helping a client or a colleague, Bret believes a successful interaction is one that allows us all to dream a little bigger when we’re done.
About Generous Benefits: Generous Benefits (www.GenerousBenefits.com) helps employers improve the lives of the communities they serve.