Let’s face it; change is hard to accept sometimes–especially when it’s unexpected or unplanned. When we hear or read about something being replaced, transitioned or eliminated, we tend to think that it’s a bad thing. Most of the time, it’s downright scary.

In reality, change is constant–happening even when we are not aware. Change is also often necessary when trying to improve or develop new strategies for enhancement.

Looking at change in a more positive light, evaluating its benefits, and learning to embrace it may help us to learn and gain experience in valuable ways. Don’t stress if you have to communicate change during an open enrollment, or anytime throughout the year–you can do this without causing fret or panic.

Here are some good tips that I’ve come across that may help.

1. Allow yourself enough time to strategize about how you will be communicating the new information. Plan early and utilize a variety of communication tools leading up to open enrollment such as emails, open sessions, announcement cards and interactive support tools like checklists and worksheets. This will help to alleviate information overload during enrollment time and make the process easier.

2. Most people appreciate it when things are laid out plain, simple, and to the point. It’s possible to do this, even when you’re talking about communicating the complexities of health insurance. It’s difficult enough for the average person to fully understand how an HMO works, but when you have to tell them that their HMO is now moving to an HDHP with an HSA, you may want to explain this with as much care and clarity as possible.

3. Be as openly honest and straightforward as possible. The strength of how you’re communicating is instrumental when helping employees to see the value of their benefits by conveying a clear and precise message.

4. By being consistent, employees tend to feel less confused and bogged down with the task of trying to figure things out.

When you’re communicating change, it doesn’t have to be thought of as a daunting task to bear. Expressing the value and discussing the advantages of new/different health and welfare plans can lessen anxieties and fear.

Written by Amy Boulden

Amy works as a benefits communications specialist. Her creative background in graphic design has allowed her to create a library of client communications. Amy’s approach is to focus on simple, clear language and relatable graphics to effectively educate employees.

Trion Communications amy.boulden@trion-mma.com