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Open enrollment calendar: turn planning into action

Quick tips to turn your Open Enrollment goals into action with strong planning and a calendar by health benefits experts at Collective Health.


Last week, we talked about setting goals for Open Enrollment. Now, let’s talk about translating those into a calendar.

You may already have a calendar from last year. If so, focus on improvements.

  • If you have new team members (e.g. a designer, an analyst) or new resources (e.g. a printing shop or a partner):
    • Remember to plan for ramp up or onboarding.
    • They may also have tools that help condense the time needed to complete portions of OE. This could include document templates, design samples, or ways of doing things. Ask them during planning, to identify possible time-savers.
  • If you have new tools (e.g. project management software, internal knowledge base):
    • Remember to update public resources with the new calendar.
    • Consider whether a new method for communication about OE work could help. For example, a new Gantt chart could allow you to anticipate the impact of delays and coordinate work across multiple people.
  • Use your learnings from last year:
    • Make changes to prevent the issues you ran into last year. That could mean hosting OE office hours earlier in the month or passing off files earlier to enable printing.
    • Take the feedback you received from employees and management, and see if adjustments to timeline could improve their experience.

If last year’s calendar doesn’t work or requires significant updates, use your resources.

  • Ask your health plan partner if they have a calendar template you can use. They go through OE with thousands of partner HR teams and often have best practices and tools that they can share.
  • Check whether your professional organizations (e.g. SHRMPIHRANHRA) provide templates or offer message boards where you can ask peers to share their favorites.


Your employee experience matters all year long, not just during Open Enrollment.

See how leading companies are doing it differently, in a new Harvard Business Review Analytic Services report.

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