Executive buy-in and empowered change agents drive successful open enrollment.


How do you effectively reach over 6000 employees?

Cuyahoga County was implementing a new ERP system. Over 6000 employees would be required to complete Open Enrollment in the new system to be eligible for benefits in the following year.

The process required employees to in some cases log into a brand-new system 3 times. Employees were required to 1. log in and Validate their employee information. 2. Log in at a later date and update their personal information and 3. Return the system to Enroll in benefits.

In addition to having people log into a system 3 times, many employees didn’t have regular access to a computer.

To avoid having employees being defaulted to a high deductible plan, it was necessary to have as many employees enroll as possible prior to the cut off date.


As a change management consultant, it is my responsibility to devise strategies and tactics that result in increased adoption and utilization of a new system and or new processes and procedures.

I inherited a plan that relied on a large number of people who were not actively participating to drive project awareness. The results didn’t generate the desired outcome.

I revised the strategy and tactics

1. We first got buy in from the Chief of Staff. The Chief of Staff send a memo to agency directors reminding them of the initiative and the importance of providing personnel to help drive the message.
2. We gathered the new group of Change Agents and explained their role and how it related to the overall project.
3. We designed a visual and audio campaign to generate awareness of using the new system for Open Enrollment
4. Armed with reporting from the new system, we empowered Change Agents to directly reach out to employees who had not completed the Validation and Updating portions of Open Enrollment. The HR Change Agents were responsible for reaching out to individual employees about the open enrollment choices.
5. Daily reporting provided a sense of competition between Change Agents. No change agent wanted to have zero participation associated with their name


The benchmark for success was originally set at 75-80% adoption and utilization of the new ERP. My strategy and tactics resulted in an unprecedented 99.6% of all eligible county employees participating in Open Enrollment. We received accolades from the county executive as well as from the system integrator.

In summary, a plan, that includes executive buy-in and visibility and empowered change agents can increase adoption and utilization of your implementation.


Clarence was brought into the Cuyahoga County ERP project to jump start our stalled change management process

He developed a new strategy and tactics that directly contributed to a 99.6% success rate for Open Enrollment in the new ERP system. Not only did he receive praise from the County Executive, the system integrator also praised the unheard-of results.

– Deborah Johnson, Manager