Starting the open enrollment season may feel like the kickoff of The Big Game to HR professionals, who gear up for months to get through this time of year. Employees are often confused about their options, leaving human resources staff members to answer the same question dozens — if not hundreds — of times. Even with exceptional communication, it’s unusual to have everyone complete their enrollment elections on time. It’s much more likely that staff members will still be chasing down answers several weeks after the enrollment period has officially closed. With all this stress and confusion, what can a great employee benefits broker do to help your company work through the challenges?
1. Reduce Complexities Around Open Enrollment
Most importantly, your broker should be always on the lookout for ways to reduce the complexity around your open enrollment process. This could be anything from simplifying login and password needs to helping pre-define a set of frequently asked questions that can be distributed weeks ahead of time. A great benefits broker will walk through the enrollment system with you early, looking for any potential pitfalls or areas of confusion that could be clarified before launching your program for the year.
2. Help Explain Options
If your human resources staff is unsure about the various options that are available, your benefits broker should take the time to ensure that there’s a clear understanding before the full enrollment period begins. This helps reduce the overall stress on the HR team while also allowing them to share information with clarity when asked.
3. Provide Tools and Tips for Employees and HR staff
A great employee benefits broker will have proactive tools that can help detail the complexities of the offerings. Employees are often looking for ways to compare various offerings, and having a model available can go a long way towards helping people make a decision about what will work best for their needs. Tips for HR staff are always helpful, including everything from the timing of reminders to providing a ready-made template for communications.
4. Create Solutions That Streamline Enrollment
Streamlining the enrollment process starts with having the right solution in place, and your benefits enrollment professional should be able to walk you through the solution step-by-step. This involves more than simply making the selections, your solution should include all the steps necessary that will streamline the enrollment process — from determining passwords to building models for review and ultimately confirming that the selections are fully-formed and correct.
5. Reduce Data Duplication Needs for Employees
No one wants to spend time duplicating effort on work, and this is one place where employees can get frustrated. Repeating the same input on various forms used to be necessary when using paper forms. With digital solutions, employees are able to enter information once and move on to their next task.
6. Encourage Early Enrollment for the Best Experience
Your employee benefits broker works with a number of different organizations and is able to pool all of the best practices from each to make recommendations to their clients. Early enrollment is crucial to ensuring a successful benefits season, and your broker can help encourage you throughout the process in ways to communicate this effectively to employees.
Getting employees enrolled in their benefits is one of the first steps to creating a wonderful working environment for your staff. See more tips that will help you, onboard new staff, when you download our complimentary guide: A 10-Step Checklist to Help Make Your New Employee’s First Week Great.
Ready to learn more about providing the best experience for your staff? Contact us on our website or call us at 916-932-2864 today.