It’s easy to put off starting your benefits plan review for the coming open enrollment season. There are always other projects that seem to take precedence, from supporting current staff members to onboarding new employees and coordinating retirements. With all of that activity happening throughout the year, it’s not surprising that many benefits professionals leave their research to later in the year, which can significantly expand your timeline for open enrollment, causing frustration for your staff — and more stress for you! Break this negative cycle by starting earlier than you feel like you need to and get your benefits plans decisions completed for the coming year.

Leave Plenty of Time for Research

When you have plenty of time for research, you are less likely to simply accept another version of the plan that you received the year before. There are ongoing changes needed for benefits strategies, based on the mix of your staff members and any regulatory changes that have happened over the previous year. Digging into these options early in the year will help ensure you have the time needed for detailed analysis into the complex decisions that will impact your staff — and your organization — for years to come.

Early Decisions Allow You to Communicate Potential Changes to Staff

Once your research is complete, question whether there are some significant changes that will be coming down the pike. Letting your staff members know about these details early in the open enrollment cycle allows you to create a greater degree of comfort and confidence once the benefits enrollment period begins. Reduce the number of questions and concerns (and stress!) for your HR and benefits team while also allowing employees time to wrap their heads around how any changes will impact them specifically.

Don’t Fall Behind in the Benefits Cycle

Falling behind during the benefits cycle can be extremely detrimental, especially when you consider that your teams will be pushed to super-speed once open enrollment actually begins. Communicate early and often, and create a schedule that will help you keep on track with your benefits questions and decisions throughout the year. Each decision around your benefits can be plotted to a calendar so you can be sure you are not overlooking any critical information that needs to be shared — either with your HR staff or with the employees and leadership within your organization. When you are able to communicate early and often, you are building confidence in your skills and abilities and also letting leadership know that you are confident that your decisions are the right ones for all stakeholders in the process.

Ready to kick off your best open enrollment ever? Don’t hesitate to contact the professionals at Innovative Broker Services today at 916-932-2864 to schedule a free initial consultation and learn more about how we help our clients have a seamless and easy open enrollment season. Want quick tips that you can start utilizing today — even before we are able to connect? Download our complimentary PDF checklist: 8 Easy Steps to Your Best Open Enrollment Ever. There is no need for added stress during open enrollment time as long as you are keeping your decisions and research under control throughout the year. A proactive partner will be able to help you walk through your needs and point you in the right direction for research, too.