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.