If you’re like many people in HR, with January 1 healthcare renewals on the horizon, you find this to be a hectic time of the year. No matter how much planning you do, it seems like open enrollment always involves last-minute decisions, fact-finding, quick changes and unexpected hiccups. In anticipation of another season, we put our heads together to share ideas for making it a little easier on our friends and colleagues.
Set your open enrollment meeting dates as soon as you can. Talk with your broker about when you can reasonably expect rates from the carriers. Having a date on the books helps hold all parties accountable.
Consider alternative ways to deliver plan information. Face-to-face meetings are not as necessary as in the past, with more and more digital options available. Tactics like webinars, benefit websites, PDFs of materials and chat rooms are much more acceptable to a new generation of workers.
Promote your benefits! Benefits continue to be a huge recruitment and retention tool. Take a look at our communication tools for ideas. If you haven’t already done so, start thinking about things like:
- Any new company branding you need to implement
- New photos or other images you’d like to use
- Plan enhancements you would like to highlight next year
- Plan features or benefits that may need more education
- Any company initiatives you need to include
Check in regularly with your broker: Your broker should be at the center of all of your carrier and plan information, and can play a viable role in helping with HRIS and benefit administration services. Lean on them! They should serve as an extension of your HR team.
Personal stress management ideas
While stress management techniques work differently for everyone, here are a few tried and true ideas:
- Plan your work and work your plan. Using a white board to track outstanding issues appeals to visual learners and keeps you on track. It can help both you and your team members know where you stand at any moment in time.
- Set weekly communication meetings with your team. This could be your internal staff or your broker account team or both! Pick a time that works for everyone and stick to it.
- Don’t forget to take a break during the day. Find a quiet time alone or a take a brief walk.
- Eat healthy to stay healthy. Try a healthy “after-school snack” or vitamin drink to support your immune system and provide an energy boost that will keep you sharp through the end of a long day.
Having a strong team is a real benefit, especially during this busy season. Sharing a sense of humor is important, too. Remembering we’re all in this together, and being able to laugh at ourselves makes things easier for everyone!