Innovative HR Solutions, LLC

Saturday, January 8, 2011

What is Open Enrollment?

Each January company’s go through the annual process of implementing the benefit programs that their employees have become to rely on to protect themselves and their families. Key to the success of any benefit plans enhancement and rollout is the planning and associated communication of the new programs.
To assist the HR professional with the process of a successful plan is a 5 step program. These steps are:

1. Evaluate the employee needs either through a focus group or employee survey. This process will ensure that the benefit enhancements that you are considering are aligned with your employee needs.
2. Establish a budget that has been approved by the leaders of the organization for the benefit programs. Consider using percent of payroll as the method for determining the benefit budget.

3. Working with your benefit broker have them provide you with alternatives to plan design, employer subsidized programs and plan paid for in total by the employees. Choice is very important to employees and alternatives to meet the unique needs of your staff should be considered at every stage of the process.
4. Interview those providers that have been identified and determine their qualifications and ability to meet your needs. Do your due diligence by asking those hard questions, ensure that performance and service guarantees are in place and check references.

5. Communicate the new or enhanced programs to the employees by way of health fairs, webinars, and employee newsletters and all-hands meetings. Where possible provide one-on-one service to the employees to assist them in the process of maximizing and utilizing the programs.
If these 5 steps are followed HR professionals will be in a position to successfully implement the benefit programs that are so important to the employees.
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