Minimize stress during open enrollment with these benefits management tips

Open enrollment is a high-profile task for your HR and benefits team.

It involves a strong focus and an attention to detail as your company cannot afford to make mistakes when it comes to employee benefits. It can be a stressful and confusing time for employees who need to research and make the best choices. A high-functioning HRMS is necessary for managing your open enrollment period - here are five benefits management features that will streamline and improve open enrollment activities.

1. Enable HRMS transactions that support your process during the year

Open enrollment is an annual process but many companies simplify it by allowing employees to keep their data current via self-service. Every relevant data element should be present and up-to-date prior to the start of open enrollment. It is best to ensure that your employees can maintain their dependents, their marital status and any demographic data like their state of residence which will impact benefit options and costs.

Guide: six steps to HRMS self-service success

2. Set up everything in one place online

One of the great advantages of a strong HRMS is the ability to package everything your employees need into the enrollment task. I remember 20 years ago sending out paper information packs and receiving hard copy updates. Today many companies have a mixed model of internal and external suppliers, and current HRMS allow you to link to those online plans and programs. When you configure and enable all of the options your employees will have everything they need through the gateway of your HRMS.

3. Support comparative modelling functionality

Most employees will look at benefits and costs as they consider their options. Your HRMS already has your key data elements to derive plan costs like dependent details and an employee’s birthdate. When you turn on comparative modelling and load your rate tables for next year it’s providing valuable details for your employees to confidently make their decisions.

4. Automate reminders and reporting

Your HR team should not get stuck with administrative tasks during open enrollment. Most HRMS have the ability to email employees with reminders of open tasks. You can set up and use HRMS reporting to easily track progress during your open enrollment period to course correct if adjustments or additional information is required.

5. Use automatic integration options

A full cycle of open enrollment starts when an employee completes their benefit elections and ends when the data is updated in downstream systems. You can reduce the risk of manual updates by building interfaces to these systems to automatically receive the data.

 

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Heather Batyski

About the author…

Heather is an experienced HRMS analyst, consultant and manager. Having worked for companies such as Deloitte, Franklin Templeton and Oracle, Heather has first-hand experience of many HRMS solutions including Peoplesoft and Workday.

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Heather Batyski