It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year…Or Is It?

By Michael Rozum, Advisor at acumen

2020 has been an extremely challenging year for everyone and for a variety of reasons. If you’re anything like me, you’re holding out hope that the rest of the year has to be better and you’re looking forward to the holidays. I can’t help but be reminded of the famous song by Andy Williams who sings about the “happiest season of all”. I like to think it starts with the sugar rush called Halloween, includes the feasting and family time over Thanksgiving and Christmas, and concludes with New Year’s (which will be much anticipated).

For many, Open Enrollment season for employee benefits is synonymous with this “wonderful time of year” as well. This can be an extremely stressful time for Benefit Administrators as they try to make decisions for the following year, and then are tasked with communicating changes and collecting employee decisions. Open Enrollment also creates a lot of angst for employees as they are often faced with increased cost and/or benefit changes.

We find that a well-thought-out strategy for benefits, and also employee communication, can help alleviate a lot the stress that comes with this time of year. Pre-renewal meetings and prepping for anticipated changes in benefits prior to receiving your renewals can go a long way in finalizing benefit decisions in a timely manner and starting the employee communication process. COVID will undoubtedly present some interesting challenges for effectively communicating changes to employees this year so it’s important that employers have a variety of tools and resources at their disposal. Reimagining the methods of communication may be the perfect approach to engaging employees and increasing their satisfaction and efficiency during open enrollment. By taking a multi-faceted approach to benefit communication, many of our clients are able to wrap up their enrollment by Thanksgiving and they can truly enjoy the “marshmallows for toasting and caroling out in the snow”.

For more information, please contact acumen today!

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