As peak AE inches closer, now is an excellent time for managers to lend their HR partners a helping hand. HR’s partners across their organizations can play a role in helping employees enroll in the right benefits. Running active support (or defense, if we’re sticking with football metaphors) can help alleviate HR’s workload and streamline the employee experience.
Let’s look at some practical ways managers can support HR during annual enrollment season.
Benefits can cause a lot of stress. Especially when employees are at risk of missing deadlines and potentially not having coverage for the upcoming year.
Managers can help cut through noisy email inboxes by flagging reminders or emails from HR for their employees. Topics like enrollment details and changes to benefits are all important details that managers can highlight in team meetings, 1:1s, group chats, and more.
We can’t beat this drum enough: Employees will never be benefits experts, but they want to engage with their benefits. Successful engagement often uses modern technology (like apps and email) that allows them to avoid a phone call at all costs. Our data tells us as much when we check out how employees use Sofia, open benefits emails, and more.
Awareness is key to self-service at AE. Managers can help build awareness by directing employees to where they can access information about benefits options and enrollment. By promoting self-service options, people leaders can help employees find the right resources and alleviate the burden on HR
Still, it’s important to support employees along their journey to self-service, not just give them the tools and walk away. Being available to supply ongoing support and address concerns is crucial ahead of and during annual enrollment.
No, we aren’t telling anyone to tell HR how to do their jobs. They’ve got that handled!
But leaders can bring feedback or observations back to HR. A different perspective can be valuable in continuing to refine and streamline the AE process.
Sharing insights into employee concerns and questions that a manager has noticed among their team members is a great start. By acting as a bridge between employees and HR, managers contribute to the improvement of the enrollment process. Just remember, HR lives in this world year-round, so come with suggestions or ideas, not demands.
Annual enrollment season is a critical time for employees and HR departments, and managers can play a pivotal role in supporting HR’s efforts. By effectively communicating with employees, encouraging questions, and providing feedback, managers are invaluable partners to HR during annual enrollment.