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Partnering with a more human resource

The Open Enrollment Conversation

It’s the single most important benefits event of the year. But for some of your clients and their employees, it’s dreaded as much as a root canal. Why should Open Enrollment be such a challenge? After all, employee benefits make up a good portion of your clients’ total compensation packages. Your clients undoubtedly want to offer their employees high-quality benefits that they will value and effectively use.

When you’re talking benefits plans with your clients, here are a few conversation starters to consider:

  • With the unemployment rate currently sitting at 4.9%, hiring has become increasingly difficult. Have you thought about the impact this will have on your benefits strategy?
  • Have you weighed the cost of your benefits plan against the costs of turnover, understaffing and potential overtime?
  • Have you considered migrating toward a consumer-directed health plan strategies in advance of the 2020 Excise Tax?

You can also reinforce that smart benefits enrollment and administration are the keys to a successful program. Ask them:

  • Have you considered the importance of easy, accessible benefits technology with full mobile capabilities?
  • Is integrated HR, payroll, absence management, workforce planning and record keeping important to you?
  • Have you thought about providing voluntary benefits for your employees?

And, don’t forget: Communication is key. Provide proactive guidance around change management and employee communications to your clients. Tell them:

  • A solid benefits plan is a big player in employee engagement. Did you know… a 5% increase in employee engagement is linked to a 3% increase in revenue growth in the subsequent year (2015 Trends in Global Employee Engagement, AON Hewitt)?
  • Communication should take place year ‘round, not just during Open Enrollment. While Open Enrollment is the primary benefits communication event, it’s not the only one. You have many opportunities to communicate the value of your benefits offerings to your employees.
  • Communicate early, creatively and frequently. Benefits communications can be complicated, very confusing, and frankly… boring. Work with your clients to create a compelling program to ensure their employees fully understand their benefits.

As their advisor, you want to help your clients get the most from their benefits program. Help ensure that they have the right solutions in place now to give them time to implement a new system, and use these suggested conversation starters to ease the anxiety of open enrollment for everyone.



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