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Annual Enrollment – some say it’s the Super Bowl for HR and benefits professionals.

annual-enrollment-premortem-checklistTo have a winning season in football, you have to train long hours, practice, and build trust with your teammates. All is riding on this season and you want to take home the trophy. But guess what? Turns out your QB tore his ACL in practice and your backup quarterback isn’t up to the task. And just like that, your season is down the drain. What could you have done to prevent this catastrophe? Doing some preventative prep (like training your staff to handle unfortunate events or adversity) is key to having a successful AE. Or, more simply, planning for success instead of reacting to chaos.

A profession in benefits breeds a certain comfort working in organized chaos. When it comes to annual enrollment, planning is key to taming the bull in the china shop. But, when do you have time to plan? Start now so you have plenty of time to work out the kinks and put preventative measures in place to stave against any unforeseen issues. In order to support our clients, we’ve begun our own targeted enrichment program to ensure your AE season runs smoothly this year.

A few of our enhancements include:

  • Development of AE project plans that fit the specific needs of our clients
  • A “pre-discovery” focus to gather high-level detail on expected changes earlier than ever
  • Heightened requirements gathering and utilizing Benefitsolver to collect and store the data details
  • Creation of dashboards in workflow management systems to allow for thoughtful monitoring of project progress across many levels
  • Development of client status reports to show AE progress and risk areas that are created directly out of the workflow system
  • Inclusion of “gates” throughout the AE projects to ensure timelines are being met and process is being followed
  • Increased client engagement throughout the process via sign off points all beginning with a scope approval

In addition to the above enhancements we’ve also developed the “AE in July” initiative. Through this plan, we will begin the process of developing changes in the system to reflect the details gathered during the pre-discovery process. This will allow to spread the capacity over a longer time frame, essentially making molehills out of mountains in preparation for the busiest time of the year.

It’s never too early to start planning your AE strategy. With a little foresight, training, and enhanced communication efforts, you can plan for success instead of chaos. Then, in January, you can look back and take a deep sigh of satisfaction.

Are you feeling unprepared for Annual Enrollment? Let us help.

View all Posts by Bridget Bingaman