It’s Thanksgiving week, and like many of you, I’m thankful that another Annual Enrollment season is coming to a close. Even after an entire career in the HR/benefits industry, I learn something new every year during AE – new technology innovations, new employer concerns and perspectives, new employee needs and priorities. I’m especially thankful that I can take these lessons and channel them into helping our teams refine the Benefitsolver® platform, as well as inform Businessolver’s own benefits strategy into the future.
I’m fired up today, and ready to kick butt – literally. I recently was shocked to learn that even in 2017 – with all that we now know about the dire health risks associated with cigarette smoking – 36.5 million Americans smoke! As a career-long wellness professional, and now the Onsite Wellness and Fitness Administrator at Businessolver, seeing that statistic made me sad – especially considering that smoking kills almost half a million Americans each year.
The Senate GOP recently unveiled its ideas for reforming the nation’s tax system, including proposals to change income tax rates and the pretax amount employees’ could contribute to 401(k)s, reduce and make taxable 401(k) catch-up contributions, and eliminate or limit homeowners’ ability to write off state property taxes. Lawmakers currently are pushing toward a self-imposed Christmas deadline to send a bill to the president.
Walk around Businessolver’s offices today and you may run into a monster, witch, or even one of your favorite TV characters. We encourage employees to get in the Halloween spirit each year by inviting them to wear a costume to work – we even hold a costume contest!
Millennials are now the largest age demographic in the workforce, and we’re already seeing them make their presence known through shifts in HR policy and programs. The “Millennial effect” is particularly apparent in benefits, with Millennials showing unprecedented benefits preferences compared to previous generations.
HR/benefits pros are behind the 8 ball. Most U.S. employees spend 15 minutes or less selecting their benefits, many would rather have a root canal than go through Annual Enrollment, and a fair amount also say navigating benefits is worse than losing their cell phone. All of those statistics are real.
It’s back-to-school time, an exciting time for students – and a jubilant time for parents (after a long summer of hearing, “I’m boooooored!”). However, back-to-school season is also a stressful time for moms and dads, working parents in particular.
The start of fall is upon us; for most people, it means the return of football, pumpkin spice, and sweaters. But as we all know, HR/benefits pros aren’t most people! For us, the change in weather signals the biggest work season of them all: Annual Enrollment.
They say life’s a journey, not a destination. Having spent my career dedicated to helping companies achieve organizational excellence and process improvement, I believe those wise words also apply to the Baldrige process. When pursuing the Baldrige criteria, you’re never finished; you’re always on the journey.
At Businessolver, we eat, sleep and breathe benefits. So, when Annual Enrollment arrives, we get more than a little excited! Since our team is dedicated to delivering delight and providing a seamless experience to clients during the traditional annual enrollment season in the fall, we hold our own enrollment during the summer. So, as you and your team get ready to surge toward AE, I bring you fun ideas and encouragement – plus the gift of hindsight – from the other side! Here are my three best tips as you finalize your AE plans: