Open enrollment is a good time to carefully review your benefits to make sure they meet your needs and your employees’ needs.
Companies usually hold open enrollment once a year, a week or two before the old insurance plans run out. Employers set the new rates with an employment benefits broker.
Benefits plans can include medical, dental, vision, long-term and short-term disability, life insurance and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) and Health Spending Accounts (HSA), which are pretax accounts employees can use for medical-related expenses.
A great time to survey the workforce about what benefits they would like to have at your company is before summer begins. If you don’t want to do a benefits survey every year, try doing one every three years or every six years.
Understanding which benefits your employees want helps keep your company competitive with what is being offered in the marketplace.
Specifics of the plan to consider from your perspective include:
- Do you keep everything the same or make changes?
- Do you keep the current deductible or increase it?
Some employers become complacent. It’s beneficial to shop around to find the best rates possible for your company. I know brokers who work with large and small businesses who can give you a comparison.
Things to consider from the employee’s perspective include:
- Where do your employees live?
- Which carriers are in that area?
- What are your rates going to be?
Some of your employees might be interested in walking or weight-loss programs. If so, this would be a great opportunity to implement those programs. Telehealth appointments with doctors and discounts for joining a gym are other benefits you might consider. As a Human Resource professional, I believe employers should provide those options if it isn’t a financial burden for their company. Potential employees are looking at those types of benefits when deciding which job offers to accept.
The open enrollment process involves several departments in the company:
- The benefits team.
- Human Resources to notify employees.
- IT to make sure the system is updated.
- Payroll to ensure deductions are done correctly.
All these pieces of the team play an important role in getting the job done right.
You must notify your employees about the scheduled open enrollment period several times through different methods: email, your website and posters. You want to make certain your workforce is aware they must confirm whether they want to keep their current benefits or make changes. Most plans only allow employees to make changes during the year for a life-changing event such as death, marriage or divorce.
When I was working in the corporate world, my company offered flu shots, skin testing for cancer and Red Cross tips on stress at a health fair for employees during open enrollment. You also could add hearing tests and information on retirement. You could make this a comprehensive health event for your employees every year.
Open enrollment is your opportunity to choose benefits that support the overall physical, emotional and financial well-being of your employees. It’s a time for employees to carefully review their plan options to consider which benefits will best meet their needs for the coming year.
A summary of your benefits should be prepared for distribution to potential new hires so they can decide whether they want to work for you, and for your current employees at open enrollment. The summary is a snapshot of your benefits in a PDF, which is usually one to two pages, back to back. My business can create a summary of your company’s benefits for you. I also know plenty of insurance brokers who work with small businesses if you would like their contact information. For more information on open enrollment or having a summary prepared, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have you reviewed your pay rates lately?
Make sure you’re up to date on the pay ranges your company is offering. Being competitive with salaries is important for attracting and retaining talent.
Review your pay ranges periodically to compare them with other companies in the industry to ensure you’re offering fair, equitable pay. If needed, make adjustments whenever possible.
Misclassification of jobs can be costly
It’s important to periodically review the classification of jobs in your company to ensure they comply with federal law. Roles in businesses sometimes change and failure to correctly classify a position can be an expensive error.
The U.S. Department of Labor investigated two companies, for example, and found violations that resulted in hefty damages in 2021. The companies are:
- Holland Services, with oil and energy services operations in Washington, Pennsylvania, which misclassified 700 employees from 2012 to 2019 and failed to pay overtime. The company owed $43,276,638 for back wages and damages.
- Servant’s Quest, a home health care business providing services in Tennessee, which misclassified 50 workers as independent contractors and was ordered to pay $358,675 in back wages for overtime violations.
50+ Job Seekers workshops
The 50+ Job Seekers Networking Group’s workshops are free and virtual on Zoom.
Workshops on Zoom for the next month are:
- Monday, Oct. 16, 10 to 11:30 a.m.: Interview Practice … with me!
For good or bad, first impressions matter. When interviewing you need to put your best foot forward, and that takes practice!
- Do you have an interview coming up?
- Do you know how to respond to behavioral questions?
- Do you need suggestions on how to address gaps in employment?
Join us for answers to your questions and learn how to respond to a variety of questions that may be presented to you during an interview.
- Tuesday, Oct. 24, 10 to 11:30 a.m.: “Assessments,” led by Ed Lawrence.
Join us as we discuss hiring assessments and personality tests. You’ll even have the chance to take a couple of assessments and decide for yourself whether they work.
Why you need to know about this: Completing a self-assessment before applying for jobs can help your job search. Knowing yourself – your values and preferences – enables you to set realistic career goals and ultimately land the job you want. Many companies are including assessments as part of the hiring process, and the modern job seeker needs to be prepared.
- Wednesday, Oct. 25, 8 to 9:30 a.m.: “Chat with Harris and the Zees!”
Take this unique opportunity to speak with four franchisees (Zees) – and learn how they made the life-changing move from Corporate America to being their own boss.
Harris Gubin, franchise subject matter expert, will kick off the discussion with a quick overview of what it means to “explore franchising” as a potential opportunity – one that offers the autonomy, financial stability, and the flexibility to do all the things you’re passionate about in life.
Then, each of the Zees will share their unique story and path to business ownership.
Like you, they had plenty of questions before taking that first step – and they’re happy to answer all of your questions – from how to get started, to financial planning, to the pros and cons of owning a franchise.
The Zees are: Felice Parker, owner of PostNet and an Air Force veteran; Tammy Taylor, owner of Body Fit Training (BFT) and a Navy veteran; Mike Delzingaro, owner of Units, Greater Philadelphia and Delaware; and Ben White, owner of Supporting Strategies.
This webinar is being offered by Harris Gubin and co-sponsored by 50+ Job Seekers in Massachusetts.
- Thursday, Oct. 31, 11 a.m. to noon: “Scary Times: Coping with Job Search Fear,” a Savvy Seeker Series program with Dr. Miriam Rosalyn Diamond.
On Halloween in the United States, children would get all dressed up and go out into the dark of night, optimistically excited to receive treats from the doors they knocked on, with little (or no) expectation of a negative outcome.
- As adults looking for employment, how have we changed?
- Are we excited to get dressed up for a networking event or job interview?
- Do we expect the best outcomes … or do we have fears?
Let’s face it … the longer we are out of work or in a difficult work situation, the more likely it is that we’ll experience a multitude of emotions, and fears can creep in. Join Dr. Miriam Rosalyn Diamond to gather a bagful of resources that will empower you to face emotions that can arise as you wind your way through the job hunt.
- Tuesday, Nov. 7, 10 to 11 a.m.: G2G (Give to Get)
G2G is an open forum for Q&A, breakouts to discuss your job search questions, and plenty of time to network and connect with fellow 50+ job seekers. The name of every attendee will be added to the Wheel of Names. You could win a free coaching session!
I’m here to help
Contact me by downloading my digital business card by texting HRPRO to 21000 or emailing me at email@example.com.