Open Season 2007 was a disaster.
Each and every employee was served and served well; however, it was at the expense of our HR Assistants' sanity. Not only did the final week of open enrollment coincide with the week performance awards for 1300 employees were to be coded for payment, employees waited until the last minute to make appointments, walk-ins were constant and we had people lined up outside offices throughout the day. We kept a lot of chocolate on hand and I kept a close eye on my staff.
Open Season 2008 was a breeze.
Each and every employee was served and served well, including our HR Assistants. The final week of open enrollment did not coincide with the week performance awards for 1300 employees were to be coded for payment, many employees made appointments ahead of time, minimal walk-ins and no lines outside offices.
I asked one of my HR Assistants what she thought helped make this go as well as it did. Her reply? "We had a process." And that we did.
Open season messages started going out to employees 90 days in advance. These messages provided employees with step-by-step guidance on how to enroll in, change, or decline benefits on-line; provided links to benefits pages;highlighted the importance of benefits decisions and knowing all they can early on; and emphasized the value of an appointment to ensure their HR staff member could provide them the undivided attention they deserved. We pushed the suspense for performance reviews up a week to give us more time to process them and lessons learned from last year were use to facilitate set up and break down of the auditorium.
I have smart people on my staff. It is easy to point them towards the goal and expect them to figure things out; to make them work. They do figure things out and things usually do work out, but at what expense?
Smart people need processes too.