Many TPAs are already in the throes of annual enrollment planning and promotion. This can be a highly stressful time of year, and with the current labor market, things may be more stressful than usual. You need your staff to stay relaxed, calm, and collected to provide the best possible service to your employer groups. Here are three ways to help lower the stress of enrollment season.
#1: Encourage Asking for Help
Some people are averse to asking for help, especially if they aren’t sure their questions are welcome. Make sure your employees know that you have an open-door policy. Let them know you want to learn early on whatever challenges they are having – that much like healthcare, the sooner they seek help for a problem, it’s usually easier to fix.
Be proactive and ask employees how they are doing, whether in an email or quick chat (video or in-person). This can encourage a two-way dialogue.
#2: Encourage To-Do Lists
To-do lists are a very effective tool for tracking and prioritizing daily tasks. Whether created through a specialized software application or simply scribbled on a legal pad or sticky note, written to-do lists are tried and true.
To be more efficient, have your staff estimate the priority level for each task on their list, as well as the amount of time needed to complete each task. This will help organize their day, reducing stress even more.
As tasks on your to-do list are completed, mark them done or complete rather than crossing them off or deleting them. That way, not only can you see that you have fewer tasks left, but also you are reminded of how much you’ve accomplished.
#3: Plan Ahead (and Early!)
Some TPAs hire temporary help to get through enrollment season. This year, they may find that more difficult to do with the changes in the labor market.
If you have more work this enrollment season than your current staff can handle, consider these options:
- Can you find people to hire on a temporary basis at a rate you can afford?
- Assuming you can find the people you need at the rate you need, do you have the time and budget available to spend educating them in your processes?
- Have you considered outsourcing at least some enrollment-related task to an experienced BPO vendor?
The demand for BPO services has grown steadily over the last several years. Look for a BPO partner who is reliable, experienced in the benefits administration industry, and can provide fast and accurate services at a cost that compares favorably with hiring temp or permanent staff.
We all know that annual enrollment is a stressful time. Lower enrollment season stress and minimize the chance for burnout by ensuring that your staff has the time, resources, and support needed to carry out their jobs effectively and efficiently.
DataPath is a leading provider of Business Process Outsourcing services for TPAs nationwide.