How to Help Employees Gear-Up for a Hectic Fall Schedule

Fall is a busy time of year for employers and employees alike. The hustle and bustle of back to school, with re-enrollment of overage student dependents—not to mention single to family/couple coverage eligibility updates within 31 days of all those summer weddings—topped off by the year-end increases in workloads and quotas, on top of trying to get caught up after summer holidays…it can be exhausting! Here are a few timely tips on how you can have a positive influence on how your workforce deals with competing timelines and stress.

Encourage organizational skills. Encouraging your staff to take a few minutes to get—and stay—organized every day leading into the fall will go a long way to reducing employee stress levels. With company intranets at employees’ finger tips, it is easier than ever to communicate with and encourage employees to stay on top of things before they get overwhelmed.

Build employee engagement. Last month we looked at studies suggesting that engaged employees are more productive employees. What employers may not realize, however, is that increasing employee engagement can be as easy as letting your staff know that you care about their work-life balance. Depending on your work environment, increased engagement could mean giving employees a couple of minutes during their shifts to communicate eligibility changes, or to book a personal appointment. You may also wish to consider providing staff with links to timely articles from trusted resources such as EAP bulletins and government websites, which often offer tips and checklists, like our Back to School article last fall. But remember to keep it simple. Baby steps are easier to follow, and reading an article titled “102 Best Tips to Get Your Home Super Organized” may only prove be more overwhelming than helpful for some.

Easing the administrative pressure. As for those pesky administrative updates, it’s important to note that the majority of eligibility updates are not driven by the carrier; they’re driven by the plan administrator. Carriers have differing eligibility processes. Enrollment and re-enrollment of overage student dependents is a good example of this. There are carriers that require annual re-enrollment every September 1st, while others will need proof of enrollment and tuitions payment. Some carriers provide annual dependent eligibility listings upon request, which can facilitate your ability to proactively contact employees to confirm eligibility details. Others offer bulk eligibility upload options, where bulk updates such as salary increases can be uploaded at once. The details for your specific plan may differ, but you can find them in the on-line plan administrator’s guide on your carrier’s website.  

References:

Have employees test their stress level using the CMHA stress index

http://www.cmha.ca/mental_health/whats-your-stress-index

Getting organized:

http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/home/tips/g2610/best-organizing-tips/