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Preparing Lawson ESS for Open Enrollment

by | Oct 18, 2016

Open enrollment is probably already weighing heavy on your mind. As you work through the many things you need to prepare before the end of the year, don’t forget to review your Infor Lawson Employee Self Service (ESS).

ESS is a module of Infor Lawson Global Human Resources (GHR) that simplifies benefits enrollment by letting employees manually select their own plans, among other HR-related tasks. Just as you would review all packages offered to your employees prior to open enrollment, you’ll want to spend some time reviewing that same information within ESS to ensure everything that you offer is configured correctly. The last thing you want is an employee accidentally signing up for a benefit you no longer offer. That’s why it’s critical to review the system before open enrollment begins.

5 Things to Review in Lawson ESS Before Open Enrollment

The Lawson ESS system is extremely customizable, so while the below areas are a good place to start, don’t stop there. Make sure to do a careful review of any other customizations you have built in and do a few test runs to ensure everything is working as it should.

1. Healthcare Plans

Review the healthcare plans offered by your company to make sure they have all been correctly updated in your system for the coming year.

2. Customizations

Double-check group customizations that affect which plans are seen by which employees. After all, if an employee does not qualify for specific benefits, it’s best they don’t even see it as an option. You definitely won’t want them to accidentally select it, either.

3. Guides

Take a look at any instructions or pop-up boxes that guide employees through the process. You’ll want to make sure they are still accurate if other aspects of your system have changed throughout the year.

4. Wellness Programs

Wellness programs are even more likely to change than other pieces of your benefits package, so don’t overlook them. Employees who don’t understand their wellness program options are unlikely to use them!

5. Notifications

Review all notifications from the previous year to ensure details are still accurate. If nothing else, you’ll likely need to update a few dates or details in each.

Common ESS Modifications to Consider

While reviewing Lawson ESS for open enrollment, it’s also a good time to consider whether there are any new features or functions you want to add before open enrollment begins. If you initially rolled out Lawson ESS in a minimal way—for example, if you have previously limited the system to offer form downloads that are printed and turned in manually—now is a good time to update the system and implement more features.

If you already have ESS fully implemented, consider adding additional customizations or setting up some of the new features available in the latest versions. For example, Lawson released a new feature last December that allows you to link your HSA options to your HDHPs. This prevents employees from signing up for plans that don’t offer an HSA from even seeing it as an option.

You may also want to add new announcement functionality, allowing HR to use the system as a communication tool and to change text on the fly. Another common customization that’s helpful to implement prior to open enrollment (if it’s not currently set up) is the automated notification system.

ESS can handle processes for approvals and notifications. For example, it can set up send reminders so that employees who are late in filling out paperwork receive an email notification to do so.

Other Helpful Lawson ESS Options

These are really just the start—the system is flexible enough that if you can think of something you’d like to include, there’s a good chance that it can be accomplished.

Prequalifiers

Set up the system so employees select tobacco usage before choosing a health plan and therefore are shown more accurate rates upfront.

Life Events

Ask employees about life events that might affect their coverage choices. The system can even be set up to disallow employees to change their name or add a dependent until they submit the proper documentation to HR. Additionally, it can automatically send a notification to HR that the documentation is required and to the employee explaining what documentation is needed and the proper way to submit it.

Leave Balances

Show PTO accrual, including any notifications about what will carry over into the new year and what will qualify as “use it or lose it.”

Knowledge Base

Add videos or an FAQ page with additional information and references for employees.

Automation

Design and implement custom ProcessFlow (IPA) options so that employees receive a confirmation once they’ve successfully enrolled in benefits.

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