I have a hangover. Not the traditional New Year’s Day hangover; it’s more like the headache you get when the culmination of a very busy day has come to an end, or in my line of work, the culmination of a very busy year. My colleagues and I at OneDigital are employee benefits brokers, sometimes referred to as producers, advisors, or consultants. The work activities coupled with the personal trimmings of the holidays make the third and fourth quarters of each year very busy.
From September through year-end, we work tirelessly to button up insurance carrier renewals and requests for proposals, oftentimes at the 11th hour due to a variety of reasons. And, of course, the year would not be complete without the steady hum of the printers pushing out the traditional communication vehicle favored by many of our clients: the paper open enrollment guide! Finally, we pull it all together with annual employee open enrollment meetings that take us to the four corners of CT – and around the country.
I reflect on these activities and I sometimes wonder how it came to be that we go through this annual rite of passage each year – and if there is a better way. However, as the dust settles on the prior year and the promise of a new year begins, it quickly becomes very clear to me that we do what we do for two reasons. First, and most importantly, our clients rely on us to help drive them through all aspects of the employee benefits world, from planning and strategy meetings early in the year to the ongoing service and compliance updates to plan execution at year-end. And, yes, the latter includes negotiating the best financial terms possible; communicating to and educating employees on the value of the benefits program; and implementing it all with the carriers and vendors to ensure a smooth transition from one year to the next.
Second, we do it because we care. Working with our clients on all things related to their employee benefits program is what we do. It’s our craft! It’s our art! The work we do is important. We are proud of our work and want to do it better than anyone else in the market place, despite the craziness of year-end.
As I continue to reflect, my headache quickly begins to dissipate and is replaced with feelings of accomplishment and pride.
Not many people understand what we do day in and day out. The team and I at OneDigital do a tough and important job – and we do it with such a high level of professionalism, fresh thinking, and technical skill each and every day.
Over a very short period of time, we renewed and/or moved hundreds of insurance policies. At the same time, we produced volumes of online, paper, and live communications for the employees who work for our clients. We made sure all of the “i”s and “t”s of our clients’ benefit programs were dotted and crossed respectively. In short, I’m very proud of our team for their hard work and accomplishments in 2016!
As the calendar flips to a new year, I always bask in the promise of a new start and fresh perspective. This is the truly exciting time of the year. It’s time to explore new products and services; to plan and strategize on ways to control costs and to enhance employee benefits, always a difficult balancing act; and to differentiate OneDigital from the competition in the marketplace.