Benefits Forms – Wading Through the Paperwork

If you work in HR, you're already more than aware of just how much paperwork goes into the job.  Of course, today many aspects of human resources are digitized, but even then it can be a huge task to keep up with it all.  And perfect examples of paperwork you can't escape are HR benefits forms.  Today's HR software has made it much easier to manage HR benefits forms, from the actual filling out of them to the manner in which they're stored.  Depending upon the various benefits that your company offers, there are likely to be numerous different HR benefits forms you'll have to deal with. 

HR benefits forms can be classified according to the overall focus of the forms themselves.  You're probably familiar with most of them, but a quick review of some of the more common ones isn't a bad idea and can help you with the process of managing HR benefits forms no matter how long you've been on the job.  Here are some of the most common types of HR benefits forms that you'll end up encountering.

  • Enrollment Forms – When it comes to HR benefits forms, you'll probably see enrollment forms more than any other type.  That's because not only will new employees be using them once that they qualify, but current long-term workers also utilize them to modify their existing benefits.  From enrolling in retirement plans to health insurance, employees will be sending plenty of these your way.
  • Leave of Absence – You'll probably get plenty of these HR benefits forms as well.  Basically, they cover everything from medical leave to vacation time, and you'll have to process them as quickly as possible to keep everything running smoothly.  They may not be quite as common as the various enrollment forms, but these HR benefits forms will certainly be seen by you frequently.
  • Separation Forms – There's a chance that you don't realize it, but HR benefits forms may even extend to those leaving the company.  Retirement benefits in the form of insurance, severance packages and many other types of HR benefits forms fall into this category, and you may be surprised by just how often you'll end up seeing them.

These are the most common HR benefits forms you'll be seeing, and managing them properly is important.  The old days of storing everything in filing cabinets is vanishing, although you may still keep hard copies for backup.  More frequently, computer systems are available to help employees fill out HR benefits forms and submit them and then to help you file, manage, and maintain them.  Technology's a double edged sword, but in this case few HR professionals will argue about the efficiency and impact that it has had on management of HR benefits forms.  Familiarize yourself with the different types of forms and just what they'll entail – you'll be seeing a lot of them.

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