Ugly Truth About Benefits Technology and Employee Engagement
We’ve got some bad news. Despite what industry experts or benefits administration providers might try and sell you, benefits technology will, in fact, NOT fix your company culture or employee engagement problems.
While this might seem harsh at first, we are purveyors of the truth here at PlanSource and want to provide realistic expectations about our products and services – even if it goes against the status quo.
As a technology provider in the HR space, we like to think we have a pretty firm grasp on the challenges that HR professionals face. Crafting a company culture that makes people excited to come to work and encouraging employees to actively engage within the organization can be tough. While technology is certainly not a band-aid or a magic wand to fix underlying issues related to company culture, it can be an incredibly useful tool to help support human resources and administration efforts.
Here are 5 things that a good benefits administration solution actually CAN do to help improve employee engagement.
1.) Streamline Benefits Enrollment
The ease of use and efficiency of your open enrollment period can greatly impact company morale during this critical time. Cumbersome processes and antiquated interfaces can cause frustration throughout an organization and add additional tension to what is likely already a stressful time.
By implementing benefits administration software, your HR department can streamline the entire open enrollments process and devote more time to open enrollment education and facilitation.
Most benefits administration software providers will recommend a specific timeline for employee communications and general OE marketing. A good provider will not only collaborate with your team on a timeline that makes sense for your specific organization, but will also provide full training and implementation, templates and printed materials for internal communications, and advanced functionality like text messaging and triggered email sends for maximum efficiency.
How good is your organization at educating employees about the benefits offered through employment – really? Survey says, “not good enough.”
A recent benefits education study uncovered shocking statistics that unveiled true feelings towards general benefits enrollment:
- Almost half (49%) of employees expressed making health insurance decisions is “very stressful”
- 41% of employees feel that the open enrollment process at their current company is “extremely confusing”
- 20% of employees report regretting the benefits choices they select
While your Human Resources department could spend valuable time and energy developing internal educational resources or, better yet, spend time educating employees via group sessions or one-on-one consultations, a simpler solution exists.
PlanSource provides complimentary access to a full library of educational video assets that are not only available to employees, but that can also be strategically placed directly into the PlanSource benefits shopping experience to provide timely and relevant information during the shopping process.
3.) Improve Communication
Clear and concise communication is crucial for efficient and effective human resources and benefits administration. Let’s use everyone’s favorite time of year as an example – open enrollment. From distributing engaging marketing assets to get open enrollment on your employees’ radar to scheduling gentle (or not so gentle) reminders to guide employees through the completion of benefits enrollment, a well-executed communication strategy will include multiple touchpoints.
A few recommended communication touch points include:
- Printed material – posters, postcards, etc.
- Text messages
- Group/company meetings or announcements
Though open enrollment is certainly the most hectic and stressful time of year for many HR professionals, communication does not stop there. The entire rest of the calendar year is chock full of planned (and unplanned) events that require precise and timely communication. New hires come, former employees go, life events happen, dependents need to be verified, and on and on it goes. Each of these situations can be streamlined through simple and effective communication tools, like triggered emails and text reminders.
4.) Offer Non-Traditional Benefits
Using a benefits administration technology not only reduces the strain of manual management on your HR department but also opens an entirely new world of possibilities for unique benefits programs. Developing a well-rounded and comprehensive benefits package for employees will improve current employee satisfaction, lower employee churn and overall turnover rate, and position your organization more competitively in the workforce to strengthen recruitment efforts.
What is a “non-traditional” benefit?
Generally speaking, a “non-traditional” benefit is an employee benefit offered that falls outside of a health care plan, paid time off, and retirement savings. Examples of non-traditional benefits include:
- Tuition reimbursement
- Student loan repayment assistance
- Pet insurance
- Identity theft protection
- … many more!
According to a 2017 employee benefits report, 32% of workers are only “somewhat satisfied” with the benefits currently offered by their company and 20% are “not satisfied”. Combined, these numbers represent more than half of employees. Carefully crafting a diversified and comprehensive benefits program is more important than ever for employee retention and recruitment. And, partnering with a benefits administration provider that offers seamless integration with multiple partners is crucial to efficiently offering multiple benefits options.
Not only can offering non-traditional benefits increase overall employee satisfaction and engagement, but it can also help increase the total value of your compensation packages. Benefits are a big deal, and pairing creative and unique benefits with clear communication on compensation will keep your employees happy and engaged.
5.) Provide Info On-the-Go
How accessible is information about your benefits? Could an employee easily enroll in benefits across multiple devices or easily upload documents in a pinch? The easier your HR technology is to use, the more efficient and effective your HR programs will be in the long-run. And, the more efficient and effective your programs are, the more likely employees will be to actively engage and participate in various plans.
The first step to expediting human resources functions and making information more accessible is to use a mobile-friendly benefits technology. A responsive, or mobile-friendly, design will allow employees to seamlessly access and manage benefits on-the-go. This will give employees the flexibility to fully research various benefits options, discuss the best plan with a spouse or significant other, and complete enrollment on the device of their choice at a time that works best for them. How easy is that?’
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