When it comes to employee benefits, the good news is that the number of benefits we provide to our employees has increased, and the bad news is that the number of benefits we provide to our employees has increased. What I mean by this is that although it’s been wonderful to be able to increase our employee benefits offerings, it also makes it challenging for both our employees and for us - challenging for our employees to understand and use them, and challenging for us to manage and maintain.
Technology has been integral in helping us keep pace with the changes and challenges in this area, doing so in a variety of meaningful and effective ways. Here are five of these:
1. Brings benefit programmes together
The most common excuse I’ve heard employees use for why they haven’t signed up for a benefit programme is that they can’t find information on it. And do you know what, they’re right! It shouldn’t be a treasure hunt, it should be a simple ‘open the door’ process.
And when employees have to jump through hoops to get to their benefits, we really are closing the door on the opportunity for them to see all their company has to offer. Features such as single-sign-on can help with this, providing one way for employees to access everything at once.
Technology has helped us overcome this problem by enabling us to bring our benefit programmes together under one platform so that employees can easily see what they are, and appreciate and engage with them. By bringing them together, you overcome the challenge of employees not being able to find your lovely benefit ‘treasures.’
2. Streamlines benefit enrolment processes
The second most common excuse I’ve heard from employees on why they haven’t signed up for benefit programmes is that they couldn’t figure out how to do so. And again, I’m not surprised since we not only make it difficult and confusing, but employees often misplace or lose the paperwork that we gave them when they joined the company.
Technology has again helped us overcome this problem as employees can enrol online in their own time, not having to hunt around for forms they may have received weeks, months or years ago. We can also make the process easier and more straightforward, using technology to streamline the employee benefits process through auto fills, FAQs, etc., which I love!
3. Develops a personal user experience
Once an employee signs up for a benefit, their engagement story shouldn’t end. To refine the employee experience even more, it’s important that employees understand what benefits are available to them and how quickly they can sign up. The process needs to be easy, personalised and intuitive.
Technology can massively help in this area, using its power to develop a personal user experience for each individual employee. Similar to how companies like Netflix continually push new shows and movies to you based on your previous selections and thus what they believe would interest you, technology can do this with your benefit programmes, alerting your employees on what benefits are right for them based on life events and what they’ve already engaged with.
4. Automates and streamlines benefits administration
As you know, it’s not just our employees that are challenged with the increasing number of benefit programmes, we in HR are faced with our own challenges. Why? It’s simple math, more programmes equals more benefits administration, more time and more problems.
Thank goodness for technology like flexible benefits platforms, which automates and streamlines many aspects of benefits administration. This not only saves us time but it also reduces the risk of errors from manual processes, which is just, if not more, important for our employees and our business.
5. Gives us the power of real-time reporting
And finally, and another challenge for us in HR, is the need to be able to determine and analyse the effectiveness of all of our lovely benefit programmes. Are they being used, are they meeting the needs of our workforce, or are they merely sitting on the virtual shelf being ignored by our employees?
Technology has helped massively in this area by providing real-time reporting, giving us on-demand data to help us better drive engagement with benefits programmes. For example, is there one location that hasn’t signed up for a benefit and thus you should target communication with them? Has a communication campaign received massive readership, and thus you’ll use this approach again? Data is your secret weapon in the war against under utilisation and disengagement!
As the world continues to change around us, there’s no better time than now to embrace and leverage technology, helping us overcome obstacles, move faster, and deliver what we need to our people and the business. I hope this series has helped you on your way to digitally transform your business into one that is fit for the future.