Laying the Foundation for Success with Integrated Employee Benefits Technology
There can be a significant difference between setting a business goal and making that goal happen in a timely and efficient manner. Technology implementation is one area in which companies often struggle, where plans and execution may not go hand in hand.
Consider employee benefits (EB) technology: 70% of the 400+ HR professionals surveyed in a recent study (commissioned by Equitable and conducted by Arizent Research/Employee Benefit News) are either extremely or very interested in using integrated employee benefits (EB) administration systems (see figure 1). But are they ready to successfully implement these solutions at their organizations?
Figure 1: Interest in/Usage of Integrated Employee Benefits Technology
Already using a single vendor/carrier for some HR functions and/or benefits admin
Not at all interested
Source: Arizent Research/Employee Benefit News, March 2019
To prepare, employers should take a variety of steps to set themselves up for success. Brokers can help these employers by sharing tips and feedback from those who have implemented before:
1: Be ready to devote energy to change. “Sometimes it’s easier to take the path of least resistance and continue to do things as you have always done them. To move beyond the status quo, though, leaders need to devote time and energy to the purchasing process as well as to the implementation of integrated solutions,” says Ron Hermann, Head of U.S. Life & Employee Benefits at Equitable.
2: Do your due diligence. Survey respondents offer these suggestions for success:
- “Do your homework when selecting a vendor and a solution, understand the implementation process, carefully consider organizational goals, keep compliance in mind and consider all costs.”
- “Be sure to do your homework in selecting a vendor and a solution. And, when implementing, be sure to test data.”
- Be sure to interview the implementation team as well while investigating systems capabilities. Without a successful implementation, the best system will be a disappointment.”
3: Understand that other options remain. “While it’s very unlikely that organizations will want to go back to non-integrated systems after experiencing the benefits of integration, organizations don’t have to be married to solutions forever. It's not like your organization is on a one-way plane that you can't get off of,” says Tom Flavin, Head of Distribution, Equitable. Look for the best-fit option but don’t let the fear of “choosing wrong” keep you from making progress.
Broker Tip: Be an adviser who can do some of the heavy lifting. When you understand your clients’ current structure, you can offer your perspective on how they can improve their benefits offerings, processes and technologies. You can serve as a subject matter expert who can identify where there are opportunities to improve.
For integrated technology solutions available from a trusted partner, visit https://equitable.com/powerfullysimple
In February and March of 2019, Arizent Research/Employee Benefit News conducted an online survey of 401 HR professionals. The study, commissioned by Equitable, had the following requirements for participants: manager level or above; benefits technology decision-making responsibility; organization size of 10 to 500 employees; organization 2018 gross receipts of $250,000; and organization usage of at least 1 software solution for HR functions.
Equitable is the brand name of Equitable Holdings, Inc. and its family of companies, including Equitable Financial Life Insurance Company (Equitable Financial) (NY, NY); Equitable Financial Life Insurance Company of America (Equitable America), an AZ stock company with main administrative headquarters in Jersey City, NJ; Equitable Advisors, LLC (member FINRA, SIPC) (Equitable Financial Advisors in MI & TN); and Equitable Distributors, LLC. The obligations of Equitable Financial and Equitable America are backed solely by their claims-paying abilities. All group insurance products are issued either by Equitable Financial or Equitable America, which have sole responsibility for their insurance and claims-paying obligations. Some products are not available in all states.
GE-2699021 (8/19) (Exp. 8/21)