There are various adaptations of the old saying, “You can’t really understand another person’s experience until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.” Whichever version you have heard, the message is still applicable to the current administrative tasks, employee engagement challenges and compliance changes human resources professionals face every day. Unless you have “walked a mile in their shoes,” employers do not understand the stressful, complex world they navigate, yet expect clear employee communications, streamlined benefits administration, timely new-hire onboarding and terminations, and a myriad of other administrative duties, such as COBRA administration and accurate ACA reporting.
HR has many tasks and duties that go unnoticed to employers except the final outcome, which may be incorrect or inefficient as managing a large employee population is nearly impossible for today’s HR staff.
Just as a carpenter cannot build without a hammer, HR professionals cannot perform their job successfully if not provided the tools of their trade, and this includes more than a computer and an Excel spreadsheet. In our digital age of ever-increasingly sophisticated technologies, today’s employers must provide their HR staff with technology that will enable them to perform their everyday administration tasks and employee communications efficiently and effectively, from within a single platform that also automates many other HR processes.
Ask your employees what their benefits are
If your employees don’t know the answer to this question, your HR is not performing their role and function in an organization, and it’s not their fault. With large employee-populations, HR has enough on their plate just to ensure employee benefits, open enrollment, qualifying life events, new hires and terminations, and payroll is all managed correctly and in compliance with federal and state regulations.
Often employees are provided a hard copy paper benefits enrollment form, quickly checkmark the boxes of the benefits they think they should enroll in, and turn it in to their HR administrator. They are completely clueless as to the amount of employer-paid contributions, availability of voluntary products and additional coverage, as well as employer-sponsored wellness programs and incentives available.
One of the most elemental functions HR professionals serve in an organization is to educate employees on the various benefits offerings that are available to them and to assist them in enrolling in the right benefits for their unique needs and situation. However, certainly not every employer has a one-to-one ratio of HR professionals to employees who are able to offer this level of communication and education, which is why technology becomes critical to bridging the gap between HR’s functional role and engaging with employees in a meaningful way.
Employers have a duty and responsibility to provide their HR professionals with technology dedicated to managing their employee-population. Intelligent benefits administration technology solutions are capable of complex benefits logic including different eligibility rules, employee categories, start dates, premium amounts and waiting periods. Once logged in to the employee enrollment website, each employee sees only the benefits that are available to them and can enroll in a user-friendly, step-by-step process.
Plus, employers don’t have to compete with the public exchange marketplace when they can offer multiple products, multiple carriers, and even wellness programs and incentives.
Benefits administration technology supports employers and their HR staff by enabling them to offer a variety of benefits packages and clearly communicate to employees which benefits options they can elect in, their costs for each plan, and what is covered under each plan.
Capitalizing on benefits administration technology
Employee benefits technology is the foundation of a human resources department and has evolved to support the integral role of an HR professional.
HR are able to communicate to employees efficiently and effectively through bulk email messages, enrollment notifications, and manage employee eligibility based on employer-specific benefits rules. By leveraging benefits administration technology, HR professionals can accomplish and sustain high levels of employee-participation and motivate employees to enroll in employer-sponsored wellness programs.
Through continuous engagement and education, employees become interested in their benefits and financial welfare and when asked the question, “What are your benefits?” they know the answer.
Following open enrollment or qualifying life event benefit changes, employees receive a comprehensive benefits confirmation statement (BCS) that identifies each of their benefits elections, employer-costs, employee-costs, and a total compensation figure. Employees can either print out a one-page overview BCS or review the longer, comprehensive version. Employees remain apprised of their health and financial coverage, which helps them make knowledgeable decisions about their future.
Today’s busy HR professionals require a system that will manage, control and automate many of the required tasks of employee benefits administration. Empowering HR with technology that supports their function and role in an organization facilitates a strong corporate culture. Employees who understand their employer’s contribution to their health and well-being are more loyal, more productive and typically healthier, which directly relates to the company’s growth, profits and long-term employee-retention.
Today’s most competitive organizations are leaders because of a well-managed employee population that is fostered through a strong human resources department and innovative technology.
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