Open enrollment is the busiest time of year for benefits professionals, and technology is playing a greater role than ever in how employers manage it.
The fifth annual Guardian Workplace Benefits Study highlights an overall trend of digitization in HR management technology, saying that more employers are using technology to better serve their employees with benefits.
Here are some of the key takeaways from the Guardian study for employers facing open enrollment.
The study says employers that are “highly digital” have much more efficient benefits processes compared with mostly paper-based companies. As people continue to shift more and more of their lives online, digital technology is also helping companies better engage their employees.
Overall, about half of companies surveyed said they use software to manage benefits enrollment — the period when the strengths and appeal of benefits technology is never more evident. For example, Change Healthcare found that moving to digital enrollment eliminated several administrative redundancies, ultimately cutting in half the time it took to complete a benefits application. Other online platforms allow employees to compare health plans based on past claims activity, helping them make better plan choices.
Benefits Information Is King
The Guardian study says that 3 in 5 millennials wish it were easier to learn about their benefits; less than half have a good understanding of how their benefits work.
Some companies are taking simple steps to address this by replacing outmoded PowerPoint decks and cumbersome documents with easier-to-use online platforms that steer users more efficiently to the information they’re seeking.
Beyond that, technology is helping employees get their toughest enrollment questions answered, thanks to tools such as online chats and smartphone apps.
Moving into the Cloud
As in other business areas, lower costs are pushing more employers to use cloud-based benefits technologies. More than 4 out of 10 employers report that they plan to increase their use of cloud applications in their management of employee benefits by 2020.
Cloud-based solutions are increasing efficiency overall, as many offer seamless coverage of a wide range of HR functions. In open enrollment, effective cloud capabilities have also enabled more employers to shift to time-saving self-service options.
Enrollment Excellence = Productivity
In the end, steps to simplify and improve the enrollment process for employees are having a fundamental impact, boosting overall employee productivity and productivity among HR staff.
By shifting benefits enrollment to more effective digital platforms, companies are helping employees save time and reduce stress — which allows them to focus more on their important work at hand.
Winston Benefits is a Benefits Administration, Enrollment, and Communication company. We provide employers with a technology enabled benefit process in order to help communicate, enroll and administer their employee benefit programs while empowering their employees to make better benefit decisions. Contact us to learn more.