HR Leads Business

Sep 27, 2019 | Clare Chiappetta

3 Ways Technology Is Changing Employee Benefits

The bots haven’t taken over (yet), but they do permeate many aspects of work, including employee benefits. Chatbots, for example, are becoming more and more common as an HR tool. It’s not unusual for an employee to strike up a conversation with one of these AI-based systems when seeking answers regarding their benefits.

This kind of benefits technology is making great strides in benefits administration. Digital platforms provide tools that are intuitive, intelligent and accessible 24/7, making it significantly easier for employees everywhere to access — and use — their benefits.

Here are three ways you can leverage technology to ease the most common benefits pain points employees experience at your organization.

Go Digital to Improve Efficiency

Transporting data from paper-based records into a digital platform can drastically improve access to benefits and reduce hassles for both employers and employees. “As the benefits administrator, you have to identify what you and your employees need, what the pain points and processes are, and utilize technology where you need it the most,” says Marites Foster, a senior account manager at Centennial. Using digital platforms to manage employee benefits will protect your employees from the hassle of accessing paper benefits information or filling out forms to make changes to their benefits.

Localizing data in a benefits administration platform and integrating it with providers and payroll is a major tool in increasing efficiency, for you and employees alike. “Incorporating benefits administration technology into an employer’s current data source drives efficiency,” says Nicole Williams, senior vice president of sales at ConnectYourCare. “Integrating administrative technology into the existing platform reduces redundancy and creates a better user experience.”

Streamline the Benefits Experience

With online enrollments, employees have more access and control over exploring their options, says Theresa Santoro, director of human resources and operations at Actualize Consulting. HR-provided guidance can aid employees in making their own decisions, while at the same time maintaining the employee experience of enrolling whenever and wherever they are. AI-assisted tech tools like bots can provide answers to employee questions 24/7.

In addition to streamlining the employee experience, benefits technology has the added benefit of easing the burden on HR. “Benefits administration technology allows HR to put more time into other tasks like recruiting new talent and setting up training portals,” Santoro says. Ultimately this will feed back into more time for HR to continue improving the employee experience.

Ease Compliance with Technology

With the amount of data involved in benefits administration, maintaining compliance has the potential to be a nightmare. Luckily, integrating all of that data on a digital platform is a huge help. It’s now much easier for employees to assist in compliance by taking ownership of their own data.

For example, if an employee experiences a qualifying event, such as a marriage, divorce, or birth of a child, during the year that constitutes a change in coverage, the employee can input that change directly. “That will trigger a notification to the HR person that an employee is initiating an event,” Foster says. “The administrator simply has to approve or decline it in the system.” This increases compliance, prevents employees from experiencing any lapses in coverage due to insufficient data and reduces the administrative burden for employers.