4 signs your employee benefits technology might be outdated

Originally published in Employee Benefits News December 8, 2022

Technology is reshaping virtually every industry, including human resources. According to the PwC HR Tech Survey 2022, the majority of organizations are using benefits applications with cloud-based human-capital management technology to streamline benefits, payroll, and other human resources tasks.

Not all employers have fully embraced the possibilities, however. According to the Small Business Benefit Trends report, many small HR teams are working harder than they have to because of outdated processes and systems. These departments have manual processes, which lead to administrative burnout and a lot of wasted resources.

Benefits administration is the most complex HR process, so it needs current digitized solutions. Outdated systems not only fail in streamlining processes, but they can inhibit efficiency even more.

Is your technology outdated? Here are some signs.

1. You still rely on manual processes

If the software you have is clunky, slow or glitchy, you may rely on manual processes for everything. There’s little point to having technology in place that you don’t use, even if you’re just neglecting to use some of the available features.

HR has some of the most time-intensive manual processes of any department. First, open enrollment emails must be sent out. Then the information has to be entered for each employee,  then the carrier system, then back. This process repeats any time an employee makes a change to their benefits or you onboard a new hire.

Software systems can do all this for you, but only if they’re intuitive and streamlined. If your current system lacks the usability or you’re not using most of the available features, it’s time for a new user-friendly version.

2. You’re dealing with bugs and delays

If your technology runs slow or takes forever to start and load new programs, it’s a clear sign that it’s time for an upgrade. Slow technology can indicate a need for new software, hardware, or a faster internet connection.

If upgrading and working with support doesn’t solve the problem, it’s time to spring for a new solution. There are numerous options for employee benefits technology, allowing you to find the best solution for your organization’s needs, both now and in the future.

3. Your team is more advanced

Younger talent is more technologically sophisticated and won’t tolerate a lack of self-service options, poor security or laborious processes. With benefits in particular, employees expect self-service options to handle their concerns or needs. If they have to go to HR for everything, it not only ruins their experience, but it burdens your HR team even more.

Onboarding is one of the key aspects of getting new hires acclimated to your company and establishing culture. It’s also a good time to educate them on your benefits program and help them select benefits packages.

This process should be streamlined and straightforward, but if it’s not, it could lead the new hires to think that you don’t care about the employee experience or you’re not an innovative company. At a time when attracting and retaining talent is a challenge for organizations, it’s important to make the experience as positive as possible.

4. You can’t integrate

HR, benefits, and payroll are separate aspects of the same department, but they often share overlapping activities like recording employee information, tracking time and attendance and recording adjustments to pay and benefits. This information must be administered from all three departments, and with outdated software, this could mean manual processes or disparate technologies for a much more complicated process.

Most modern systems integrate with multiple platforms for different services. If your current systems don’t, you could face a burden of increased data entry, administrative errors, and inaccurate records that could have big ramifications. You’ll also have dissatisfied staff and employees, compounding the issue.

Employee benefits technology is a powerful productivity tool that can drive benefits administration efficiently, saving you time, money and errors. This technology also enhances the benefits experience for employees, as well as reducing administrative burden for HR teams.

Implementing employee benefits technology offers advantages for both employers and employees. Employers have better reporting and compliance, fewer manual errors and rules-based systems that automate manual work. Employees have a better experience, more-informed benefits choices, and better benefit adoption, leading to better satisfaction and retention.

The benefits experience is challenging for everyone. Technology advancements, such as HR technology and benefits technology, break down silos and improve the speed and access to benefits information for employees, reducing administrative burden on employers.

Benefits administration is one of the most complex, time-consuming, and potentially frustrating aspects of human resources. With increased emphasis on diverse benefits packages, improving the benefits experience with digital tools and technology help employees make more informed decisions. 

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