Is your client or prospect overdue for a benefits technology upgrade? Sometimes employers are content with the status quo and won’t readily share how their current solution falls short. Benefit consultants need to proactively watch for warning signs that an employer’s solution isn’t the right fit—and be prepared to offer the right solution.
Sign 1: Despite having benefits technology in place, HR is still relying heavily on manual processes
When a benefits technology solution isn’t equipped with the right functionality to streamline administrative tasks, HR continues to perform these manual processes or in some cases, the benefits consultant completes the tasks to compensate. If your client has a solution in place but still relies on manual processes to accomplish everything, then what are they really solving for?
There are a vast amount of enrollment technology technology solutions on the market to choose from…. but with many solutions, that’s all it can do: enroll. It handles the basics like new hire and open enrollment. Employees can elect their benefits and the system at least has that data—but that doesn’t cover all of the employer’s needs.
Benefits packages have expanded in recent years, with employees now looking for more voluntary benefits from their employers like tuition reimbursement and pet insurance. Can the technology handle all of the different benefit plans being offered? Does it support all of the complexities and plan designs of those plans?
Is the data sent electronically through eligibility files? Or does someone have to get the data out of the system and send it to the carriers? If someone still has to manually key in data, the technology is not doing its job.
Additionally, if the benefits technology doesn’t communicate with payroll, then HR has to enter data into two systems every time there is an enrollment change…creating more work by not having connected systems of record.
HR serves as a critical company resource. In a department that is already overworked, any processes that can be automated frees up capacity for them to tackle other company concerns—like recruitment, retention, and engagement.
If your clients are doing manual work, that’s a perfect opportunity to say, “We need to look at a new solution”.
Sign 2: Employees dread enrollment because self-service is lacking
Self-service is crucial in an increasingly on-demand world. Employees want to be able to explore their options—especially a major decision like healthcare—from the comfort of their homes with input from their families. This is especially important now that more employees are working remotely. Open enrollment software should be accessible and intuitive from any device: whether that’s a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer.
The technology should also include employee benefits decision support tools to help employees understand things like copays, deductibles, co-insurance, in-network and out-of-network costs, prescription drug benefits, and other potentially confusing aspects of their plan. A more informed employee during enrollment leads not only to a better enrollment experience, but better decisions about their healthcare and greater satisfaction with their employer’s benefits package overall.
Benefits technology shouldn’t just make things simpler for HR, but also for employees. If a system doesn’t support self-service, or isn’t built with mobile-response technology, it’s time to look for something new.
Sign 3: Accessing data is a struggle
Data is crucial to helping HR leaders make strategic decisions for the benefit of their employees and the organization as a whole.
Employers maintain massive amounts of information within their benefits technology—but are they able to access all of that date on demand? Is robust data reporting available to them? Can they generate their own reports or do they need to submit a help desk ticket request to the vendor? That data belongs to the employer, and they shouldn’t have to request it from the vendor.
A good benefits technology puts data at HR’s fingertips – providing dashboards, notifications, analytics, and reporting tools to give them instant insight into what they need, when they need it.
Sign 4: The benefits technology hasn’t been updated in a long time
Too often an employer has been using a system for several years, and the system looks (and functions) exactly the same as it did when they first started using it. Consider how rapidly other technologies we use are updated to improve user experience and security. Benefits technology should be no different.
There are so many outdated options on the market today. Systems that look the same today as they did 5 years ago and have not evolved are a major red flag. Systems that have multiple versions and require employers to purchase new upgrades in order to access the latest technology is another red flag.
Good software is updated frequently and automatically – providing the employer with the latest version of the technology at all times, rolling out features and functionality to adapt to the market, and keeping data protected with the enhanced security measures.
Show your clients a better way
Don’t lose a client or a deal because you missed these red flags. Learn how partnering with ebm can help you take action to attract, win, and retain business through addressing benefits technology needs.