By Sheryl Simmons, Chief Human Resources Officer
Benefits Administration has had a reputation for far too long of being complex and confusing – not just for employees, but for HR professionals too. How did that become acceptable as the status quo? Employers have been manually processing eligibility changes. They’ve struggled with Ben Admin platforms that promise to make their lives easier but, in reality, are navigational mazes. In this day and age of technology, HR deserves better. If you’re still doing it old school, it’s time to say goodbye.
Later, mountains of paperwork.
Last year, Maestro Health™ conducted a study asking HR professionals where they spend most of their time. The number one response – processing administrative paperwork. If you’re an HR professional, you’re well aware that an abundance of time is not a luxury we have. Yet, we continue to trudge through manual processes that lead to headaches, along with creating a frustrating experience for employees.
We know employees are also ready to ditch these paper-based methods. HR pros know that handing over a stack of forms to new hires for completion on day one is not an ideal start to onboarding. “Welcome to this fantastic new career opportunity. Please fill out this pile of paperwork, and make sure your writing is legible so you don’t have to fill them out twice.” How’s that for a warm, fuzzy welcome? In fact, 69 percent of employees will likely remain with a company if they experience what they consider a great onboarding process. That stat alone is enough for savvy HR pros to say a final goodbye to paper processes.
See you never, complicated Ben Admin systems.
I often compare signing a new vendor to being setup on a bad blind date. Your hopes are built up by the recommendations of others and the promise of a great experience, only to get a dose of reality when your date shows up and they’re nothing like what you expected. Check, please!
The myriad of features that sounded so great when they sold you a high-tech experience turns out to be difficult to navigate and not customized to your HR needs as promised. Employees are frustrated with the cumbersome enrollment experience. Your boss is questioning your judgment for buying the system. And you’re left wondering why you didn’t just stick with mountains of paperwork. If this is hitting too close to home, don’t worry – you’re not alone. In that same Maestro Health study I mentioned earlier, we asked HR professionals to name their biggest headache. The top answer – disparate systems.
With the constant legislative changes and ever-evolving landscape of healthcare in general, we shouldn’t have to deal with systems that can’t keep up nor make things more complicated than they need to be. HR tech vendors shouldn’t be pulling the bait-and-switch on us. A few weeks ago, I told a vendor, “Could you just not suck?” True story. HR professionals need business partners – not vendors. We need HR tech solutions that are willing to partner with us to simplify the already complex world of benefits, not sell us even more complicated systems.
Goodbye, Ben Admin as you know it.
I think it’s safe to say that the traditional methods of benefits administration just aren’t cutting it anymore. At one time they were appropriate – but so were floppy disks and cassette tapes. But times, they are a changing. So enough already. It’s time for Ben Admin vendors to stop acting only as a “vendor” and deliver on their promised partnership to ease the burden on HR professionals and creating a consumer-like experience for employees. Skip the bad blind date. The next generation of Ben Admin is coming this spring and it’s not just a vendor – it’s your new business partner. Be among the first to see it when it arrives.