There is little doubt that technology is taking over the world. We have smart phones, smart watches, smart homes, and smart cars - and yet employee benefits seem to be slower to adapt. For example, how many of you are still using paper applications for health benefit enrollment?
The good news is this employee benefits trend is shifting. Here are five ways technology trends are influencing employee benefits.
1. Technology Streamlining Employee Benefits Administration
Large companies can typically afford to increase staff to accommodate complicated employee benefits regulations, but small businesses are at a disadvantage here.
According Employee Benefit News, however, entrepreneurs are learning that investing in technology (whether in-house or out) can be an effective way to close the gap and ease the stress on overwhelmed employees.
2. The Great Migration to the Cloud
For years, businesses have been migrating technology and data to the cloud. According to Employee Benefit News, businesses are now adopting cloud technologies for employee benefits management, as well. Cloud storage keeps data secure, backs up your backups, and prevents your HR team from filing in all that paperwork. The money you were spending on paper, toner, and labor will simply shift to pay for cloud services.
3. Technology Boosting Wellness Initiatives
Wellness programs began appearing in employee benefits packages a few years ago in an attempt to catch illness in early stages while encouraging employees to adopt healthy behaviors. This has led to free gym memberships, massive wearable tech purchases, lunch-time walking groups, and nutrition classes - often all accompanied by innovative technology.
4. Improvements in Employee Benefits Enrollment
With all of the technology innovations and resources, many businesses have moved to online applications. Are your employees still enrolling in employee benefits with a pen and paper? Check with your broker or your health benefits company to see if there is an online process to skip a step in the process and keep the paper off your desk.
5. Adopting Technology to Offer Consumerized Employee Benefits
Lastly, long gone are the days of one size fits all employee benefits packages. Traditionally, health plans have been defined benefits (as in, the employer defines what the benefits will be). But over time, American workers began to desire more options, which has led to defined contribution packages that empower the employee to choose health care options that work for themselves and their families. Technology - such as powerful software or online tools - makes the shift to consumerized employee benefits possible.
There is an added bonus of investing in technology to offer defined contribution plans: employers eliminate the unpredictable element of health insurance costs. These types of consumerized health plans allow businesses to designate a specific amount per employee per month, which employees can use to help cover monthly health insurance premiums.
Technology trends are affecting the way small business owners approach employee benefits. The investment you make in technology can open doors for your business by providing opportunities for alternative benefits solutions in addition to taking some of the stress out of your busy life. Most importantly, it can save you time, which allows you to focus on the most important part of your business: your customers.
How are you leveraging technology in your employee benefits packages? Let us know in the comments below!