It’s not enough for HR to simply recognize the advantages technology can bring to their business. It’s time to take action.
In 2015, more than $2 billion in investment capital was raised for HR technology. The HR function is now inundated with technology options to help automate, secure and streamline their internal processes. These technology advancements encompass everything from benefits, enrollment, compliance, reporting, payroll, wellness, employee engagement and so much more.
In 2016, Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends survey of human resources revealed quite an unsettling disconnect between the realization that HR technology tools are an important priority and the actual implementation and/or adoption of these digitized tools.
This survey of human resources and business leaders found that 75% of respondents believed digital HR support to be a strong priority, yet only 38% of companies are even thinking about digitizing their HR tools – and only 9% are fully on board with digital HR systems.
Why is this such a major issue in today’s world? For one, these companies are thinking short term when they need to be evaluating the long term impact that intuitive software programs could have on their bottom line. Streamlining and automating certain HR processes does not in any way eliminate this role, but it does reduce cost redundancies and eliminate unnecessary errors by offering an easier way to track, report and maintain important company records.
Another important consideration is that of the emerging workforce, where millennials will make up about 50% of the U.S. working population by 2020. This group of consumers has a very different viewpoint when it comes to technology and how they interact with it daily to improve the efficiency and quality of their lives. If you want the millennial generation to be as engaged and loyal as previous generations have been before them, your company needs to be evolving right alongside the new digitized era of healthcare technology.
Benefit technology and new innovations in healthcare delivery have made it easier for employees to access and interact with their employer sponsored health programs, allowing for more involvement and engagement on the employees’ end when it comes to selecting their benefits, practicing preventive care and even saving for the future.
There is a concern that must be noted when it comes to considering healthcare tech for your business. The integration can be seemingly complex, considering the amount of sensitive data that will have to be distributed to various stakeholders. However, according to a recent Aflac Report on Workforce Open Enrollment – employees are increasingly going online to enroll in their benefits, as opposed to manually filling out paper forms or going through a call center. Additionally, these employees are expected to carry a greater percentage of their healthcare costs, so they expect advanced decision-making tools and online calculators for support in the process of selecting the coverage that best fits their needs.
The benefit of these HR technology systems doesn’t just support employees, but streamlining HR tasks that allow managers and/or employees to take care of multiple tasks at once via a single online platform provide countless opportunities to increase productivity, eliminate common errors, and free up time for HR functions to focus on more important goals – such as the hiring and recruiting process. Data quality can rise with the use of technology and you can gain greater insight into your employees, rather than trying to guess when they need you and how best to employ your staff to help them.
Important considerations for adopting a new HR platform or digitized system:
- Configuration – it’s important to worry more about how the new technology will integrate with your current systems than focusing on the customization aspect that many vendors seem to be pushing
- Capability – a technology demo doesn’t have to be flashy, it just has to be able to perform certain functions seamlessly; such as integration capabilities with a business’ payroll, HRIS, and timekeeping system.
- Transparency – user friendly tools that increase transparency for the consumer when it comes to benefit options should be a no brainer. After all, this technology is designed to make your life easier – not more complicated.
- Adoption – understanding the technology is one thing, and you can rely heavily on your benefits broker for this, but the key to really having a successful system in place is simply adopting and implementing it in the first place.
- Compliance – compliance tools must be an integral focus when considering benefits and payroll technology, especially in today’s world. Employers should demand that this is a cohesive part of their tech experience.
At this point, even small to mid size employers must be adopting new, advanced HR technology platforms to keep them compliant and to keep them in line with the needs of their employees. It’s not enough to take a wait and see approach because this will put any company behind the curve, especially when it comes to recruiting and retaining top talent.
In our next post, we’ll be discussing the different generational impacts that the HR Benefits function must be poised to meet head on – including the use of technology and how it can positively change the behavior of an entire employee base. Stay tuned for more…
For more information on how your company can leverage new technology platforms for an optimized HR Benefit solution, please contact us today.