A Manager’s Guide to Better Employee Benefits Technology Adoption

In the role of a manager, your core duty is to arm your team with what they need to excel. This encompasses a broad spectrum, including delivering targeted training and development programs and facilitating access to vital business technology.

However, outdated or poorly integrated benefits technology often leads to inefficient benefits management processes. This can quickly drain time and resources while also making it harder for companies to see the returns on investment they hoped for when administering benefits to their employees.

In order to avoid these implementation issues and promote better employee benefits technology adoption, there are some key considerations for managers to keep in mind.

Navigating the common challenges of implementing employee benefits technology

Modernizing your organization’s employee benefits technology is both helpful and rewarding. However, it’s seldom free from obstacles. Understanding these challenges and preparing for them can greatly ease the process, turning potential challenges into stepping stones toward success.

Here are some common challenges you might encounter and strategies to navigate them effectively.

Change management difficulties

Change in the professional environment is often met with skepticism. Whether it’s employees hesitant to break old habits or managers anxious about potential disruptions to productivity, resistance is common. Here are several tactics to help ease the transition and encourage a more accepting attitude:

  • Transparent Messaging: Ensure that the rationale for the change is communicated clearly, pointing out the benefits for the organization. By spreading the message through various channels, you can guarantee that everyone understands the intended reasoning behind decisions.
  • Guiding Change with Proactive Leadership: In times of change, proactive leadership is indispensable. Leaders who not only adopt new technologies themselves but also engage in candid discussions about its challenges and benefits, play a crucial role in ensuring a more fluid transition and diminishing opposition.
  • Feedback Loops: Create channels for feedback to understand employee concerns and suggestions. This not only helps in fine-tuning the adoption process but also makes employees feel valued and involved in the change.

System integration

The process of integrating new technology with existing systems is a complex but essential step that requires a deep dive into both the present and anticipated future technological framework of your organization.

To help with this effort, employers should consider how they can prioritize technology integrations with other HR systems of record. Having a unified ecosystem for benefits administration creates a much smoother experience for HR teams and helps to automate additional processes. 

By forging a strong partnership with technology vendors, you can create a detailed plan for integrating the new system with the goal of reducing interruptions in your operations.

Better planning for carrier connectivity

It’s important when implementing benefits technology solutions that there is a seamless data exchange between insurance carriers. Operating within disparate systems can become a recipe for disaster, making it harder for HR teams to operate efficiently and accurately across different systems.

Implementing Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) solutions is an important component of creating interconnectivity between multiple platforms. This avoids needing to go back and forth between carriers or manually entering the same information in multiple locations. This can be especially problematic during busy fourth-quarter enrollment periods, where there are strict cutoff times imposed by carriers.

Partnering with the right benefits technology vendors can help you navigate all of these feature enhancements more successfully. This can be incredibly helpful especially when navigating completed carrier-specific EDI requirements and when troubleshooting any issues that might arise.

Providing ongoing support and maintenance

A primary requirement when successfully adopting any new technology is to ensure you can support the changes made. Users will inevitably face challenges or have questions, requiring a clear, accessible support mechanism to be in place. This is where choosing the right technology partner comes into play.

While not all technology vendors provide the same level of support, there are those that will ensure their customers receive full technical support and platform maintenance needs as part of their service. These can be incredibly valuable for organizations as it means they won’t need to worry about having to staff their own team of technology experts.

Customization and Flexibility

The one-size-fits-all approach rarely yields optimal results when it comes to employee benefits technology due to the unique needs of each organization. Engaging closely with your technology provider to explore how they can tailor a solution to align with your specific requirements is essential.

As your organization expands, the benefits system should easily adapt to accommodate new users and benefits offerings.

Evaluating the effectiveness of technology investments

To truly realize the value of your investment in employee benefits technology, it’s imperative to define and monitor key performance indicators (KPIs). Identifying metrics that accurately reflect the success of the technology implementation, such as time savings in benefits administration and reductions in errors or compliance issues, is critical.

It’s equally vital to actively seek feedback from those who use the system directly, using methods like surveys, focus groups, or personal interviews. This direct insight can reveal specific areas of the system that may require refinement and help when planning future upgrades. By combining this user feedback with the analysis of relevant KPIs, you can make better-informed decisions.

Maximize the potential of your employee benefits technology

While benefits technology can be great for improving communication and supporting better benefits education, its primary value lies in streamlining administrative tasks for HR teams.  

Choosing the right platform and partnering with experienced vendors allows you to drastically reduce the complexities of your benefits administration process. This frees up valuable HR resources to focus on strategic initiatives that help improve employee satisfaction and overall business success. 

By investing in the right technology and choosing the right vendor, you’ll be able to significantly improve your benefits management processes and unlock greater efficiency for the company.

Frank Mengert continues to find success by spotting opportunities where others see nothing. As the founder and CEO of ebm, a leading provider of employee benefits solutions. Frank has built the business by bridging the gap between insurance and technology driven solutions for brokers, consultants, carriers, and employers nationwide.