Five benefits management features you can't do without
Benefits administration is perhaps one of the more intricate HR tasks – not necessarily difficult to do but many important details. And similar to payroll, the slightest error usually results in loud complaints. As such, software automation is particularly suited to managing your employees’ benefits choices. Let’s look at five key features for any benefits administration module.
1. Multiple integration
Arguably, no single HR process is automated in isolation. At the least, the data is useful when combined with other people-related information. With benefits, being up to date is critical and that means software that can integrate and/or communicate with various policy carriers and vendors – ensuring accuracy and speeding up the transactions and processing.
It’s especially important that benefits data be integrated with your payroll module to create a ‘total reward’ database, thus avoiding multiple data entry and more accurate information for employees.
2. Event management
The key to benefits management is the employee event cycle or journey. The key event is open enrollment, the annual time when employees can make changes to their benefits package. However, other influential life events include childbirth, terminations, retirements, etc. Look for software that allows you to add and configure events and manage potential changes for each one.
3. Onboarding and offboarding
For most employees, the bulk of the HR ‘paperwork’ is done one two occasions, when they join the organization, and when they leave. The more your HR technology (including the benefits administration module) can automate their setup, filing, and initial choices with their employer, the better (after all, their first day should be spent meeting people and getting to grips with the job, and not filling out reams of forms. Similarly, automating the paperwork involved in the leaving process (factoring in such aspects as the option of COBRA continuation coverage) streamlines an otherwise admin-heavy event.
4. Tools for employees
Delegating tasks to those with the most invested in their success is just good practice, and with the right self-service tools, you can give employees control over their own benefits administration and records. Ideally, you want 24/7 access – the ability to access information and register choices from home is important when the employee may be involved spouses and family in the discussion. Look for a range of access options and communication methods to suit all preferences.
As ever, once you have the data in the system, there are additional advantages to being able to access it, crunch it, combine it… in other words, no benefits administration software is really complete without its own raft of reports and the capability to add the information it holds to a broader reporting/analytics function. The ideal is seamless integration with a centralized reporting platform with different levels of reports from daily monitoring to strategic insight.
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