3 Ways HRMS Can Make Benefits Enrollment as Easy as Pie

The process of enrolling in benefits can be a complex decision for an employee while being a labor intensive effort for the HR or Benefits personnel who support the process. What is involved in this enrollment, and how can an HRMS benefits management make life easier for HR professionals?

Benefits enrollment is usually a restricted process due to plan rules; an employee can enroll upon hire, during certain life changes such as marriage or the birth of a child, but otherwise is limited in changing options until the annual period of ‘Open Enrollment’. During open enrollment (often at the end of a calendar year), employees can opt in to new benefits or make changes to current ones, to be effective at the beginning of the new year.

Automating the Process

Many years ago, HR departments were inundated with paper forms that were manually keyed into the HRMS to support this activity. Fortunately, most modern HRMS systems deliver functionality that automates some, if not all of the process. In the best case scenario, your HRMS benefits module will allow for benefits self-service, so that an employee is able to review options themselves and enroll online. The chosen options should then interface over to payroll to ensure that appropriate deductions and taxation occurs.

Supporting the Rules Behind the Program

A smart HRMS will support the rules behind the available benefit options. For example, if your HRMS benefits module holds dependent details and an employee has a new baby, if your company offers family coverage, then the employee should have this option available, based on the underlying dependent data. Other employees without dependents should not be able to choose it, however. When reviewing HRMS vendor offerings, it’s helpful to compare HRMS functionality to normal web tasks done outside the company in personal life--enrolling in benefits online should be as simple as any other web transaction.

Employee Self-Service

If planned holistically, benefits self-service should link into the base HR transactions too; for example, if a manager is processing an employee transfer to a new location, then automation should provide the employee with a notification and link to new benefits available in this new location, preferably via self-service enrollment. The underlying HRMS data will be key to building up such an integrated end-to-end process.

Benefits enrollment is often one of the most complex HR processes. However, if you are able to incorporate HRMS benefits functionality into your HR system, it can become a more manageable task, on par with any other HRMS driven process.

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Heather Batyski

About the author…

Heather is an experienced HRMS analyst, consultant and manager. Having worked for companies such as Deloitte, Franklin Templeton and Oracle, Heather has first-hand experience of many HRMS solutions including Peoplesoft and Workday.

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Heather Batyski