Have you noticed the costs of benefits technology creeping up? But why is this happening?
You’ve Been Flying Blind
As with our benefits technology, when choosing who to fly with we’ve historically had two options:
Pay a higher rate and fly with an organisation like British Airways, where you know exactly what your costs are, and exactly what’s included. You get that upfront cost and you’re sound in the knowledge that there won’t be anything hidden jumping out of the woodwork along the way. It’s all taken care of, from your seat number to your ‘tasty’ inflight meals.
You have the low-cost ‘budget’ option, with airlines like Ryan Air. You’re drawn in by the amazing cost of the flight, which looks brilliant at the beginning. You book thinking ‘great I’ve saved so much money!’ But, you find along the way there’s a plethora of hidden costs. From adding luggage through to booking your seat. Even when you’re in flight you’ll have to pay for refreshments or an extended taxi journey to your destination as you realise you’re not quite where you need to be.
These costs typically add up, and although they may not be as expensive as the first option, it’s starting to get pretty close. With all the extra frustration caused you’re often left wondering if that small saving was really worth it.
So it’s no surprise that recently we’ve been demanding more from our airlines, and service providers in general. Which is where Norwegian Airlines falls into our analogy. With Norwegian, you’re presented with a selection of options, each one clearly outlining what is included in the price. You get to cherry pick exactly what you want. Perfect, right?
So why isn’t this the case with employee benefits?
You’ve Been Splashing the Cash
Whilst we push for this clarity of service harder than ever in our personal lives; why are we still accepting the older level of service when it comes to our professional lives?
The costs of benefits technology has got us agitated, both the hidden ones and the upfront ones. With 60% of Reward and Benefits professionals stating that cost is their biggest barrier to investing in benefits technology [REWARD Mag], we’re pretty sure you are too.
Either the costs are so high half of us can’t even begin to consider implementing the solution for fear of eradicating our budgets. Or, even worse, we get drawn in by a solution that from the initial outlay looks affordable. Yet down the line we need a report run here, a data upload there and a mix of other activities and costs for these then come crawling out the woodwork. It almost feels as though you’re flying blind with a blank cheque book. Which is so very unnerving, that it wasn’t in your budget.
Surely we deserve, or more aptly, should be demanding better from our Employee Benefits Technology?
You Need a Clearer Future
In my last article we discussed about how employee benefits technology has struggled to keep up with consumer technologies such as Netflix and Amazon. But it’s already there. What’s more infuriating is that these hidden costs are still coming from the simpler side of our benefits technology. Running take up reports, amending employee details or uploading new data sets into our systems all carry a price. Like those pesky hidden costs when you’re booking your budget airline flight.
We have the capability to manage our ‘admin’ when it comes to the online food shop every week or so. Okay, maybe we don’t ask for an in depth analysis of the sugar content in our entire food order… But we can go in and select exactly what we want, even make changes to the order before it’s dispatched. No extra cost attached to that and you’re safe in the knowledge of knowing the price you accepted at the checkout is the maximum you’ll be paying. Even if your favourite shampoo isn’t in stock and you need a substitution, there’s no additional ‘hidden charge’ for this service.
Why shouldn’t you be able to do all this when it comes to our benefits technology?
So I would like to paint you a picture. What if, when you needed it, you could access that all important PMI take up report? No need to request a quote from your provider, run back and forth to get the expenditure signed off, then having to wait a further three days for it to come through. It’s already there in your lap, completed with a click of a button. Yet if you want something more complex or simply don’t have the time to do it yourself, you know exactly what the cost is, or it’s already included in the cost of your package! No more scrimping and saving to get the basics done.
You Want the Ideal Benefits Picture.
It’s time the industry should be turning the cost of benefits technology on its head. Let’s align ourselves with the clarity we’ve come to expect on a consumer level. Empowering the employer to pick exactly what they want, whether it be full administrative services, complete control, or just a helping hand with the annual benefits windows.
There should be no more need for ‘secretive hidden costs’ or skyrocketing packages when administration can be that quick and simple. That way we can all rest easy knowing our cheque book isn’t about to take a bashing and our budgets aren’t eroding away faster than we can handle.
You should be able to pick a technology provider who offers openness and clarity around all costs you’ll be facing. Zest work to provide a product which provides exactly what you need with no hidden costs or inflated license fees, so your budget can rest easy.