Making it easy to move forward with benefits technology

By Nick on 

An employee benefits technology can be a key part of your HR and benefits strategy. From providing an engaging platform for employees and reducing admin, to providing you with insights.

But, as amazing as having this technology in place is, only 7% of organisations have stated that they face no barriers to entry. Which means that a whopping 93% of organisations feel that they face at least one barrier to implementing an employee benefits technology.

What are the key barriers to entry?

Every organisation is different, we get that. However some our recent research has shown there are some recurring issues. Implementation & renewal costs, ROI justification and lack of time are the most common barriers to entry.

No.1 Cost

Our recent research shows us that the initial outlay of setting up or renewing a benefits technology is the biggest deterrent, particularly for small and mid-sized organisations. Over 60% of respondents in a recent survey we conducted stated cost as one of their top barriers to entry. In the past it could have cost upwards of tens of thousands of pounds for some really complex systems.

Those initial set-up costs may also have put off companies of all sizes from carrying out market reviews and exploring what other providers can offer. With an existing provider, the cost is concentrated on the ongoing licenses, whereas switching to a new provider could incur upfront costs as well.

No2. Justifying your spend

These previously high costs would then lead into another prominent barrier: justifying ROI or even just expenditure. It’s not surprising that 43% of respondents have stated that justifying ROI as one of their top barriers to entry. Getting buy-in at a senior level can be a major challenge. Sometimes it will require a collective commitment from a board. However, for smaller companies that decision may rest with a single individual.

Budgets may be tight for some organisations, which can make the initial one-off implementation or even renewal costs hard to justify.

No.3 Lack of Time

Whilst many organisations already understand the need for employee benefits technology. Pension auto-enrolment drove a lot of change within the market. At this point every company had to offer a pension, and therefore a benefits package. Even if it equated to simply a salary and basic pension.

But, across the course of an HR department’s year, there are so many projects. In fact, 35% of organisations have stated that other HR projects take priority over benefits technology. Whether it’s salary review, appraisals or bonuses to name a few. Naturally benefits can take a back seat.

HR departments may even ask themselves if they really need another project to undertake and another system to put in place. Ultimately this reluctance boils down to the lack of one important resource: time.

So what can you do?

The main thing any HR or benefits professional can do is, find the right technology for you. The rest, really is on technology providers. Here’s a few things you should come to expect from your technology provider.

Quicker implementation

Technology in other sectors has progressed rapidly within the last few years, with benefits tech lagging behind. Typically the way tech has been implemented in that past has exacerbated these common barriers to entry.

Historically benefits schemes have taken months to design and implement. But, there isn’t really the case for that now. You should now be able to set up a platform for your benefits scheme quickly, and easily. Providers should be able to provide you with a platform in a matter of weeks or days. Not months. Reducing the cost and time you need to implement this project.

Intuitive, speedy admin

Benefits technology providers should be making their platforms simple and intuitive to use. Platforms such as Salesforce or even Hootsuite are so popular because they allow the user to achieve their goals faster and in one place. You should be able to automate reports to providers, enrol new employees or trigger benefit windows (all a pre-scheduled dates) at the touch of a button. Freeing you up for more urgent tasks.

Smarter, insightful analytics.

We live in a world where data rules. So when 38% of respondents in our recent survey said that they collect all their data manually, we were a little shocked.

Netflix can recommend what you might like based on your previous viewing habits. Amazon shows you what other have bought. Shouldn’t your benefits technology do that same? You should be able to see how you how effective your benefits are within the organisation. Such as linking wellbeing benefits to a reduction in illness and absence. Or the introduction of a new benefit that has contributed to a higher employee retention rate.

So whether you’re looking to renew your benefits technology, look for a new provider or even introduce a benefits technology to your organisation, your provider should be the one to help you overcome your barriers to entry.

This article was orginally published in Rewarding Tomorrow’s Workforce 2018 by REWARD.