Technology-Driven Employee Benefits Improve Outcomes
Technology-driven employee benefits are changing the way employers view and manage benefits. Technology is by nature disruptive and technology-driven employee benefits can translate into transformative change. Currently, technology-driven employee benefits are helping to advance the employee benefits world, by providing employers an opportunity to improve their offerings for today’s workforce. Technology-driven employee benefit programs are also helping Human Resources professionals to recruit and retain top talent. Companies are leveraging technology-driven employee benefits to create better employee benefits in three ways: Personalization, Flexibility, and Empowerment, according to an article in HR Technologist, penned by PTO Exchange CEO Rob Whalen.
Personalizing employee benefits heightens engagement, according to Mr. Whalen. Today’s workforce spans four generations with diverse needs and values. Thus, the one-size-fits-all employee benefits model is no longer effective. Thus, employers must embrace technology-driven employee benefit programs to create and deliver customized benefit programs to meet workers’ unique needs. Personalization in employee benefits gives employers the opportunity to better educate their workforce on the numerous employee benefits available to them. A personalized approach tends to drive up participation in employee benefits such as health savings accounts (HSAs). One-way employers can leverage technology is by implementing an online portal that personalizes the user experience. This may incorporate a series of questions being asked to help identify specific employee benefits needs. Then technology-driven employee benefit programs can then provide recommendations fitting those needs. Technology streamlines the employee benefits selection process and gives the employee more confidence in their choices. For example, Mr. Whalen pointed out that an online portal can be used to email an employee who’s signed up for a high deductible health plan (HDHP) with personalized information about an HSA. According to Mr. Whalen, “Personalization is opening up doors for new levels of engagement in employee benefits and companies invested in providing a better employee experience will reap the benefits.”
Technology-driven employee benefits also provide employers the opportunity to offer flexible employee benefits to satisfy the diverse needs of today’s workforce. This affords employees the ability to use their earned employee benefits as they choose. For example, employees could leverage technology-driven employee benefits to transfer the value of unused PTO to cover an unexpected financial emergency. This strategy is preferable to taking an early distribution from a 401(k) plan. Technology-driven employee benefits are still catching on, but more employers are beginning to consider them. Employers who are concerned about the overall wellbeing of their employees are among the early adopters of technology-driven employee benefits. All employers should be taking notice of the bottom-line benefits of helping employees to achieve overall financial wellness by making technology-driven employee benefits available. Research has shown that when employees’ financial stress is reduced, they perform better on the job. Flexible employee benefits typically boost workers’ job satisfaction, productivity and even creativity, Mr. Whalen noted.
Finally, technology-driven employee benefits empower workers to take charge of employee benefits decisions, resulting in better outcomes. Virtual healthcare, for example, is empowering employees to take more control over their healthcare needs, decisions and costs. Employees are leveraging technology via employee benefits like telehealth to ask their doctor for guidance when a health issue arises instead of making an in-office appointment. Technology-driven employee benefits permit employees to redirect their PTO toward priorities that are more important to them, such as paying off student loan debt or saving for retirement.
Technology-driven employee benefits are transforming employee benefits by delivering more personalization and greater flexibility while empowering employees to use their earned benefits in ways that matter most to them. As Mr. Whalen aptly noted, technology is pushing employers to reconsider and redefine their employee benefits offerings — the #2 consideration for job candidates — to better serve employers and employees. As such, leveraging technology to transform employee benefits will enable employers to position themselves to improve their recruiting and retention efforts in the coming year.
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