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Kazim Ladimeji How Benefits Administration Applications Drive Employee Engagement

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 By Kazim Ladimeji

4 Ways Benefits Administration Software Impacts Engagement

Ample research exists that depicts a positive correlation between employee engagement and corporate performance. For instance, a 2011 Hay Group Study found that engaged employees were as much as 43% more productive than those employees who were effectively disengaged. A longitudinal Gallup survey (of 17M employees) reviewing engagement clarifies this relationship even further with its findings that, in world class organizations, the ratio of engaged to actively disengaged employees is nearly 10 to 1, whereas in so called average organizations this ratio is just under 2:1.

As such, it's no surprise that effective HR strategies look to increase employment engagement with a range of tactical interventions—a key one of which is through the introduction of Benefits Administration Software. This HR technology has a range of enabling features and functionality that can distribute employee benefits in a much more seamless, educational, and ultimately empowering way. Using Employee Benefits Technology will enable employees to have a greater understanding of, and engagement with, their benefits offering. Here, we look at some of the key features of Benefits Administration Software and illustrate how these features can contribute to increased employee engagement.

Benefits Administration System Engagement Tactic # 1: Employee Self-Service

Employee Self-Service (ESS) is an enabling technology which allows employees to access and manage their HR, payroll, and benefits data within prescribed limits. A widely used feature of Benefits Administration Software (52% of organizations currently utilize ESS functionality for employee benefits), the advantages of Employee Self Service to employees are abundant. For example, most employees can now manage their personal finances through an online portal and naturally would expect to be able to this with their work finances. Employee Self Service software enables them to do this. Additionally, ESS can partner with open enrollment software; giving employees the power to engage in benefits open enrollment without needing to phone or e-mail HR and wait for an answer—a process that provides immediate convenience and empowerment for employees. This principle is extended further as ESS coupled with benefits administration software provides employees with the capability to make changes to benefit plans such as their 401k contributions without having to go through HR—reducing process cycle times and increasing the level of discretion for employees around sensitive personal data.

Benefits Administration System Engagement Tactic # 2: Total Reward Statements

Benefits Administration software also involves rewards strategies that impact engagement. In fact, research from the Jelf Group shows that a total reward strategy can lead to a 10-25% increase in appreciation of employee benefits in employee engagement surveys. Further, Total Reward Statements, the tactical embodiment of the total reward strategy, provide a full breakdown and analysis of an employee's benefits and are designed to show employees the complete value of their benefits. At a time when average salary increases are set to be below the rate of inflation, benefits administration technology provides employees with the capabilities to not only recognize but also value their organizations' benefits spend.

Benefits Administration software can automatically produce these total reward statements at a fraction of the cost of labor intensive manual preparation. In addition, while it is really only financially viable to produce manual total reward statements once a year, a benefits system will enable your employees to access their benefits data on demand - giving them a real time, up-to-date view of their total reward package. The value-added proposition inherent within this functionality means that your employees can now fully appreciate their total reward package, due to the clear information on both the tangible and intangible benefits they receive along with their monetary value.

Benefits Administration System Engagement Tactic # 3: Flexible Benefits

Flexible benefits are a structured way to allow staff to adjust their pay and benefits packages to suit their requirements. With this feature of Benefits Administration software, employees are free to choose from a menu of benefits or take cash alternatives; the end result of which is that rather than receiving a set benefit package each year, staff can adjust their plan to suit changes in their personal circumstances. Organizations should take note though that, while technically available through HR software applications without ESS functionality, employee engagement gains may only be realized by utilizing benefits administration software that houses a self-service component.

Benefits Administration System Engagement Tactic # 4: Financial Education Tools

Truly effective Employee Benefits Technology will also offer financial educational and planning tools (which your HR staff may not be qualified to offer). Academic research by So-Hyun Joo has shown that adding these financial education tools nets higher worker productivity in large part due to the fact that this "good financial wellness" allows employees to maximize the financial benefits that are available to them.

Final words on Employee Engagement and Benefits Administration Software

There is no doubt that deploying Employee Benefits Technology can increase your employees' awareness and understanding of their overall benefits package. However, countless studies, surveys, and additional research have also proven that benefits administration software can contribute significantly to increased employee engagement overall—a corollary measure for productivity and by proxy, business performance. To achieve the full engagement value of Benefits Administration Technology however, employees should have self-service access, online total reward statements, financial education tools, and flexibility with the design of their personal benefits package. End

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Total Reward Statements, the tactical embodiment of the total reward strategy, provide a full breakdown and analysis of an employee's benefits and are designed to show employees the complete value of their benefits.


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