Taking action on HR technology
More than $2 billion in investment capital was raised for HR technology in 2015. The HR function is inundated with technology options to help automate, secure and streamline internal processes. These advancements encompass everything from benefits, enrollment, compliance, reporting, payroll, wellness, to employee engagement and more.
In 2016, Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends survey found that 75% of respondents believed digital HR support to be a strong priority, yet only 38% of companies are even thinking about digitizing their HR tools — and only 9% are fully on board with digital HR systems.
Why? These companies are thinking short term when they need to be evaluating the long-term impact that intuitive software programs could have on their bottom line. Streamlining and automating HR processes reduces cost redundancies and eliminates unnecessary errors by offering an easier way to track, report and maintain important company records.
Another important consideration is the emerging workforce in which millennials will make up about 50% of the U.S. working population by 2020. This cohort has a very different viewpoint on technology and how they interact with it often to improve the efficiency and quality of their lives. If you want the millennial generation to be as engaged and loyal as previous generations have been before them, your company needs to be evolving right alongside the new digitized era of healthcare technology.
Benefits technology and new innovations in healthcare delivery have made it easier for employees to access and interact with their employer-sponsored health programs, allowing for more engagement when it comes to selecting their benefits, practicing preventive care and even saving for the future.
Healthcare tech integration can seem complex, considering the amount of sensitive data that must be distributed to various stakeholders. However, according to a recent Aflac Report on Workforce Open Enrollment, employees are increasingly going online to enroll in their benefits, as opposed to manually filling out paper forms or going through a call center. Additionally, these employees are expected to carry a greater percentage of their healthcare costs, so they expect advanced decision-making tools and online calculators for support in the process of selecting the coverage that best fits their needs.
The benefit of these HR technology systems doesn’t just support employees. They streamline HR tasks and allow managers to take care of multiple jobs at once via a single online platform. And they provide countless opportunities to increase productivity, eliminate common errors, and free up time for HR functions to focus on more important goals — such as recruiting and hiring. Data quality can also increase with the use of technology and you can gain greater insight into your employees, rather than trying to guess when they need you and how best to employ your staff to help them.
Key considerations for adopting a new HR platform:
- Adoption — understanding the technology is one thing, and you can rely heavily on your benefits broker for this, but the key to having a successful system in place is simply adopting and implementing it in the first place.
- Configuration — worry more about how the new technology will integrate with your current systems than focusing on customization aspects that many vendors are pushing
- Capability — a technology demo needn’t be flashy, it just has to be able to perform certain functions seamlessly; such as integration capabilities with a business’ payroll, HRIS and timekeeping system.
- Transparency — user-friendly tools that increase transparency for the consumer regarding benefit options are a no-brainer.
- Compliance — compliance tools must be an integral focus when considering benefits and payroll technology. Employers should demand that this is a cohesive part of their tech experience.
These days even small to mid-size employers must be adopting new, advanced HR technology platforms to keep them compliant and align them with the needs of their employees. It’s not enough to take a wait and see approach because that will put any company behind the curve, especially when it comes to recruiting and retaining top talent.