Striking the Balance: The Art of Employee Benefit Technology and Human Support During Open Enrollment

Smiling Employee using Technology to assist Customer with Open Enrollment


Open enrollment season can be a labyrinth of forms, choices, and important decisions, and for HR professionals like you, it's a season of heightened responsibilities. It's a time when you're inundated with questions, spreadsheets, and countless considerations.


But fear not! In this blog, we'll explore how to navigate the intricate dance between employee benefits technology and human assistance, ensuring that your open enrollment period is a smooth and successful experience.


Let’s start by seeing how benefit technology has changed over the years.


How Benefit Administration Technology Has Evolved


Let's start by acknowledging how far employee benefits technology has come. Not too long ago, HR professionals were drowning in paperwork and manual processes.


Today, the landscape has evolved significantly, with modern benefits technology offering automation, artificial intelligence, and a range of technological capabilities that streamline the entire HR, payroll, and benefits administration processes.


These tools have not only saved time, but also made the process more efficient and error-free, benefitting you and your organization.


The Role of Technology


Employee benefits technology has become the backbone of benefit administration. It enables employers and brokers like you to efficiently manage primary and supplementary benefits, automate processes, and provide employees with self-service options. Technology can optimize a variety of tasks in minutes that may take a person hours (or days!)


Technology has also transformed the HR management field, making it more data-driven and enabling better decision-making through analytics and insights.


However, it's essential to recognize that technology also has its limitations.


The Challenges of a Tech-Only Approach to Benefits


When choosing how to administer benefits, there are a few challenges that come along with a total tech approach. Here are a few of the most common:


  1. Less Personal Touch: When relying solely on technology, it can be challenging to establish a personal connection with employees. Personalized guidance and support may be lacking, making employees feel like just another number in the system.

  2. Difficulties in Finding Answers: Finding specific answers to questions in a technology-centric approach can be tricky. Employees and employers may be left frustrated, searching for help without a designated human representative.

  3. Dependence on System Reliability: A key challenge of a tech-only approach is the reliance on the system's accuracy and performance. There's a need for consistent quality assurance and oversight to ensure the technology doesn't falter at critical moments.


These aspects and more prove that it’s always best to include a human touch in every step of the process.


The Benefits of Human Help


Human support can bridge the gaps left by technology, optimizing the entire HR process:


  1. Personalized Guidance: Human representatives provide the personal touch that technology can't. They can build rapport with employees, address their concerns, and provide customized solutions.

  2. Problem Resolution: Human representatives offer immediate assistance, helping employees navigate complex benefit choices and resolve issues efficiently. Their expertise can be invaluable during open enrollment.

  3. Quality Assurance: Humans play a crucial role in ensuring the technology is running smoothly–and for a good reason! Over 40% of HR professionals said their HR technology failed within 2 years of implementation. Humans take on the responsibility for quality assurance and can promptly address any system glitches or inaccuracies if technology happens to fail.


How to Strike The Perfect Balance


The key to successful benefit administration during open enrollment is finding the right balance between technology and human support. Here are three benefits HR professionals gain from adopting a human/tech hybrid approach:


  1. More Customization: By integrating a human touch with technology, you can tailor the benefits process to your organization's unique needs. This customization can enhance employee satisfaction and engagement.

  2. Easy Provision and Administration: Providing and administering resources effectively becomes easier with the right combination of technology and human expertise. Employees receive the necessary information and guidance, making the enrollment process less daunting.

  3. Continuous Improvement: No matter the balance you strike within your organization, seeking continuous feedback from employees is crucial. Insights gained through regular interactions can help you adjust your approach as needed, ensuring that you are meeting your employees' evolving needs while utilizing technology to its fullest potential.


Cultivating Success During Open Enrollment


In the complexity of open enrollment, finding the balance between employee benefits technology and human assistance is essential. A harmonious blend of both resources empowers you to offer a seamless, personalized, and efficient experience.


Striking the right balance will make your job easier and ensure a happier, more engaged workforce, which is what successful HR professionals like you aim for.


As you embark on this open enrollment journey, remember that our trusted customer service team is here to assist you with any questions or support you may need. 


Balancing employee benefits, benefits technology, and benefits administration during open enrollment season is no small feat, but you can make it work beautifully with the right approach!