The Key Role Technology Plays in Benefits Administration, Communication, and Management, Especially During Remote Open Enrollments

Employee on laptop

Today’s workforce is facing a unique set of challenges: in a time of economic and health uncertainty, employees will be leaning more heavily into their benefits to help their current situations, yet HR is no longer a few steps down the hall.

Now more than ever, technology is a crucial tool for HR processes, for both employers and individuals.


The Importance of Experience

Edgar Dale proposed a learning model called the Cone of Experience:

In short, people learn best by actively participating and doing things rather than reading them or hearing them. When applied to HR practices, it’s important that individuals have an active role in all stages. Technology empowers individuals to have experiences analyzing, evaluating, and deciding on benefits programs that best fit their needs.

More specifically, here are the different types of experiences (as outlined by Dale) your benefits technology should be providing:

  • Direct Purposeful Experiences. These are firsthand experiences that build knowledge, such as engaging with a mobile app to watch videos and access resources. Only a small part of what is read is retained according to the pyramid, but audio-visual and video resources are more effective.
  • Contrived Experiences. These are realistic mockups of sample scenarios that help employees envision themselves in a variety of situations and make informed decisions.
  • Dramatized Experiences. These are use cases, testimonials, and experiences designed to help employees better understand their options. The right technology tool will also have embedded artificial intelligence and virtual support to create these scenarios.


Technology to Bring these Experiences to Life

So how exactly does HR technology empower employees through experience? The power of technology is that it is highly configurable to automate any HR processes you could imagine. HR, benefits, payroll, communication, decision support, and compliance can all be automated -- freeing up valuable resources for strategic initiatives.

A platform this powerful becomes a central hub for everything your employees could need. Individuals can have access to educational resources 24/7, receive push notifications for key deadlines, and have an AI-powered virtual assistant recommend benefit options.

To make sure you are getting the most out of your HR platform, make sure your solution has the following features:

  • Integration with payroll and insurance carriers
  • Access to enterprise-level software for companies of all sizes
  • Full suite of ACA compliance tools
  • Fast and easy dashboard reporting
  • Quick implementation
  • Seamless connectivity through EDI, FTP, and SSO delivery
  • Data security

Keeping your end users in mind, look for the following features:

  • Ability to view and compare multiple plans in one place
  • Streamlined online enrollment processes and easy to use UX pathways
  • Personalized decision support and best-fit analysis
  • Engaging educational resources and tools

With these items in mind, your platform will be sure to be successful in critical HR functions, like open enrollment.


The Role of Technology in Remote Open Enrollment

With COVID-19 raising concerns about healthcare and other benefits, open enrollment will take on a new level of importance this year. Employees will be looking for more information, more options, and more support in making decisions.

The role of technology in this year’s open enrollment will be bigger than ever, since it’s not possible to meet with HR professionals in person to discuss options or have informational sessions. Even remote meetings will only go so far, since individuals will be looking for an experience that empowers them during the selection process. The right HR tool will help them create the best personalized benefit plan for their individual needs.

During a remote open enrollment, built-in technologies like AI-powered virtual assistance will be of utmost importance. These tools provide the experience of a personalized walk-through, with the ability to scale across an enterprise organization.


In light of the current COVID-19 crisis, HR professionals are fully understanding the value of the right technology platform to not only assist them in doing their jobs, but in creating a valuable experience for employees during the benefits selection process. If you are ready to get started implementing a software technology, contact an expert at Clarity today.