Aug 20, 2020

Steps to Successful Benefits Administration

Steps to successful benefits administration Blog Wide

Efficient benefits management gives a competitive advantage to any business. An attractive benefits package helps to drive and retain the top talent. Although benefits can consume up to 30% of your revenue, they greatly facilitate the ability to increase your ROI. In this guide, we’ll explain what benefits administration is and also walk you through the best practices of successful benefits management. Let’s get down to business.

Overview: What is Benefits Administration?

For starters, let’s get clear with the term. In a nutshell, benefits administration is the process of designing, managing and updating the company’s employees benefits program. Typically, the HR department of the company deals with employee benefits.  

Benefits administration process

The process of benefits management entails a range of tasks. First, the HR experts assess the quality of the current benefits plan to make decisions about further steps. The HR team also has to directly liaise with benefits vendors in order to select competitive benefits.In addition, they communicate with the employees and explain to them which benefits they are eligible for. Next, the HR specialists assist the employees with benefits enrollment. And, finally, they constantly review and update benefits information. 

What you need to know about employee benefits

Employee benefits are non-financial compensation provided to an employee over the regular salary. Some types of benefits are mandatory as they are regulated by law. However, each employer can select from a wide choice of non-mandatory benefits to meet the employees’ needs. The most common types of benefits include:

  1. Health insurance (medical, dental, and vision)
  2. Life and disability insurance
  3. Retirement benefits
  4. Paid leave (holiday, sick, caretaker, maternity/paternity etc.)
  5. Child care and adoption assistance
  6. Education benefits (professional development support, company-provided training, tuition assistance etc.)
  7. Commuter expenses, parking passes, housing assistance, and relocation assistance
  8. Work-life balance benefits (flex time, on-site child care, remote work days etc.)
  9. Food (free coffee and snacks, meals at on-site cafeterias)
  10. Entertainment benefits (parties, picnics, trips etc.)

As you see, there is more than enough to choose from. It’s important to design a solid benefits plan that will help you leverage your benefits cost and resources to maximum efficiency.

Design a Viable Benefits Strategy

Without a doubt, the right strategy is the key to success in any industry. A strategy creates a vision and direction for the whole organisation, it helps to set clear goals and take steps to achieve them. Benefits management is not an exception. Here are the steps that will help you tailor the optimal strategy that will meet your company’s goals and your employees’ needs.

1. Create a competitive benefits package

First and foremost, benefits should make your employees feel satisfied and appreciated. Also, keep in mind that the benefits package that you offer reflects the overall culture of your company as well as your values.Creating a competitive benefits plan will help you attract and hire people that will help you stand out from your competitors. For this, you’ll need to do a bit of research. First off, find out which benefits other businesses of your type and size offer, and use this information when you select benefits for your employees. At least, it will help you avoid spreading yourself too thin and choosing benefits that might later appear underutilized by your employees.Secondly, learn your staff demographics. It will help you tailor the best strategy to meet your employees’ needs. It’s obvious that millennials won’t be interested in retirement plans. However, they might love professional development reimbursement or paid time-off. You can go even further and interview your employees to find out which benefits they view as most attractive and helpful.

2. Observe the laws

Efficient benefits practice includes compliance with the laws. Laws that apply to employee benefits administration govern mandatory benefits first of all, typically those that concern health insurance and retirement. Take your time to learn which laws apply to your business and how they affect the process of administering employee benefits. Remember that government acts contain regulations that specify benefits according to the number of employees. So check out if there are any legal changes when you expand your staff. Next, keep your employees informed about their rights. The best way is to use posters that highlight the core labour rights. Finally, take advantage of free resources provided by labour departments or small business development centres. They offer total support and give training to help organisations stay compliant.

3. Track results and make necessary adjustments

You should constantly track the outcomes and make necessary adjustments. This way, you’ll be able to ensure that your benefits policy better matches your employees’ needs and organisation’s goals.First off, think about how you’re going to identify the success of each of the benefits you’ve chosen. It will help you better measure the results. It’s a good idea to evaluate the results at least once a year or even more often. To accurately measure the value of each benefit, you can use job application and acceptance data, exit interviews, and employee questionnaires.You’ll also find out if your employees’ needs tend to change as well as which benefits are underutilized and just eat up the budget. With the assessment results, you’ll get actionable insights on how to modify your offerings so that they best meet your employees’ needs within optimal cost.

4. Take advantage of benefits administration platforms

Managing benefits is a complex, time-consuming process. Good news is that your HR team can save time for more important tasks with the specialised software. Automated platforms can streamline a range of processes and substitute a good deal of manual work. With benefits management software, you’ll get rid of the huge piles of paper in your office. All the necessary data is safely stored in one place and is accessible within a couple of clicks, anytime and from anywhere.Depending on the vendor, the specialized benefits software can streamline a range of HR functions. For instance, it can be used for facilitating the daily tasks like time and attendance tracking. Also, most automated platforms allow for independent enrollment. In addition, the employees can update their personal data or even print out medical insurance cards by themselves. To top it off, the software provides employees with an overall vision of their benefits, together with the costs.

Manage Your Benefits Costs

For both big and small businesses, employee benefits is one of the top spend categories. Today, each and every company focuses on saving costs and streamlining their business processes. That’s where automated tools like benefits administration software come in.Software service industry is rapidly growing. Likewise, the demand for HR software is increasing day by day. Software development companies are working hard to create competitive products that will let their customers save costs by automating HR processes. In addition, these tools can help organisations stay compliant with the regulations related to employee benefits.Some benefits management tools come as part of more feature-rich HR platforms. Still, you can go for specifically benefits management tools.While benefits management entails an array of time-consuming tasks, benefits software is in high demand. In the following section, we’ll take a closer look at how to select the best software to streamline employee benefits administration processes.

How to choose the best benefits administration software for your business?

As we have already mentioned, the right software should enhance efficiency and help ensure compliance with regulations. While choosing your helper among the multiple offers, make sure that ....

1. It offers easy and intuitive self-service

The best software provides employees with the ability to customize their benefits plan. Go for a user-friendly system with an intuitive interface and setup process. Plus, check if the tool offers an intuitive administrator dashboard for your HR team.What’s more, many tools support mobile versions which is very convenient for both employees and HR specialists. A system that employees can access from their smartphones cuts down work for administrators. For instance, when employees need to update their information, they can do it without involving HR personnel.Lastly, some tools help identify benefits that might give the best value to employees.

2. It can streamline repetitive tasks

While it’s important to focus on employee experience of using software, make sure it will also improve the experience of your HR team. It’s a no-brainer that HR personnel use the tools more often than other staff. Genuinely valuable benefits administration technology facilitates data management, reporting, and other tasks. So go for technology that can substitute manual work, such as data entry, billing, commissions, carrier and vendor remittances, and assistance with preparing reports.xf

3. It helps to stay compliant

Opt for a system that will help you comply with legal requirements and regulations.  Competitive AI tools allow for benefits plan modifications without the risk of violating compliance. They help eliminate compliance errors and make it easier to design plans that best meet employees’ needs.

To Wrap it Up

To sum up, a rational approach to benefits management is crucial for attracting and retaining the top professionals. To tailor the best strategy, you need to take some essential steps. These include designing and maintaining a competitive benefits package and selecting an AI tool that can streamline administration processes. Choose the one that will best meet your goals and achieve great results at minimum cost.

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