The cloud. Ten years ago that meant a nice day at the park, or an incoming storm. Now it’s… everything. Email. Shopping. Word processing. Even dating!
HR has seen it’s own share of cloud-migrations: payroll, performance management, compensation analysis, and recruiting can now all live in the cloud, available 24/7 and often running with little to no real human interaction.
But what about something like employee benefits? Can this complex piece of a company’s operations – and an employee’s daily life – live online?
Yes and no.
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Yes, there are tremendous efficiencies to be found with online tools. Employee onboarding. Paperless paperwork. Enrollment changes. All of this can and should leverage the power of a well-built platform. Even small business with as little as two employees deserve to leverage their insurance premiums to gain access to time-saving tech.
But also, no. Employee benefits, often the second largest recurring cost for a business, are far from predictable or one-size-fits-all. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has turned an already complicated marketplace into the Wild West, with legal and rate changes occurring almost monthly.
A daunting challenge for even the most seasoned HR Manager to face alone. This is why so many have stayed with their existing broker – a tried and true, if a little tired, resource for insurance management.
So what does that mean? Must a company choose between an old-fashioned, paper-intense broker or online but untrained software provider?
Absolutely not. Employee benefits management represents the hybrid of the cloud future. Uber may exist on your phone, but there are still qualified drivers showing up, in real physical cars, to take you from point A to B. Sprig may have a slick interface for ordering healthy food, but it’s their talented chef that really makes the magic happen.
Benefits are the same: companies can and should find a broker with their tools – but not their head – in the cloud.
Diagnosing Your Cloud Status
You are under-clouded if you:
- Panic at the thought of losing your filing cabinet
- Print paper packets for every new hire
- Require employees to enter their name, date of birth, or other info more than once
- Cringe every time an employee says “I want to add a dependent…”
You are over-clouded if you:
- Lack a tailored strategy to your annual insurance renewals
- Don’t know who to call with a COBRA compliance question
- Aren’t sure where to send employees with insurance questions
Many companies renew their medical, dental, and vision insurance 12/1. Now is a great time of year to take a look at your broker: are you getting the cloud and the care you deserve from your broker?
If not, make a switch.