Successful human resources pros possess a variety of noteworthy strengths, but in today’s technology-enabled HR services industry, perhaps their greatest skill of all is the ability to alleviate challenges and offer customizable solutions to employees who are selecting benefits plans.
Having spent three decades in this space, Michael Sternklar, chief executive officer and chairman at benefitexpress, offers perspective on how to use benefits technology to reshape employees buying decisions and take your HR game to the next level.
Successful HR Pros Identify Employee Challenges
“When thinking about choices employees face when selecting a healthcare plan, I can’t help but think back to the late 1990s where we started to see the shift from defined benefit pension plans to be defined contribution/401(k) plans. At first, employees were asked to make retirement investing choices with little knowledge about 401(k) investing,” Sternklar notes. “Over time, technology evolved to offer basic retirement and investment education, which matured into retirement decision support.”
Today, in a world of consumer-driven health, we see a very similar scenario playing out during open enrollment. Employees are asked to make decisions they have never had to address before, and may lack the education to make informed choices. For example, employees today must consider:
• What are the risks and benefits of enrolling in a high-deductible health plan?
• If I enroll in an HDHP, should I also open a health savings account? [Get the E-book.]
• How would opening an HSA impact the income available for a 401(k) contribution?
• And, if I have a 401(k) and HSA, how do I best optimize the investments across those two programs?
Successful HR Pros Help Improve Decision Making
To combat this decision-fatigue, HR teams must devise strategies and utilize technology that effectively guide employees to the best benefits selections during open enrollment. Doing so not only helps employees, but it can also assist employers in a benefit climate where more options and greater risk pose significant opportunities and challenges.
Companies that leverage intuitive, simplified decision support experiences and deliver them in a way that enhances business strategy are best positioned to respond to evolving employee expectations and reap their own financial reward.
Interested in learning how to identify the criteria HR pros should use when selecting a decision support tool for their employees? Download our free white paper "How Benefits Technology Is Reshaping Employees' Buying Decisions" to read more or share with a colleague.