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How Tech is Empowering Global Benefits Teams

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How can global benefits teams address increasing employee demands with smaller teams and tighter purse strings? The Global Employee Benefits Watch 2018/19 report reveals the way forward.

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Global benefits teams face an ever-expanding range of demands from employees, whilst trying to cope with shrinking teams and the C-Suite’s expectation to keep a tight grip on the purse strings.

The conflict is clear: 83% of global benefits teams are focused on attracting and retaining top talent with a benefits offering that’s second to none, but 63% state that tighter control of global costs is a priority initiative, according to research by Thomsons Online Benefits. One in six global benefits teams will be left to complete these tasks with smaller teams than ever before.

Benefits have also become a much riskier game than they used to be. While reducing data and operational risk is a priority initiative for over 90% of global employers, 1 in 10 organizations still use spreadsheets to manipulate and report on sensitive information, which results in increased risk, overcharging by vendors and missed legislative updates – three costly consequences to contend with.

With all this and more heaped upon embattled teams with dwindling resources, it might seem that there is little hope left, other than another pair of hands – or several.

But research shows that a growing number of global benefits teams are turning to the rapidly expanding number of tech offerings at HR’s disposal to empower their teams. The number of global organizations adopting global benefits software has jumped by nearly 10% in the last year – from 61% to 70%.

The big question, of course: why the sudden leap?

It seems there are several reasons for this. Benefits teams are now dealing with increasingly multi-generational workforces, meaning a different set of demands from employees. There’s also a greater focus on wellbeing as an essential part of attracting top talent and supporting employees, encouraging them to be their most productive. Thirdly, there’s a growing need to offer consumer-grade experiences to employees to balance these desires and make accessing and understanding benefits transparent and intuitive.

The resulting impact of technology on the efficiency and efficacy of global benefits teams has been profound, with 71% of organizations reporting an increase in operational efficiency, 70% of global organizations reporting a reduction in admin errors and 39% reduced levels of overcharging by vendors.

However, there’s still a great deal more work to be done by global benefits teams to enhance employee engagement.

Only 38% of organizations are currently providing benefits access via mobile, and 18% aren’t even considering doing so. However, over a third of organizations that have implanted mobile access have reported employee engagement scores of over 80%.
It seems that, as ever, the adoption of essential technology by large organizations is a very gradual process. Organizations are hesitant to spend, to make major changes to their systems, or to abandon old habits. But the advantages are clear, and the increased rate of implementation among global benefits teams is sure to continue.

You can discover more about how tech is empowering benefits teams by reading the full Global Employee Benefits Watch 2018/19 report here.

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