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# Tuesday, September 17, 2013
The Pros and Cons of Online Benefits Enrollment

The Pros and Cons of Online Benefits Enrollment

Open enrollment can become complex, involved, and costly for companies. Many companies are solving those problems by turning to online benefits enrollment. Online enrollment helps companies save time and improve efficiency, making it a choice that provides benefits to the HR department and company employees.

According to the Insurance & Financial Advisor website, 61% of full-time employees are now using computer-based enrollment for at least some part of the benefits enrollment process. The use of web-based technology for benefits administration continues to increase in popularity, with more companies selecting this route for open enrollment than ever before.

For companies that have yet to switch to online benefits enrollment, carefully considering the pros and cons of this option is important.

The Pros

Turning to online benefit enrollment software may seem like a huge leap for many companies. However, online benefits enrollment offers excellent advantages to both employees and employers, making this option worth careful consideration. Such benefits include:

  • Fewer Errors Occur – HR professionals still using manual systems for open enrollment are vulnerable to errors, while online systems help to reduce errors. Online enrollment systems make it easier for both employers and employees to make changes and the system records those changes permanently. This reduces human error, keeping employees more satisfied with their benefits program.
  • A Streamlined Enrollment Process – Online systems also help streamline the enrollment process, reducing paperwork for the HR department and reducing the complexity of managing benefit information. A streamlined enrollment process is especially helpful for companies working with employees at several locations.
  • Employee Comfort and Convenience – Employees appreciate the comfort and convenience offered by online benefits enrollment. Clear instructions appear on each screen as employees go through the enrollment process, ensuring they feel comfortable filling out information. Employees may conveniently access and change information from any computer.
  • Employers Enjoy Big Savings – Companies enjoy cost savings by choosing online enrollment, saving on printing, postage, paper and more.

The Cons

While online benefits enrollment offers many advantages for employers and employees, companies must also consider the possible disadvantages. Although companies may encounter these problems, they are usually easy to address.

  • Employees Must Have Internet Access – While statistics show that about 78% of individuals in North America use the internet, not all employees have internet access. This problem can be addressed by offering self-service kiosks in break areas, in the HR department and other areas, ensuring all employees have easy access to the internet for benefits enrollment.
  • Resistance to Change – Resistance to change is one problem that stands in the way of companies switching to online enrollment. Some employees find change difficult; but as individuals begin to take technology and self-service for granted, it becomes easier for employers to transition into the electronic management of company benefits.

Choosing online benefits enrollment allows company to focus on employee benefits instead of paperwork. Once companies switch to online enrollment, employees are empowered, HR professionals are more efficient and companies enjoy big savings.

Resources:

http://www.winstonbenefits.com/The-Employee-Benefits-Blog/bid/128645/How-employees-gain-from-online-benefits-enrollment-and-communications-software

http://ubenefit.blogspot.com/2010/07/statistics-show-trends-toward-paperless.html

http://www.hr.com/SITEFORUM?&t=/Default/gateway&i=1116423256281&application=story&active=no&ParentID=1119278117389&StoryID=1119648719531&xref=http%3A//search.swagbucks.com/%3Ft%3Dw%26p%3D1%26b%3D0%26f%3D0%26sef%3D0%26q%3Donline+benefits+enrollment+disadvantages

http://ifawebnews.com/2010/03/19/convenience-fuels-online-employee-benefits-enrollment-growth/

http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm

 
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At BenefitWerks, we believe in working smarter not harder. It may sound trite, but when we say smart, we're talking quick, easy-to-use, cost-effective online software solutions that turn complicated HR employee benefits problems into child's play.

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