By FRANK MENGERT

Adopting new technology to manage employee benefits can be a game-changer for businesses, streamlining processes and improving employee engagement. But as with any new technology, managers can often face a range of challenges when it comes to implementing a solution that works the way it’s supposed to.

Whether these challenges come from a lack of education or training, poor planning, or simply hesitancy for change, managers must be prepared for the roadblocks they may encounter to ensure a successful implementation and maximum return on investment.

Here is a list of some common challenges managers might face when implementing new employee benefits technology and the steps they can take to overcome them:

Resistance to Change

There is a prevalent issue that managers encounter when introducing modern employee benefits technology – staff can be resistant to change. However, with insight into the causes of this resistance and practical strategies to address it, managers can guarantee a seamless transition and successful implementation of new technology.

Employees may resist the implementation of new benefits technology for several reasons:

  • Fear of the Unknown: Introducing new technology may cause employees to feel uncertain about the impact on their job responsibilities and daily tasks, which can result in anxiety and resistance.
  • Lack of Understanding: Resistance to implementing new technology is more likely from employees who do not understand its purpose or benefits.
  • Comfort with Current Processes: It can be challenging for employees to accept change as they may be used to or prefer the current processes and systems they use.

To address employee resistance to new benefits technology, one practical approach is to communicate the benefits and rationale behind the change. By clearly conveying the reasons for implementing the new technology and highlighting its advantages for the organization and individual employees, managers can help alleviate concerns and create a sense of shared purpose in adopting the new system.

To ease the transition to new technology, offering employees proper training and support is essential. This will boost their confidence in using the new tools and lessen their concerns about the change.

Involving employees in the decision-making process can be instrumental in overcoming resistance. Encouraging employee involvement in the selection and implementation of the new benefits technology by soliciting their input and feedback can build a sense of ownership and commitment to the new system’s success, ultimately reducing resistance to change.

Integration with Existing Systems

Integrating new benefits technology with existing HR systems can be complicated for managers due to several factors. One factor is the incompatibility between the new technology and legacy systems, which can create hurdles during integration.

Another challenge arises from data formats and structure differences, which may require significant adjustments to ensure seamless communication between the systems. By understanding these difficulties, managers can better prepare for the integration process and effectively develop strategies to overcome these obstacles.

Managers can adopt several strategies to ensure a smooth integration of new employee benefits technology with existing HR systems. They should start by thoroughly assessing existing systems before selecting and implementing new benefits technology.

By carefully evaluating their current HR systems, managers can identify potential compatibility issues and areas for improvement, which can help inform the choice of new technology and guide the integration process.

Another essential strategy is working with a qualified solutions broker or consultant specializing in employee benefits technology. Working with these professionals can provide valuable insights and guidance throughout the integration process.

In addition, these experts can help identify compatible technology solutions, bridge gaps between IT and HR teams, and ensure a seamless transition to the new system.

Budget Constraints

When adopting new benefits technology, organizations may face certain financial limitations. For example, limited budget allocations for employee benefits programmes can restrict the resources available for investing in new technology or maximizing its value. Additionally, the high initial costs of purchasing or licensing new technology can be a significant barrier for many organizations, especially those with limited resources.

To overcome budget constraints in implementing new employee benefits technology, managers can consider the following strategies:

  1. Identify Cost-Effective Solutions: To find cost-effective and dependable benefits and technology solutions that meet the organization’s requirements, conducting comprehensive research is essential. By comparing various options, managers can identify the ones that provide the most value for their budget. Taking help from a competent benefits consultant can assist organizations in comparing different options and selecting solutions that fit their budget. Additionally, consultants can offer helpful advice on how to realize maximum benefits from their technology investment.
  2. Calculate Return on Investment (ROI): To justify the investment and secure funding, evaluate the new benefits of technology’s potential return on investment (ROI). Consider enhanced employee satisfaction, higher productivity, and lower administrative costs. This assessment will help determine if the investment is worthwhile.
  3. Consider Phased Implementation: Managers can choose a staggered approach for introducing the new benefits technology instead of implementing it all at once. This allows the organization to spread the costs over time and use resources more efficiently. Additionally, it will help managers assess the new technology’s impact and make necessary modifications. The phased implementation method could involve introducing a pilot program in a particular department or implementing the new technology for a limited number of employees before rolling it out throughout the entire organization.

Measuring the Success

Once new employee benefits technology has been implemented, managers must evaluate its effectiveness and gauge its success. Despite the challenges that come with this task, it remains crucial, as it necessitates a thorough comprehension of the technology’s influence on employees and the organization overall.

There are a few different approaches managers can take to assess the success of new employee benefits technology:

  • Set clear goals and key performance indicators (KPIs): Managers should establish clear goals and KPIs that align with the organization’s objectives before implementing the new technology. These goals could include improving efficiency, reducing administrative errors, or increasing employee satisfaction. By defining KPIs, managers can monitor progress and measure the success of the technology against these predetermined benchmarks.
  • Track employee engagement and satisfaction: Implementing new benefits technology aims to improve the employee experience. To ensure this, tracking employee engagement and satisfaction levels is essential. Feedback can be gathered through surveys, focus groups, or one-on-one employee meetings. This feedback can provide insights into employees’ perceptions of the new technology and help managers identify areas for improvement.
  • Monitor utilization rates and overall impact on the organization: To determine if the new benefits technology is effective, managers should track utilization rates. This can help managers understand how well employees are using the technology. Additionally, managers should evaluate the technology’s impact on the organization, including costs saved, the efficiency gained, and any changes in employee retention rates.

By employing these methods to evaluate the success of new employee benefits technology, managers can ensure that the investment delivers the desired results and contributes positively to the organization’s growth and success.

The advantages of integrating new technology for employee benefits can be substantial, though the process itself isn’t always easy. Managers should use effective change management strategies, consider funding limitations, choose cost-efficient options, and calculate return on investment to ensure the successful adoption of technology. This approach will ensure that the technology is valuable both now and in the future.

About the author:

US-based Frank Mengert continues to find success by spotting opportunities where others see nothing. As the founder and CEO of ebm, a leading provider of employee benefits solutions. Frank has built the business by bridging the gap between insurance and technology driven solutions for brokers, consultants, carriers, and employers nationwide.