These days, everywhere we turn, we are inundated with opportunities to automate our lives. The employee benefits arena is no different.
Employees have access to enrollment tools that can provide an overview of their insurance options, replace enrollment forms, provide educational videos, allow employees to request vacation and sick time, and a host of other capabilities. As employers, human resources teams deploy these HRIS (Human Resource Information Systems) systems to allow their employees to
- enroll electronically,
- automatically transmit their elections directly to insurance carriers,
- make retirement selections, complete required payroll forms,
- update beneficiaries,
- update emergency contacts,
- review required employer documents such as handbooks, leave policies, privacy and compliance notices, and more.
All of this can be done without ever having a conversation between the employee and the HR department.
While these systems are great options to eliminate redundancy and allow HR experts to eliminate some of the transactional aspects of their position, we must make sure we do not become too self-reliant on these options, when we completely remove the human interaction.
A recent article by Gianpiero Petriglieri, entitled Business Does Not Need the Humanities – But Humans Do highlights the challenges people and companies have experienced over time as we shift towards technology. Within the article, Charles Handy is quoted at last year’s Global Peter Drucker Forum, “we cannot let technology, however advanced, replace humanity with all its sensitivities, it’s appreciations of love, beauty and nature, it’s need for affection, sympathy and purpose, it’s hopes and fears, intuitions, imagination and leaps of faith.”
Utilizing technological advances are critical to being efficient at our jobs and are critical to success, especially when there are many repetitive and redundant transactions. However, it’s finding the right balance between technology and ease of administration for both employees and employers that will ultimately dictate success for your company and its culture. If you have any questions about HR technology at your workplace, contact us today.