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Benefits Administration Systems Can Reduce Burden at No Cost

Education, Employee Benefits, War For Talent

If you made a list of all of the responsibilities that human resources managers are tasked with it would be… overwhelming. Team members wear many hats, from talent acquisition and onboarding to payroll and benefits administration. At a certain point, there just aren’t enough hours in the day – and there just isn’t enough budget to hire another team member.
And yet, it’s imperative that school districts not only offer competitive benefits, but also communicate about them effectively as they educate employees on their options. When human resources team members have so much on their plates, benefits strategy can fall through the cracks. Benefits administration systems can reduce this burden for your district’s human resources manager, at little to no cost.

What is a benefits administration system?

A benefits administration system (also known as “ben admin”) is a software solution that is the “source of truth” for all benefits data within an organization. Ben admin software can essentially streamline the process of managing benefits throughout the year, as well as open enrollment, taking away the guesswork and manual maintenance for both the employer and employee.

These platforms can assist with tasks like:

  • New hire benefits onboarding
  • Compliance
  • Benefits reporting (at the vendor level and at the employer level)
  • Enrollment elections
  • Benefit changes due to qualifying life events
  • Enrollment data summaries
  • Confirmation statements for employees

Depending on the platform you choose, it could be possible to redistribute the work of your human resources team to give them time to focus on overall strategy and employee engagement instead of the day-to-day administration associated with their role.

What benefits administration system should my district choose?

Some consultants would tell you that one single system is best-in-class for any employer – we know our clients deserve a better answer.

In our work with districts of every size and in varying geographic regions, we’ve done the research. We know that one system can’t possibly serve the needs of every school district. You have different employee populations, with different hesitations, different preferences for enrollment, and different levels of familiarity with your benefits.

Our job is to take the job of finding a benefit administration system and implementing it off your plate. We gather key information about your benefits and enrollment strategy from your leadership, as well as the data we have at our disposal. M3 has benefit technology experts on speed dial, experts who actually have the licenses to build out these systems for your district, who we can leverage to find the solution that makes the most sense for your district, your employees, and your employee engagement goals.

Long story short: your district should choose a benefits administration system that has been vetted by experts and can help you achieve your goals – not a system that is stocked with features that your employees don’t want to use.

Can my district afford a benefits administration system?

It’s one thing to talk about how a ben admin system could benefit (no pun intended) your district, and another to consider how the cost could impact your already tight budget.

We’ll be up front with you – if you researched ben admin systems right now and attempted to purchase one for your district it would cost you a pretty penny. However, M3 has helped many school district clients implement a benefits administration at little to no cost with the help of long-held partnerships and strategic tactics that can reduce costs elsewhere for your district.

This means that your district has the ability to ease the administration pain felt by your human resources team today, without hiring another team member or blowing through your budget.

Using worksite benefits to implement a benefits administration system at little to no cost

One strategy that M3 has used with clients in the past is to strategically offer voluntary worksite benefits (often employee-paid) that make sense for your employee population, which can offset the costs of a benefit administration system.

Or, we can often help clients secure a ben admin system at minimal cost if they offer a couple of new voluntary plans simultaneously from a partner carrier.

Through the course of an enrollment and benefits education process employees can also be taught how to use the new system, far reducing the number of “I don’t know how to do this” phone calls to the HR team.

Client Impact Story: School District Simplifies Enrollment with Ben Admin System

A Wisconsin school district was looking for ways to foster employee benefits education while rounding out their benefits package. Also important: creating efficiencies in enrollment by eliminating paper and providing expert consultation from outside of the district’s HR staff and business office.

By offering critical illness, accident and hospital indemnity insurance, the district was able to engage an organization for full core enrollment support at no cost, including a benefits administration system and non-commissioned benefit counselors who met with full-time employees one-on-one to discuss benefit choices.

Key Takeaways

School districts operate under tight budgets, but must remain competitive in the employment landscape in order to be successful. Encouraging engagement with strategically formulated benefits plans can be one way in which districts can retain their talented staff members, but it’s difficult to achieve this goal without implementing a solution that provides a better user experience for employees.

Benefits administration systems can simplify the benefits experience for your team. We know that no two school districts are alike in what they need from a benefits administration system or in what budget they have at their disposal. A one-size fits all solution won’t drive the employee engagement you need or reduce the workload of your human resources team in an effective way.

M3’s approach is based in consultation – we work with your team to discover what matters to your employees, and then we work with our strategic partners to deliver a solution to your district at little to no cost.

We understand that your benefits operate in an ecosystem with the main goal of supporting staff members and attraction and retaining talent. We can help you understand how the products and process interact with each other so that you can make the best decision for your district. Reach out to your M3 account executive to discuss what a benefits administration system could look like for your district, and what can be done to bring it on board with little to no cost.

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