Businessolver Blog

Building the Case for Empathetic HR Technology

Building the Case for Empathetic HR Technology
Posted on Wednesday, August 9, 2023 by Marcy Klipfel

HR’s workload has skyrocketed in the past three years, but efficiency and employee engagement still lag. As benefits costs continue to rise, there is a need for better and more empathetic HR technology in place to drive results year-round, for their workforce and their workload.

Today’s HR teams are up against an ever-changing business landscape. They’re constantly grappling with rising healthcare costs, shifting compliance rules, employee engagement, and evolving benefits needs. And they’re often stuck managing this work on outdated technology or, worse, no technology at all.

Running a low-tech or manual people management operation puts a ton of burden on HR and heightens the challenge to stay abreast of their employees’ needs and organizational success when HR is stuck operating with inefficient tools.

Enter empathetic technology, a game-changer for HR that holds the promise of making benefits administration streamlined, efficient, and employee-centric. However, despite its potential benefits, investing in HR technology requires significant buy-in from stakeholders across the organization.

The value of empathetic benefits

Benefits are the number two reason employees stay (or leave) a company. But 86% of employees are confused about their benefits and only 10% know that core benefits they highly value as empathetic even exist in their total rewards or benefits packages.

Benefits engagement is a critical aspect of HR, and technology plays a vital role in driving it. With the rise of flexible benefits, mental health, and equity-driven benefits, HR teams need sophisticated benefits administration tools such as personalized messaging, self-service options, and virtual assistants. But over a third of HR teams lack the technology to do so.

Empathetic HR technology takes the benefits of technology to the next level, bringing empathy, personalization, and a human touch to the benefits administration process. With empathetic technology, HR teams can create a streamlined, efficient, and employee-centric benefits experience.

When HR technology is in play, it pays dividends

HR technology can drive huge efficiencies across the business. According to our data, when modern and effective HR technology is in play, engagement, self-service, and good utilization spike up overall:

  • 60% of employees elected a cost-effective health plan with a savings vehicle when they had decision support tools at enrollment; only 20% did so when they didn’t have that tech-enabled support. 
  • 19% of calls into the service center are resolved with our technology, meaning the member didn’t need to wait on hold for a live advocate.
  • 19% of employees engaged with a benefit (such as telehealth or an EAP) when Sofia served up personalized messaging.

But HR needs more than just email to see these results. However, to gain buy-in for investment in empathetic technology, HR teams must build a solid business case by partnering with other departments, adopting a financial mindset, and activating partners to achieve efficiency and engagement goals.

Building buy-in with organizational stakeholders

Empathy is a two-way street for HR. If benefits and people engagement teams hope to build buy-in with their key stakeholders, the business case for better HR technology needs to be built around a common language: how will better technology drive organizational results, cost efficiencies, and a more secure program?

Benefits spend is one of the most expensive line items on the budget. As healthcare costs continue to rise, HR must collaborate cross-functionally to build an air-tight business case around ROI.

Here are the three things HR can do to build a solid business case:

  • Look at your organizational data: What proof points can you bring forward today to show that your current processes aren’t working, are inefficient, and not cost-effective?  
  • Talk to your business partners: What are their concerns and questions? What do they need to know (or what do they recommend) for a smarter, secure, and more efficient solution? 
  • Adopt a financial mindset: Cost is top of mind for everyone. Meet your CFO where they’re at and bring forward any case studies or proof points that will help them understand the value of investing into new HR technology.

The need for greater HR efficiency and support is a hot topic across the industry, but HR teams shouldn’t have to put out the call for help alone. Working collaboratively with cross-functional partners for successful benefits strategies includes building the case for better technology and tools. The future of successful benefits lies in empathetic HR technology and connecting the dots between benefits engagement and ROI.  

Read the latest State of Workplace Empathy report to learn more about how empathetic technology can support HR and how to build an air-tight business case.