Human Capital Management: A New Twist on How to Drive Employee Engagement, Lower Costs

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Human Capital Management: A New Twist on How to Drive Employee Engagement, Lower Costs

By Paula Bernier, Executive Editor, TMC  |  May 15, 2014

Customer service means different things to different people. If you’re an employer, you may even want to think about your employees as customers, given that you want to keep them and make them happy so you can get the best work from them in return.

Thomsons Online Benefits works to provide employees with the best possible experiences when it comes to their benefits, and in the process it reduces administrative costs and decreases the time required for workers to sign up for their benefits, explains Chris Bruce, managing director and co-founder of Thomsons Online Benefits, which has $70 million in annual revenues and offices around the world.

Darwin is name of the company’s multitenant SaaS (News - Alert) application. This end-to-end automated administrator effectively removes the burden of managing benefits from both employee and employer, he says. One company using Darwin went from average benefit signup times of two hours and 20 minutes per employee to nine minutes.

In the U.S., it’s typical to use online technology to enroll for benefits, he adds, but that is not usual in rest of the world. Now, Darwin makes that possible for more companies, wherever they are.

Not only does Darwin enable workers to enroll for their benefits online, says Bruce, it can make suggestions as to which options might best meet their needs.

A big new trend in lots of countries is the introduction of copays for medical service, which has been big in the U.S. for a long time, but is just now popping up in other countries, says Bruce. With copays, the onus is on the employee to make decisions. Technology can help with those decisions, says Bruce, adding the Darwin portal is dynamic so it shows users the impact and costs of different health care plan options.

Darwin can also assist employees with other aspects of their lives related to benefits.

In India, for example, employees have allowances they can choose at their company to get more effective tax treatment; the Darwin software suggests which allowance is the best choice for the employee. Meanwhile, in the U.K., people can get childcare vouchers of up to $4,000, getting tax back for childcare, Bruce adds. Darwin can see that an employee has two children, for example, yet hasn’t taken advantage of the vouchers, and can alert the employee to this fact.

This is the kind of thing that can result in better employee engagement, which enhances brand, says Bruce. It can also be leveraged as a recruitment tool for job candidates, he adds. When an employee is presented with a job offer, he says, they can be provided with a USB stick with a link to portal where details of benefits are provided, and maybe a video of CEO saying the company would really like the prospect to join the company and here is link to more information on their benefits. 




Edited by Alisen Downey
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