For the outdoors-oriented Bartlett Tree Experts, having able-bodied employees is a business necessity. As company benefits manager Carmen Berrios simply states, “An unhealthy individual is not going to be able to go up into a tree,” so the benefits program serves as a crucial means of keeping Bartlett’s workers healthy. But paper-based benefits enrollment and administration was severely limiting that ability.
During open enrollment, Berrios and her team would send out hundreds of printed packets to Barlett’s geographically dispersed workforce. In many cases, unwitting employees would either throw away the packets or just ignore them, and the team constantly had to track people down to make sure they had received the information. But even if they did have the information, a lot of employees couldn’t understand it, either because it was too confusing or the language was literally foreign to them (Bartlett has a large population of Hispanic workers). When it came time for them to enroll, they had very little idea of what their benefit choices meant to them – physically and financially.
The difficulties didn’t end there. On the administrative side, Bartlett was saddled with the heavy burden of manual data entry. “It was a massive headache, to say the least,” said Berrios, who had to spend a lot of her weekends making sure that all the paperwork had gotten in and that the information was entered accurately into Bartlett’s payroll system. And because Bartlett is in constant hiring mode and onboarding new employees throughout the year, this wasn’t just an enrollment problem – it was a chronic condition. Bartlett needed a cure.
Bartlett selected BENEFITFOCUS® Marketplace to eliminate inefficiency in benefits administration and more effectively communicate benefits information to employees.
Through the cloud-based technology of the Marketplace, Berrios and her team can now manage all benefits-related activities in one place online. They’ve replaced time-consuming data entry and stacks of paper with a user- friendly platform that does the work for them. The Marketplace automates the exchange of data to insurance carriers and Barlett’s other HR systems, keeping this sensitive information secure and accurate. The team can pull required reports, monitor enrollment and push information to employees – all within the platform and in real time. “What used to take up to a few weeks can now be accomplished in just a few clicks,” said Berrios.
Bartlett’s employees can also now get a lot done in a little amount of time. Regardless of time, location or language (the platform is available in Spanish), they can log into the Marketplace and immediately see all of the benefits available to them, what those benefits cover and the costs associated with those benefits. Instead of sifting through a benefits packet, employees can watch a quick educational video clearly explaining plan details and providing guidance for enrollment – which they can efficiently complete through the Marketplace’s step-by-step workflow.
Bartlett has been able to use the Marketplace as a powerful recruiting and retention tool. Berrios gives prospective new hires limited access to the custom-branded platform, which she says gives them, “a great first look at our company and how important our employees are to us.” And once those prospects are hired, the platform helps Bartlett reinforce that message. With Benefitfocus Marketplace, not only do employees get a clear picture of what their benefits can do for them, but they also get a clear picture of the dollar value those benefits represent – driving appreciation for what Bartlett is doing for them.