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Stress Rx: Treat HR Burnout With Better Benefits Administration

HR Burnout

Burnout is rampant in the workplace. More than half of American workers report they are currently experiencing at least moderate levels of burnout, according to AFLAC research. Gen Z, millennials and women, as reported by CNBC, may be more likely to face burnout than other groups. And Microsoft found that more than half (53 percent) of managers report feeling burned out as well. 

Based on these figures, burnout and work-related stress pose a formidable challenge to HR leaders everywhere. Unfortunately, HR burnout is also on the rise. HR Executive’s recent What’s Keeping HR Up at Night? Survey reported that about 76 percent of the more than 350 HR leaders surveyed said stress increased in 2023 – including a quarter who said the increase was dramatic.  

There are many contributing factors to HR burnout and there may be equally as many ways to address it. One powerful move is to adopt a more effective approach to benefits administration.  

Here are 5 meaningful ways working with a knowledgeable partner via a modern benefits administration solution can help combat HR burnout. 

Reduces the Administrative Load 

Repetitive administrative tasks can be a contributing factor of burnout in all types of roles and office workers may spend up to 50 percent of their work time on such tasks, according to Workfellow. Benefits administration is well-known for requiring a lot of repetitive tasks associated with eligibility, enrollment, billing, verifications, payroll, and much more.  

Stress Rx: 

Outsourcing key benefit administration functions helps alleviate the load on HR teams and provides a streamlined, cost-effective strategy for serving employees without overburdening in-house benefits professionals. The right partner acts as an extension of your team and can offer tactical relief and strategic guidance, helping you reduce workloads for in-house employees and ultimately enabling you to meet your employee benefits goals by putting more focus on initiatives that make the biggest impact. 

Improves Efficiency of Budget Spending 

Companies in a wide variety of industries are grappling with shrinking HR budgets. Finding creative ways to maximize the ROI of benefits spending can create an additional source of stress for HR leaders. And because we’re seeing a proliferation of employee benefit point solutions and those for many HR functions, from admin to communications to data, the cost and complexity are further heightened.  

Offering great benefits is a key component of talent attraction and retention — that’s not new. Maximizing the efficiency of your benefits spending helps ensure your organization can continue to compete for and retain top talent, while reducing finance-related stress for HR leaders. That piece can be more elusive for HR teams trying to handle all of their benefits administration tasks on their own. By leveraging the support and expertise of a proven partner, HR leaders can address current inefficiencies and build better processes that position the organization for continued success in the future.  

Especially in uncertain times, HR leaders may not be sure what choices to make about changes to benefit offerings. Whether it’s economic pressure, political tension, or high talent mobility, today’s HR leaders need more support — and more information — to properly assess their options and chart a path forward for their organizations.  

Stress Rx: 

Work with your benefits administration partner to take a smart approach to data. You don’t need to feel stress associated with inaccurate, incomplete or otherwise unreliable data. You need quality data to understand how your benefits program is performing and to get actionable insights into how you can maximize value and ROI.

If your data is hard to access and use in a meaningful way – because it’s siloed across multiple systems and formats – you're limited in your ability to evolve your program and achieve innovation-readiness. Having access to data analytics helps tell a more accurate story of why healthcare costs are changing, what utilization trends are occurring, and more, giving leaders the information they need to plan for the future. 

Delivers a Better Employee Experience and Boosts Retention 

At the end of the day, serving employees and helping them progress toward their health and wellness goals is the most meaningful aim of an employee benefits program. But that still doesn’t mean it should come at the expense of your HR team’s wellbeing. Partnering with a benefits administration provider is an effective way to better educate employees about their benefit options and coverage, so they are equipped to make better enrollment and utilization decisions. This can lead to happier, healthier employees and fewer problems for HR to address, thereby reducing stress.  

Stress Rx: 

Working with a trusted partner for key benefits administration functions can help you elevate the employee experience. The right solution offers a convenient employee benefits portal — a centralized online source for all pre-enrollment communication, to better educate employees on coverage options and to help them utilize the benefits they choose. Ideally, your benefits admin partner supports ongoing two-way communication with employees through a messaging center, which allows you to create and send personalized content via text or email.

And to ensure that employees have access to all the information and resources they need to successfully support their health and wellness goals, your partner should be well-equipped to help you produce benefits guides, confirmation statements, open enrollment postcards, email campaigns and other types of communication that reflect your unique brand and style. 

Smoothes Knowledge Gaps 

Managing benefits administration — especially if you employ folks in multiple states — is a complex process with many moving targets. In-house benefit administrators have a lot of other responsibilities outside of compliance and the ever-changing rules make it challenging to keep up. In the best case scenario, your benefits admin team can work tirelessly to stay abreast of the changes and maybe they make a few mistakes along the way. In the worst case scenario, the volume and pressure of the demands overwhelms them and they find themselves thoroughly burned out. 

Stress Rx: 

These hypothetical scenarios can be avoided by partnering with experts who are on top of changing requirements for ACA, COBRA, billing and reporting, and more. With the right partner, you can free your in-house benefits administration team from those stressors and give them more time and energy to support employees on a personal level. Working with a trusted benefits administration solutions provider also delivers confidence and peace of mind that your organization is meeting compliance requirements.  

Strategic Benefits Administration Combats HR Burnout 

In the face of escalating burnout among HR professionals and the workforce at large, it is crucial for HR leaders to proactively address this challenge. The statistics on burnout we shared earlier may be alarming but there is hope for a path forward. Embracing a modern benefits administration solution, particularly through a knowledgeable partner, proves to be a powerful strategy in combating HR burnout.  

By reducing the administrative load, improving budget efficiency, enhancing the employee experience, smoothing knowledge gaps and providing data-based insights, HR leaders can not only reduce burnout within their teams but also contribute to a healthier, more productive workplace on a broader scale.

This shift towards a more strategic and supportive approach to benefits administration ensures that HR leaders can navigate the complexities of their roles with confidence, fostering a positive work environment for both employees and the HR professionals who guide them. Together, HR leaders can transform challenges into opportunities and build a resilient, thriving workforce.

Connect with a member of our team and learn more about how our solutions can help your business - and relieve some stress for your benefits team!