Employee Self-Service Emerges as Employer Focus

March 19, 2001 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Nearly three-fourths of human resource professionals still rank controlling health care costs as their number one priority, but interest in expanding employee self-service technology made a surprisingly strong debut in a new survey.

It was the second year in a row that health care cost containment topped the list of Top 5 Benefit Priorities for 2001 survey jointly conducted by the International Society of Certified Employee Benefits Specialists and Deloitte & Touche’s Human Capital Advisory Services.

In fact, controlling health care costs was the top priority across all regions of the nation, according to the sixth annual edition of the survey.  It was particularly critical in the Northwest, where 92% of respondents ranked it number one.

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High Five

Breaking into the top five was expanding the use of employee self-service technology, cited by nearly half (45%) of the HR pros responding to the survey.  The category didn’t appear in the results of the 2000 survey.

The top five benefit priorities in order of importance among HR professionals are:

  • 71% – Controlling health care costs, same as last year’s finding
  • 61% – Evaluating, implementing, or expanding the use of the Internet or intranet, up from 58% last year
  • 45% – Expanding the use of employee self-service technology for benefits communication and administration
  • 47% – Providing financial and retirement planning tools and information
  • 36% – Providing increased investment education

Benefits Policy, Design Goals

In considering the key objectives of benefit policy and design, HR respondents cited the following key objectives:

  • 38% – attracting and retaining talent
  • 30% – “cost issues” as the key objective of benefits policy and design
  • 23% – increased use of technology

You can read more about the study at http://www.us.deloitte.com/pub/iq/vol13/IQ_13.PDF