HR Delivery Focused on Employee Engagement

June 27, 2007 ( - Firms are placing more emphasis on engaging employees in the administration and communication of benefit and compensation plans, according to findings of a recent Watson Wyatt survey.

A Watson Wyatt press release said the 2007 HR Technology Trends survey found one-fifth of respondents expect to change their HR delivery structures in the coming year. Some of the most prominent changes companies expect to make in the next two years include putting in place a health care portal that provides employees with health improvement information (73%) and offering total compensation information to employees via the Web (65%).

One in four companies is also planning to change the way its traditional defined benefit pension is administered and delivered, often to coincide with a broader pension plan redesign, Watson Wyatt said.

In some HR programs most transactions are already occurring over the Web, study results indicated. Forty-six percent of companies reported that all benefits enrollment takes place via the Web, and 27% say all notification of life events, such as the addition of a dependent, happens online. However, fewer than one in five companies reported that transactions related to compensation and payroll decisions, promotion and transfers and retirement take place via the Web.

Companies are dissatisfied with the progress of talent management systems, including performance management, workforce planning and succession planning, for which survey respondents said most transactions are still done via paper. Twenty-one percent of companies said they are somewhat or very dissatisfied with the quality of talent management service provided, versus 10% who said the same about health and welfare program service and 6% who expressed dissatisfaction with defined benefit administration.

In addition, many companies are looking to add technology solutions to their talent management programs, especially for succession planning, for which more than 30% said they plan to
adopt technology solutions in the next two years.

Drivers for deciding how to structure HR service delivery, according to the release, are:

  • Goals for improving internal processes (49%),
  • Goals for improving service (42%),
  • Goals for improving employee satisfaction (38%), and
  • Goals for leveraging technology (34%).

Nearly one-third of companies indicated they have not achieved their HR service delivery goals.

More information on the 2007 HR Technology Trends survey can be found at .