Time to Think New and Next

Rhonda Marcucci, founder of Gruppo Marcucci (GPM), is a respected industry, observer, speaker and author of articles on topics pertaining to the HR and Benefits Administration technology and outsourcing industry. For up-to-the-minute insights from industry conferences, follow Rhonda on Twitter.


Watch this space for industry insights from from Rhonda Marcucci on the latest evolution in this fast-paced industry. We'll post thought provoking blogs, articles, observations and research to focus the conversation. #GPMTalks 

Time to Think New and Next

Posted on 06/30/2014

“Newness” and “Nextness” was the core message from the keynote speaker Jason Averbook at this year’s HRMS Strategies Conference where HR and benefits administration stakeholders gathered to network and talk about HR technology solutions. Jason’s call to the industry was to reinvent because everything we know today is “dead.”

Gruppo Marcucci was there—not only to stay on top of the latest and greatest but also to present on the growing number of tools to engage and help employees choose the right plan, and also to help them use their plan. Following are a few of our favorite conference take-a-ways, interspersed with our own thoughts.

  • Employers, brokers, consultants…we’re stuck in the equivalent of a hamster Habitrail, running around in small compartments created by HR technology service providers. No fault to the providers; it’s a model that works well for their business, but it’s time to think differently and reinvent HR.
  • User experience will make or break adoption of new processes. Employees are in the driver’s seat and will assume more and more power and influence. Start thinking about the employee as the end user–not the company.
  • Talent management must change. We live in transparent world. LinkedIn knows more about your employees than you do (and that means your competitors also know more). Large companies will benefit from hiring a “Data Scientist” to help understand their talent and best use and retain employees.
  • Mobile should be in “Phase I” of everything you do. Don’t tie employees to your portal (or worse your HR office). Most employees have better technology at home than provided at work and they expect the “iPad experience.”
  • Design systems and processes around risk and don’t manage to the minority. New systems call for new service delivery models. It’s not about functions (RFPs, tech upgrades, vendor shootouts); it’s about strategy, emerging technologies, user experiences and pushing the envelope.
  • Benefits need a facelift! Basic HR technology solutions do not take into account the need for engagement and sophisticated decision support that is so central to the new benefits world.
  • Key trends are driving the emergence of tools for choosing/using benefits including: ACA, public and private exchanges, the shift of “spend control” to employees, demand for price transparency, economic recovery and advances in technology.

We found the IHRIM HRMS Strategies Conference to be a bit light in the Benefits arena and are advocating expansion of this program area—particularly in light of all that’s going on with ACA and private exchanges. Regardless, we heard a number of insightful speakers and caught up with the ever-evolving pool of service providers and products.

Our final take-a-away: the best advice we heard (thanks to relationship gurus Patrick Crane of Jeitosa and Nicole Radil of MasterCard) is worth sharing!

To Consultants: Don’t try to be something you’re not.
To Clients: Be Nice! You’ll get better consulting.

Words we should all strive to live by in this industry!

If you want to chat about any of these insights, discuss the greatest/latest products from the expo, or discuss or how your company can leverage the “how to choose/use” information, email me at Rhonda@gruppomarcucci-usa.com or call 312.690.2690.

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About Gruppo Marcucci

Gruppo Marcucci (GPM), a division of Gallagher Benefit Services, Inc., provides outsourcing intelligence and associated consulting to stakeholders in the Benefits and HR Technology & Outsourcing industry. Our in-depth understanding of the service provider market and our vast experience sourcing and implementing solutions is key to our clients achieving full operational success.

@GruppoMarcucci

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