When the Boston-based company planned its expansion to New York, Ellenhorn’s HR team sought a knowledgeable and creative partner to help them administer a best-in-class, multistate employee benefits plan.
Increasing demands on the firm’s HR leader required a broad range of expertise and the ability to outsource key services. A primary goal was to make better use of the team’s time — allowing them to focus on improving various company programs versus wasting resources on time-consuming HR management tasks. Equally important, Ellenhorn wanted to take advantage of emerging HR and health benefits technology solutions to drive efficiency and make the shift to a paperless environment.
Well-versed on the interplay between the various disciplines of benefits management and the new software, applications, and all-in-one platforms that have come online to serve HR and health benefits management, Innovo Benefits was ready to deliver. Our team provided a range of custom services to add value.
Designed Customized Multistate Benefits Plans & Technology Solutions
Innovo led the analysis and vetting of hundreds of benefits plans to meet a complex range of objectives.
What were the challenges? First, escalating insurance costs were taking a toll on Ellenhorn. The firm was also losing good people and candidates because benefits packages were not proving competitive versus larger organizations and hospitals. Second, given Ellenhorn’s multistate, multibusiness corporate structure, the firm needed guidance navigating the complexity of compliance requirements.
In response, Innovo guided Ellenhorn to new plans and technology systems that would control costs while offering employees rich benefits that recognized local norms and carrier offerings. The final plans address regulations while simultaneously helping create one culture with effectively similar benefits for employees across state lines.
Outsourced Services to Expand HR Department Capabilities
Like many organizations of similar size, Ellenhorn found itself with one HR leader being pulled in too many directions. As the company grew to more than 70 employees with multiple offices across multiple states, the task of managing benefits paperwork, reports, and compliance filings became prohibitively time-consuming and left little room for other responsibilities.
To help, Innovo provides outsourcing services to manage open enrollment, additions, and terminations, as well as to lead employee benefits communications on an ongoing basis. This has helped Ellenhorn utilize Innovo’s expertise needed for benefits administration tasks, while freeing up internal HR resources for other strategic initiatives.
“Technology alone was not enough — but made powerful in the hands of industry experts, it has become a powerful tool for our firm,” notes Lyudmila Farrington, HR Manager at Ellenhorn. “We’re managing our employee benefits smoothly, easily, and effortlessly. Innovo doing this for us has really opened my mind up to think, ‘OK, what else can I do to make this organization a more attractive place of employment for current and potential employees?’ By not spending my time administering benefits, I now have the opportunity to partner with our leadership team to run the company and achieve business goals. With everything running smoothly, I can focus on strategic plans to attract the best people, retain our best people, develop our people, and manage our people better to increase our performance.”
Ensured Technology Systems Integration
The integration was seamless. It was literally one phone call. Innovo worked with minor technical issues and worked to provide continuity in service to our employees throughout the process. After that, I didn’t need to be involved. And I know it’s working because I have not had one question from employees about it!
As a key part of our consulting services, Innovo designed a custom technology ecosystem that combined the best options from a range of available systems.
For Ellenhorn, it was important that their benefits management technology complement its existing payroll system. As an independent systems integrator — with open relationships across multiple HRIS, benefits, and payroll vendors — Innovo could evaluate a number of potential technologies and resources to identify a “best fit” choice for Ellenhorn. A key technical driver in the decision process — in this case identifying a benefits system that supported the existing system’s API with two-way links — helped Innovo propose a viable solution.
Innovo also took extra steps to bridge technology gaps during the initial rollout. The new benefits technology did not automatically put deductions into the existing payroll system at first, so the team managed these inputs until an update could be made.
Fostered Employee Adoption
Innovo put together a wonderful brochure that really spoke our language. It answered questions in simple terms and made it easy for employees to understand their benefits … in the ways that they wanted to understand benefits!
Initially, not all Ellenhorn’s employees viewed the transition to technology-enabled benefits as a good thing, so Innovo partnered closely with Ellenhorn’s HR lead to address concerns. Working as an extension of HR, Innovo led multiple communications to educate employees and answer questions. This included custom presentations and handouts to detail their plan options, as well as meetings with different departments within the company. Following the rollout, Innovo scheduled face-to-face meetings with employees in all offices to measure plan performance directly with end-users, identify opportunities for improvement, and make changes as needed.
- Value-added benefits plans were achieved at a reduced cost to employees, while Ellenhorn achieved HR goals for a multistate system and paperless environment.
- Efficiencies gained through benefits management technology and outsourcing services enabled Ellenhorn’s HR leader to focus on higher-level HR tasks. Now that it takes less time to do her job, she’s spending more time with her newborn baby and pursuing her master’s degree to expand her capabilities for the company!
- Ellenhorn is reaping the benefits of fewer potential mistakes with administrative changes, reports, and compliance filings now that the technology-enabled benefits system provides alerts and safeguards against human error.
With the mission of rebuilding purposeful lives through compassionate care, Ellenhorn is a private community-based treatment and support team, providing comprehensive, individualized, and multidisciplinary psychiatric and psychosocial services to adults living with serious and persistent mental illness.
All Quotes Obtained from:
Lyudmila Farrington, PHR, SHRM-CP
Human Resources Manager, Ellenhorn LLC