Sun Life Financial has made successful use of tablet devices to improve employee benefit enrollment rates in Canada.
Online environments for employee benefit enrollment have been available for some time. Recent years have seen the launch of several companies that use an integrated HR portal that incorporates basic benefit enrollment, which has meant that employees can elect, enroll and manage their health coverage and life insurance benefits online at their desks. Such companies include Unum, ING and Aetna.
However, like most life companies offering group employee benefits, Sun Life was aware that even if client education seminars on pensions benefits and investment options were well attended by interested, enthusiastic employees, once they left the seminars, with enrollment forms (or instructions for using the online system) in hand, enrollment frequently did not happen.
The company determined that despite the paper and online solutions it offered, only about 10% of employees who attended its pension enrollment seminars filled out the forms and signed up for the benefits.
This particular inertia gap was one Sun Life, one of the largest players in Canada’s group pension market, was eager to close.
Applying an App
Both Research In Motion Ltd (RIM), the company that developed the BlackBerry smartphone, and Sun Life have their headquarters in Waterloo, a small town in the Canadian province of Ontario.
Sun Life already used the BlackBerry enterprise server, so it naturally turned to RIM (which changed its name to BlackBerry in January) to brainstorm a possible technology-based solution.
The result was a customised app for BlackBerry PlayBook tablet computer. The app, called GRS Wireless Enrolment, was created by Sun Life inhouse, and was among the first business apps ever created for PlayBook.
The app was designed to provide a way for employees attending benefit enrolment seminars to complete their group retirement plan enrolment forms before they left the seminars. Using the app, the enrolment process could be completed, without compromising client or customer confidentiality.
Sun Life then reportedly bought 1,000 PlayBooks equipped with this app for benefits trainers to take with them to the information sessions for employees of their corporate clients. Each attendee is provided with an app-equipped PlayBook. The app contains all the forms needed to sign up for the pension benefits.Read More +