Human Resources Firms Looking to Go Paperless Study Finds
CHICAGO—August 18, 2010—Within the next five years, 64 percent of Professional Employer Organizations (PEO)* plan to eliminate printed materials from their communications with worksite employees. Of those, 26 percent are committed to moving all materials online this year, according to Aon Consulting, the global benefits and human capital consulting business of Aon Corp.
[* A Professional Employer Organization (PEO) is a single-source provider of integrated services that enable business owners to cost-effectively outsource the management of human resources, employee benefits, payroll and workers’ compensation and other strategic services.]
The "Aon Consulting 2010 PEO Survey" of 69 respondents (representing 52 PEOs) shows that those considering eliminating printed materials from their communications are doing so to reduce expenses (58 percent), save time and money in updating information (51 percent), and distribute information in a timely manner (37 percent).
“While PEOs recognize the challenges of providing print materials, they also realize not all worksite employees have regular access to the Internet, as 65 percent of PEOs indicated,” said Bill Crawford, senior vice president and director of Aon Consulting’s Benefacts Personalized Communications Practice. “Until more PEOs are comfortable with worksite employees having access to online communications, they will need to find ways to streamline print production in order to reduce production costs, while improving the accuracy of printed materials. Outsourcing communications—including the development, printing and distribution of content—can certainly help achieve these goals.”
Currently, PEOs use both online and/or print materials to communicate with worksite employees, but which method they use most of the time depends on the information being communicated. For example, 75 percent of PEOs use electronic communications at least half of the time when distributing HR and benefits information. The remaining 25 percent use print exclusively or the majority of the time.
For open enrollment communications, only 26 percent of PEOs use both print and electronic channels to inform worksite employees. Another 32 percent mail printed materials and then worksite employees mail the forms back or use a call center to make elections, and 20 percent use an online process exclusively. About 22 percent of PEOs don’t communicate directly with worksite employees; instead, they send open enrollment materials to client employers, who then distribute the information to their employees.