Technology is not just an aptitude millennials are proud of, it’s an attitude they carry with them wherever they go. It’s a known fact that Generation Y is the most tech-savvy generation at the workplace till date. That’s why, they expect their workplaces to evolve in a way that everything is driven by the latest technology so that work becomes quick, effortless and error-free.
Meanwhile, are employers living up to the expectations of the tech-savvy millennial? That’s fodder for debate. Technology is not only something millennials expect at the workplace for the sake of their convenience, they need it to save time and be more productive in the process.
Millennials and Employee Benefits
The first-ever study on employee benefits in India has revealed some eye-opening facts that rationalize why corporates need to embrace technology for their millennial employees. This study has proved helpful in quantifying the challenges employees face while claiming tax-saving reimbursements. Tax-saving reimbursements here refer to flexible pay elements that salaried employees are eligible for, such as fuel, telephone/ internet reimbursements, LTA and so on.
Let’s start with understanding the process. For a typical employee, claiming a reimbursement requires him to store paper bills for months on end, fill out numerous claims forms, submit all the paperwork to the concerned department and then wait patiently for multiple approvals that can span over a few weeks. Seems time-consuming and tedious? There’s data to prove it.
According to the Zeta Employee Benefits Study, one in 2 employees, between 20-30 years of age, believes the reimbursements process is too complex. It’s startling to know that 41% employees must submit one form per claim. Imagine the effort and time that goes behind filling up so many forms while at work.
Talking about time, it was also found that an average of 23 minutes is spent filing one reimbursement claim. No wonder 62% employees claim that the process is too time-consuming.
Let’s delve deeper into the “Digital Crunch” at the workplace
The study has revealed that India Inc is yet to catch onto the digital wave of managing reimbursements. According to the survey, 94% of corporates still use a paper-based process and only 6% have adopted the fully digital process. It’s clear that companies have stuck to their traditional methods of employee reimbursements where everything is done manually. It’s high time corporates let technology replace these tedious processes of managing and storing paper bills and forms. After all, in the era of cloud storage, paper storage should be done away with. Let’s also think about the environment for a bit here.
Corporates’ side of the story
Corporates too face the paper-push problem. Managing paper bills submitted for reimbursement pose some big challenges - 47% corporates don’t know what to do with invalid and illegible bills, whereas 19% face issues with bill storage and 15% with bill verification. And, not to forget the processing time for these reimbursements. At least, 71% companies take more than 8 days to process a reimbursement. One of the most interesting revelations in the study was that while processing time is voted as the least concerning factor for companies, it is the #1 reason for employees to opt out of reimbursements
What employees feel
As for employees, 24% of the respondents in the survey claim that the time taken for approval is the biggest challenge for them. 82% of them said they needed 2 or more approvals for all reimbursements they claimed. The other two key challenges that employees face include tracking status on claims and storing bills.
Millennials want corporates to embrace digitization NOW
Millennials strive for efficiency at work. For them, a process should not take multiple steps or require days to be accomplished because they need to be routed through several channels. That’s why, they endorse workflow automation. Things that take days should be completed in a few clicks. The employee benefits survey validates this mindset clearly -- a staggering 90% employees surveyed have said they would prefer a digital filing process for tax-saving reimbursements over a physical process that involved paper-based claims.
We are a digital population with every salaried employee having access to a smartphone and the internet. This point was validated in the study that revealed 100% employees owned a smartphone and had access to the internet. That’s precisely why it makes complete sense to go digital and take away all the hassles associated with paperwork.
There’s a need to opt for easy solutions to increase productivity and cut down the time taken to use and claim reimbursements. Corporates must embrace digitization in their organizations to attract and retain millennial employees.