2 min read

Cuna Gets Online Link To HR Information

Employee self-service system cuts costs and boosts satisfaction
Paul Hauschen, human-resources administrator for Cuna Mutual Group, calls it a classic case of the shoemaker's kids going barefoot. Cuna, a financial-services firm that encompasses seven companies, provides online employee self-service benefits management for its member credit unions. But until last month, Cuna didn't provide that service to any of its 5,000 employees.

Cuna employee-benefits information was handled through annual mailings. And the firm did 25 different versions to accommodate distinct business units. So Cuna decided it needed an online setup that would let employees access benefits options, answer typical questions, and manage benefits online, anytime.

The first step, recalls Hauschen, was benchmarking. HR consulting firm Cedar Group US ran a cost-benefit analysis using Cuna's metrics, such as average salary. The numbers looked promising: 60% reduction in cost per transaction; 75% decrease in employee inquiries to HR staff; and employee satisfaction doubled.

After a successful run as a departmental project, executive leadership approved an expansion. "That elevates the effort," Hauschen says. "We're looking at this as part of our overall business-to-employee effort."

Consulting firm Watson Wyatt says employee self-service will be a top HR trend this year, and Cedar Group pegs the market at $3 billion and growing.

Cuna bought a software package that includes preintegrated versions of Authoria HR 3.0 and PeopleSoft 8. Authoria handles all the information, queries and content; PeopleSoft runs the transactions.

In Cuna's recently completed first 8-week open enrollment under the new system, 1,000 employees signed on in the first week alone. The company has already saved $8,000 in printing and production costs. Installation cost around $330,000.

Hauschen expects the program will pay for itself within a year and save $2.3 million in employee and productivity gains over five years. Next up: the 401(k) and pension plans.