Faster processing time = better customer service

July 3, 2017

The Employee Benefits Plans provide health, dental and life insurance benefits to thousands of healthcare employees. Each year, hundreds of employees retire. When they do, we provide them with a package describing their options and what steps to take next.

“The faster that information gets out, the better,” says Alana Shearer-Kleefeld, director of employee benefits. “People choose the coverage that makes the most sense for them and their loved ones. Our job is to inform them about their options.

“We know that retirement is a time of major change,” Alana added. “Anything we can do to make the process more efficient is well worth doing.”

That’s why the benefits services team worked to significantly reduce the time it takes to process one person’s retirement. The process used to take five days. Now it takes just one. That’s an 80 per cent improvement!

Our benefits team is used to working at a fast pace all day, every day. But it’s not ideal over the long-term.

“So we took a step back to look at how we were doing things and how we could even out the work. We wanted to work better as a team and provide better customer service at the same time,” said Jade Lea-Wilson, manager of employee benefits.

Last fall, the team looked at how much work was coming into the department and when. They grouped the work into categories and measured how long various tasks were taking, on average.

“We found that we could hire 33 per cent more staff just to keep up. Rather than go that route, we looked at process improvements instead. We decided to tackle the retirement process first.”

Staff used to have to find information from two different systems. Then they had to enter that data into a third system. But with new automation, there is less manual work needed. And the team changed some processes for better information flow.

“It all means less stress and better service. I really want to thank staff for all their hard work to improve the retirement process.”

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