Module 4

The Employee Experience: Solution, Rollout and Support

This module looks at 3 areas to consider when evaluating the overall employee experience that an on-demand pay provider delivers.

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When considering different vendors for your on-demand pay program, the overall employee experience that the vendor delivers is a critical consideration. After all, employee participation in the on-demand pay solution you provide will determine the benefits your employees and your company can expect to see..

In this module, you’ll learn about the three key areas that contribute to the on-demand pay employee experience:

  • The solution experience
  • The rollout experience
  • The support experience

Let’s take a closer look at each of these.

The Solution Experience

Ensuring that your employees benefit from the best on-demand pay experience increases the likelihood of employee adoption, engagement and improved financial well-being, which translates to reduced turnover and its associated costs for your company.

The following four areas should be looked at through the lens of delivering an engaging employee experience:

1. User experience – There are a number of key elements that you need to evaluate in terms of the on-demand pay user experience, including:

  • Usability – Usability relates to the ease with which users can complete tasks using the on-demand pay product. Is it easy for users to complete the tasks needed to actually obtain their money? Is the solution designed to make this as simple and straightforward as it needs to be for every user?
  • Value – Value relates to alignment between solution features and user needs. How easy is it for users to complete what they want to do using the on-demand pay solution? Does the on-demand pay solution naturally support ways that users can discover its key features? Can they transfer money or check their available balance quickly and easily? Are usage fees adding value to encourage usage or are they prohibitive in some way?
  • Adoption – Adoption is an integral component of the solution’s design. Is the solution easy to download, install and start to use? For example, mobile apps have higher engagement rates than desktop applications, so you might want to ask the vendor if a mobile app is available.
  • Desirability – Desirability relates to innovative visual design. Does the on-demand solution engage users? Is interacting with the solution enjoyable?

2.  Financial well-being – Most on-demand pay vendors suggest they can help with your employees’ financial wellness. To evaluate their ability to do so, you might want to ask the following questions:

  • Do you provide a means for employees to save part of their pay prior to payday?
  • If so, is the savings held in the employee’s savings account or the vendor’s account? This is important because your employees will have more control if it’s held in an account of their own choosing.
  • If the savings is held in the vendor’s account, does the account accrue interest to benefit the employee and are the funds available within 24 hours of an employee’s request to access them?
  • Does the vendor offer any additional financial wellness tools/education to help employees with things like ways to get started saving, budgeting, etc. How does the employee access these tools?

3.  Flexible destination accounts for on-demand pay transfers — On-demand pay vendors enable employees to transfer their earnings in different ways to different accounts as covered in Module 1. You should evaluate each provider based on the needs of your employees, including those who don’t have bank accounts, so your employees should have a choice in deciding where they want to receive their transfers (e.g., checking account, pay card, debit card).

4.  Limitations on ODP access — One of the decisions you will want to make is whether or not to limit the amount of, or percentage of, wages to which your employees should have access. Here’s why:

  • Vendor limits on employee access to their earned wages — Some vendors make only a certain percentage of the employee’s wages available for transfer (i.e., 50%), while others do not limit the amount, making 100% of net earned wages available for transfer. You might want to work with a vendor who works with you to implement what you believe is best for your employees.
  • Vendor limits on timing of access to earned wages — Some vendors implement a “use it or lose it” rule that allows employees to access the wages earned on that particular day only. If they don’t make a transfer, they start all over again at $0 until their next shift. Other vendors allow employees access to their accumulated net earnings 24/7/365.
  • Requirement for payroll approvals — Some vendors require Payroll team approval of time entries and/or transfer amounts with each transfer request, This could impact your payroll team’s workload and delay employees from accessing their money soon after they request a transfer.

The Rollout Experience

The goals of any new benefit rollout are to build awareness, excitement and continuous engagement with the solution. When you maximize the above, your employees and your company will reap greater rewards.

There are two key areas to think about when rolling out a new on-demand pay benefit:

1.  Building employee awareness – In order to maximize enrollment in your on-demand pay benefit, you should consider building a communication and education campaign before, during and after the time of launch and, particularly, well before your open enrollment season. You’ll also want to make all new hires are aware of the benefit on Day 1 on the job.

Decide who will be responsible for the planning and execution of the campaign — you or the vendor. Think about whether you have the time, money and resources to take on this additional work or find out whether your vendor has the skills and capabilities to do so.

Be sure to understand the cost implications since some vendors charge additional fees for communications, planning and execution. An effective on-demand pay awareness and education campaign might include:

  • Live launch event
  • On-line education page with a link for enrollment
  • Downloadable education content (brochures, videos, FAQs, etc.)
  • On-site promotional materials (posters, brochures, etc.)
  • Frequent employee email communications
  • Online and live Help Center
  • Stakeholder trainings (e.g., managers)

On-demand pay is quickly becoming viewed as an essential, need-to-have benefit, much like health care. Making sure that employees are educated and aware of its benefits will help your organization realize benefits such as increased engagement and productivity, and reduced turnover.

2.  Enrollment & onboarding – Maximizing enrollment and creating a seamless onboarding experience helps your company to achieve many of the goals for an on-demand pay benefit, including an increase in applications for available roles, improved employee engagement and reduced turnover.

Vendors generally fall into two enrollment categories:

  • Delayed benefit access – This lag-time access generally applies to two solution types:
  • Card-based access – Some vendors only offer a card-based on-demand pay solution. There is typically a lag time between when an employee signs up and when they receive their card, preventing Day 1 access.
  • Deductions model on-demand pay – Vendors who use this model (see Module 1) need to wait for the deductions file in order to enroll the employee for the following pay period. The deductions file is only updated once per pay period.
  • Data suggests that people often sign up when they actually need to use the benefit so having to wait may cause an additional hardship for employees.

  • Day 1 benefit with instant access – Employees have access to the on-demand pay benefit as of Day 1 on the job and also can receive pay transfers instantaneously when they need them. This solution is typically delivered to employees through a mobile app instead of a card.

You’ll most likely want to work with a vendor with a simple sign-up flow so that employees can easily create an account. The goal should be to reduce the number of steps and hurdles for the employee to create an account and access money on Day 1. Some vendors are set up so that employees can enroll and instantly transfer earned pay in five minutes or less. When the enrollment process is too cumbersome, you’ll often see a reduction in accounts being created.

The Support Experience

Your employees will likely have questions, just like they do with any other benefit you offer. Do you have the resources to handle employee questions about the on-demand pay program or do you need to choose a vendor that can provide full-service support?

Consider the following four areas that will require support and whether you can self-service each area, or whether you need a full-service vendor solution. Again, it’s important to understand if your vendor charges additional fees for providing a help desk or if the service is part of their core solution.

1.  Payroll support – Some questions to consider include:

  • Will the payroll department have to approve employees’ time and attendance records or employee pay transfers?
  • Who will handle payroll reconciliations?
  • How many hours will the payroll department need to spend administering the on-demand pay solution post-implementation?
  • Is there a dedicated account rep who is your primary contact for questions/issues should they arise?

2.  Support for upgrades – As the vendor upgrades the product and adds new functionality, will your resources be able to communicate these changes effectively, or is the vendor better able to keep up with and communicate changes?

3.  Offshore vs. regionalized employee support — Do you need to provide multilingual and/or omnichannel support, including phone, email and chat across different time zones? How will you measure employee satisfaction with this support?

4.  Scaling your support team — Can the service you decide to deliver (in-house or outsourced) scale with your workforce to ensure an adequate response time to employee questions and concerns in a timely manner to avoid frustration?

On-demand pay benefit support is essential to delivering an exceptional employee experience that will, in turn, increase participation in the benefit and, subsequently, employee engagement with your company. Be sure to balance the hard costs and the soft costs of providing such support before you embark on the journey in front of you and agree to the scorecard you’ll use (See Module 5) to ensure you are meeting your employees’ expectations and needs.

Full-Service or Self-Service

Like any benefit, the goal is to consider how to maximize employee participation and engagement so that they receive the most value from the program, and your company reaps the greatest benefits.

Ultimately, it’s your decision whether you want to outsource your entire program to the on-demand pay vendor, or take on some or all of the post-implementation tasks yourself, which will result in costs. If you handle any/all of these tasks on your own, you’ll need to balance the costs to support them with the benefits you expect to achieve and your end goals.

But the real test is your employee satisfaction with the program, which is measured by adoption and use of the benefit.

Sample RFP Questions

When considering partnering with an on-demand pay provider, it’s critical to holistically evaluate each solution you’re considering in order to make the most educated selection. Thoroughly assessing the product experience for employees and employers, as well as security, privacy and compliance for each solution will help you choose the best solution for your company.

Questions to consider asking based on the teachings in this module are:

Solution Experience

  • Does your solution have an app?
  • What destination accounts can the employee use for pay transfers?

Rollout Experience

  • Do you provide education and enrollment materials? Please describe.
  • What steps are needed for the employee to sign up for the benefit?

Support Experience

  • Do you provide full-service support post-implementation (e.g., call center, dedicated account rep, payroll reconciliation, etc.)?
  • Do you have a regional, multilingual contact center that offers live call/email/chat capabilities?

Receive the Sample On-Demand Pay RFP