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by Clare Morin
HR Trends

Josh Bersin on 2021 benefits tech trends


The world-renowned HR thought leader Josh Bersin joins Mike Simonds, COO of Unum Group, and Swapnil Prabha, Unum’s VP of Digital Offering, in a discussion about the fundamental changes wrought by the pandemic – and how those changes are driving benefits tech trends and innovations in 2021.

  • Post-pandemic economic boom. As we slowly emerge from the pandemic, many experts are predicting an economic boom. Signs are pointing to a dynamic economy with a lot of opportunities for businesses and HR professionals. [03:28]
  • A greater appreciation of work. This past year, many workers experienced the stress of balancing personal and professional responsibilities from home. Yet, many people gained a greater appreciation of the value of work, finding a purpose and refuge from the pandemic, according to The Business Resilience: The Global COVID-19 Pandemic Response Study[RA1] . (08:49)
  • The employee experience and technology. At the beginning of the pandemic, many leaders doubted the capabilities and productivity of employees working from home. A year later, there’s a completely new way of thinking about work technology and the employee experience. [10:16]
  • Real-time integrations with HRIS platforms. Unum has accelerated work of building technology that integrates with popular HRIS platforms for a seamless experience for employers and employees alike. Intuitive technology like this helps employers overcome administration challenges and focus more on the employee experience. [12:58]
  • Benefits are essentials. Now is the time for the benefits industry to start thinking about how to deliver a digital, consumer-like experience to employees. What was once viewed as optional benefits are now seen as essential parts of the work experience and employee productivity. (15:48)
  • HR tech objectives. In 2021, innovations in HR technology are trying to get HR teams back at what they do best and where they have the biggest business impacts – with simplistic and thoughtful designs and solutions. (18:00)
  • Mental health is critically important. As more employers adopt mental health programs, employers and leaders can promote mental and emotional well-being by incorporating it into the workplace culture while technology can help easily deliver access to the appropriate support and care. [20:40]

Josh Bersin
Global Industry Analyst, Dean, Josh Bersin Academy

Josh Bersin founded Bersin & Associates in 2001 to provide research and advisory services focused on corporate learning. He expanded the company’s coverage to encompass HR, talent management, talent acquisition, and leadership and became a recognized expert in the talent market.

Mike Simonds
Executive Vice President, COO of Unum Group

Mike Simonds is the Chief Operating Officer of Unum Group, one of The Ethisphere Institute’s world’s most ethical companies. Since joining Unum in 1994, Simonds has worked in various leadership roles and has helped lead the company’s focus on customer satisfaction and expansion into voluntary, dental and vision benefits..

Swapnil Prabha
Vice President, Digital Offerings, Unum

With 15 years of experience in the insurance industry, Swapnil is the Vice President of Digital Offerings at Unum. Prior to joining Unum, Swapnil spent seven years at McKinsey & Company where she was a leader in the Insurance Practice focused on Digital Services across all lines of business and Employee Benefits specifically.



by Clare Morin