Individuals respond to a personalised approach to employee benefits, wellbeing and pensions. Technology can boost engagement, if it delivers the right message says Dipa Mistry Kandola, head of flexible benefits services at LCP
Benefits, pensions, wellbeing and more recently savings technology in the workplace should create a user experience that engages employees in the context of their personal lives. Elements of fun and gamification can keep people interested and using technology on a regular basis.
Individuals generally want to interact with technology in a way that is relevant to their lifestyle, not just to receive business information that may or may not be relevant at that particular moment. Fitness apps are a prime example of people using technology to get feedback on personal goals. That’s where workplace technology needs to be rethought and revamped – to provide personal and relevant content to employees, and thus drive engagement.
Considering how benefits relate to employees in their daily lives is one of the key areas that employers need to address. To really drive engagement we shouldn’t just be using technology to shout about what great benefits and pensions are on offer, but instead focus on how these elements of the offering weave into employees’ lives.
Employees will have certain, individual goals – such as trying to stay healthy or manage their budget, or saving for a house or a new car. If technology, such as gamified goal-driven interfaces, can help individuals to realise personal ambitions, while at the same time communicating all of the great stuff an employer does, we can achieve true engagement.
Introducing greater personalisation means employers also need to consider how to measure and increase engagement. There needs to be a move away from staff surveys and take-up stats and more emphasis on qualitative focus groups, looking at wider issues that resonate with the needs of the demographic.
This qualitative information should be considered alongside analytics, such as page clicks and number of logins, to help HR understand what people really value and engage with. Personalised user experience is the ultimate goal, but benefits technology still has to deliver for HR teams. In the past, systems have been very good at providing analytics and management information (MI), but often these work in silo. There is now demand for a holistic approach to technology. This not only provides streamlined processes and functionality, such as Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS) and payroll – which saves time and cost – but also delivers a better user experience, combining personal aspirations with messages the employer wants to communicate.
Striking the right balance between user experience and the business’s requirements can be difficult. That’s why it’s so crucial to have a bedrock HR platform – a solid foundation – to build all of your other technology from. If employers want true engagement, businesses need to think about layering technology.
It could be that at the front end there’s a really user-friendly wellbeing app, but behind it are other layers that provide the MI HR needs, such as details from the HRIS (headcount, job function) and information from the benefits technology (take-up, number of interactions). Not only would this help ensure technology is meeting user and business requirements, but by securing the foundations of an HR platform, employers can future-proof from both a strategic and technology perspective.
As with any technology, it needs to be considered within the context of an organisation’s strategy, goals, demographics and culture. HR needs to understand levels of trust in the technology provided by their employer in order to get engagement. Employers then need to take time to secure buy-in before spending a great deal of time and e‑ ort introducing new systems in the benefits space.
Considering how employees interact with technology from a user perspective, within the context of the business’s strategy and culture, will enable organisations to have a benefits offering and supporting technology that is future-proofed and measurable.
Employers need to rethink their approach to technology in the workplace by assessing levels of understanding and attitudes toward tech and by combining personalisation and an element of gamification within platforms to drive employee engagement.