Enhancing the employee benefits experience 

Increasing employee health, happiness and productivity

Benefits are a great way for employers to demonstrate not only that they care about their employees as individuals, but that they want to provide them with a great experience. Especially as employees are looking for more connection and support from their employers than ever before.

Shifting benefit experience expectations

The shifts in working patterns during and following the pandemic meant that employee requirements changed overnight.

In addition, the ‘Great Resignation’, increased competition for talent, with many shaking up their roles and careers.

With the need for organizations to provide the most attractive offer to outbid their rivals, wellbeing and its impact on employee experience is now integral to HR teams’ holistic offerings.

For example, social wellbeing benefits have been key to connecting employees in a remote working world. 42% of employees highly value employer-based digital/social platforms to continue supporting social engagement and 46% would appreciate virtual support groups for those feeling lonely or isolated.

These changes are not short-term. Employers’ roles have extended beyond providing salaries. They’re now sources of social, physical, mental, and financial support. As a result, 7 in 10 organizations are planning to make investments in employee health and wellbeing a higher priority going forward.

Key to this is investing in the technologies and platforms that facilitate easy access to benefits and help employees choose the support that they need the most.

HR teams now need real-time data to get a handle on how the situation has changed benefits engagement – and how benefits strategy should flex as a result.

Organizations using centralized benefits software see significant advantages — they were almost twice as likely to be able to respond quickly to the changes brought about by COVID-19 than those using disparate solutions, resulting in more engaged and supported employees.

Considering the significant amount of budget channelled into employee benefits, it’s surprising that this investment still receives little scrutiny. While many functions, such as finance or marketing, have employed analytics for some time, the vast majority of employers still rely solely on spreadsheets to analyze employee benefits data.

Using technology to improve the employee experience

Employers equipped with analytics capabilities reap rewards. Throughout 2020, these teams were able to see in near real-time how the fallout from the pandemic impacted their benefits offering and identify any gaps or successes. By tracking reimbursements, for example, employers could see people swapping out gym memberships for virtual classes and determine how best to support employees with their wellbeing.

This understanding might lead them to further supplement their wellbeing programs, with virtual nutrition workshops or cooking classes, for example. Analytics can then help monitor scheme take-up, helping HR leaders assess whether new benefits deliver a good return on investment. 

Using analytics, HR leaders can go far beyond tracking the success of one benefit or the preferences of one region. They can create and track benefits personas, enabling them to gain a richer understanding of benefits use across their organization and target communications. This is particularly useful in global organizations, where one, unified system can be used to understand how needs differ across, or transcend, geographies and departments. 

Robust data-enabled tech solutions can truly elevate employee benefits offerings and create a first-class, competitive and globally-consistent employee experience.

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