And, of course, they need to be accessible to a workforce that is more diverse, disparate and remote than ever thanks to lockdown, working from home and furlough. When it happens, furloughed employees will be hugely important in the ‘return’ so cannot be ignored; the sleeping giant that really isn’t sleeping. Maybe re-evaluating their plans, their work-life balance and possibly their employer if they feel undervalued.
More often than not, technology is fast becoming the optimum way of reaching those hard to get to employees – both physically and mentally. Easily accessed, easy to understand and easy to use, while being clearly valuable and relevant to the majority. So many day-to-day activities that were more face-to-face or manual a year ago, have quickly had to switch to remote, technology-based methodologies. Meetings, exercise, shopping, seeing friends and family, the list goes on. The new world has propelled businesses and individuals into the 21st century in record time and the employee benefits sector is no exception. Digital first is now the only option and if the tech is clunky, hard to navigate or trying to be too clever and the benefit is not instantly obvious, employees will ignore it. And it has to be accessible to those users that aren’t tech savvy to ensure it reaches everyone; a nod to the fact that often those you want to benefit the most are also often the hardest to reach and the least likely to be embracing tech!
Effective management information and acting on it is key now more than ever. Budgets for many are under growing scrutiny and being able to demonstrate value is paramount. And solid MI isn’t just around usage or clicks but, more often now, around behaviours and even emotions. If you can discover how your employees feel about something, you have a chance to fix it – or promote it! Increasingly, benefits on offer focus in some form on the wellbeing of the employees. A benefit should, after all, be an aid towards making people feel good. Whether about themselves or their employer?
Working with the right benefit partners to analyse the MI and data with a view to addressing needs, promoting the positives and planning ahead is invaluable. Your workforce has changed significantly in the last year and insights into how will help you shape what the future looks like.
“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them” (Thanks Einstein). Data and MI can help understand how to solve the problems now, not those we had when we implemented them. It may be that some benefits that have been a staple for years are simply no longer relevant. Could the budget be used for something else that is more appropriate to today’s issues? Same problem perhaps, but new solutions are out there.