Employee benefits technology: how far have businesses come in digitising their offering?

By June 24, 2020July 28th, 2020employee benefits
employee benefits technology

Wholesale migration to remote working during the pandemic meant that management teams were quick to give team members the digital tools they needed to do their job and keep connected.

But as the lockdown continues to ease, the focus is shifting beyond the facilitation of home working.

Managers are figuring out the best way to adapt to the new ways of working which have been indelibly cast by the crisis. They are working out how to improve the health and well-being of their workforce, how to sustain the high levels of productivity that they have seen over the past few months and keep remote teams engaged, motivated and loyal.  For employee benefits professionals, the big question here is does your team have the self-serve digital tools they need to fully access the benefits and perks that are available to them. Tools that make it easier to reach disparate teams with personalised information so they can curate customised packages.  Tools that help you make data-driven decisions on what’s working to ensure that money isn’t being wasted on benefits where uptake is low?

The short answer is yes to a degree. Most businesses have implemented basic employee benefits technology. The figure now stands at 84% according to the latest research by Employee Benefits

But, investment in the most advanced employee benefits tech is still low

Dig a little deeper into the findings and it’s clear that uptake of the most advanced digital tools to engage and communicate – chatbots, augmented reality etc is very low.  The reality is less than 3% of businesses have invested in these types of tech according to the study.  In fact, the top three solutions have not changed for the past four years and a staff intranet is still the most popular tech by a long chalk at 63%. 44% of businesses also offer employees a third-party website and 35% offer a rewards portal.

Meanwhile …

  • 3% of organisations use chatbots
  • 3% use wearable fitness technology
  • 1% offer gamification technology
  • 0% use augmented reality

The late starters – why are some businesses holding back on investment in the first place?

Cost is a major barrier to uptake among those 16% of businesses that have no benefits technology in place. 57% of respondents in this category thought that it would be too expensive and 30% thought that their team wouldn’t want it or there was no need in the business. 48% had not found a solution that meet their requirements.

For those businesses investing in benefits technology, the study found that while ease of use and functionality influenced decision making, cost-effectiveness, integration, data security and analytics were also high on the wish list.

To sum up …

While most businesses have invested in employee benefits technology in some way, investment in the most advanced tech like chatbots and augmented reality is minimal.  HR is still playing catch up in using benefits technology to enhance and hyper-personalise the employee experience, It will be interesting to watch this space as businesses adjust to the new realities of remote working and the challenges of keeping disparate teams fully engaged about the benefits on offer.

Rethinking your plan?

If your business is looking at digitising your benefits offering, we’re here if you need our help

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