2021 is the year we should expect more from technology

There’s no doubt HR and reward teams have adopted technology at an incredible rate over the past few years. Usage in every area of benefits and wellbeing has increased in recent years, according to the research findings. This is great news and shows how, as an industry, we’re embracing technology and the advantages it brings to our wider benefits programmes.  

2021 is the year we should expect more from technology

The employee experience is ‘satisfactory’  

An interesting finding is the perception that ‘satisfactory’ is sufficient when it comes to the employee experience. When asked about the user experience of their technology over 50% of respondents selected this answer; and yet less than 20% are considering reviewing their product. Does this mean that the bar has been set lower than it should? Surely all organisations should be striving to offer a benefits technology experience that leaves their employees feeling ‘extremely satisfied’? Is ‘good’ actually good enough when it comes to the employee experience of the workplace?  

We need to do more to join the dots  

Perhaps the satisfactory user experience is a symptom of the evidence showing that better signposting, better integration between platforms, and more targeted, personalised communication are the top ways in which the experience could be improved. It’s starting to feel a little déjà vu given we knew these were problems a few years ago.  

Over half of organisations have more than three reward and employee benefits systems in place. The results show around 50% of employers say that signposting and integration could be better, which indicates a lot of employees still struggle to link up the various component parts of their reward ecosystem. Still, the great news is that none of this is insurmountable; just a little focus and dedication could lead to significant gains.  

We’ve got some way to go on analytics  

The data at our fingertips is now greater than ever before. The challenge, however, seems to be making use of it. A total of 85% of respondents indicate that analysis is still being done within Microsoft Excel or similar. Thanks to advances in benefit technology employers now have a wide range of data visualisation tools available. Nobody needs to rely on pivot tables and such anymore – but it seems our industry still is. Even where analysis is taking place, more than 80% relates to simple benefit take-up statistics, with only around a third of employers using it to tailor benefits offerings to employees. With the consumer world now almost entirely personalised and targeted, employees are increasingly expecting the same of employers.  

The top barriers to doing more with data are a lack of data and lack of platforms for analysis. Both are easily fixed for the majority of businesses; for many, the problem is knowing where to start. That’s where the right combination of adviser and benefits technology is key.  

Thank you to all the REBA members that completed this research. The results highlight encouraging progress. Enabled by technology, your people should have the best possible experience of their workplace benefits, and your team an integrated, informed, and intuitive way of managing them – on both a day-to-day and strategic level. In fact, we believe that this is just the beginning. 

Download the findings from our Technology Research 2021: How reward and employee benefits systems and data are evolving. 

John Deacon, head of employee benefits, Buck. 

This article is provided by Buck. 

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