Why an evidence-led approach to reward and benefits is the new imperative

More employers are starting to use data to truly understand and predict the wants and needs of their workforce. A one-size-fits-all approach is long-gone and the emphasis on personalisation has come to fore. Yet personalisation can only happen with data analysis.

Why an evidence-led approach to reward and benefits is the new imperative

The main uses for data

The REBA Technology Survey 2017/18 in association with JLT Employee Benefits, found that just 6.8 per cent of respondents use data from their reward technology systems to produce advanced, predictive analytics, while 17 per cent use the data for advanced analytics to tailor benefits offerings.

Although this is positive, more typically, employers are using data to provide simple analytics such as monitoring trends in benefits selections (54.4 per cent) or to produce simple descriptive reports about benefits selections (53.7 per cent).

Stalling ambitions

Despite advances in technology, a big issue for employers is the inability to process the raft of data that may be available to them. A staggering 90.8 per cent of employers admitted that they rely on generic spreadsheet software such as Excel to report and/or analyse their data. With this in mind, it is unsurprising that most employers do not undertake extensive analysis of their data.

Although this technology may be hindering the use of data, more than half of employers said that they do use the information to inform strategic reward and employee benefit decisions. Furthermore, 89 per cent of reward professionals acknowledge that they themselves will become more involved with technology and management information/data in the near future.

The future is digital

Mercer’s Global Talent Trends Study also considers the use of data. It highlights that data analytics and predictive modelling is the third and fourth most sought-after skill among employees and HR professionals alike.

It also argues that fostering a digital culture can be a game-changer that puts real-time data that the heart of HR decisions. “Data analytics platforms of the future will become increasingly infused with machine learning and artificial intelligence,” found the study. “Getting ahead of the curve now with a dedicated multi-disciplinary talent analytics team is an imperative for HR in 2018.”

To learn more about the use of data to make strategic reward and employee benefits decisions, register to attend REBA’s Innovation Day, taking place on 22 November at County Hall, London.

The REBA Reports Library has hundreds of reports, surveys and other handy documents pulled together from a myriad government departments, academics, independent organisations and suppliers. We have pulled them together for our members to use to find the data they need to support business cases, presentations and other reward work.

Dawn Lewis is content editor at the Reward & Employee Benefits Association.

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