Why employee experience demands a much more ‘insight full’ approach


Everything starts with insights. A company wouldn’t dream of ploughing money into the design, manufacturing and delivery of a new product to market, without first spending time finding out what that market really wants and needs. So why do companies invest in reward and benefit programmes without finding out anything about their workforce? When you put it like that, it sounds crazy! Yet the majority are doing just that.

Why employee experience demands a much more ‘insight full’ approach

REBA’s Employee Wellbeing Research 2021 reveals that, although the majority of companies are doing something to evaluate the effectiveness of their wellbeing strategies – from staff surveys to monitoring benefit usage – they also face significant challenges in making sense of the data they have, or in knowing which assessment methods are most relevant and useful.

It’s for exactly this reason that we designed and launched EQ Amplify Insight, a geodemographic tool that marries ‘real world’ data – demographic and socio-economic – with a company’s actual benefits usage.

It provides sophisticated analysis, underpinned by postcodes, to detail the behavioural characteristics of employees. It’s the kind of tool that a consumer marketeer would use to better target promotions to maximise outcomes. And it does pretty much the same in a workplace sense; providing employers with complete insight into their reward and benefit participation to help maximise usage and value.

Making sense of data

Delivered by a team of behavioural psychologists, data scientists and reward consultants, analysis via EQ Amplify Insight helps identify where certain benefits aren’t being used, why people aren’t engaging and whether there is likelihood of increased participation. It allows for the design of improved programmes and communications to inform and increase uptake.

It’s this kind of insight that is needed to help support a seamless employee experience (i.e. how it feels to work for an organisation). And it’s a seamless employee experience (EX) that leads to workforce engagement (i.e. the measure of how well your EX efforts are doing).

More reality, less guesswork

Engagement is the ultimate goal. This is all about employees’ commitment to their employer and their jobs, and is therefore directly linked to recruitment, retention, productivity, customer experience and organisational reputation. In short, it’s crucial. And it’s arguably becoming ever harder where employees are dispersed across worksites, home and hybrid working models. It simply can’t be achieved through guesswork.

At the centre of this debate is company purpose and values; that’s what you do as an employer. It shouldn’t be a mission statement or words on a wall. It’s about setting out what you stand for as an organisation then ensuring that’s lived and breathed – experienced – by everyone. Unfortunately, nearly two thirds (64%) of attendees at a recent EQ webinar said they thought their organisation only lives up to its purpose and values ‘sometimes’.

For all these reasons, corporate governance reform says that employee voice – along with other key stakeholders – needs to be introduced into the boardroom. All companies with 250+ employees should, from 2019, report publicly on what they’re doing to ensure engagement across all stakeholders; employees, customers and suppliers.

It’s about sustainability

“Failure to embrace stakeholder engagement could be the most significant risk factor, outside of liquidity, facing most businesses over the next 10 years,” states the Financial Reporting Council’s (FRC’s) Review of Corporate Governance Reporting (Nov, 2020).

The FRC’s review of FTSE350 reporting concludes that tick-box style, boilerplate statements are the norm. Meaningful narratives the exception. And considering stakeholder engagement goes to the root of company value, as highlighted in an EQ HR Solutions webinar, a shift from tick box to tangible would be very wise.

The report finds that those who are doing it well are integrating more, listening more and communicating in a more purpose-driven way with all key stakeholders.

And the benefits to business? Well, according to our webinar attendees, the top three benefits that engagement reporting brings to business are as follows: ensuring a focus on whether the company purpose is being lived (41%); helping improve employee wellbeing (36%); helping inform service and productivity improvements (15%).

So, where do Total Reward and benefits fit in? And how can EQ help?

Integrate

First, we can help keep things simple by introducing integrated thinking – helping join the EX dots – across reward, benefits and wellbeing. Why have multiple suppliers when you can have one? EQ can help bring together all financial, physical, social and emotional benefits in one place and with ‘from hire to retire’ in mind; onboarding, share plans, wellbeing benefits, pensions, investments and payroll.

Listen

As mentioned earlier, the key to success of any reward and benefits programme is to better understand your employees, and that’s where EQ Amplify Insight can help hugely; helping employers understand key drivers, maximise programme usage and minimise costs.

Communicate

Use the insights gained to also design a communication programme that connects; with messages and channels selected according to where your audiences like to hang out and what their needs and interests are.

Dynamic Reward Statements via EQ’s Peoplespace can provide the centrepiece; seamlessly combining benefits, share plans, investments, wellbeing and pensions, in a single view. It also calculates the total value of an employee’s pay and reward package, allowing individuals to see easily what they can claim in terms of financial and non-financial benefits.

Engage

Reward and benefits represent a big cost to business and they need to earn their keep. So, don’t leave things to chance. This is about a whole lot more than box ticking. It’s about genuinely supporting people in a way that helps them thrive. And it’s about supporting business in a way that contributes in a very tangible way to reputation, prosperity and sustainability.

The author is Andrew Woolnough, Director at EQ HR Solutions.

This sponsored article is provided by EQ HR Solutions (Equiniti).


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