How to build the best benefits platform for your organisation
Every organisation is different and has different needs of their employee benefits strategy and technology. Despite this, and while a one-size-fits-all approach seldom works, there are several key considerations which apply to most organisations when exploring the right approach to employee benefits technology – and, ironically, they have very little to do with the actual technology itself.
What do your employees need?
The driving force for most organisations looking to implement employee benefits technology should be your people. Whether your organisation already offers a wide choice of employee benefits, or you’re just starting your programme, the overall employee experience surrounding your benefits proposition should be an important consideration when building your employee benefits platform.
The platform should do much more than facilitate a transaction, but should sit at the heart of your benefits experience. It should support your employees throughout their career, from raising awareness and understanding to empowering staff to take advantage of the benefits that are right for them. Your platform should be easy for employees to navigate, the information easy to understand, all while fitting seamlessly into your broader employee value proposition.
Will it allow flexibility?
The features and functionality of your benefits technology are important, but equally as critical is your platform’s capability to host a wide range of benefits.
More than ever, organisations are recognising the diverse needs of their workforce, often meaning that offering a larger variety of benefits is important to cater for all needs. By consciously building a benefits proposition that covers the spectrum of employee wellbeing (physical, mental, social, and financial), you have the opportunity to build a truly valued suite of benefits that support your employees in all aspects of their lives.
Some organisations may be drawn to a platform based on its interface or additional functionalities, but the benefits themselves should be the main driver when building a platform that’s right for your organisation. The platform should be flexible to be able to grow and adapt with your organisation and the needs of your employees, as well as being able to react to changes in the benefits marketplace. Indeed, your technology should be able to build around any valued schemes which are already in place, enhancing what you makes you special, rather than simply replacing it.
What is the implementation process?
Another key consideration for many organisations is the available capacity of their HR and payroll teams. Whether introducing an employee benefits platform for the first time or migrating from another platform provider, HR and payroll must be considered, as the implementation process of a benefits platform can be time consuming and labour intensive.
What is the ongoing process?
The role of HR and payroll is a key factor in the ongoing maintenance and functionality of the platform. From inducting new employees into the system, to regular reports and data analysis which demonstrate value on your investment, ensuring the system is simple and easy to use from an administrative and HR perspective is vital.
How you communicate and engage your employees with your benefits should also be a critical consideration. You may offer a wide range of excellent benefits, but if nobody knows about them it will undermine your entire employee benefits strategy. Of course, the platform itself should be central to this experience, but a broader communication strategy is a fundamental consideration.
Employee benefits have undergone a drastic change in recent years, as the demands on employers grow and the benefits market responds with an ever-wider selection of offers catering for an increasingly diverse workforce.
What works for your organisation now may not always work as both the organisation and your people continue to change. By carefully considering the needs of your organisation, employees and critical functions such as your HR department, as well as ensuring your chosen benefits technology can adapt and grow with your organisation, you’ll be giving yourself the best shot of implementing a benefits platform that will stand the test of time.
In partnership with PIB Employee Benefits
PIB Employee Benefits is a forward-thinking consulting business.