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24 May 2022

New benefits technology in a digital world

Employers move to increase their use of benefits technology, finds REBA’s Benefits Design Research 2022

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REBA's Benefits Design Research 2022, together with Howden Employee Benefits & Wellbeing, highlighted how technology is influencing benefits strategy decisions.

With employers’ benefits provision often lagging behind changes in business aims, many are considering updating their benefits strategy and new technology offers them a way to do this.

The rapid adoption of new benefits technology

As digitalisation starts to play a bigger factor in business’s future development, it is a given that benefits provision should keep pace. Six out of 10 (60%) employers intend to introduce new benefits technology in the next two years, reflecting this trend. These findings are backed up by REBA’s recent Technology change is business change (2021) research which recognised the impact of technology and digitalisation on employee benefits. Almost half (49%) said they plan to make their benefits offering more digital, and 56% wanted to build a consumer-grade employee user experience. 

However, although all sizes of business plan to introduce technology within the next two years, this trend is particularly significant in larger organisations. The research found that two thirds of businesses with more than 10,000 employees plan to introduce new benefits technology.

Traditionally, larger firms have had a higher adoption rate of benefits technology, and are likely to have more sophisticated needs, both within benefits specifically and across HR as a whole. This high figure suggests that many could now be taking a multi-platform approach to benefits or plan to upgrade their existing offerings. 

The impact of provider-driven change 

Technology enablement and availability of new benefits/services is also influencing what employers are doing with their benefits in 44% and 39% of organisations respectively. Employers’ drive towards greater personalisation and a more consumer-like benefits experience is reflected in the findings of this research. Interest in benefits technology is increasing, perhaps as a way of realising this ambition and enabling employers to differentiate their offering from that of competitors.

As one respondent to the Benefits Design Research 2022 says: “The world of work is changing and we aim to be proactive to ensure delivery of high quality services.” There are, however, differences depending on size of the organisation. The largest employers are much more likely to try and incorporate new benefits and services into their benefits strategy than smaller organisations.

Technology and data are key to benefits success 

Digitalisation will be a major factor in the future success of most businesses and the same is true inside organisations. Efficiency and employee experience are key to connecting employees with your offer and allow you to do more with less, as benefits and wellbeing programmes become more diverse.

To engage employees, implementing a new offer through old channels doesn’t make sense. Technology may be the solution in itself as the market responds to hybrid working and the need for digital and virtual versions of traditional solutions. Using technology to bring together your new offer provides you with better data to support decision-making about its value and the level of engagement from your people. Use this wisely in future iterations of your new benefits strategy.

This extract is taken from REBA’s Benefits Design Research 2022. Download the full report to read more on the future of benefits strategy.

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