In this guest post, Chris Bruce, co-founder and managing director of employee experience software company Thomsons Online Benefits, talks about how em
In this guest post, Chris Bruce, co-founder and managing director of employee experience software company Thomsons Online Benefits, talks about how employers can consolidate their employee experience by assessing what motivates their employees.
A compelling employee experience is a critical selling point for organisations looking to differentiate themselves in a crowded talent market.
Employee benefits form a fundamental part of this. However, employees today are looking for more than just a comprehensive scheme; they’re looking for seamless support which they can access at any time and from anywhere. While this is a challenge for employers, it also presents an opportunity for those able to deliver a digital employee experience that makes their people feel valued and keeps them engaged.
Defining your digital employee experience
The employee experience encompasses every interaction an employee has with their employer, from the organisation’s physical space to their approach to flexible working and their benefits offering. Yet employees’ digital experience is still one of the most overlooked aspects, even though it can be one of the most effective ways for employees to feel connected to their organisation. The goal of a great digital employee experience should be to minimise barriers for entry.
In order to encompass the digital experience, a successful benefits program needs to incorporate an engaging technology platform that helps employees understand, select and use their benefits. On top of this, benefits technology removes administrative tasks for human resources teams so they can spend more time on value-add activities. It also provides them with valuable data on program effectiveness, allowing for continuous improvements to the employee experience.
Benefits leaders should focus on engagement when it comes to differentiating their employee experience. Data analytics helps employers understand what employees value and drive program design changes as a result. It also helps develop creative, targeted benefits communications plans that run throughout the year, creating continuous dialogue between employers and their employees. This enables employers to quickly identify any shifts in workforce needs, while keeping employees actively engaged in their benefits programs.
Providing employees with anywhere and anytime access to their benefits is another way to secure employee engagement. Indeed, our Global Employee Benefits Watch research revealed that 79% of employees who can easily access their benefits said they are proud to work for their organisation.
Diversifying your offering
Our research also confirmed that a one-size-fits-all approach is not only outdated but can actively disengage employees. What might be a priority for some within the 26 to 35 age group, such as buying a house, will not be a focus for others. Older generations might be more drawn toward benefits that focus on their savings and retirement, whereas younger generations more often value paid time off and flexibility within their work schedule. As a result, benefits teams need to look beyond stereotypes and create personalized views of what is important to individuals through data. Employers can then create programs that promote greater choice and deliver benefits that are relevant for their people.
Employees want highly personalized plans that make a difference in their lives. That’s how top companies are driving attraction and creating brand ambassadors. In order to drive employee retention, employers need to make benefits as accessible as possible for their workforce. Our research found that 81% of employees who can easily access their benefits feel loyal to their employer, while 77% of employees who understand their benefits offering said they saw themselves at their current company for the foreseeable future.
Reaping the rewards
This push for top talent through great employee experience pays dividends as research finds that the highest performers are 400% more productive than the average worker. Additionally, productivity improves by 20 to 25% in organisations with engaged employees. Employers need to focus on an integrated approach to employee experience that brings together all aspects under one strategy with a focus on digital. Through it all, benefits are a key point of differentiation. They play a critical role in making employees feel valued, listened to and connected to their organisation.