Blog, Employee Benefits
The power of personalisation in employee benefit programmes
Employees around the world are struggling with a complex set of issues that affect their lives and their work, but employee benefits are offering real, tangible life support to help employees build better and brighter futures.
To have a real impact on employees, the technology used to deliver benefits matters. Employees expect a lot from benefits technology; with half of them stating workplace technology is an important factor for them when choosing a new employer (Benefex, 2023 Evolution report). Yet, just 23% of global employees say the technology used for employee benefits is excellent.
One of their expectations of benefits technology is personalisation; 57% of employees said benefits that are relevant and personalised would have the greatest impact on their employee experience (that’s the #1 factor). And that’s no surprise when they’re used to hyper-personalised experiences from the apps they use at home; Netflix serves up recommended programmes based on what they’ve previously watched or rated, and Spotify has an AI DJ that plays a mix of their favourite tunes and new artists aligned with their preferences. Employees want to feel valued as individuals and have their preferences recognised – and these experiences are driving their expectations of benefits tech.
The need for more personalised experiences
For decades, employee benefits platforms have conflated ‘personalisation’ with ‘choice’, but offering a massive array of benefits doesn’t give employees what they need. However, through technology, employers can now create genuinely personalised experiences customised to an audience of one.
Tim Lobanov, Employee Reward and Performance SME at Alter Domus, highlights that “By customising benefits to the individual, we’re not just offering a competitive package – we’re making a clear statement that every single employee’s wellbeing and job satisfaction matters to us. To cater to a diverse workforce, customisation is a necessity rather than a luxury. We are sending the message that we don’t just want to compensate our people, but to truly care for them.”
Using benefits content and communication to deliver personalisation
Employees want benefits platforms that offer them the customisation they are used to, and employers can serve this need through benefits content and communications. For example, through technology, employers can now tailor what employees see by country, region, function, or team to ensure relevancy. They can make decisions over what integrations appear on the platform (making partners accessible through SSO), how content is delivered, and what documents they store. And employees can decide what topics they want to hear about.
Of course, it’s not just within the benefits platform itself that the experience needs to be personalised. Employers are increasingly opting for benefits tech that lets them target communications by behaviour, demographics, interests and locations – and track the success of communications campaigns to see what’s resonating, and what isn’t.
Sophie Gilliam, EMEA Benefits Lead at Ciena highlights the importance of personalised communication in driving employee engagement: “Previously when we were doing annual enrolments or launching new benefits, we were sending mass emails to that country’s population. OneHub has meant that we can now target people – so, for example, during the UK launch and annual enrolment, I could send out communications specifically for people who had not yet logged into the system. That made a massive difference and helped us to achieve a 75% engagement rate.”
Global employers haven’t always had the resources to create personalised benefits experiences, which meant regions with small headcounts were often overlooked or under-serviced. The new era of global benefits technology is ensuring that every employee gets a customised experience, regardless of who, or where, they are.
Driving engagement with benefits tech
Organisations that harness their employee benefits technology to its full potential are successfully personalising their employee experience – and reaping the returns in employee acquisition, retention and engagement.
There is a powerful symmetry between personalisation and trust. Ninety percent of us say personalisation in tech is appealing and that we are willing to share more data as long as it results in improved products and experiences. If we want our people to have more personalised benefits experiences, they must trust the technology they use. To secure employee trust, benefits technology must prioritise security, privacy, and data handling – especially as more of our workplace tech is being used to support sensitive employee issues like wellbeing. Collaborative features such as user generated content and social proof, will help employers build this trust.
As employees increasingly look to their organisations for support both inside and outside of work, benefits have never been more relevant than they are today. However, it’s the technology that delivers these great benefits that will set you apart, and ensure your benefits package has the personalised impact you intend.
Our recent report explores the 5 outcomes that your benefits technology should be driving this year – get your copy here to explore how benefits technology can help you better engage your employees, mitigate risks, and support long-term decision making.