What have digital running apps got to do with employee benefits? More than you might think, according to Andrew Drake from employee benefits technology provider PES.
At the CIPD Festival of Work recently, in conjunction with our partner CIPHR, Andrew asked the audience, how has the world of running changed? But more importantly, he explained why HR managers can’t afford to ignore the implications for their employee benefits schemes.
Like father, like son
Back in the 80s, my dad was a keen runner. He manually wrote out his training schedule, and monitored his progress on a wall chart. On the chart, he was able to track two things: how far he’d run, and for how long. When the chart was full, he filed it away in a cabinet for future reference.
Nothing wrong with that – back then.
Today, things are a little different. Like father, like son – I’m a keen runner too. But this is 2019 and I chart my progress in a different way.
How does technology improve life for keen runners?
When I run, I use my Garmin smartwatch to gather a whole host of useful data. I then upload this via Bluetooth to Strava, a cloud-based app which tracks and analyses every aspect of my performance, from speed and heart rate to comparisons with previous runs. This is all digitally stored, so I can reference it at any point in the future. And I can use it to improve my performance too.
My Dad could do none of this.
What’s the link with employee benefits software?
So what does this have to do with employee benefits? Well, back in the day – and still today, for many businesses – data about employee benefit schemes was stored on paper forms. These matured into Excel spread sheets, a definite improvement, but still laborious, not particularly secure, and prone to error.
Employees, meanwhile, might not even know what benefits they had if there was nothing to show them at a glance. Benefits might be mentioned in an employment contract, then filed away and forgotten. Even today, some employees have to complete a written form if they want to upgrade their cover or choose a new benefit. Who can be bothered?
Secure data, saved time
Now, in 2019, employee benefits have evolved into the 21st century with modern, digital technology. With today’s employee benefit platforms, data is stored in the cloud, making it much more accessible and easier to analyse. Hours of time are saved, data is secure, and answers to important, business-critical questions are instant. Such as: which employees are using specific benefits and which aren’t? How do take-up rates vary at different times of the year? Are employee communications about benefits having the desired impact?
For employees, an easy-to-use digital interface, accessible on mobile devices, shows them instantly what benefits they have. They can upgrade or choose new benefits with a tap or a click. And they’ll receive regular, timely reminders about all the great deals on offer with targeted employee communications.
Which brings me onto Instagram.
Thanks to my technology-driven run, I can share my running stories with the world online. My images and my running data (and my running commentary) are all available to everyone. Instagram is the right channel to use to engage with other runners so we can support and encourage each other.
And so with your employee benefits communications. A digital platform allows you to share the good news about your employee benefit scheme instantly, appropriately, and in a way that brings your people fully on board.
Make the most of 21st employee benefits technology
Are you making the most of 21st century technology to engage your employee with their benefits, and to make life a whole lot easier for HR? If not, why not?
With employee benefits software you can:
- use technology to transform your employees’ experience of benefits
- gain essential management insights with minimal effort
- dramatically reduce your administration time
- engage employees with a great user experience
- deliver creative communications using digital channels.
About PES and happypeople
happypeople from PES is an employee benefits platform that lives up to its name. We provide employee benefits expertise, broking skills, technical know-how and outstanding customer service. Perfect for organisations with up to 1,500 employees.
Looking for complementary HR, wellbeing or financial services? We offer those too. Contact us to find out more.