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Technology and communications: The dynamic duo of the benefits world

Technology and communications: The dynamic duo of the benefits world

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Batman and Robin. Starsky and Hutch. Sonny and Cher. Ant and Dec.

All famous duos; each united behind a single purpose.

Now consider benefits technology and communications. Arguably the Batman and Robin of reward, working together to improve the lives of the people in your business

But sadly, unlike Sonny and Cher in ‘I got you babe,’ they aren’t always in perfect harmony.  And the key to success is understanding why.

Making the connection
A common mistake is using communications to simply promote the technology platform. It’s important to remember that technology is just the enabler for the end result. We aren’t using communications to promote logging in to yet another system in the HR ecosystem; we’re addressing an employee need – helping people reach their personal goals and ambitions.

That’s the difference between the ‘what’ and the ‘why.’  Asking employees to log in and select more life assurance, buy a gym membership or purchase additional holiday days is all very well. But until you connect that with why it matters to that individual, then the true value is missed. It’s the chance to provide financial security for their family should the worst happen; the route to achieving improved physical and mental wellbeing; the ability to spend school holidays with children: that’s the why. That’s what matters.

As demonstrated in the famous Simon Sinek video, it’s not the what that’s powerful and differentiates, it’s the why. And never has it been truer than when communicating with the people in your business.

How do you feel when you receive lazy marketing?
How many of us have been on the receiving end of a general and very impersonal marketing email in the last 12 months, which has had you reaching for the delete button before you even finish the first paragraph? Maybe it was a product push. Or someone on LinkedIn following up a connection request with some generic, poorly thought out messaging.

Now imagine how your employees feel when they receive the same sort of message about their reward offering. It doesn’t have to be this way.

Data is the key
In 2021, there’s almost too much data available to us. What has the potential to scare most HR people I talk to is what to do with it all. What are employees accessing through the wellbeing platforms we make available to them? Which benefits are being utilised more than others? Usage statistics from the EAP. Claims data from the PMI. Absence records. Employee survey feedback. It can be hard to know where to start.

Often, the problem is trying to do too much too quickly, instead of focusing on incremental changes that, together, can make a real difference. By using the data visualisation tools available to us today, we can quickly and easily identify areas that need addressing and then use data to help personalise the relevant communication.

Then, it’s about using that insight to flip the message. For example:

  • We’ve received feedback that our people are struggling to stay active. We’ve got a gym benefit and Cycle to Work scheme that can help you with that.
  • Our wellbeing tool tells us people are feeling overwhelmed. Have you tried our new mindfulness app that helps you start the day the right way?
  • You’re telling us you’re worried about increasing everyday living costs. Have you checked out our retail discounts platform that saves our employees an average of £X per year?

Using benefits technology to help create insight-driven, targeted messages opens up a new dynamic in benefits management.

Batman and Robin needed each other to succeed. Your technology and communications strategies do too.

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