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How to specify what your organisation needs from its benefits technology.

Getting the most from your benefits scheme often requires great employee benefits technology.

Modern technology can provide some fantastic tools to help run your benefits scheme, but is the technology you’re using or considering the best option for you? Here’s how to specify what your organisation needs from its benefits technology.

Understand your employee base

Making sure benefits technology meets your organisation’s needs starts with your employees. Are they mainly online or offline? Are they mobile, or tech savvy? This can all help determine what you should be looking for in a technology platform. If your workforce is increasingly mobile or offline they may want to access their benefits on-the-go. So a highly mobile responsive technology would be key. Also ask to see the user interface, is it intuitive and easy to use? Will your people be able to follow processes easily? The simpler the process the better your engagement levels will be.

Having a clear picture will also help your provider make recommendations around the technology, including the best strategy for communications or even relevant benefits you may not be looking at.

Demonstrate with clarity your benefits scheme

One of the most important things your technology provider will want to know is how your benefit scheme will be structured. Providing information on the following will help your provider work out how complex your scheme is and what functionality you will need:

  • What benefits do you currently have?
  • What benefits would you like to have?
  • Will you be using a broker?
  • What employees have access to which benefits?
  • How often will employees be able to access, update and change benefits?
  • What is your overall benefit budget?

Make your objectives clear

Having clear objectives around timelines, targets and KPIs will help your technology provider to offer the best solution for your organisation. If your key objective is getting employees to understand their total employment value, then you will want a platform with an engaging Total Reward Statement. If you want to boost engagement with your benefits a simple benefit checkout process will be crucial. Need to demonstrate ROI? Then a great reporting tool is what you need.

But even before you have these answers, it is important to consider how your benefit scheme aligns itself with your corporate objectives and how the benefits you utilise will help achieve these.

Make sure you have the right stakeholders involved

You may need a variety of stakeholders involved from the beginning of your project. Consider those who may be impacted by the technology, or who has valuable insight about your organisation and your benefits scheme. This could include payroll, marketing, finance or your MD/CEO. You don’t want to be near completion on your project to find one major stakeholder is unhappy, with one key piece of functionality that doesn’t quite fit in with existing processes.

Once you’re progressing to build.

You’ve found the supplier of choice and you’re looking forward to launching your new platform. However, when it comes to making sure you get the best out of your benefits technology there’s still a lot of insight you can offer to your benefits tech provider and the project manager looking after your project.

Understand what style and design you want your scheme to emanate.

Will the look design of your portal reflect the corporate brand you already have. Or does your benefits scheme have its own brand? By providing these guidelines to your project manager, you can ensure that colour schemes, imagery and text fit within your corporate or existing benefits brand. This will reduce the amount of amendments and time spent on the design of your technology.

What benefits are part of your scheme and how do they work?

As mentioned earlier, understanding your benefits scheme and how it aligns with corporate objectives are key to choosing your benefits technology. But once you’ve progressed to build, your project manager will need to understand exactly how they work and how they are funded. Which benefits are core, flexible or voluntary. Are they segmented, when do windows open (and close) and much more. Your project manager should typically be able to help you draw out the key information, but having a clear view at the beginning of your build can save confusion and more importantly, time.

How do you want to communicate with your employees?

Communicating your benefits scheme to your employees is key to its success. You know your employees best. Consider what forms of communication they respond to best. Is it just emails for desk based employees or do you have a large offline workforce who require roadshows, posters and leaflets?

What tone of voice you would like to use, and when should you be communicating with them? This will help your technology provider ensure that your digital communications are hitting the mark, and can provide guidance on offline communications too.

But remember, keep it realistic.

Your technology provider should be able to help you get the most from your benefits scheme, demonstrate ROI and allow for continuous improvement of your scheme. But, remember that the technology will only work as well as the data you provide. The more insight and clarity you provide on your employee base, scheme design and branding, the more successful your benefits technology will be.

For help and advice on modern employee benefits technology get in touch.

This article was originally written for and published in REBA.

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