Many employees work remotely and need communications that are not office-based either. With so many benefits languishing unused, a good app could improve take-up

David walker

David Walker, chief commercial officer, Personal Group

Not so long ago information on your employee benefits scheme sat on the intranet. While company intranets have been around for a long time, many have become a graveyard for out-of-date resources. Let’s be honest, when was the last time you used your own company intranet? If it was recently, how long did it take you to find what you were looking for? How was the user experience? Would you rush back? Now think about your employee benefits and consider the employee experience when trying to locate what they need, when they need it. Could this be why staff don’t utilise the benefits that could be really valuable to them.

We recently revealed that accessing relevant employee benefits can save the average UK employee over £3000 per year – that’s the equivalent to a 13% payrise! But what use is this if employees don’t know where to find or how to access their benefits?

More and more people are getting rid of their traditional intranet in favour of an employee engagement platform that hosts everything in one place, from company handbooks to employee benefits, and payslips to staff newsletters. Here are a few reasons why killing your intranet can breathe new life into your internal benefits programme.

The Smartphone

With the average person spending around 4 hours a day on their smartphone (Adobe, 2017), many try to restrict mobile usage at work. The assumption being that it reduces productivity levels and is a distraction. Others are harnessing the power of the smartphone and the virtually cost-free communications infrastructure it provides. Ensuring that information can be accessed through employee’s own devices means that staff can access information and employee services whenever and wherever they are.

Communication Flow

Rather than staff having to actively pull information from the intranet, an employee centric app pushes relevant information directly to your employees. For example, if your benefits window is open or you want to raise awareness of your EAP - sending notifications directly to your employees’ smartphones will ensure that they will see it there and then. In the past, while the intranet held lots of information there was no guarantee that staff would see it.

Communication should flow both ways – an app also gives you the opportunity to gather in the moment information from your staff. Pulse surveys are a great way to understand how your staff are feeling so that you can react quickly. Push out a complete survey or just a quick question and see the results flow through from each employee app back to your MI system.

Access - anytime, anywhere

With over 4million employees working remotely in the UK (Telegraph, 2017), there are now fewer people physically in the office, so they cannot read the company noticeboard and it’s surprising how many intranets still cannot be accessed from outside of the office. Many staff are not desk-based or even have access to a company email, meaning that they often miss vital company information. If you’re trying to understand why people aren’t engaging with your communications or why participation is low, review how you communicate with staff. An app provides ease of use, allowing staff to access their benefits and company information in one place at a time that suits them. Accessing retail discounts while you’re in-store looking to make a purchase is far more convenient than having to wait until you’re in the office the next day!

Make an Impact

Research shows that the happier staff are, the more productive and engaged they will become. To get real value from your benefits programme and to drive real engagement you need to ensure that employees know what is available, understand what each benefit is, can easily access and use the benefits and that they are meaningful and tailored to their needs. This will create real advocates for your benefits programme. Ask yourself, is your intranet creating advocates and benefits champions amongst your employees?

Intranet’s do have a bad reputation, but that is because there have been major advancements in the world of employee communications. Maybe it’s finally time to lay your intranet to rest!

For more information about Hapi, our innovative Employee Benefits Platform and App visit our website: https://www.personalgroup.com/employee-benefits/

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