Capita Employee Benefits talks to Reward about a winning flexible benefits and technology proposition

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What makes Capita stand out as a flexible benefits and technology provider?

I think it’s the continuing way in which we pioneer data analytics and data science: it’s a pursuit with purpose in how it supports and drives employee benefits. Not only does it help to make benefit propositions more effective, it also supports HR business cases through evidential material.

We’re able to help demonstrate packages have been evidentially put together and demonstrate year-on-year return on investment through analysis of the workforce, segmentation of the cohorts and utilising data and research we already hold.

In terms of our technology proposition, we are pragmatic – we build and develop our own proprietary technology, and also develop strategic partnerships with other technology providers, in order to constantly innovate.

We look at all the other technologies coming to market, assessing how they might be applicable to client needs, and how easily they can be integrated into our technology to enhance the proposition for the client.

We continue to invest, and to develop, and we build strategic partnerships that continually enhance the employer proposition to staff members.

That’s what differentiates us in the employee benefits market.

As businesses continue to experience austerity measures, are flexible benefits and technology key areas of employee engagement?

Absolutely, for two main reasons. First, across the board the use of the web and mobile devices continues to grow, and it’s no longer just very strong in the younger employee population: it’s now increasingly true that most employees prefer to use technology.

Although we live in uncertain times, the economy is still showing positive signs of growth, and there is more of a battle for talent again.

Employers now have to think about how to get the most out of their talent and retaining it for as long as they can – and through flex propositions they can join that fight for talent – while still taking low-cost actions.

Overall, it’s about an employer’s employee value proposition: making sure your benefits aren’t a weak link in the attraction and retention chain.

That’s the beauty of both technology and also flexible or online benefits – you don’t have that weak link in the chain.

Is data analytics the future of building successful benefits strategies?

Very much so. It makes information much more ‘available’, and some of the tools we can now use mean that it’s both quick and easy to delve into deeper segmentation and analysis. The old days of acting on assumptions and instinct have run their course.

There is also a big difference between what people say and what they do, and by combining those two data sets you can get a much stronger outlook than relying on one alone.

When so much of the decision making in companies is based on the numbers and financial statistics, data analytics around benefits build credibility for a proposition: they give the number evidence that backs up tactics and strategy, and engages with the language of the decision-making board.

What do the next 12 months hold for Capita?

In the world of employee benefits, it’s about the continuing development of what we do with our data analytics work and client care.

We’ll be engaging in more strategic partnerships with tech developments in some niche areas, as well as looking at more development of augmented reality and gamification in communications.

We also plan to put a greater focus on applying technology to deliver financial education in the workplace through various mediums.

Freedom and choice is a double-edged sword – it’s great that people have it, however for example in the case of the Lifetime ISA, the under-40s will have some tricky decisions in terms of where they place their savings.

Communication, engagement and financial education will see a growing demand within the employee community, and the need for it will only grow with more choices that put more pressure on the individual.

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