EXCLUSIVE: New technologies can boost employee engagement

Jon Bryant

Employee Benefits Connect 2018: Introducing new technologies into a benefits strategy can improve employee engagement.

Addressing delegates at Employee Benefits Connect 2018 on Wednesday 28 February, in a session titled ‘Key technologies to engage employees with their benefits’, Jon Bryant, head of online benefits and communications at Aon Employee Benefits, explained that the use of technology in an engagement strategy has to be captivating, but it is not just about using the latest technology, it is also about utilising the right elements for an organisation.

“The engagement is higher when [employers] use these forms of engagement,” said Bryant. “Posters, booklets and flyers are safe, they’re conservative, it’s what we’ve always done. The challenge is being able to articulate the business case for this when you’re trying to sell it to people that don’t understand it. The millennials get it, they understand it and they engage with it, it’s the older generation of 40-somethings that don’t get it. It’s not the item or the product, it’s the way [organisations] put it across.”

For example, employers can use augmented reality to educate staff about a number of benefits, providing information directly to their mobile phones. Visually stimulating video communication or interactive software can be used to help employees engage and provide them with information about pensions and other benefits that they might find hard to digest in a booklet or a written email. Meanwhile, virtual reality can be used by employers to enable employees to ask questions and receive an automatic response rather than waiting for an email.

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Bryant explained that voice recognition consoles like Alexa are a great way of utilising artificial intelligence; the more the machine learns more about an employee, the more informed its answers will be.

“Machine learning uses data and algorithms and personalises the future, that’s critical for me,” Bryant added.