The increase in popularity of home technology employee benefits

This article has been supplied by Let’s Connect.

Computer desk

Key points

Home technology:

  • Offers the latest consumer technology
  • Has a wide appeal to entire workforce
  • Engages staff in benefits programmes
  • Improves IT literacy across workforce
  • Is a highly perceived, easily accessible benefit
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There is a constant desire to offer new and innovative benefits to drive employee engagement. One strategy that has seen proven cross-generational participation and universal appeal is the implementation of a home technology scheme as part of a wider benefits portfolio.

Many benefits, after their initial adoption, effectively change very little, with the product or service being offered remaining static, and, therefore, requiring imaginative approaches to marketing to overcome this natural latency.

In contrast, technology products are constantly evolving, with significant developments often under the scrutiny of the media and taking on a cultural impact. Images of people queuing overnight outside Apple stores to obtain the latest products are often featured as evening news articles. Being able to offer these types of products to employees and leverage that pre-existing demand has resulted in the increasing attractiveness of home technology schemes.

Salary sacrifice arrangements

More employers are looking to offer their employees access to the latest home technology equipment through a salary sacrifice arrangement as part of their employee benefits programmes. Devices such as tablets, laptops, desktops, smartphones and smart televisions are normally offered over a period of 24 or 36 months. With good communication and the right product offering, participation rates can be well in excess of 10%, across an unusually wide employee demographic.

Employers are increasingly looking to the home technology benefit as a key part of their strategy in motivating, attracting and retaining the best staff. The appeal of these schemes is becoming more diverse and multi-generational as a result of the increase in retirement age, the advent of the ‘silver surfer’ and the recruitment of millennials or generation Y.

Benefit has broad appeal

Engaging with such a wide range of employees can pose a challenge, and by offering the home technology benefit with its broad appeal, employers can help overcome this. Electronic devices are constantly developing, becoming omnipresent in society, with smartphones and tablets now overtaking PCs as the primary source of access to the internet. Well-designed schemes will keep pace with ongoing trends and continue to offer relevant products.

The home technology benefit is highly perceived and has advantages for both the employee and employer:

Advantages for employers and employees

Employees can benefit from the latest technology, convenient affordable monthly instalments through salary, no credit checks, no deposits and a scheme that is easy to participate in.

Meanwhile, employers can offer a benefit kept fresh with new products being offered throughout the year, which helps employee engagement, appeals to a broad workforce demographic and improves IT literacy across the workforce. They can also benefit from quick and easy implementation, and potential savings on employer’s national insurance (NI).

When implementing home technology, it is imperative that the offering has a broad appeal to employees, with engaging offers that are well communicated.

Providing a broad range of technology from different product categories enables employees to choose devices pertinent to their taste and requirements and with multiple generations in the typical workforce, we all see technology being used in a variety of different ways. Offering product choice is therefore a key factor to giving the benefit broad appeal. Currently, some of the most popularly requested products are Apple iPad, iPad mini and other tablets, smart televisions and laptops.

Schemes offering associated computing accessories allow employees to further tailor their selection to their requirements.

Key manufacturers in the marketplace have a defined strategy for bringing out new and exciting technology, often at particular times of year. By mirroring the latest cutting-edge developments, schemes can be kept fresh, relevant and engaging to employees who are looking to keep up with advancements in computing and communication technology.

Communication plans

The benefit needs to be well communicated to be a success. Formulating a communication plan is crucial for the awareness of the benefit to employees. Examples of communications that can help are: benefit fairs, face-to-face through workplace marketing, desk drops, flyers, bespoke HTML emails, brochures, advertorials in internal magazines and web and intranet banners.

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Popular benefits such as this can increase participation in employee benefits overall, due to the exciting, tangible nature of the products. Highly perceived and easily accessible to all, they really can help to engage, retain, attract and motivate staff.

David Walker is managing director at Let’s Connect.