Although individual employees’ wants and needs differ, one point remains true for so many. That beyond salary, they want to feel valued and work in an environment where company culture is a priority. Employers therefore need to take the lead in prioritizing company culture in a number of meaningful ways, from benefits to flexible working.
Technology has given us the opportunity to stay connected wherever we are but is often blamed for creating our “always-on” culture. Employers and employees grapple with the question of whether this way of working is actually contributing to or hindering workplace culture from evolving. But technology in the workplace has huge potential when it comes to promoting overall company culture by bringing personalized benefits to life, while transforming the way we work.
Technology in the workplace
In recent years, the use of technology has been under fire for having negative repercussions on both mental and physical wellbeing, from creating eyesight problems to producing a sense of social isolation. Thanks to technology, we can work anywhere, at any time which is very convenient, but it can also lead to an always-on culture in the workplace.
On the other hand, technology has enabled people to access all the information they need about their benefits in one place, from a range of devices, making them feel valued and appreciated by their organization. In fact, Our Global Employee Benefits Watch report found that 81% of employees who can easily access their benefits said they feel loyal to their employer, while 79% of employees who can easily access their benefits said they were proud to work for their organization. This flexibility also means that previously admin-intensive tasks, such as submitting expenses or choosing benefits for example, have become quicker and easier, not only for the employee but the HR department as well. HR teams no longer have to waste resources on manual tasks. Instead, they are able to use technology to automate these activities to free up time to focus on larger, more strategic initiatives. It’s important that organizations recognize the power of technology as a vehicle to communicate and support their culture, enabling the changing needs of the modern workforce.
Company culture remains top priority
A great company culture is now essential for attracting and retaining employees. Taking it a step further, giving employees a purpose and reason to work for you over a competitor, aside from just pay and compensation, can be a differentiator. Culture manifests itself everywhere from the office environment, the values the company operates by, to company policies and benefits offerings.
A quick win is to look at the benefits you offer your employees and ask – do they align to your values? Do they help to promote the culture you want to create? A key part of that exercise will be examining how employees access and interact with their benefits. Benefits technology not only allows employees working anywhere to access their benefits and engage with their organization, but allows the HR team to examine which benefits are resonating most with their employees and deliver an offering that is reflective of their culture.
Business leaders paving the way
Change must happen from the top. Business leaders need to take charge in promoting a culture of technology as a force for good. In order to do this, there are foundational changes that need to happen. Executives need to ensure that all their operations are set up to provide employees with the same workplace experience, wherever and whenever they’re working.
From a cultural perspective, being able to access benefits from anywhere is as important as having access to email. Employers need to be able to provide remote access to all platforms – benefits included – so that employees aren’t forced to go into the office to access the information they need.
Benefits offerings require flexibility
Benefits offerings speak volumes about an organization and exemplify what values they truly believe in. For example, if a high proportion of an organization’s employees work from home, offering a cycle to work program or gym membership tied to office locations is not only useless, but exemplifies a lack of consideration for the needs of their employees.
Instead, employers need to offer personalized benefits that match individual needs based on preference, location and schedule. This will help build alignment between culture and benefits. If businesses wish to develop a flexible culture, offering benefits that employees can enjoy from anywhere is important. But businesses can’t stop there. It’s also vital that these benefits are communicated to all employees in an effective manner, and that they’re accessible whenever needed. Benefits technology bridges this gap.
When developing company culture, technology should be a major cornerstone. We live in a technology-enabled world, and employees expect this same connected experience at work. Employees want to feel both appreciated and supported by their employers and technology can be the first step in cultivating an authentic workplace culture.