The employee/employer relationship is changing. Employees increasingly believe that their organisations should understand them like they do their consumers. Companies are rising to this challenge – and even using the new dynamic to their advantage. We’re now seeing large organisations treating their employees like internal consumers – collecting data insights from them with the aim of improving employee engagement and retention strategies; factors that fundamentally impact a business’ bottom line.

While many employers gather data insights from employee engagement surveys or exit interviews, benefits systems remain a relatively untapped but rich resource. Part of the problem is that, historically, global organisations have used different benefits solutions for each of their markets. The cost and effort involved in combining data from these solutions and analysing it to deduce any meaningful insights can be high and unwieldly – meaning that many are unable to do so.

What HR teams need is a single version of the truth for global reporting, with a data first approach that can help answer these four important questions:

Can you cut costs?

Benefits data analysis can generate significant cost savings for employers. Having an overview of spend and benefits uptake by region and country can easily highlight where a strategy is failing to deliver strong ROI. For example, certain benefits are costlier in some geographies than others, so having the ability to identify where there is less interest in these benefits presents a significant cost saving opportunity.

Data can also help reward professionals predict benefits spend on prospective employees. At present this largely remains unknown until the new starter’s arrival. But data could be used to develop benefits profiles for certain employee demographics or groups, enabling employers to easily control and plan budgets across countries.

Are you engaging?

Our research indicates that 30% of global companies are struggling with employee engagement. By analysing trends in benefits take-up, employers can identify the types of benefits that appeal most to their employees, enabling them to adapt their strategies accordingly. As a result, employees should feel better understood and more appropriately rewarded – with a positive impact likely on their own engagement levels, the service they provide, customer satisfaction and business revenue.

Are your communications effective?

Data analytics can help businesses to develop targeted strategies for communicating their benefits offerings. For example, employers can use data to deduce when employees are most engaged with their benefits packages, enabling them to target communications to certain times of day. This is of particular importance for employees that do not have access to a computer at work, such as those in the retail or manufacturing sectors.

Data can also be used to assess the effectiveness of communications strategies. For example, if an HR team runs a wellbeing campaign, and they do not see a positive data correlation with healthcare benefits uptake, a problem may well lie in their communications strategy.

Are your benefits competitive?

Employers can use big data to compare their own benefits offering against competitor offerings. Historically, this type of insight would only have been available through consultancy services, but many of our clients are starting to show an interest in the comprehensive benefits concept, recognising that it operates by mutual exchange. This means that if you are willing to share your own data anonymously, big data offers the possibility to receive invaluable insight into competitors’ employee value propositions on a self-service basis.

The possibilities presented by benefits data are endless – and its analysis needn’t be an arduous process. Clients using our DarwinTM platform now have access to Analytics Centre, an extended solution, which visualises reams of complex employee data on digestible dashboards. Using this, HR teams are able to easily read how their employees are interacting with their benefits, enabling them to make faster, data-informed decisions about their schemes for the benefit of their employees and business.


Watch our Webinar 'Engagement Through Benefits – Does Communication Matter’ to learn more about how to use benefits to engage employees and benefit your business.