Reward teams within international businesses often face many challenges when implementing a truly global solution. Each country will bring with it different challenges - from varying benefits, taxes, languages, legislations and cultures. Despite its complications, organisations who successfully implement a global solution are four times more likely to be effective or very effective in meeting their objectives.[1] Although it’s never easy, here are some key steps you should take when tackling such a momentous project.

Secure business buy in

To ensure a project of this scale goes smoothly, you’ll need to get buy-in from the exec team. Although you’re implementing a benefits solution, global benefits technology impacts other areas of HR such as payroll, the talent team and all involved in employee communications. Therefore securing a senior sponsor or champion will go a long way when faced with any issues or obstacles. In addition, senior oversight helps to overcome any difficulties securing resource from the wider business – an implementation of this scale is not done alone!

This leads on to ensuring that implementations aren’t rushed. Not every country needs to be implemented in one go. Aim to roll out in waves or stages. Many organisations start by prioritising the countries that have burning issues or the most employees. You can use these early rollouts to test your approach, and use your findings to continuously develop.

Leverage your global knowledge

When implementing a global benefits technology solution, a key objective should be creating a consistent employee experience across countries. However, the same issues will not apply to every country, so use your project stakeholders to understand local challenges and how to solve them. You can then ensure your global framework reflects each country’s needs, allowing regional tailoring while keeping global consistency.

Another way to provide a personalised and localised experience across your organisation is by adapting the benefits you offer to allow for a broader and more adaptable scheme. For example, rather than providing a gym membership for a set gym in a few cities, provide money through a flexible pot for employees to choose whichever activities work best for them.

Ensure seamless communication

No implementation will be successful if employees aren’t aware or on board with the new technology. Our research found that one in four UK employers are ineffective at making their employees aware of the benefits they have on offer.[2] To ensure this isn’t the case for your organisation, take the time to set up a benefits brand and communications campaign that reflects your organisation’s culture and values. Use a tone of voice that is relatable and consumer-friendly to increase employee engagement.

Another key element to bear in mind is the power of relevance. Only 9% of employers currently customise their benefits communications for individual employees, but those that do are twice as likely to meet their benefits programme objectives.[3] Employees are much more likely to engage with benefits and communications if they feel they meet their individual needs. Global benefits technology not only provides benefits teams with the data to help segment employees based on their interests, but also demonstrates how well their communications campaigns are performing. This makes it easier to measure the impact of your communications, identify where to make improvements and continuously refine and improve your approach.

The positive impacts of implementing global benefits tech successfully are clear. 99% of organisations using benefits management software in at least one country reported an increase in operational efficiency, and 37% saw a positive impact on employee’s wellbeing.[4] So in order to reap these rewards, a successful benefits tech implementation is key. The best way to ensure a smooth rollout is to secure business buy-in from senior stakeholders, leverage your colleagues’ regional knowledge and create a seamless communications campaign to ensure your employees are in the know. Be prepared to take your time, continuously learn and develop from each regions’ roll-out, and continuously make improvements to refine your approach.

[1] https://www.thomsons.com/resources/whitepapers/global-employee-benefits-watch-201819/

[2] https://www.thomsons.com/resources/whitepapers/employee-benefits-watch-2018/

[3] https://www.hrtechnologist.com/articles/benefits-administration/employees-are-looking-for-more-how-to-meet-heightened-benefits-expectations/

[4] https://www.thomsons.com/resources/whitepapers/global-employee-benefits-watch-201819/