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Elizabeth Spencer Phillips Employee Benefits Live 2016

This month Founding Director, Elizabeth Spencer-Phillips, gives her views on a recent visit to Employee Benefits Live 2016, revealing the trends emerging in the employee communication landscape.

1. What were you hoping to get out of the day?

Industry insight! I wanted to see what was happening in the wider benefits communication market and to keep an eye on innovation. There were also a few keynote sessions that I wanted to see. It’s very telling to sit in those types of talks and gain an understanding of perceptions and viewpoints – both in terms of the speaker and the audience.

2. What were the key benefits communication trends emerging?

It’s an app-frenzy world! That and gamification are hot topics. Whether that’s driven by the industry or employee needs is another matter entirely. Overall, it appeared to be very tech heavy despite research showing employees like a mix of traditional and digital comms (more on that in a bit).

3. Favourite speaker session of the day……and why.

Paul Bissell, Head of Reward at Hutchison 3G. His talk on ‘Reward and benefits in the digital age’ provided some interesting stats on what employees want and what businesses are providing in terms of comms (see below). It seems there is an “app for everything” but a lack of consistency in terms of tying it up altogether. Integration for a seamless employee experience must be the way forward.

Image: Paul Bissell, Hutchison 3G

4. Any highlights of the day?

Connecting with like-minded individuals and catching up with familiar faces. It’s so useful to know what the market movement is, too. The industry is definitely going through a disruptive stage, largely influenced by tech and a rise in profile of employee comms as a core component of HR strategy rather than an add-on.

5. Top tips learnt….…

It’s a fragmented market with lots of tools claiming to provide the answer to all employee communication problems. There is demand, however, to consolidate all the platforms, tools and apps Reward and HR teams have. Largely to maintain brand consistency and messaging, increase flexibility and take the burden of siloed tech solutions off the decision-maker’s shoulders. It’s something we’ve done for our client Quintiles.

Legacy tool syndrome is really a cause for concern; both for employers and employees. They are ‘quick fixes’ to a deep rooted problem. A tool is just a tool – and only as good as the ideas behind it. Having a multitude of platforms are confusing for employees – and the need to deliver a seamless integrated communication journey ever present.

6. Give three words that best describe the event:

Challenging (the train strike didn’t help)
Invigorating
Thought-provoking

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