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Our viewpoint

Heard in the halls at REBA ...

Lorraine Porter

Last week I joined more than 200 professionals to talk through all things HR and Benefits at the REBA Innovation Day.

The morning kicked off with insights from keynote speakers including experienced HR Directors and technology experts which was followed by breakout roundtable discussions. The talk on my table was all about tech – specifically data analytics and the role of digitalisation within HR, and, crucially, how can HR use digitalisation to empower our employees to engage with their reward and benefits packages more? 

The goal

Traditionally as a function, HR has been responsive to the corporate demand, ensuring that resources are directed to delivering strategy. While this focus remains key, the general aspiration that came to the forefront of conversations - what if, through the use of data analytics, HR teams could pre-empt resourcing challenges, analyse the impact of external forces that influence productivity, project costs and return on working capital?

The challenges 

The general consensus was that although most organisations have a willingness to embrace tech progress - legacy technology and globally procured systems, that don’t meet local needs, often hindered the actual implementation of the latest digital tools.

The future’s bright

According to digital experts, the interconnectivity of systems to simplify operational excellence can be successfully extended to reward and benefits. Modern platforms use the latest technology including gamification, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and even chatbots (computer programmes that simulate human conversation) to signpost and support employees at a point of demand, whether that’s retirement planning or at a time of emotional need.

Defining what good looks like in terms of success will be different for different organisations, but as an industry let’s make sure that that development doesn’t run too far ahead of practical implementation. Some organisations still rely on spreadsheets and may not have the ability to transform as quickly as the technology is developing.

Employees have competing financial priorities, are at different stages in their life journey, and have personal ambitions - the role of HR experts is to embrace the medium of digital to deliver a modern style of support as simply and efficiently as possible for all employees.