Fast-paced and interactive, Neovation movements and their associated events confront the biggest challenges in the workplace today. In 2023, the Neovation movement focused on taking Reward Forward, while 2024 is all about Dialling up Digital Reward. In this article, we share three technology-related learnings from Neovation 2023. Giving you a flavour of the insights you can expect from this year’s event.
Learning 1: technology plays a vital role in communicating reward and driving change
Chris Andrew, Head of Caburn Hope, A Gallagher Company
Reward has the power to drive cultural change but only if employees feel inspired to engage. While policies, data and systems all play important roles in developing and delivering reward strategies and programmes, communication – and the technologies that underpin it – is key to every reward strategy’s success.
Optimising communication channels for reward strategies
In today’s digital age, a wealth of technologies offers diverse channels for reward communications. This incudes email, SMS, instant messaging, microsites, intranets, webinars, video, podcasts and more.
The choice of channels depends on your audience’s work environment. Desk-based employees, with ready access to the internet and digital platforms, benefit from web-centred methods. Whereas for shop floor workers, who may lack such access, SMS, print and easily accessible microsites are more effective. These channels ensure engagement, whether in the workplace, via personal mobile devices or from home.
Mastering your messaging across multiple channels
Navigating the complex world of reward communication is a formidable challenge. Historically, reward communication has been treated as leading to disjointed and overwhelming messaging. Now, with an array of channels at your disposal, it’s critical to strategise not only what you communicate but also where, when and how to ensure your communications are unified and resonate with your audience.
At the heart of your messaging should be a clear answer to employees’ most-asked reward question: “What’s in it for me?” Employ the ‘Think, Feel, Do’ framework to align your communications with your audience’s perspective, defining what you want them to think, feel, and act on.
By blending this technique with innovative technologies, you can craft cohesive communications that not only inform but also enable, empower and inspire your employees. Leading to deeper engagement with their rewards and driving the desired cultural shift within your organisation.
Learning 2: leverage the latest technologies to support your employees
Xavier Beaten, Reward & Sustainability at the Vlerick Business School
As consumers, we’re used to talking to chatbots – although, it has to be said, with varying degrees of frustration and success. Now, businesses are applying chatbot technology to HR operations to help resolve common employee queries.
One company trialling HR chatbots is IBM. Myca – My Careers Advisor – is a mobile chatbot that interviews employees, understands their needs and provides instant, personalised career advice to a range of commonly asked career questions. A cognitive bot, Myca learns from user feedback and comments to refine its future responses.
Imagine what this could mean for reward operations. Programme a chatbot with helpful responses to the most common reward queries, and your team and business could:
- Improve the ease with which employees can access the reward information they need.
- Reduce the time managers, HR and Reward spend answering questions.
- Enhance policy adherence and reduce legal risk.
- Improve employee engagement because people can rapidly access the information they need.
- Scale individual support and education because chatbots can respond to multiple individual queries at the same time.
At Neovation 2023, Xavier believed chatbots weren’t quite ready for deployment in HR and Reward teams. But since last year, OpenAI’s ChatGPT and other AI chatbots have come a long way. So, this is likely to be a hot topic at Neovation 2024.
Learning 3: data-driven reward enables transparency and drives change
Leigh Bornstein, COO at uFlexReward
Reward is likely to be one of your organisation’s most costly budget items. So it’s essential to ask: “Am I investing my reward budget in the right things?” And more businesses are using technology to answer this question.
With so much new tech and data available, reward strategies are becoming increasingly data-led. While Reward professionals have long enjoyed the pleasures of Excel, this marks a shift towards an even more analytical approach to reward. One that verges on data science.
At the same time, technology also plays a vital role in enabling employee engagement. Regularly polling your employees, getting their feedback and understanding the level of flexibility they want is crucial. Blend this with your data to inform the direction of your reward strategy and you’ll enable greater transparency and more effective decision-making.
What to expect at Neovation 2024
This year’s Neovation theme is Dialling up Digital Reward. With the explosion of ChatGPT and other AI models, technology has changed a lot since last year. Yet, in other ways, it’s barely changed at all. Or the technology hasn’t yet impacted reward.
Which is where Neovation plans to help. With a range of thought-leading speakers and Reward practitioners, we’ll be exploring the new technologies available and how they can make a major difference to your reward strategy in 2024 and beyond.