How SMEs can unlock the power of internal data to elevate employee experiences
Successful companies know that their people are their greatest asset. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is that keeping employees engaged and productive is pivotal to business continuity, and success. This is evidenced by a recent Accenture report which found that companies that provide a great employee experience outperform the S&P 500 by up to 122 percentage points.
SMEs are especially cognizant of this fact, given that in smaller workforces, it's often a case of ‘all hands on deck’ and every individual makes a significant impact to the business. But while these companies clearly understand the importance and benefits of enhancing employee experiences, their efforts to actively address this objective are all too often side-tracked by the constant, cumbersome endeavour to ‘keep the lights on’.
What SMEs therefore need is an effective way to zero in on employee pain points and identify the most impactful ways in which they can create a work environment that best serves their people. This laser focus can be developed only when these companies recognize the immense potential of their internal data — data that is generated day by day just by the necessary functions of business.
The trick is to identify where the power of internal data can most easily be realized, with the potential for the greatest positive impact. Payroll, health insurance, and employee benefits each produce an enormous amount of internal data that — properly leveraged — has the potential to drastically enhance the employee experience.
Consider payroll data for a moment. Research conducted by Bayzat shows that even through 2020, fuel (27 percent) and travel (20 percent) expenses were among the top three most requested reimbursements, despite countless reports which have highlighted that more time at home and reduced travel time have been some of the most valued consequences of the remote working paradigm. Organizations can use this payroll data to redirect funds into digital collaboration tools such as Zoom and Slack. These have proven their ability to drastically reduce employee travel requirements, which in turn leads to greater productivity and enhanced job satisfaction.
Additionally, COVID-19 shone a spotlight on mental and physical health. According to research from Aetna International, more than 80 percent of UAE employees are now more concerned about their health than ever before and consequently have higher expectations from their employers when it comes to health and wellbeing benefits coverage. Supporting this finding, data from a recent Cigna survey showed that the majority of UAE employees (69 percent) expect more mental health support from their employers.
With businesses now under pressure to deliver on these demands, here again, internal data — on employee health insurance usage trends — can help organizations design health insurance plans that best meet the needs of their employees. Going a step further, using digital employee benefits platforms, HR professionals can then make healthcare benefits, such as mental health support and telehealth, conveniently accessible to their employees.
Similarly, diving into employee demographics, data captured by the Bayzat platform has shown that married professionals account for 55 percent of the UAE’s workforce. With UAE employees, on average, applying for maternity leave that is in excess of the 45-day period mandated by the government, companies that offer more generous maternity policies could undoubtedly enhance employee satisfaction and loyalty.
2021 presents SMEs with a tremendous opportunity to optimize their most valued asset — their employees — to drive business success. With the right employee benefits platform and methodology, UAE SMEs can take the first, effective steps to unlock the potential of their internal data to create a work environment that serves employees and consequently drives gains in productivity and the all-important bottom line.