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Employee Personalization is the Future of HR

Hannah Russo May 3, 2022

Personalization is all around us. Every day we see it, whether it’s an online ad for the store you recently Googled, a made-to-order armadillo cake, or that adorable poster print of your cat you received from a friend. 

Over the past decade, personalization has gained popularity in a variety of fields, particularly in marketing. It’s never been a more in demand way to help attract and retain customers, make customers feel important, and create a more authentic, human experience. 

As consumers, we’ve come to expect a personalized shopping experience, and employees are increasingly bringing these same expectations to the workplace. Today, we take a deep dive into employee personalization, why it matters, examples of employee personalization, and how HR can get started.

What is employee personalization?

Employee personalization uses employee data to produce tailored communications, messages, and experiences that better meet the needs of the individual employee in the workplace.

Why does employee personalization matter?

Employees are demanding more from their employers. By personalizing the employee journey, employees feel supported, connected, and valued. 

Employers are more likely to retain and attract top talent, maximize ROI and increase employee engagement. When organizations personalize the employee experience with one-on-one outreach (or outreach to a select group of employees,) they provide a seamless experience that increases employee loyalty, makes employees feel important, and helps them gain a competitive advantage.

 What are some examples of employee personalization?

  1. High-Quality Communications: How annoyed do you get when receiving a generic email or random coupon in your mailbox? Annoyed, right? It goes straight into the trash or recycle bin, if you even open it. Now imagine how employees feel when HR distributes a company wide email that only applies to a select group within the organization.

    Excluded employees are annoyed because you’re wasting their time, sending them irrelevant information to their needs. And, it isn’t like they can click unsubscribe or opt-out of the communications, like they would as a consumer. 

    Employees want highly relevant, personalized communications designed to make their lives easier, deepen their knowledge, improve their productivity, and provide them with the right resources to make better decisions for themselves and their families. In addition, while email may be the easiest and most efficient way for HR to communicate with staff, it may not be the most effective means for employees. Employees want to select their preferred mode of communications (e.g., text, email, push notification, etc.) versus having it picked on their behalf.
  1. Personalized Benefits Plans: One of the most significant challenges employers face is rising healthcare spending due to low utilization of employee benefits. Beyond escalating claim costs, illness-related lost productivity costs employers $575 billion a year, according to the Integrated Benefits Institute (IBI) study. Employers need to realign their benefit offerings and utilization strategy by avoiding a one-size-fits-all approach to plan design creation, benefits education, and ongoing employee communications.

    To address the needs of a generationally diverse workforce, employers need to offer a selection of financial, health, and well-being benefits. Consider implementing a personalized communication platform that ingests employee data such as demographics, socioeconomic status, benefits usage, environmental variables, and life events to pinpoint which benefits an employee may need and trigger custom messages recommending that benefit. If an employee doesn’t act, different automated messages gently encourage them until action is taken, helping employees stay healthy, reducing turnover, and saving employers time and money.
  1. Tailored Career Paths: In today’s war for talent, retaining employees isn’t easy. A study conducted by the Work Institute found that career development was the leading reason that people leave or remain with organizations. In Evive’s latest National Employee Journey study, only 51% of employees felt their company offered a clear path for career growth and advancement. This is a stark contrast to the 90% of employers who said their organization provided a clear way for growth and advancement. The research indicates that if employers don’t get on the same page with employees, they can expect more resignations over the coming year. 

    While many organizations offer new hires and existing employees training on a Learning Management System (LMS), employees require a personalized approach beyond simply making resources available. 

    Managers need to regularly have the right conversations with employees about their goals, future, skill gaps, and strengths outside of performance review time. Managers must also work with HR to ensure that employees have the right training and match courses and opportunities to individual employees. As a result, employees receive the training they need and deserve, and managers show they’re engaged and care about their employees’ success. 

    Personalized technology can support and magnify these efforts by sharing the right training with the right employee at the right time, to improve their skills and help advance their career. The same technology can also offer employees incentives and rewards for accomplishing goals like completing a course or reaching a milestone. After all, if it can help you get that perfect armadillo cake or cat poster, shouldn’t it be able to offer employees a more personalized benefits experience?

How can HR get started with employee personalization?

  1. Create a Strategy: Employee personalization starts with developing an action plan like anything else. Start by creating a planning team of human resources, senior leaders, and department managers. HR should lead the team but work with each member to identify and prioritize objectives, develop personalization strategies, and help roll out and manage the plan. The team should also distribute a confidential survey to employees to gather input on what matters to employees most and their sentiment on personalizing the employee experience. HR can use this information and pull existing data around benefits utilization, onboarding/offboarding, career development, and leadership training to help identify employee needs and align priorities. 
  1. Invest in the right HR Tech: Here’s the good news–Evive’s recent survey revealed that 89% of employers have a human resources technology platform in place, and 8% are considering one. The bad news–many HR teams are still working with decentralized and disparate systems that make it difficult to unify strategies and exchange data.

    An integrated data-driven communications platform can help deliver employee personalization at scale from one place. These top systems work seamlessly with employee benefits like coverage information, training resources, and tools to help HR support and manage an employee’s journey from onboarding to offboarding. In addition, by including a platform with a closed-loop system, messages automatically turn off once an employee acts, completes a task, or the message no longer applies. Employees receive the benefits and resources they need to stay engaged and financially, physically, and emotionally healthy, improving employee engagement, strengthening company culture, and boosting benefits utilization. Employees will also be happy to have a single point of access for all their benefits and not have to switch back and forth between multiple vendor platforms.
  1. Leverage data analytics: HR can now run advanced data analytics to monitor and adjust employee personalization strategies with a strategic plan and the right technology in place. In addition, the planning team can use any insights to solve challenges, improve the employee experience, and plan future people strategies. Data can also show HR and managers if an employee may disengages, falls behind on career training, or struggles to understand or use their benefits. This allows HR and managers to engage with these employees directly and provide additional support or share different types of messaging to help encourage employees to act.

Are you ready to embrace the future of HR with employee personalization? Request a demo here:

Not quite ready yet? Here’s more information on how personalization can make an impact with employees: