The 2019 Benefex Forum Roundup
Our latest Benefex Forum was perhaps our best yet! We packed out the beautiful Ham Yard Hotel in Soho with 150 keen attendees, ranging from HR and benefit professionals to thought leaders and influencers; a great meeting of minds in a one-day Benefit Takeover. For those who couldn’t make it, here’s our rundown of the day’s action…
Benefex’s Insight & Engagement Director, Simon Andrew, took the role of gracious host this year, and his charm and snappy dress sense carried everyone through the day like a breath of fresh air (in a fancy waistcoat). Cheers, Si!
Our CEO Matt Macri-Waller was first up, giving the audience a taste of tomorrow with his blueprint for the future of benefits. As Matt sees it, the recent technological advancements that we’re already experiencing in our everyday lives (VR, AR, chatbots, personalised assistance) are all going to be instrumental to the world of benefits going forward. But it’s not just about new gadgetry – employee experience will be front and centre as we move forward, with personalisation and quality UX taking top priorities. We live in a world where the best technology services ‘just work’ and offer a seamless start-to-finish user journey (think Amazon or Skyscanner), and HR tech needs to keep up.
After the break we reconvened for something a little special; a Financial Wellbeing report led by Dr, Andrew McFaull of King’s College London. While we don’t want to spoil all the details (find the full report here!), the main takeaways made for a fascinating session, and an equally engaging panel discussion featuring Dr. McFaull, MoneySavingExpert's Head of Campaigns Kirsty Good, Natasha Wallace, Chair of Engage for Success, and our very own Gethin Nadin! The questions came thick and fast from our attendees and touched on all aspects of financial wellbeing, from better educating employees to global rollouts and tackling root causes.
After lunch we were back and eager for more, with Matt and Gethin (and Vector the robot) taking us on a whirlwind tour of OneHub’s upcoming features. Suffice to say that there are some amazing things coming soon that will make our product even more powerful, flexible and responsive to the needs of ever-changing workplaces. Watch this space!
The next session took a more relaxed pace, as Matt took to the stage for a ‘fireside chat’, with the benefits director of an internationally revered SaaS firm, about creating a reward solution that works worldwide. With 34,000 employees across the globe, the company is a striking example of a business with a unified and cohesive team, relying on a strong set of values that are relayed throughout the organisation. Once more the audience questions flowed, focusing particularly on rolling values out across multiple contexts and cultures; a key consideration in the age of 24/7/365 service and hyper-mobile workforces.
Following the final break (cake pops anyone?) we were treated to not one, but two Benefexers taking the stage – our Professional Services Director, Adam Mason, and Senior Consultant, David Palman. Their mission? To show us all how to make sense of the gigabytes of data that are generated by every business, every day, and how to use all that information to design benefit schemes that work for your people. The amount of data gathered and used is only going to increase in the future, so having clear and practical advice on how to best approach Big Data was a welcome addition!
And thus, we arrived at our final session, led by our Director of Employee Wellbeing, Gethin Nadin. Financial Wellbeing was the topic once more, with the emphasis on education. Forty six per cent of all UK adults report having low knowledge of financial matters, and employers have the potential (and perhaps the responsibility) to redress the balance. Personnel with a better understanding of their finances should be less anxious and more secure, and therefore happier (and more productive) employees – and Benefex is leading the way to ensure that employees aren’t just offered benefits, they’re becoming educated and informed as well.
And with that, we were whisked upstairs for some lovely hot gin cocktails, canapés and gorgeous views of a (slightly frosty) central London evening. In a spectacular stroke of luck, it didn’t even snow until later that night!
We’d like to thank everyone who attended for being part of an amazing day, including some of our Marketplace providers, the wonderful David Beeney (click here to read more about his work) and our partner-in-payroll, Zellis.
If you missed this year’s Benefex Forum, or just can’t wait until the next one, here’s a date for your diary: 13th February 2020, at The Ham Yard Hotel, Soho.