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How we used the power of the smartphone to engage across multiple generations

Wednesday June 01, 2016

Engagement | Resource

Posted on: Wednesday June 01, 2016

Smartphones help to engage staff at UNW

The power of the smartphone to engage across multiple generations of employees was demonstrated recently at Newcastle-based chartered accountants UNW, where Personal Group’s development director Rob Perkins was on hand for the launch of the firm’s new hapi online benefits platform. He says: “The company wanted to give the launch a real wow factor, so they decided to give every member of staff a smartphone. These were preloaded with the web app for the platform, connected to the firm’s WIFI, and when the phones were switched on, a huge buzz filled the room.”

Even more remarkable was the fact that although reactions to receiving a new smartphone differed among employees from different generations, the level of enthusiasm and engagement among those at the launch was the same.

Rob says: “There were people in their 20s, 30s, 40s, up to their 60s, all very excited, but what I found really encouraging was seeing some of the older staff members engaging with their smartphone immediately. For example, one gentleman in his 60s, clearly a savvy saver, logged into the platform straight away to see where he could make savings through the available employee benefits. A female member of staff, also in her 60s, couldn’t get over receiving what was clearly her first smartphone.”

The phones were provided to the staff via a salary exchange arrangement, offering them a chance to make further savings, and followed similar schemes for pensions and holidays offered by the firm.

Where the smartphones made the most immediate impact was via their function as a smart brochure for the platform.

“There were no printed brochures or flyers for this launch,” said Rob. “The company wanted an a smart brochure, where the smartphone, with its instant hapi registration facility, did all the work, extending to all generations and engaging the workforce as a whole.”

Within two weeks, around 84% of staff had registered on hapi, the strongest case yet for making smartphones the communication channel of choice in the workplace.

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