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

Wednesday, June 1, 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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