According to PwC, by 2017, a new breed of consumer will dominate: the “digital native.” These natives will only know how to interact digitally, said Venky Kulkarni CIO and vice-president, digital health, with Medavie Blue Cross, speaking this morning at Benefits Canada’s Benefits & Pension Summit.

That’s no surprise. He stated some recent stats: 83% of Canadians age 16-plus have access to the Internet, 64% have a smartphone (compared with 19% in 2010), and 91% keep their phone within three feet, 24 hours a day.

This is good news for employers looking to implement gamification in their benefits programs. Gamification is using game thinking and the dynamic of games in a non-game context to drive and shape behaviours, said Kulkarni. “It’s a social strategy.”

And it’s not new, and it’s not just about playing games, he explained.

With gamification, you create an engagement loop, he said, understanding the motivations of your employees; driving the actions that you want them to do (e.g., walking 10,000 steps a day); devising a rewards system (e.g., getting points that employees can redeem for awards); and then rewarding their achievements.

Technology can enable employees to drive them to a better lifestyle and make better choices, said Karim Kurji, principal, engagement practice, with Buck Consultants. “We have to think about technology as the enabler.”

All the articles from the event can be found in our special section: 2015 Benefits & Pension Summit Coverage.

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