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Technology and the Cost-of-Living Crisis – with Fat Larry’s Band

By James Biggs, Partner

I need to quote the words of Fat Larry here –

“Zoom, just one look and then my heart went boom”

– it’s as if Larry could see my world right now, when he wrote these lyrics in 1982. It was a cheesy pop love song that reached number 2 in the charts in October 1982.

So, I have just delivered yet another “Cost of Living” financial wellbeing session – this time for Travis Perkins. Via Zoom.

Larry goes on to later sing:

“Oh Zoom, you chased the day away”.

Well in the case of this Zoom (webinar) we rather embraced the day. Do you see what I did there?

Employees are anxious about the cost-of-living increases

The cost-of-living crisis is biting hard now. There is genuine employee anxiety out there regarding money and employers are super keen to be supportive. Well, the really good ones are.

Financial wellbeing has wrongly been the poor cousin of the wellbeing pillars in the workplace, but I am pleased to report a significant increase in the number of employers now finding budgets and creating engaging content.

What do we love so much about financial education and wellbeing, and what exactly went Boom?

I am going have to use the word “boom” a fair bit here:

?Instant Member Feedback

Boom – colloquially now used to mean “result!” It even has its own emoji ?.  Using, we were able to gather member feedback and scores out of 10. We scored over 9!! Using this polling technology is a game changer. We know employees appreciated it – boom!

? Simple User Experience

Boomer – the technology is not hard to use. is anonymous, easy to incorporate your own branding, simple to activate using a QR code and instant in capturing attending employee input. It also allows the most topical and liked questions to trend to the top during Q&A. Being the oldest person on the Zoom webinar, I am really proud to report that even this boomer can happily operate it.

? Impact Measurement

Boom – my heart actually did go boom! We deployed word cloud at the start to gather the participants’ feelings in one word.

Unsurprisingly, words like anxious, concerned and worried filled the cloud. Forty minutes later, getting the audience revved up with savings tips and know-how, we asked for a new word cloud to capture how people now felt. And my heart skipped a beat seeing words like optimistic, informed, empowered, energised and hopeful. Thanks for accurately predicting this Fat Larry!

Deploying the cloud gave us an insight into the effectiveness of these newly designed sessions.

This is why we do what we do at EBC – it makes all the effort and energy worthwhile. It is also what our employers want – evidence that their support is having an impact.

?Employer’s hearts went boom too!

And then the icing on the cake were these unprompted comments from the Travis Perkins leaders, who asked us to deliver this event.

Helen McGowan, Group Benefits Manager said

“What a fantastic webinar I have just been on! Covering all sorts of topics around the Cost of Living, hosted by James Biggs & Employee Benefits Collective LLP especially for all our colleagues in Travis Perkins plc.

Top tips, brilliant insights and even James singing a bit of Jessie J (it’s a no from me I’m afraid!). Seriously though, lots to consider and discuss with great signosting to all the resources we have.


Paul Williams, Head of Pensions and Financial Wellbeing at Travis Perkins plc –

“Best take away for me was the word cloud. That’s the power of what engagement can do for our colleagues!”

My conclusions:

  1. The need for supportive messaging, content and delivery on the subject of the cost-of-living couldn’t be any greater right now
  2. People still love people. Robo advice/guidance has a place, but computers don’t bring passion without people
  3. I shouldn’t sing ‘live’ during a Zoom. In my defence, it was during the quiz at the end and 91% of the participants got the answer right, so it can’t have been that bad!
  4. But above all, supporting the delivery with well-designed technology is so powerful. It makes messages we need to share incredibly impactful
  5. We love it and will continue striving to deliver great content. It is what we do at EBC and we love delivering.
  6. Thanks once more, Fat Larry for your Zoom Boom inspiration – for those wanting a trip down memory lane check out the original Zoom by Fat Larry’s Band:
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