Employee Benefits: What Both Sides Want Today
Taking a look at what employers and employees want when it comes to benefits.
Employers = Better Communication = Engagement & Uptake
According to Employee Benefits research 2020, published in May, the number one issue shaping three-quarters (76%) of employers’ benefits strategies is desire to improve employee engagement in the future. Meanwhile, 64% of organisations said they want to improve the influence of employee expectations and 63% want to be seen as an employer of choice.
Even though being seen as an employer of choice held the number one spot in the same research two years ago, the top three drivers have remained largely unchanged. In addition to meeting employees’ expectations and attracting new talent, almost three-fifths (56%) of organisations said a desire for flexibility within their benefits package is influencing their approach.
A significant number of organisations are also shaping their benefits strategies around employee demographics, with more than half (53%) saying a multi-generational workforce is a key issue. Moreover, just under a third (31%) said that the need to increase workforce diversity is important.
At Activ Consulting Group, we understand benefits communication is vital. The good news is that many employers are also recognising this, with the need for better or more targeted benefits communication remaining a top priority for 67% of respondents. The two biggest positive outcomes of better benefits communications are boosted engagement and a greater take-up of benefits. It also helps employers ensure a return on investment for benefits spend.
employees… greater FLEXIBILITY = positive experience
Meanwhile, a separate study by online advertising platform Adzooma suggests that we may never go back to traditional office working arrangements again, with the majority of employees (60%) saying they want to continue working from home after the COVID-19 pandemic. With this many employees citing a preference for working from home, the future of working could end up being remote-first.
The survey of both employees and businesses found that 83% of individuals who have been working from home during the coronavirus outbreak enjoyed doing so, saying it has been a ‘positive experience’ — even in the face of a global pandemic.
When asked about the reasons why they have enjoyed working from home, 40% said they appreciated the flexibility, 38% liked not having a commute into work and 13% said it gave them space to concentrate.
THE RISE OF TECHNOLOGY IN KEEPING US HEALTHY
Finally, recent research by Aetna International has revealed how just under three-quarters (71%) of employees believe their employer can utilise technology to help them manage their physical health.
According to the survey of 4,000 respondents in the US, UK, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Singapore, almost two-thirds (61%) of respondents felt the same when it came to supporting their mental health.
A significant proportion of employees (80%) said they would willingly share their personal health data to improve health and wellness benefits across the entire business. Moreover, 74% said they would do so to improve personalised health benefits across the organisation.
In the health insurance market we are already starting to see some positives emerge from the pandemic, such as; advancements in areas like telehealth, which provides telephone or video-based GP appointments and specialist consultations and diagnostics, further integration of healthy lifestyle apps, and additional testing on Da Vinci robot operations, enabling surgeons to perform operations remotely. During a recent insurer update webinar, it was suggested that we have seen up to 10 years of evolution in just 3 months.
It’s our personal view that the current pace of evolution and vaccine advancement will continue and the momentum will carry over and benefit other areas of research and development that may have stagnated in the past.