Reappraising Employee Benefits

Almost half of staff reappraising the value of employee benefits due to Covid-19

Back in November, Premier Choice MD, Claire Ginnelly, wrote about how the Covid-19 pandemic has triggered increased interest in protection products. Now, new research shows that a significant proportion of employees are reappraising the value of the benefits employers offer.

According to a report by Maxis Global Benefits Network (Maxis GBN), 46% of employees say that the coronavirus pandemic has made them reappraise the value of employee benefits when deciding to stay with their existing employer or join a new one. In other words, almost half of employees are actively analysing the current benefits they receive to see if they are compelling enough to keep them in their roles.

The Maxis GBN global perspectives: Covid-19 and the future of employee benefits report — which surveyed over 1,000 employees in 10 key markets to see how has the pandemic made them think differently about their benefits and assess the importance of health and wellness — also found that 33% of employees want their employer to prioritise health over lifestyle benefits. In a similar vein, 21% said they want greater access to wellness support.

Furthermore, 15% of employees expect to see the number of benefits they are offered increased as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, 10% say the pandemic has highlighted that there is a lack of suitable benefits being offered by their employers. Almost a fifth (18%) cited benefits communications as an issue, saying their employer has failed to keep them informed about what’s available during the pandemic.

Finally, three-quarters (74%) of respondents said they would support an auto-enrolment scheme for protection benefits, highlighting just how valuable such benefits are in the eyes of employees.

Health and wellness support no longer just a ‘nice-to-have initiative’

Speaking about the research, Mattieu Rouot, chief executive at Maxis GBN, said: “Health and wellness solutions were a part of many employee benefits programmes well before the pandemic, but the crisis has meant that a health and wellness offering can no longer be a nice-to-have initiative. It is vital for attracting and retaining employees. Many employers had programmes in place that have demonstrated their value in protecting and caring for their employees this year.

Rouot added that a big opportunity exists for employers to meet the demand for health and wellness benefits by offering suitable packages going forward. One such benefit is the innovative digital wellness solutions that have been in high demand throughout the pandemic. For many employers and employees, these solutions will become an integral part of their benefits programmes.

Summary

It’s no secret that staff have wanted more flexibility in their employee benefits for some time. Employers — from multinational organisations to the local SME — need to come up with benefits programmes that work for individuals, as what is appropriate and sought after in one business will not necessarily be so in another. 

The same applies when it comes to the benefits that older and younger employees want. The bottom line is that a one-size-fits-all benefits model has never really worked and certainly doesn’t at SME level. This is likely to be even more evident in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

[Related reading: UK Businesses: Benefits Of Partnering With An Employee Benefits Broker]