In a recent post our MD, Claire Ginnelly, highlighted the important role of employee benefits in a post-COVID world. Following on from that post, there have been several pieces of interesting research published recently, all of which focus on what employers and employees want when it comes to benefits.
According to the Employee Benefits research 2020, published in May 2020, 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.
As highlighted in the linked post at the start of this piece, benefits communications are vital. The good news is that many employers are 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.
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.
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.
Employee benefits can play a huge role when it comes to an organisation being seen as an employer of choice, as well as supporting the physical and mental health needs of employees. Is your employee benefits offering tailored around what your employees want?