Latest research reveals that employers are transforming their benefits strategies to meet changing business & employee needs

Insight

Published

24 August 2022

Multiple economic pressures, shifting social trends and the competition for talent are all leading employers to make significant changes to their benefits strategies.

There is less of a focus now on the big ticket benefits such as pensions, healthcare plans and insurances, and more on the day to day benefits and rewards that support an individual and help them bring the best of themselves to work.

Our recent report, ‘Benefits Design Research 2022: Aligning benefits with employee experience and business goals’, found there is a huge shift towards personalisation. By 2024, 85% of employers will be focused on personalisation, up from a quarter today.

There is growing recognition a one-size-fits all package is not fit for purpose in the post pandemic business world. 60% of employers admitted their benefits strategy is no longer aligned with their business goals and most plan to change their benefits strategy over the next two years.

Benefit drivers and trends

Employee wellbeing continues to dominate reward and benefits strategies. However, benefits supporting diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and the environmental agenda are high priorities for many in the next two years, eclipsing traditional benefits such as pensions.

DEI and environmental, social and governance (ESG)-related benefits are the second and third highest areas of spend that employers expect to make in the next two years, highlighting the influence of societal and environmental factors in the workplace.

There is also overlap between DEI benefits and those aimed at the family, where almost half (47%) of employers expect to increase spend. Family benefits such as fertility treatment and support for eldercare directly relate to DEI issues.

The research findings suggest, investment in benefits is going into newer initiatives, driven by employee demand and, longer term, alignment with corporate goals.

The top emerging benefits are mental health training to support career development, which could include resilience training, and menopause support in recognition of the negative impact the menopause can have on women’s careers. With a growing skills shortage, supporting women during this time in their lives makes good business sense.

There is also growing interest in ‘green benefits’ with employers expecting to increase spend on benefits that support the environmental agenda, such as carbon reduction apps and ethical brands. Green benefits are set for massive growth as employers and employees alike adapt to sustainability targets and individual desires to do more to reduce their carbon footprint.

The next steps

A next generational shift is taking place in employee benefits. Employers are not just adding more benefits and initiatives; they are reviewing their existing offer, to ensure benefits are fairer, more inclusive, and more sustainable for the future.

If you would like to know more or want to review your current benefits strategy, please get in touch with me ([email protected],com)

Download a complimentary copy of the research here: https://view.publitas.com/howden-uk-group/reba-howden-benefits-design-research-2022/page/1