Reimagining the benefits package for a post-pandemic world21.10.21
Head of Corporate Benefits
A holistic approach to wellbeing, which supports mental, emotional, physical, community, and financial wellbeing is now viewed as critical in most organisations.
To learn more about how organisations see their benefits evolving to reflect the need for wellbeing, Benefex undertook research in the form of The New Reward Director – speaking to HR and reward leaders around the globe to understand how the last 18 months has impacted their world of work and predict where we’re going.
Our research found that benefits which protect and enhance mental health and emotional wellbeing are regarded as the most important and impactful to overall employee experience. These are followed by those that focus on financial wellbeing and physical wellbeing.
Just over one third (37%) of HR and reward leaders claim their current benefits provision closely aligns with the needs and priorities of employees today, rising to 53% in financial services organisations. More than half state that their benefits provision aligns ‘quite closely’ with what is currently most important to employees.
While most organisations appear to be doing a good job in adapting their benefits provision to meet rapidly evolving employee requirements, HR and reward directors identify a wide range of areas in which they would like to evolve their offerings over the next two years. Again, the leading priority is to give more focus to employee wellbeing, but there is also an appetite to deliver more personalised benefits, greater choice and flexibility, and to make it simpler and easier for employees to engage with benefits.
Our New Reward Director research finds that almost all organisations currently use data in some way to inform or analyse their benefits provision, but this is largely done on an ad-hoc, inconsistent basis. Most businesses aren’t currently using data to personalise rewards, nor to assess the popularity of benefits options or track engagement levels and ROI.
Evidently, data and analytics is an area that HR and reward leaders will look to focus on heavily to ensure their benefits provision remains relevant and meets employee needs over the coming years. This will be particularly important in the wake of the pandemic, when business leaders give more scrutiny to increased HR spend.
The New Reward Director needs real-time data and insight at their fingertips to demonstrate the impact of their work on employee wellbeing, engagement and performance, and how that is in turn driving business value. Another area where HR and reward leaders see room for improvement over the coming years is in internal communications, around benefits. They point to a range of shortcomings with their current communications, most notably a lack of alignment with business and HR goals. Many others point to poor-quality content and inconsistent approaches across the business as significant
communications issues. 25% of HR and reward leaders report that they don’t use the right channels to reach all their employees, and 30% admit that they don’t have the tools to measure the impact of communications.
The research shows that organisations are still struggling to surface the data and insights they need to make informed decisions around employee benefits, but change is coming. The reward team has a host of data sources at their fingertips and, in our work at Benefex, we’ve helped customers use that to uncover meaningful insights to drive their future wellbeing strategy. Along with enhancements in digital health technology, organisations are now able to use this rich insight to integrate health into their core business strategies.
Our findings are also clear that organisations feel held back by the quality of their employee communications. Employers who are successful in motivating employees to engage in all the elements of their wellbeing strategy (including emotional, community, and financial, as well as physical health) over the long term will be those that have a clear and effective communication strategy. The key is to implement communications that reach target audiences effectively and at the right time; communications that educate, motivate and inspire, without being overwhelming. There is a great opportunity for organisations to review their current communications channels and bring them into the digital, hybrid-working age.
The New Reward Director
Download our deep-dive into the reward director’s changing priorities and to-do list, taken from research gathered from HR and reward leaders around the globe to reflect on the last 18 months in the world of work, and predict where we’re going; from pandemic to progress.
Stephen is a market-leading employee benefit director specialising in employee benefits (Health & wellbeing strategies and solutions, Group Risk, Online Benefits, Communication and engagement delivery, Voluntary Benefits, Total Reward) for UK and Multinational companies. His experience covers a wide range of companies from start-ups to global brands, and from design and implementation to managing complex employee benefit schemes!