Market competitiveness has pushed businesses to be more innovative in their strategy to attract and retain talents. While technology and automation can be a key driver to business competition, benefits and perks remain to be the number one choice to attract, retain, as well as engage talents.
“Benefits are an important way to attract and retain key talent.” – Julie Stich
The Willis Tower Watson in their survey cited that employee benefits remain a key driver for businesses to stay competitive. While traditional benefits such as pensions, medical benefits, and life coverage are still appropriate, the growing market found that these benefits are no longer enough to retain or attract talents. There should be varying degrees to modernising benefits. The survey reported that modernising benefits should involve an operating model that enables collaboration among different functions responsible for rewards and benefits, workplace policies, inclusion and diversity programs, and wellbeing programs. That said, future companies must anticipate how they offer benefits to their prospective talents.
Moreover, companies in their competitiveness should consider several aspects for modernising benefits, including align benefit modernisation with business culture and image, continue to offer market-competitive core benefits, balance a simplification and harmonisation agenda with cost implications, aligns benefits with values and preferences, focus on programs that offer high economic value, use technology smartly, implement administration and operational protocols, and use data to understand employee behaviour.
It is not just about the millennials
In addition to modernising benefits, firms should broader their workplace policies, especially on flexible working arrangements. The policy should include not only millennials but also older generations to feel the modern benefits. Commonly, organisations spend a very little understanding of the older employee’s needs and wants such as time to support and take care of aging parents, reduced work schedule and phasing into retirement, being relevant and valued, support for emotional and social well-being during transition from active working life into retirement, and other skill development like technology or language. Therefore, there should be an equal contribution from companies to their age-diverse employees. Younger counterparts are an asset but older-generation employees know well how to work.
A discussion around how companies create economic value for their employees by sponsoring group benefits rarely happens – but it is one of the most aspects a company should pay attention. If you look for ways to use your benefits programs as a lever to attract, retain, and engage high talents, you should include financial implications of aligning costs with employee values and preferences as being important. Cost optimisation strategies are seen to improve a company’s ability to invest in employee-centric technology, communications, and support to improve employee’s experience with benefits.
Digitalisation and technology are clearly front and centre for most employers when discussing employee experience. However, the survey cited that technology and flexibility often lag behind in when it comes to employee’s professional experience. Therefore, to improve and achieve an ultimate healthier, happier and more productive employee community, organisations should be able to adapt the use of behavioural economics strategy. Behavioural economics is how you perceive one person according to his/her emotion, psychology, and ability.
Likewise, there are two other aspects of modernising benefits you should add in your agenda: 1) administration and operations, and 2) analytics and insights. Additionally, to shed a light of your company’s future, you should confidently take actions as a pioneer. You should be able to use global preferred providers to improve program governance, improve access to information and insights, optimise financing, implement bespoke technology platforms, and automate your administration of benefits.
Read also: 4 Ways Incentives Impact Behaviour Change