Indian Firms Invest More in Employee Benefits: Study

November 29, 201712:48 pm1140 views

Companies in India aces in employee benefits, says recent study conducted by Willis Towers Watson. According to the survey, compared to its peers in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region, Indian firms are more loyal in providing better benefits to their employees.

More than 1,000 companies in APAC countries participated in the study, including 100 from India (MNCs and India-headquartered companies). The study found majority (70 percent) organisations in India provide more choices and flexibility around employee benefits, compared to only half (50 percent) for the rest of the companies in the APAC region, The Times of India reports.

The opportunity and desire to attract younger talent seems to be among the main reasons why companies in India are willing to be more competitive in giving benefits. According to Cedric Luah, Head of health and benefits at Willis Towers Watson, Asia and Australasia, money is no longer a differentiator when it comes to employee engagement and retain. For example, IT companies have a younger pool of employees who tend to be more vocal about their demands. He said that if employer wants to be a choice employer to attract potential employees, they cannot just keep on increasing salaries and differentiate with cash.

Benefits such as health and wellness, childcare, and elderly care are among the most popular areas that employers in India are investing in. Adobe Systems in India is one such company that concerns on employee benefits package. It started investing heavily on employee wellness this year, allocating 550 per employee per year on health and fitness. The company’s VP, customer and employee experience, Abdul Jaleel said that they provide funds for employee to join a gym, subscribe to a diet plan, or take care of their health in any way they prefer.

Mr Luah also added that MNCs operating in India have huge scales of operations, which make it easier and more convenient to make localised plans. Besides looking for plans that include parental coverage and child care, Indian employees want their benefit plans to be flexible. Owing to this reason, both employers and employees should take it seriously, he said.

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The study noted that 75 percent Indian employers had retirement benefits. For the next three years, the report projects there will be 30 percent increase in prevalence of child care benefits, and 12 increase in employee discount programmes and wellness programmes such as chronic disease management and lifestyle risk management.

When it comes to using technology to support these programmes, India also fared better than other countries. This year, more than 65 percent companies surveyed were using tools and apps to manage their employees’ health and finance benefits. Among the tools used are using social media and online forums on health issues, those for monitoring health conditions, as well as helping manage spending for those services.

“Technology is helping the employers to get more data on employee health and requirements and is helping them to give employees informed choices. Earlier, giving choices was difficult, but with tech advancement, personalising is not expensive. Employers are bold enough to experiment,” Mr Luah added.

Read also: Half of Talents in India Frustrated with Tech-driven Hiring: Study

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