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Survey Report

A purposeful employee experience is driving Asia Pacific employers’ benefit strategies

Key insights for Asia Pacific from the 2021 Benefit Trends Survey

By Royston Tan and Cedric Luah | January 21, 2022

In Asia Pacific, employers are placing employees at the centre of their benefit strategies.
Health and Benefits|Total Rewards|Global Benefits Management
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About this Survey

The 2021/2022 Benefit Trends Survey was fielded between May and June, 2021, and covers responses from 1,247 employers in Asia Pacific, representing over 3 million employees in the region.

The events of the recent past have redefined many things about the way we work, and employees are at the forefront of the change. Employers must move quickly to stay relevant. In Asia Pacific, the 2021 Benefit Trends Survey found that they are responding by putting employees at the centre of their benefit strategy:

  • Almost seven in 10 said that the employee experience is a top priority for the next two years
  • More than half (56%) use improved employee wellbeing as a top measure of success for their benefits strategy.
  • Approximately three-quarters plan to have a differentiated benefit strategy in the next two years.

What’s driving the change in benefit strategy

Today, employers are mostly concerned about employee stress, burnout and mental health issues (Figure 1).

To what extent is your organisation concerned about the following within your employee population in the next two years?

Bar graph showing employers’ main concerns for their workforce
Figure 1. Employers’ main concerns for their workforce

Note: “Not sure” excluded. Percentages indicate “To a great extent” or “To a very great extent”.

While employee experience is a key driving factor, there are many external forces that make decision making complex, including tight labour markets and an increased focus on I&D (Figure 2).

External influences on organisation's benefit strategy in the next two years

Table showing the top external influences driving benefit strategy
Figure 2. Top external influences driving benefit strategy

Note: Percentages indicate “To a great extent” or “To a very great extent”.

Objectives and success measures for employee benefits

Over the next two years, employers are taking steps to integrate wellbeing into the benefit package, increase flexibility and choice and enhance tools and technology to support employees. While doing so, they are also defining success metrics to evaluate the organisation’s benefit strategy through the lens of the employee (Figure 3).

What are the key measures of success for your organisation's benefit strategy?

Bar graph showing key measures of success for employers’ benefit strategy
Figure 3. Improved employee wellbeing is the top measure of success for employers’ benefit strategies

The way forward

As they navigate the rapidly shifting landscape of the coming year, employers can:

  • Review the current portfolio of benefits to ensure it is market competitive, reinforces the organisation’s total rewards philosophy and is aligned to future of work objectives.
  • Measure the stress of the workforce and the leading causes. Look for opportunities to build employee resilience.
  • Engage employees through pulse surveys and virtual focus groups to identify their current and future wants and needs.
  • Use analytics and insights to make changes to the benefit program and drive behavioural change.
  • Introduce digital tools and technology to help employees to be productive, feel connected and select benefits that serve their needs.
  • Incorporate inclusion and diversity priorities in benefit program design.
Authors

Head of Strategic Growth, Health & Benefits, International and Head of Health & Benefits, South Asia

Head of Health and Benefits, International
Willis Towers Watson

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