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Employee Benefits - Seeing the big picture

How companies manage to unlock their full potential

By Alexandra Lyner | May 18, 2021

Employee benefits are becoming increasingly important.
Health and Benefits

Companies are giving increasing importance to employee benefits they offer to their employees, and rightly so, as various studies have shown. Employees expect much more than they did a few years ago. With all the different aspects around employee benefits - e.g. which benefits should be offered, how they are financed and how they are communicated and managed - it is a big challenge to set the right priorities and not lose sight of the "big picture".

At Willis Towers Watson Switzerland, we offer a number of different services which provide organisations with powerful market insights about their employee benefits and how they compare with similar organisations and industries. By filling the knowledge gap, e.g. how a company compares to its peers, we help to make more informed decisions so that you are always one step ahead of the competition Not only do we provide insights into what is important from an employer and employee perspective, but we also offer access to our market-leading database, which gathers the latest employee benefits information from thousands of leading companies around the world.

Benefits Benchmarking

Benefits Benchmarking helps to both measure and improve the current benefits offered by:

  • Comparing employee benefits provision against competitors and similar organisations in terms of size, industry sector and business type
  • Identifying areas which are under performing with easy-to-understand heat maps and colour coding
  • Providing recommendations to tackle any areas where the benefits package may not be fit for purpose
  • Continuing to keep companies updated on likely impacts of market developments, emerging trends and legislative changes to future-proof your benefits provision

“Benefits Data Source” – the leading database for market comparisons

A benchmarking is only meaningful to the extent that its data basis is used for comparison. Now in its ninth year, the annually updated Willis Towers Watson Benefits Data Source (BDS) holds records from 16,000 organisations in 122 countries across dozens of industries and specialties.

The database provides reliable, relevant and timely data to determine the right benefit coverage across job levels – whether for a local Swiss workforce or for employees around the globe.

For example, for Switzerland alone, Willis Towers Watson has data from more than 220 companies across a broad range of industry sectors, including high tech companies, financial services, pharmaceutical, consulting, manufacturing and many more. This allows to define a customised comparison group for each company and therefore further increases the informative value of the benchmarking.

A convincing benefits strategy thanks to a forward-looking vision

Leading companies are characterised by always being one or two steps ahead of their competitors. To achieve this, they must anticipate developments and trends and initiate changes before they become a common market practice. Leading companies not only have the courage to investigate the future, but also follow up with action and not - like many others - simply wait until they are forced to move.

An excellent source for this "forward looking vision" are surveys and studies. We would like to briefly introduce two of them here:

  1. 01

    Benefit Trends Survey

    Fielding in over 50 countries worldwide, with a participation of over 4,300 employers (EMEA over 1,500) in 2019 this biennial detailed piece of research is a comprehensive approach to understanding the future direction of an organisation’s benefits strategy. It outlines the key challenges employers are facing with their benefits programmes and highlights their top benefit priorities for the coming years. Some of these priorities might be for example the importance of employee experience employers provide to their workforce and the use of digital technology in the management of benefits.

    We invite you to participate in the 2021 Willis Towers Watson Benefit Trends Survey – Switzerland which will be fielded between 10 May and 4 June 2021.

  2. 02

    Global Benefits Attitudes Survey

    The Global Benefits Attitudes Survey (GBAS) examines the role of benefits in defining and differentiating today’s employee value proposition. The survey explores the extent to which benefits individually and collectively shape employees’ actions; how closely they align with employees’ employment and lifestyle priorities; and their links to stress, absence, presenteeism and work engagement. The latest biennial edition of GBAS analyses more than 31,000 employee responses in 22 markets.

Comprehensive and reliable data is the central element in the decision-making, and this applies not only to employee benefits. They help to look at a company from the outside and to make objective decisions which help the company to move forward.

In the battle for the best talents and the motivation of their employees, companies should not stand back, but bravely move forward and get things done. This will not only distinguish them from the competition but will also achieve a higher level of employee engagement and thus unlock their full potential.


Senior Consultant Global Benefits Management, Health & Benefits Switzerland

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