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How employers can optimise employee benefits

October 23, 2023

James Spencer outlines some practical steps employers can take to optimise their employee benefits suite and be fit for the future.
Health and Benefits|Benessere integrato
How employers can optimise employee benefits

James Spencer outlines some practical steps employers can take to optimise their employee benefits suite and be fit for the future.

With so much change in ways of working over the last few years and as competition for talent remains the number one key issue, as identified by UK employers in the WTW benefits trends survey 2023, how can employers create a benefits package that works for their employees?

In this video James Spencer, Senior Director, Health & Benefits Europe, WTW, explains why the solution isn’t about adding more and more benefits to their employee benefits suite but about really listening and understanding the needs of their employees to optimise and create a solution which is forward looking and future ready.

If you would like further information about what was discussed or find out how we can help you to optimise you employee benefits suite to be fit for the future, please contact James Spencer, below, or your WTW consultant.

Video transcript

How employers can optimise employee benefits


SUBA M: So question to you then, James, in terms of all of these benefits that are out there, what do you think that employers should be doing in order to optimize the benefit suite so that they are fit for the future?

JAMES SPENCER: So I think we've seen so much change right in terms of working lives, how we work, and the role of the employer moving forwards. We still have a very, very tight labor market, so employers still need to be competitive. So then that washes out in terms of benefits. It's not about how many things you offer. It's not about adding more things to the benefits portfolio. It's more about being purposeful and deliberate. And I think that really starts from a position of listening. So many employers haven't really adapted their benefits offering.

Yes, they may have chosen different vendor, added a different layer in. But actually, it's not about reskilling. This is more about understanding, what do our employees today want? Because so many benefits are based on legacy entitlement or history of the organization, which can be useful but it's not particularly forward looking or future ready. So I think it starts with purpose, listening, and really understanding what your demographics want and what they expect and the real lives they're dealing with now. But also then where you direct your spend is super critical too.

We know and we've spoken about this, there's so much wastage in the health and employee benefits ecosystem. But actually, being purposeful is about minimizing that wastage and about redirecting the spend on other areas. I think the other one is also about making sure things are accessible to employees. With the rise that we've seen in remote work, actually having Central London or central city-based private GP services have more limited impact than maybe they did 15 years ago. Now it's more about, how can people access care on demand?

And then I think, like you were saying earlier, we've got a role in terms of personalization and choice. We know that, statistically, appreciation of benefits improves when there's a greater degree of choice. So I think there's some of the things that employers can start to think about when they want to modernize their benefits and optimize for the future. And they can do that irrespective of their industry or their size. But making those first steps, starts with listening, moves on to benchmarking, and then moves on to that process of using that data and figuring out what's our purpose and where do we want to go.

SUBA M: Perfect. Thank you.



James Spencer
Senior Director, Health and Benefits
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