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Press Release

UK employers want to improve the employee experience of benefits

November 9, 2023

Health and Benefits

LONDON, November 9, 2023 – Two-fifths of UK employers (42%) admit they are not effective at delivering employee experience in their benefits strategy and improvements need to be made.

According to the latest Benefits Trends Survey by WTW, a leading global advisory, broking and solutions company, only a third of employers (32%) think that their current benefits package is highly effective in increasing employee engagement and participation throughout the year, while only 27% say they are highly effective at understanding the employee experience.

While many employers acknowledge shortcomings in their current benefit strategy, the majority have committed to making changes to positively improve the employee experience. More than half of employers (54%) have already taken action to offer greater support with decisions, by providing employees with information to better understand the various options and costs when selecting benefits. There’s also an increasing number of employers (51%) planning or considering targeting communications to specific segments of the workforce.

Engagement and communication is a critical part of enhancing the employee experience around benefits.”

Emma Starbrook | Senior EX Director at WTW

Emma Starbrook, Senior EX Director at WTW says: “Engagement and communication is a critical part of enhancing the employee experience around benefits. Drawing on the right communication channels and in particular the use of digital platforms is key to sharing the right messages at the right time, so people actively engage with their benefits and feel equipped to make the right decisions for their individual situation. This helps ensure that people make the most of the benefits that their organisation is investing in”.

Flexible work arrangements have been a recurrent priority for employees over the last few years, which explains why employers are focused on addressing the challenges that come with this environment, such as poor mental health, social disconnection and barriers to career progression. This year’s survey found that two-fifths of employees (44%) have called for flexible working arrangements. In a post-pandemic world, this trend is no doubt set to continue.

Yet the main driver behind improving benefits strategies is the ongoing competition for talent, which is affecting three quarters (77%) of organisations. This pressing challenge has become the top issue influencing company’s benefit strategies, up from third place in 2021.

Andy Leighton, Senior Strategic Consultant at WTW says “As the competition for talent is becoming a more important issue for organisations, employers are looking inward and addressing areas such as workplace culture, benefits and – most importantly – their employee experience.

“It is positive to see so many employers taking or planning action to address shortfalls in their benefit strategies, particularly focusing on the employee experience of these benefits. Yet, with finite resources, it is challenging to address the needs of all employees collectively. Employers will need to carefully map out their priorities by listening to employee needs.”

About the survey

WTW surveyed 339 UK organisations across a broad range of industries about their benefit strategies between 1 March 2023 and 14 April 2023 for its 2023 Benefit Trends Survey.

About WTW

At WTW (NASDAQ: WTW), we provide data-driven, insight-led solutions in the areas of people, risk and capital. Leveraging the global view and local expertise of our colleagues serving 140 countries and markets, we help organizations sharpen their strategy, enhance organizational resilience, motivate their workforce and maximize performance.

Working shoulder to shoulder with our clients, we uncover opportunities for sustainable success—and provide perspective that moves you.

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