LONDON, January 30, 2024 – Almost three-quarters of employers (70%) have a global minimum standard in place for employee benefits, almost double the 36% who said the same in 2019. That’s according to the latest survey of Priorities for Employee Benefits: a global HQ Perspective by WTW, a leading global advisory, broking and solutions company.
As benefit priorities change, multinational companies are accelerating their use of global minimum standards for benefits, adopting a global benefits philosophy, making better use of technology and designing benefits that better align with employee wants and needs. The global COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic highlighted the important role benefits play in wellbeing of employees and resilience of the workforce as a whole. Currently, just over half of multinational organisations (54%) have a global benefits philosophy, strategy and guidelines, but 39% are planning or considering putting this in place.
The business relevance of benefits is also evolving and is reflected in an increasing number of organisations who are focusing their benefits strategy externally. In fact, in the next three years, 63% of companies are looking to use employee benefits to signal their company’s purpose and values to customers, investors and external stakeholders, as well as its employee value proposition. Equally, companies increasingly are focused on wellbeing (61%)
This trend builds on the movement WTW has seen over the last five years to use employee benefits to attract and retain key talent and as a means to support employees’ wellbeing. Yet, managing the cost of benefit programs still remains a high priority, as almost two thirds of organisations (68%) say it is a top or high priority over the next two years.
Global minimum standards are one way to signal an ambition for employee benefits to be inclusive.”Nigel Bateman | Managing Director of Integrated & Global Solutions at WTW
Nigel Bateman, Managing Director of Integrated & Global Solutions at WTW says “More employers are incorporating global minimum standards for employee benefits, as part of designing benefits that better support employee wellbeing, attraction and retention. Global minimum standards are one way to signal an ambition for employee benefits to be inclusive. Employers are also focusing on how their benefits align with their purpose, convey their values and enhance how they are perceived as an employer.
“But, for these ambitions to become a reality, there will need to be a fundamental shift in how many companies operate their benefits programs. Employers will need to take a more employee-centric focus on which employee benefits are provided and how they are delivered. Wellbeing will need to be viewed as an outcome to be achieved, rather than a set of programmes to be added.”
WTW surveyed 254 global organisations across a broad range of industries about their benefit strategies between September and October 2023 for its 2023 HQ Priorities Survey.
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