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Managing your Consumer Packaged Goods workforce amidst 2023 uncertainty

By Marisa Morse | July 13, 2023

Employers across the Consumer Packaged Goods industry are turning their attention to their existing workforce. How can retirement programs support workforce attraction and retention?

After seeing mixed results during the height of the pandemic, consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies generally experienced strong financial results during 2022. Ongoing factors, including broader economic uncertainty, geopolitical instability, and supply chain disruption, leave the CPG industry cautiously optimistic in 2023.

Remaining flexible is key in responding to changing environments. CPG employers are turning their attention to a vital component of their productivity: their workforce.

Attraction and retention of a diverse workforce is of increasing importance for CPG companies during 2023. In fact, according to WTW’s 2022 Global Benefits Attitude Survey[1], 53% of employees are either actively looking for new opportunities or are at risk of leaving. Two in five employees would leave for a 5% pay increase.

Retirement benefits are more important than ever with nearly 50% of respondents indicating they were an important reason in choosing their employer and 60% of respondents indicating they are an important reason for staying with their employer (as compared to 25% and 40% respectively from WTW’s 2009 Global Benefits Attitude Survey). And when asked where they most want their employer’s support or focus, 44% ranked retirement in their top 3 – even outpacing flexible work.

So how could CPG companies use retirement and financial wellbeing programs to take action to address their workforce objectives by differentiating themselves from competitors and meeting employees’ needs?

  1. The CPG industry is known for its diverse workforce within an organization: blue collar vs white collar, manufacturing vs corporate, hourly vs salaried. Evaluate how your retirement and financial programs support your employees through a lens focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion. Employee listening strategies and analytics can be an effective first step in this process.
  2. Ensure your retirement plans align with your broader Total Rewards objectives, including desired positioning with your competition for talent given the changing business environment.
  3. The recently passed SECURE 2.0 legislation contains several optional provisions for qualified program designs to help employees build and protect wealth, while providing additional flexibility when faced with short-term financial stress. Armed with your assessment of your workforce and your Rewards objectives, consider whether these options (or other marketplace solutions) may help support your employees’ current and future financial needs.
  4. Consider how retirement plans fit within your broader workforce needs, particularly in relation to employees nearing retirement or in the event of a workforce reduction. Organizations are considering how program design, employee experience, and technology can improve the support for employees while increasing their effectiveness and insight into their broader workforce.

As employees place more weight on retirement plans in their employment decisions, employers have an opportunity to leverage their investments. Reach out to your local WTW consultant to talk more about how companies within the CPG industry are evolving their retirement and financial wellbeing programs to support their workforce needs today.

Marisa Morse is a Director in WTW’s Retirement business located in Arlington, Virginia. She co-leads WTW’s Retirement consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry group focused on leveraging our deep industry expertise across North America to bring information regarding best practices, trends, key issues and regulatory updates to companies in the industry.


  1. About the survey: A total of 9,658 U.S. employees from large and midsize private employers participated in the 2022 Global Benefits Attitude Survey, which was conducted during December 2021 and January 2022. Return to article

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