Employee benefits strategies set to prioritise wellbeing

More than three-quarters (76 per cent) of UK employers plan to incorporate wellbeing into their benefits strategies, new research from Willis Towers Watson has revealed.

According to the 2019 Benefits Trends Survey, wellbeing – including financial, physical, emotional and social wellbeing – topped the table of priorities for companies’ benefits programmes. The enhancement of work policies took second place with 63 per cent of the vote. 

“The importance of modernising and broadening the scope of employee benefits to meet evolving need and expectations has been clearly recognised by UK employers,” said Mark Ramsook, senior director at Willis Towers Watson Health & Benefits, Great Britain & Western Europe.

“The rise of wellbeing up the HR agenda has been particularly dramatic, with targeted initiatives having been proven to help boost workforce health, productivity, engagement, and job satisfaction. 

“Effective utilisation of health-related business data will hold the key to identifying core health risks, enabling companies to change patterns of behaviour that can lead to meaningful and measurable wellbeing improvements.”

Elsewhere, the survey found that 60 per cent of businesses are looking to build inclusion and diversity into their benefit strategies, with the same number aiming to align their provision with market norms and employee needs.

“A strategic approach must be taken when reviewing benefits programmes to ensure portfolios balance the relevance and value of benefits to employees with how they are aligned to market expectations and wider business objectives,” added Ramsook.

“Benefits benchmarking can act as a particularly powerful catalyst for change, providing the evidence companies need to address gaps in provision and areas where they are found to be underperforming relative to their peers.”

To understand how your employee benefits priorities and challenges compare to other industries contact Willis Towers Watson on 0800 4880 989 or enquirieshealthbenefits@willistowerswatson.com.