COVID-19 – advice for employers. Read now.

Employee benefits fail to meet workers’ needs research reveals

News

Employee benefits fail to meet workers’ needs research reveals

March 17, 2020

Employee benefit packages are failing to meet the needs of half of UK workers, contributing to workplace disengagement, a new study has found.

Just one in five (19 per cent) workers who are dissatisfied with their benefits package are highly engaged with their job, according to the Willis Towers Watson Global Benefits Attitudes Study. This compares to almost half (48 per cent) of those who say their benefits meet their needs.

“Engagement deficit has become a major management concern over recent years, impacting business productivity and profitability,” said Mark Ramsook, Senior Director at Willis Towers Watson Health and Benefits.

“A premium benefits package may not be the silver bullet for employee engagement, but it is clear from this research that meagre, uncompetitive or inadequately tailored benefits provision can play a significant role in disengaging a workforce.”

The Willis Towers Watson report found a clear link between enhanced choice and benefits satisfaction.

Seventy-two per cent of workers who were offered a full flexible benefits scheme, including voluntary benefits, felt their benefits meet their needs. This contrasts with just 39 per cent who were offered no core or voluntary benefits choices.

More than half of workers (54 per cent) felt a single online platform, allowing them to review and manage their benefits, would help them most in making benefit decisions. More than a third (36 per cent) also cited a desire for online materials to help them better understand their available options.

“The increasing diversity of the modern workforce has meant that a one-size-fits-approach to benefit programme design is rarely an appropriate strategy for organisations aiming to attract and retain top talent,” added Ramsook.

“Employees invariably have different pain points along with disparate health, wealth and lifestyle requirements. This calls for dedicated tools that support greater personalisation, freedom of choice and control over their benefits portfolio.

“Furthermore, these are likely to deliver greatest value where they also meet rising employee expectations for an intuitive and dynamic consumer-grade user experience.”

In addition, the report highlights the need for businesses to consider benefit communication strategies through a generational lens.

More than half of Gen Z employees (51 per cent) were found to favour exclusive online communication, while this is true for less than one in four (23 per cent) Baby Boomers.

For complex benefits decisions, the report revealed that more than two-thirds (65 per cent) still prefer to talk through their options, one-to-one.