The Benefits Overhaul

By strengthening employee well-being, Singapore businesses are creating a connected and engaged workforce.

By Zee Johnson

Willis Towers Watson’s recent 2021 Global Benefit Trends Survey discovered many APAC employers are looking to update their employee benefits strategy. The study revealed that seven in 10 (72%) employers plan to revamp their programmes over the course of two years to competitively position themselves in the war for talent (57%), to highlight their DE&I initiatives (53%), and to supplement the rising benefits cost (50%). A comprehensive benefits packages with perks that optimise the employee experience will give organisations the edge they need when attracting job seekers in a post-pandemic workplace.

“Employers should start with a review of their benefits portfolio,” Audrey Tan, head of health and benefits for Wilson Towers Watson, Singapore, said in the report. “Their challenge will be to develop an equitable approach that meets the needs of all workforce segments whilst aligning with the benefit philosophy, culture and welfare programmes with new ways of working and an enhanced employee experience.”

In Singapore, 24% of local employers think their benefits programme addresses the definitive needs of their employees. More than one in five believe they provide great flexibility and choice when it comes to their offerings and one in two say they currently offer competitive benefits overall. One in three consider their core benefits (healthcare with some forms of well-being) to be better than other employers’.

Redesigned benefits packages are coming at the right time, as respondents indicated the top concerns for Singapore employers to be workforce stress, burnout, and mental well-being added with physical well-being (59%) and social wellbeing (45%). Because of this, 69% of Singapore employers cited the importance of incorporating employee well-being into their benefits package and consider this to be their top strategic benefit in the near future.

A second Willis Towers Watson study found organisations in Singapore are making great strides to support employees’ health and well-being by establishing efficient communication. From these efforst, businesses are expecting increased employee appreciation.

To further emphasise the importance of employee welfare, employers are building upon four areas of workers’ well-being.

  1. Physical. Within the next three years, 32% of employers plan to implement mobile applications that assist employees in strengthening their physical well-being. They’ve also proposed sponsored programmes that examine specific cases or chronic conditions.
  2. Emotional. More than 39% of employers plan to develop strategies that bolster employee resilience and 37% plan to identify the causes of workforce stress and continuously monitor it.
  3. Financial. Twenty-nine percent plan to cover life or critical illness for employees and/or dependents by introducing voluntary insurance options.
  4. Social. Just over a quarter of employers (26%) plan to raise employee engagement in well-being activities through social recognition. Twenty-two percent plan to prioritise diversity and inclusion in their benefits programme.

The survey also found many employers (38%) are considering addressing health and well-being concerns through the use of technology, including virtual medical services and well-being apps. The by-product of this approach will be heightened productivity and connection.

Employers are spreading their efforts across the board by also considering managers training, citing it as the most practical way of identifying and mending employee well-being concerns through increased communication.

Tags: APAC News, APAC October 2021

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