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Survey Report

Employee health and financial wellbeing is a key challenge to modern organisations in Western Europe

Insights from the Western Europe Benefits Trends Survey 2017

Integrated Wellbeing

November 29, 2017

The Benefits Trends survey is a global study that tracks high level trends around benefit strategy, health and financial wellbeing, and the design, delivery and cost of employer benefits plans. The 2017 survey was concluded in June 2017 and was completed by 762 employers in the Western Europe region.

Employee health and financial wellbeing has become one of the key challenges to modern organisations. In Western Europe no less than 44% of the employers indicate that health and wellbeing will be included in their company goals within 3 years time. Drivers for this trend are the continuous competition for talent and the acknowledgement that stress is the no. 1 challenge for employee absence. That is one of the many findings of the 2017 Benefits Trends Survey that was conducted by Willis Towers Watson recently.

Employees value health and wellbeing programs (73%) over the retirement elements (63%) in their benefit plans. So, to better meet the needs of their employees and to tackle the major issue of costs, modern organisations indicate that they need to redesign their plans. The need for redesign is confirmed by the fact that and 37% of employers in Western Europe do not know how much they spend on benefits and that there is a discrepancy in employee and employer perception: employers overestimate the employee understanding of the benefit packages 67% compared to 53% of employees.

To increase employee engagement the plans need to be made more digitally accessible, (will grow from 22% to 46% within 3 years), more flexible (says 43%) and need to offer more choice (says 50%). The survey also found out that within 3 years 72% of the companies will measure the effectiveness of their programs, which now is just a mere 13%.

Should you wish to find out more on how employers in Western Europe plan to achieve their aim tailoring design to influence employee behaviours whilst simultaneously aim to better manage costs? Or on how you can engage employees in their benefits, and design better benefits plans to improve their health and financial wellbeing? Please do not hesitate to contact us.

More highlights:

  • Healthcare benefits (73%) have become more important for employees than retirement benefits (63%)
  • 55% of employees say that managing their health is a top priority in life
  • Only 34% of employees say that the company promotes a healthy work environment vs 65% of employers
  • Nearly 30% of employers recognize that their wellbeing programs are below market average
  • 77% of companies use external benchmarking against competitors to start benefits redesign
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