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Employers reshape benefit strategy amid increasing focus on wellbeing and the employee experience

Insights from our 2021 Global Benefit Trends Survey

Health and Benefits|Retirement|Talent|Wellbeing
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September 8, 2021

Employers are aiming high in their efforts to customize and differentiate their employee benefit strategy. Explore the factors shaping their priorities, actions and key success measures.
Employers reshape benefit strategy amid increasing focus on wellbeing and the employee experience - description below

Panel 1: 7 in 10 employers aspire to differentiate their benefit programs and customize their employee experience within the next two years.

But only 1 in 4 do so today. No strategy: 33% today, 4% next two years, adopt strategy: 14% today, 8% next two years, communicate and deliver benefits in value proposition: 30% today, 16% next two years, differentiate and customize: 23% today, 72% next two years.

Panel 2: External and internal factors shape employers' priorities and choices

External influences on benefit strategy: Diversity equity and inclusion: 60% global, 73% North America, 58% EMEA, 63% Latin America, 53% Asia Pacific. Tight labor markets: 59% global, 52% North America, 61% EMEA, 64% Latin America, 57% Asia Pacific. Increased remote working: 54% global, 47% North America, 56% EMEA, 61% Latin America, 50% Asia Pacific. Rising costs: 39% global, 50% North America, 30% EMEA, 36% Latin America, 44% Asia Pacific. Diversity, equity and inclusion top the list of influences globally, closely followed by tight labor markets. Costs remain critical especially in North America as other issues gain in importance. Stress, burnout and mental health issues exacerbated by the pandemic are key workforce challenges globally but especially in North America and Latin America. 73% global, 86% North America, 84% Latin America, 65% EMEA, 66% Asia Pacific.

Panel 3: Improved wellbeing and employee experience emerge as key success measures

Benefit strategy success measures: Improved wellbeing: 62% global, 68% North America, 61% EMEA, 69% Latin America, 56% Asia Pacific. Improved employee experience: 50% global, 60% North America, 44% EMEA, 46% Latin America, 51% Asia Pacific. Improved retention: 40% global, 20% North America, 43% EMEA, 48% Latin America, 42% Asia Pacific. Effectively managed costs and risks: 40% global, 67% North America, 34% EMEA, 27% Latin America, 43% Asia Pacific.

Panel 4: What are the strategic objectives that will help employers realize their aspirations of a differentiated and customized benefit strategy?

Employers are looking to: Integrate wellbeing into the benefit package (65%), increased flexibility and choice (47%), enhanced communication (47%) and 74% expect to have an enhanced digital strategy to personalize the employee experience of benefits in two years.

About the survey. Global research findings are based on responses from a total of 3,642 employers representing 14 million employees around the world who participated in the 2021 Benefit Trends Survey. The survey was conducted between May 10 and June 25, 2021.

Source: 2021 Benefit Trends Survey

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