86% believe wellbeing is key to employee experience

The vast majority (86%) of UK employers believe wellbeing is a key aspect of a positive employee experience, according to a new study by Willis Towers Watson.

The global advisory and broking organisation’s 2021 employee experience survey explored the key drivers of what people’s experiences involve, and found that 88% of UK respondents think attracting and retaining talent is important, with 84% highlighting engagement and 82% answering productivity.

The survey found that nearly all UK employers (98%) said enhancing the employee experience will be a crucial priority at their organisation over the next three years, compared with just 52% indicating it was important prior to the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic.

Half of UK respondents will adjust careers in response to changes in the way employees work, while a third (34%) are breaking down total rewards for a different workforce profile and 63% are flexible about where or when work gets done. Only 11% are doing all three of these.

Additionally, while employers expect the number of employees working remotely to drop from 67% now to 26% in three years, they expect one in three workers (33%) will be working both in the office and remotely in three years.

Amanda Scott, GB head of talent and rewards at Willis Towers Watson, explained that for organisations to succeed, they must start with a “bold” employee experience strategy that supports their business strategy and is based on a consistent model.

“Then, they can turn to execution — adapting programmes and policies reflective of flexible work, paying employees fairly, enhancing benefit delivery and wellbeing programs, supporting workers in a more agile and flexible workspace, and aligning total rewards programmes to meet the needs of a diverse workforce,” she said.

A total of 1,550 employers around the world, including 60 from the UK, participated in the survey, which was conducted between 29 March and 23 April 2021.