EXCLUSIVE: 80% see engagement as key for benefit strategies

benefits strategiesEmployee engagement is seen as the most important objective for organisations’ benefits strategies, with 80% rating it as either one or two out of five in importance, according to new research.

Global professional services firm Aon’s Benefits and trends survey 2022, which is in its 12th year, took into account the experiences of 253 HR, employee benefit and reward professionals from across the UK in a variety of sectors. It found that employee choice, recruitment and retention were considered the next most important for benefit strategies after engagement.

More employers either said they had a clear employee value proposition (EVP) or planned to develop one, increasing from 71% last year to 81% this year. A majority (85%) believed their EVP positively impacted recruitment, 75% thought it positively affected retention and another 85% said it positively impacted employee engagement.

The research also discovered that EVP (employee value proposition) components tended to vary considerably, but key themes were wellbeing, treating people fairly and caring, and flexibility, as well as establishing clear values and principles. Employers also recognised the need to embed their EVP by communicating it to their employees, which was now at 90%.

In addition, with many employees now working from home at least some of the time, half of organisations had an agile working policy in place, up from 43% last year.

Richard Morgan, principal of employee benefits at Aon, commented that pay is under pressure, with businesses paying sign-on bonuses and referral bonuses as well as offering flexible working to help attract candidates.

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“Younger generations, in particular, put more importance on what an employer stands for – their purpose and brand. They are expectant of flexibility and prepared to go it alone in the gig economy,” he said.

“This all demands deeper thinking from employers on how they navigate new forms of volatility, not least how their EVP evolves, how it is communicated and delivered, and how the impact and value it derives is measured and reviewed,” Morgan added.