62% believe it is important to design benefits for specific workforce needs


Under two-thirds (62%) of employer respondents believe that it is important to design benefits packages that account for the specific needs of the workforce or drive behavioural change, according to research by Willis Towers Watson.

Its Benefits trends survey, which surveyed 1,274 organisations across Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) regions, including 289 organisations based in the UK, also found that 29% of UK respondents use medical claims data to test the effectiveness of their benefits.

The research also found:

  • 12% of UK respondents currently use organisational analytics to test the effectiveness of their benefits offering.
  • 76% of overall respondents will use organisational analytics within the next three years. This shows an increase of 64 percentage points based on how many businesses use organisational analytics currently.
  • 74% of EMEA respondents think it is important to benchmark benefits programmes against competitors.

Mark Ramsook (pictured), head of sales and marketing at Willis Towers Watson Health and Benefits, said: “Business intelligence is dependent on good data and the underuse of workplace health data is traditionally one of the biggest barriers preventing employee benefits from being used in a strategic manner.

“Thinking around benefits has often focused on issues such as statutory requirements or a perceived need to be competitive in the job market. But a tactical approach of this nature will typically make it possible to manage costs only in the short term, and limit the potential for benefits to deliver true business value. Instead, businesses would be advised to analyse the data at their disposal, such as claims data, absence data or information from health risk assessments, in order to target benefits towards areas of most need and tailor the offering depending on the requirements of different segments of the workforce.

“Auditing and benchmarking existing schemes represents a good starting point for businesses that are keen to take action. It is then important to establish appropriate governance and processes for ongoing measurement to ensure the effectiveness of benefits is continually assessed, taking into account changing workforce needs. This approach will allow benefits to have a positive impact in a variety of areas, including sickness absence and overall workforce wellbeing.”