Kavitha’s keynote: Are employees’ changing expectations unrealistic?

Earlier this week, we exclusively reported on Aon’s Benefits and trends survey 2019, which revealed that nearly all employers (97%) think the workplace expectations of staff are changing rapidly, a finding the professional service provider believes is largely driven by technology.

Of those polled, 98% said employees now expect more flexible working hours, while 89% stated that agile or home working options were anticipated.

But are these changing expectations realistic? And how are employers responding to these demands?

Around three-fifths (60%) of organisations are either already in the process of reacting to changing workplace expectations, or plan to do so within the next five years, according to the survey. A staggering 89% admit they will need to change their benefits offering to meet the needs of future generations, the success of which will no doubt have an impact on how they compete for talent.

Flexible working, along with the needs of working parents, is also making the headlines outside the UK.

Kuala Lumpur-based banking organisation CIMB, which has announced that it will now be offering six months’ paid maternity leave for employees who become first-time mothers, also has a flexible working policy that allows staff with children aged five and below or with special needs to work from home for one day a week.

While these family-friendly initiatives may not be anything particularly new over here, in Malaysia they are nothing short of revolutionary, with two months being the standard period of paid maternity leave for new mothers. This takes me back to my original question: are the changing expectations of today’s employees realistic?

The Aon survey found that, in addition to flexible and agile working, employees’ top priorities now include mental health, diversity and inclusion and parental leave.

Does your organisation pride itself in meeting employees’ needs in these areas? If the answer is yes, you should be shouting about it.

Ensure your efforts do not go unnoticed and enter the Employee Benefits Awards by Monday 14 January. Categories available to enter include Best benefits to support diversity and inclusion, Most motivational benefits, and Benefits team of the year.

In addition, to give someone the chance to be recognised for their hard work and impact in the field, nominate them for Employee benefits professional of the year by emailing the Employee Benefits editorial team at [email protected]. Enter now, before it’s too late.

Kavitha Sivasubramaniam
Tweet: @kavithasiva_EB