Employers in the emerging markets of Asia-Pacific continue to face the challenges of significant economic growth and a tight talent pool.
Firms are increasingly looking to evolve a broader employee value proposition beyond compensation, to use their healthcare and choice programmes to gain competitive differentiation through a healthy, happy and engaged workforce.
Mercer’s Asia Pacific Total Health and Choice Benefits 2011 Survey found that more than half the respondents are looking to increase their health and wellness programmes in the next three years, although most large organisations are looking to share these costs with employees.
Currently, 35% of companies are spending more than 6% of payroll on the provision of their health benefits packages, while 10% of respondents are spending more than 15%.
The top drivers for promoting health and wellness in their organisations are productivity and performance (60%), and talent attraction and retention (52%).
“Employers are finally making the linkage between health, productivity and cost,” Michael Hilton, Mercer’s Asia Pacific health and benefits consulting leader said.
Still, the vast majority of employers across Asia-Pacific do not have an integrated or strategic approach to health and wellness management, but more than half of respondents indicated a desire to implement more programmes. Most employers provide well above the statutory health requirements.
The most popular health programmes were annual employee health check-ups (84%), biometric screening tests (59%) and health talks/health fairs (49%). Firms want to invest in more innovative and interventional programmes in the next two years through expanded use of health risk assessment questionnaires (47%), stress management (46%) and chronic disease management (43%).
Employers are also recognising the value of including families in their policies to be a key differentiator and a highly regarded benefit for employees. More than half (52%) of the companies surveyed provide health management programmes to their employees’ children, while 40% cover employees’ spouses. Programs to parents are provided by 13%.
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