Top benefits trends in APAC

Employers are placing higher priorities on employee choices and well-being, finds study

Top benefits trends in APAC

Rising costs and problems with sustaining employee engagement is pushing employers in Asia Pacific to transform their benefits strategy, found a new study.

Leaders are now refocusing on employee well-being and enhancing current work policies to meet the needs of tomorrow’s workforce.

The top challenge faced by Singaporean leaders is rising costs of benefits (73%).

Other primary challenges include:

  • The wide array of needs of a multi-generational workforce (66%)
  • A lack of employee engagement (46%)

READ MORE: The sector that HR struggles most with retention

According to the Willis Tower Watson survey, employers in Singapore are focusing across a broad range of benefits.

When asked about their highest priorities, two-thirds cited aligning benefit provisions with employee wants and needs, followed by incorporating employee well-being into their benefit strategy.

More than half of the employers are planning to enhance their work policies and incorporate inclusion & diversity into their benefit programs.

Benefit trend #1: Increasing importance of overall well-being
Increasingly, employers are putting a greater priority on well-being. Employers now consider well-being as a broader concept, comprising four components – physical, emotional, financial and social.

Employers in Singapore are now expanding their focus to address emotional, financial and social well-being.

These include:

  • Identifying and managing behavioural health, stress and issues to maintain stability of mind and body of employees across the workforce
  • Identifying and implementing solutions to improve the financial health of the workforce
  • Identifying and implementing ways to promote a sense of involvement around health and financial issues

Two in five employers are also looking to add or enhance chronic disease management and mental health programs in their organisations.

READ MORE: This is what every Singapore employee wants

Benefit trend #2: Flexible approach to benefits for diverse workforce
Today’s workforce is diverse in many ways. It comprises of up to five generations – from baby boomers, through to the youngest, Gen Z – with each generation having different needs and wants.

Additionally, talent is transforming and soon there’ll be even more types, including contract workers, freelancers and temporary staff.

Based on another study by Willis Tower Watson, 25% of organisations say digitalisation will require workers beyond full-timers. This number is expected to jump to 57% over the next three years.

Consequently, it creates challenges for employers in terms of ensuring that these workers are engaged and feel that the employee value proposition is just as relevant to them as it is to full-time employees who sit in the office.

“All these factors taken together clearly presents a challenge for employers when modernising their benefits,” said Audrey Tan, Head of Health & Benefits for Singapore, Willis Towers Watson.

“They need to create a portfolio of benefits that is relevant across a variety of employee groups and ages. Flexible and yet strong enough to be a significant attraction and retention factor for employees.

“Highly effective organisations should incorporate a more holistic communication strategy as part of their benefits review. This will ensure that the value of benefits is being brought across more effectively to employees.”

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