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As the employee benefits landscape continues to shift, employers across the globe are facing a unique set of business challenges moving into 2023.
While employers continue to search for ways to differentiate themselves in attracting and retaining employees in a competitive talent market, they also need to address growing employee concerns around inflation, the increasing cost of living and ongoing economic uncertainty.
In addition, some employers understand that the nature of work is changing and the traditional approach to employee benefits may no longer be effective. In response, they are exploring innovative ways to manage their benefits platforms to improve employee engagement and meet the evolving needs of their global workforce.
Fidelity has recently taken several steps to identify some of these innovative approaches. These include a global workshop with Fidelity1 experts from nearly a dozen countries to share input and feedback from multinational employers, as well as our annual Global Sentiment Survey, a global survey of 20,000 workers in 17 regions that measured employee attitudes toward their benefits.
Based on the research and consolidated input from hundreds of multinational employers, the following emerged as key considerations that could help employers better engage with their employees and effectively navigate the shifting benefits landscape.
- Have you considered initiatives to support workers’ needs for mental and financial wellbeing assistance—especially if there is an economic slowdown? The COVID-19 pandemic took a toll on many employees—often physically, financially, and mentally. Mental health, once a taboo topic in the workplace, has become an increased area of focus for employers. Helping employees—especially younger workers— feel connected and providing ways to address stress, anxiety, and burnout can help with retention and contribute to a more productive workforce. Recent Fidelity research4 found that more than one in four (26%) employees wanted mental health and wellbeing support from their employers, and 33% expressed a desire for support for work/life balance. As employers continue to adapt to a new work environment, it will be important to provide employees with services to support their mental well-being and help them maintain a healthy work/life balance.
- Have you developed your organisation’s value proposition to differentiate from competitors? In today's competitive talent market, employers should consider developing a clear value proposition that includes details on employee rewards and benefits, as well as the company’s view on various cultural, global, and social issues —especially since employees are increasingly interested in working for an employer that shares their values.2 Developing a clear value proposition underscores what a company stands for and can help differentiate it from competitors, as well as help potential employees understand what they will get in return for joining an organisation.
- Have you explored ways to measure and increase existing benefits, rather than just adding new benefits to your platform? As the dynamic between employers and employees continues to shift, employers need to understand which benefits resonate with their employees, as well as how to measure the value that various benefits provide the company. Recent Fidelity research3 found that employers reported the same top benefits as employees only 43% of the time, and that often the employee benefits that attracted new talent were different from the benefits that influenced employee retention. Understanding which benefits will help support specific employee outcomes can increase benefits engagement across the workforce.
Additionally, employers can help address their employees’ financial well-being by delivering products and services to help them prepare for financial challenges. Providing benefits that are focused on improving financial well-being, such as an emergency savings fund, can not only help employees prepare for possible financial uncertainty in 2023, but for additional financial challenges that might arise in the future.
- Would a total rewards approach help address employee concerns about inflation and the increasing cost of living? With rising inflation and cost-of-living pressures being a top concern for employees across the globe,4 employers may want to consider a total rewards strategy. This could include a broad array of benefits, including equity awards, long-and short-term incentives, and other types of recognition, and can be an effective way to ease employees’ concerns and address workers’ financial challenges beyond compensation increases. A total rewards approach can also help employees understand the overall value of their benefits package, rather than viewing each benefit in an individual silo.
As employers continue to look for innovative ways to enhance and improve their benefits platforms in 2023, these questions can help employers consider steps they can take to increase employee engagement and meet the evolving needs of their workforce in the year ahead.
This information is for scheme sponsors’, trustees’, their advisers’ and consultants’ use only and should not be relied upon by individual investors.
Fidelity refers to one or both of Fidelity International and Fidelity Investments. Fidelity International and Fidelity Investments are separate companies that operate in different jurisdictions through their subsidiaries and affiliates. All trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
1 Based on information gathered during interactions with Fidelity Workplace clients, 2022.
2 Based on a study from Qualtrics, which was fielded between April 7 and April 21, 2022, and based on input from 2,348 respondents.
3 Fidelity Investments, “Employer and Employee Value of Benefits” April 2022.
4 Based on the “Fidelity Global Sentiment Survey 2022.” The data collection, research, and analysis for the above markets was completed in partnership with Opinium, a strategic insight agency. The sample consisted of 20,000 respondents and data collection took place between August 2022 and September 2022.
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