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Three quarters of businesses plan to add wellbeing to benefits strategies

Half are planning a ‘value-on-investment’ approach to measuring outcomes

More than three-quarters (76%) of UK employers plan to incorporate wellbeing into their benefits strategies, according to research from Willis Towers Watson.

The consultancy’s 2019 Benefits Trends Survey reveals wellbeing – including financial, physical, emotional and social wellbeing – topped the table of priorities for companies’ benefits programmes.

The enhancement of work policies took second place with 63% of the vote.

Mark Ramsook, senior director at Willis Towers Watson Health & Benefits, Great Britain & Western Europe, said targeted initiatives having been proven to help boost workforce health, productivity, engagement and job satisfaction. 

“The effective utilisation of health-related business data will ultimately hold the key to identifying where core health risks lie, enabling companies to address and change patterns of behaviour that can lead to meaningful and measurable wellbeing improvements,” he added. 

The research identified that almost half of businesses (48%) have earmarked a value-on-investment (VOI) approach to measuring and evaluating business outcomes over the next three years. VOI extends beyond financial ROI and may include metrics ranging from engagement and workforce retention rates to job satisfaction and employee morale.

The survey also found that 60% of businesses are looking to build inclusion and diversity into their benefit strategies, with the same number aiming to align their provision with market norms and employee needs.

Ramsook said a strategic approach must be taken when reviewing benefits programmes to ensure portfolios balance the relevance and value of benefits to employees with how they are aligned to market expectations and wider business objectives. 

“With this in mind, benefits benchmarking can act as a particularly powerful catalyst for change, providing the evidence companies need to address gaps in provision and areas where they are found to be underperforming relative to their peers,” he stated.