Iain Laws, CEO for Towergate Health & Protection makes his predictions for the coming year and explains how employers can use wellbeing support to aid staffing issues and meet differing generational requirements.
Recruitment and retention
The scramble for talent, both recruiting and retaining, will drive the need for better benefits. There is a limit to the salary increases that can be offered but clever use of health and wellbeing support can help to ensure a strong offering to existing and new employees whose expectations of employer support will continue to increase.
Companies will be more likely to use wellbeing support to differentiate themselves. Benefits will become more tailored, and more advice led, de-risking the business by providing preventative care, which can reduce sickness absence.
Understanding the different workforce demographics will become more important in selecting and offering benefits and wellbeing support. Employers will need to look at the different requirements of different generations to be able to offer the best support. For example, generation X (born 1965 – 1980) are typically more concerned with swift access to treatment, while millennials, also known as generation Y (born 1981 – 1996) are more interested in support for nutrition and fitness.
Understanding the risk profile
Risk profiling across employee groups’ health and wellbeing will become more common and more important. This is the key to being able to offer appropriately tailored support. Just as health and safety risks can be assessed and mitigated, so can health and wellbeing risks. Risk profiling the workforce will allow a more tactical approach and a company-aligned strategy.
Plugging the NHS gap
The NHS is struggling, and employers may need to plug the gap if they want employees to be able to stay healthy and at work. There will be budget constraints for employers and all will be looking to get more bang for their buck with creative use of private medical insurance, cash plans, employee assistance programmes and a mix of offerings to employees.
Reversing the resignation
With the global and UK financial turmoil driving up the cost of living and driving down pension incomes, the great resignation may begin to reverse. People will return to employment not only for the salary but also for the benefits and wellbeing support. The rate of retirement is likely to slow, and some are likely to leave retirement and return to work. Benefits will need to be made appropriate to age and tailored to suit the needs of the changing demographic.
Iain Laws says: “Employers will need to become more agile in their approach and commitment to non-financial benefits. They will have to be prepared to tailor their provision to offer the right support, to the right employees, in order to keep the business buoyant and resilient, and they’ll need expert help to guide them to the right solutions at the best value.”