Employee Benefits: changes and trends
There’s no doubt the introduction of Employee Benefits has created extraordinary new features in the realm of remuneration. Growth during the 20th century saw benefits grow from basic pension funds to medical aid to life insurance and a range of other options for employees such as profit-sharing and Christmas bonuses.
The 21st century has ushered in even more valuable rewards and choices. Keeping employees happy – especially top talent – is important to business; not to mention that the provision of employee benefits has become big business in its own right. But there’s no time to rest on our laurels, because innovative packages are becoming more valuable than salaries. And data analytics and artificial intelligence are taking things even further. It seems that the one-size-fits-all scenario is definitely on its way out.
Health and wellness:
Health is a large cost for any company. Technology now exists to analyse exactly what employers may be required to pay with regard to the future health risks of each employee. Workers can be tested for risk of diseases such as thyroid, stroke or diabetes based on algorithms using data from millions of claims. Telehealth and Telemedicine will become new benefits, with workers getting a diagnosis by phone or video chat. It’s a way of getting ahead of curve, forecasting future costs, and working to mitigate these.
Recognising and dealing with stress:
It seems that no matter where employees may be in their career, they are concerned about financial matters. Student loans, carrying too much or too little insurance, a desire for more financial guidance – these are issues that may cause continual low-key negativity in staff and can affect their work. The new approach is to provide training in handling and planning financial matters more efficiently, and how to handle stress. This type of training helps to bring back a sense of confidence and control in workers’ lives, and can show considerable improvement in motivation and productivity.
Upskilling is already a key aspect, and especially relevant with regard to technology. It resonates profoundly when the subject of promotion comes up, or a planned move from one department to another. Companies will spend more on upskilling and ‘reskilling’ as technology advances. This means that training centres will have to be set up within the company, or good outsource facilities will need to be engaged to ensure no one is left behind.
This includes advice on family planning, childcare facilities on-site, eldercare support. Often workers are forced to leave work in order to look after an elderly parent or family member. However, instead of losing a worker, companies are looking at offering extended leave options, insurance, caregiving benefits, along with financial and professional holistic family support for all life-stages and levels of caregiving – from new-borns to sick children, and through to elder care.
Covid-19 has certainly changed the perception with regard to this ‘new norm’. Many people have discovered that working from home is entirely possible. While a growing trend before lockdown, it is now seen as a physical possibility that has become a fast reality. There have been numerous benefits for companies coming out of this development, and the 9 – 5 commute may have changed forever.
Statistics for inclusion:
All workers will be assessed as one: across race, gender, experience, educational background. And once these statistics are attained, they will be assessed with regard to individual needs within each person’s job sphere and desired progress. This method will ensure inclusion and recognition of diversity as an asset. Artificial Intelligence will build algorithms that will direct recruitment, career planning, promotions and retention. A diverse workforce recognised for individuality and contribution, is a happy workforce.
There’s no doubt the future will usher in a wider range of benefits, including supplemental benefits such as accident insurance, critical-illness insurance, legal services, student loan repayments, flexible paydays – giving employees the opportunity to get paid when and how they want, pet insurance, etc. Even possibly more time off to pursue personal development and charitable causes. What is certain is that employee benefits will become more innovative, broader and interesting as this century proceeds.
Empfin Solutions – the team that keeps your team happy
We’re an Old Mutual franchise with our primary focus on advising on and servicing umbrella pension and provident funds. Always striving to be a trusted partner in facilitating financial solutions for organisations and individuals, our dedicated team of fully accredited, experienced professionals have a passion for satisfying customer needs and providing a truly client-centric service.
Find out how you can benefit at: www.empfinsolutions.co.za