Employee Benefits: Getting the Mix Right
As Europe emerges from a recession, many employees are considering their next job move. Non cash-benefits, including pensions and healthcare, will play a key role in helping them decide. Simply paying higher salaries than competitors is a blunt and inefficient instrument in the battle to attract and retain a talented workforce.
The latest European Employee Benefits Benchmark (EEBB) report 'Employee Benefits: Getting the Mix Right' focuses on how benefits – the services that companies provide to their workers apart from salaries - might influence employees' relationships with their employers. The report is designed to help HR directors and other senior managers improve the design and scope of benefits packages to make them more attractive to employees in a rapidly changing financial and economic landscape.
Aon Hewitt's European Employee Benefits Benchmark
The report is based on data from the Aon Hewitt's European Employee Benefits Benchmark (EEBB), a survey of more than 7,500 workers from across Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Switzerland and UK, ten of the leading economies in Europe. The Benchmark focuses on the views of workers across Europe on topics such as retirement, employee benefits and other pension-related issues. The European Employee Benchmark is a useful indicator for employers as they consider how to tackle the task of maximising the return on human capital investment.
The benefits communications gap
From the research it is clear that employees place a significant value on their pension, healthcare and other benefits. As companies develop strategies to retain or attract new employees, benefits become an important part of the mix. However, the research also shows that employers are not doing enough to communicate their benefits provisions to employees. The challenge for companies is how to optimize the combination of benefits in a way that enhances perceptions of the employment package as whole.
The first report based on the EEBB entitled Expectations vs. Reality: Meeting Europe’s Retirement Challenge, examined employees’ expectations from retirement across a wide range of subjects, including general attitudes towards retirement saving, where they expected to retire, how they felt about government policies to raise official retirement ages, and how much money they expected to receive (and expected to need) in retirement.
Taken together, the two reports offer both macro and micro perspectives on sound benefits planning.