From product to experiences: the employee benefits evolution

This article has been produced in partnership with Zurich Integrated Benefits, platinum sponsors at this year's Global Benefits Forum. Pablo's session is available to watch on-demand - click here to access the recording and hear them speak further on this topic at the forum back in June 2023 (opens a new window)).

Human resources practitioners are transitioning away from offering employee benefits products to staff to creating “experiences”. Aligning these experiences with the company’s goals can generate a very powerful benefits programme.

The employee benefits offering has come a long way and is now, in its most advanced form, (hyper) personalised and tailored to each employee group through the use of data and specialised communications techniques.

To deliver on this proposition the most progressive companies are making use of holistic employer portals. These do not only inform and engage effectively with employees, but also help gathering data about their different interests and demands. Ultimately this helps the business to adjust and personalize the employee benefits experience to remain relevant for employees in each of their individual life stages. It also enables employers to learn about employees’ specific interests and about the value they see in the products and services offered. As a result, businesses can inform staff more effectively about the benefits offering and its value, as well as reshape it to maximize its impact.

Fresh data sets, new provider-ecosystems and skills are constantly being developed, helping to maximise the impact of the employee value proposition, and pushing their duty of care beyond the mere product provision.

The illustration below shows the different stages the employee benefits industry has undergone, from the basic product offering required by a country’s regulator to offering experiences.

Employer journey

Current best practices:

  • Harmonize the benefits and ensure global standards for all employees

  • Run preventative wellbeing programmes

  • Add new solutions / services to broaden the employee experience

The process of developing this holistic approach normally needs encompassing a wide range of areas including physical, mental, financial, social, and cyber wellbeing. It also requires the involvement and alignment of the human resources (HR) function with multiple other areas; most importantly risk management. This helps HR to learn from the risk function’s expertise in data and services and allows it to continually monitor and model improvement actions.

The epitome of all this coordination is the ability to generate actionable insights that allow for early adjustments to the programme. This can both prevent issues and further boost engagement with employees.

Interested in hearing more on this topic? Watch Pablo speaking at this year's Lockton Global Benefits Forum in June. Click here to access your copy of this recording (opens a new window).

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