Talent war, rising costs causing Indian employers to rethink benefits strategy: Survey

Indian employers see risk and insurance benefits, health benefits and career, training and development as the most important benefits in their portfolios

employers to rethink employee benefit strategy

Talent war and rising costs have been ranked as top issues influencing employee benefit strategy by a majority of Indian employers, according to a survey. As many as 65 per cent of the employers interviewed ranked competition for talent, rising costs (38 per cent), flexible work arrangements (37 per cent) and focus on Inclusion & Diversity (I&D) (31 per cent) as the top factors influencing employee benefits strategy in the current year, the survey by global advisory, broking and solutions company WTW said.

Further, about 43 per cent of respondents expect persistence of higher inflation while 40 per cent expect a weak business environment to impact their benefits budget, it added.

The survey was conducted between March and April 2023, and responses from 5,233 employers across 95 markets globally — representing 22.9 million employees — were recorded.

Of them, 1,746 employers are based in the Asia Pacific, representing 4.9 million employees, including 364 employers in India, representing 2.1 million employees.

Meanwhile, the survey revealed that employers are also challenged by mis-alignments between what they offer and what employees look for in their benefits programmes.

In India, employers see risk and insurance benefits (51 per cent), health benefits (51 per cent) and career, training and development (43 per cent) as the most important benefits in their portfolios.

While employees place greater emphasis on health benefits (33 per cent), retirement plan or long-term finances (33 per cent), financial well being or short-term finances (29 per cent) and flexible work arrangements (28 per cent), it added.

“Economic factors, a tough labour market and tight budgets are compelling employers in India to rethink their benefits strategy while striking a balance between providing best in class benefits and dealing with rising costs,” WTW India Head of Health and Benefits Vinod VK said.

“Companies should invest time to identify benefits that appeal to each cohort and create a comprehensive Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) policy to address unique needs,” he added.

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