SINGAPORE (Nov 15): The majority of Singapore’s workforce is less than satisfied with their workplace benefits, contrary to what employers might think.

This is according to advisory and broking firm Willis Towers Watson, who says that 63% of local employers believe their staff highly value their benefits packages – while in reality, only 45% of employees would agree.

Findings from the 2017 Willis Towers Watson Asia Pacific Benefit Trends Survey reveal what the firm calls a “serious disconnect” on the perceived value of these packages.

While both employers and employees agree that healthcare is a crucial aspect of benefits packages at 89% and 72%, respectively, the latter appear to demand for more diversity and choice of benefits which they find to be missing in their existing packages.

Some of these non-traditional well-being benefit offerings that a minority of employers are presently looking to integrate include activity-based programmes (21%), behavioural or emotional health management initiatives (23%), lifestyle risk and chronic disease management programmes (18% respectively), and financial well-being (10%).

However, the survey also revealed that a majority of companies of Singapore (86%) are looking to evaluate and measure the success and effectiveness of their benefits programmes in the next three years.

Organisations plan to accomplish this via medical claim data and benchmarking information to informed decisions or changes; financial and nonfinancial metrics to measure the impact; and sharing health and wellbeing programme performance metrics with C-suite, senior management, or as a corporate-reported matric on a regular basis.

“While only one in three employees receives [diversity, choice and flexibility with their benefits] currently, staff who receive greater diversity and choice report higher satisfaction. This finding is particularly crucial for organisations, as it highlights the clear opportunities for how employers can improve employee satisfaction, engagement, retention and attraction,” comments Audrey Tan, Head of Health & Benefits, Singapore, Willis Towers Watson.

One way organisations can overcome the challenges of effectively managing costs and benefits, says Tan, is by measuring the effectiveness of their health programs by evaluating them on a regular basis.

“To do this, companies need to design an ecosystem around data, where they collect, analyse and share results to measure effectiveness, and, in turn, their employees’ view of the value of the benefits offerings,” she adds.