There has been an increase in the number of employers communicating their Employee Value Propositions (EVPs) to their workforce, new research from Aon has found.
EVPs, which refers to the entire employee experience including pay, benefits, culture and career progression, are a relatively new concept, yet are playing a vital role in shaping benefits strategies.
Over three quarters of employer respondents in the latest Aon UK Benefits & Trends 2020 Survey (77 per cent) say they now communicate EVPs to their workforce, in comparison to 68 per cent in 2019. The number of employers currently offering or ‘working towards’ implementing an EVP remain at similar levels to previous years (76 per cent).
91 per cent of employers cited employee engagement as one of their top five most important objectives, followed by retention (71 per cent) and employee choice (62 per cent).
Companies with an EVP in place reported increased levels of employee engagement (77 per cent), retention levels (76 per cent) and recruitment (78 per cent), the survey found.
Responding to the research, Jeff Fox, principal of Aon said EVPs are becoming ‘the new normal’ with ‘many more’ employers developing ‘clear branding and messaging’ around the whole employee experience.
“Employee benefits are just a part of that overall experience, so developing a joined-up approach with values, culture, policies and benefits is vital in creating a successful EVP,” he added.
“This is of critical importance as we witness employees’ expectations of the workplace rapidly evolve, with employers responding accordingly to recruit and retain the best talent.”
Summing up, Fox said: “On the face of it, success rates [of employee benefit strategies] probably boil down to understanding employee needs and effective communications in relevant channels. Employers need to ensure they fully understand the diverse needs of employees, educate them and make it as easy as possible for them to access what they need, as and when they need it.”
Aon say emotional and financial wellbeing strategies were found to be the ‘least developed’ pillars of employee wellbeing in its 2017 UK Health Survey.
The 2020 survey also revealed that the majority of employer respondents to the survey (71 per cent) believe the employer is responsible for influencing employee health and change behaviours. 58 per cent said they ‘agreed’ while 13 per cent ‘strongly agreed’. In addition, 62 per cent agreed that financial wellbeing is the employer’s responsibility, with 48 per cent planning to implement relevant initiatives within the next twelve months.
A number of employers also said they had specific strategies in place to address certain health conditions including mental health (57 per cent), cancer (19 per cent), heart and cardiology conditions (13 per cent) and musculoskeletal conditions (24 per cent).
Commenting on the findings, Mark Witte, principal at Aon said: “There are many health, social and economic factors impacting employers’ decisions to strategically support staff wellbeing. By some margin, employers’ strategies are principally focusing on mental health, which is most likely testament to the surge of interest in the issue as well as an increased understanding of the impact on business performance.”
But he warned that the importance of physical wellbeing should not be overlooked, particularly as data continues to emphasize the impact of physical health on businesses. Writing in the report, Witte said physical health, is the “most established” pillar of wellbeing strategy, but despite this year’s growth, physical wellbeing initiatives in comparison to emotional and financial wellbeing has been “less significant.”
Witte said that while it was ‘encouraging’ that employers are focusing on emotional and financial wellbeing, it is “inarguable” that employers should be focusing on what their specific company data is telling them.
“We should not allow action relating to physical health to fall behind,” he added. “The impact of conditions such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease can be devastating for employees and their families and presents a significant risk both financial and operationally for employers. Education and action addressing the key drivers of these conditions should be high on all employers list of priorities for 2020.”
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