A majority of Indian employers identified talent wars and increasing costs as the primary factors shaping their employee benefit strategies.
According to a survey conducted by the global advisory, broking, and solutions company WTW, a significant 65% of the employers who participated in the survey rated competition for talent as the most influential factor in shaping their employee benefits strategy for the current year.
Following closely, 38% cited rising costs, while 37% emphasised the importance of flexible work arrangements, and 31% highlighted a focus on Inclusion & Diversity (I&D) as key determinants in their benefits strategy.
Furthermore, the report indicated that approximately 43% of respondents anticipate the continuation of elevated inflation rates, while 40% foresee a challenging business environment that will influence their benefits budget.
Employers are also grappling with discrepancies between what they provide in their benefits programs and what employees seek from these offerings.
In India, employers prioritise risk and insurance benefits (51%), health benefits (51%), and career development and training (43%) as the most crucial components of their benefits offerings.
''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.
However, employees place a higher emphasis on health benefits (33%), retirement plans or long-term financial security (33%), financial well-being or short-term finances (29%), and flexible work arrangements (28%). This highlights a notable disparity between employer and employee preferences regarding benefits.
The survey was carried out between March and April 2023, collecting responses from 5,233 employers spanning 95 markets worldwide. This dataset represented a total of 22.9 million employees.
Among these, 1,746 employers were situated in the Asia Pacific region, encompassing 4.9 million employees. Within the Asia Pacific, there were 364 employers in India, representing 2.1 million employees.