Analytics on employee benefits still lacking

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Businesses advised to analyse data at their disposal, such as claims, absences or health risk assessments

Only 12% of UK businesses currently use organisational analytics to test the effectiveness of their employee benefits programmes, according to the latest Benefits Trends Survey from Willis Towers Watson.

A greater number use medical claims data, but this figure still stands at only 29%.

More encouragingly, 76% say they will make use of organisational analytics within the next three years, an increase of 64 percentage points from today.

Additionally, 62% stated that it is important to design programmes that account for the specific needs of the workforce or drive behavioural change. A further 74% also believe it is important to benchmark programmes against competitors.

Auditing and benchmarking existing schemes represents a good starting point for businesses that are keen to take action,” said Mark Ramsook, head of sales and marketing at Willis Towers Watson Health and Benefits.

“It is then important to establish appropriate governance and processes for ongoing measurement to ensure the effectiveness of benefits is continually assessed, taking into account changing workforce needs. This approach will allow benefits to have a positive impact in a variety of areas, including sickness absence and overall workforce wellbeing.

“Thinking around benefits has often focused on issues such as statutory requirements or a perceived need to be competitive in the job market,” he added. “But a tactical approach of this nature will typically make it possible to manage costs only in the short term, and limit the potential for benefits to deliver true business value.

"Instead businesses would be advised to analyse the data at their disposal – such as claims data, absence data or information from health risk assessments – to target benefits towards areas of most need and tailor the offering depending on the requirements of different segments of the workforce.”

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