Robbie Weston, Executive Director, Asset Management and Legal, at Howden Employee Benefits and Wellbeing considers how employers in the Asset Management Sector can best support employees through benefits in 2023
1. Review your employee benefits:
Review your existing employee benefits programme to ensure it continues to meet the needs of your business and employees. Do your benefits meet the ESG goals of your business? Do they reflect your approach to diversity and inclusion? Talk to staff to see what they value and identify any gaps within your current offering.
Benefits such as, Private Medical Insurance, Health Cash Plans and Dental Cover will continue to be highly valued – particularly at a time where NHS wait times have hit an all-time high – and can help employees to access treatment faster and return to work more quickly. We also expect employees to demand more benefits which reflect their personal environmental and ethical beliefs including ethical pension fund options, green car and cycle-to-work schemes.
2. Promote your employee benefits regularly.
Asset managers typically offer excellent benefits and reward packages. However, these can often be a firm’s best kept secret. So we expect to see a renewed focus on the communication of benefits to ensure employees know about the benefits on offer, they value them and know how to access them when needed.
The true value of a benefits package cannot be realised if employees do not know about them, and the post-pandemic workplace has changed the ways that firms need to communicate with their people. Implementing a multi-channel communications strategy, which includes the right mix of digital, in person and traditional communication methods can help to reach the entire workforce and bring benefits to life, ensuring that firms maximise their benefits spend. And boosting engagement and appreciation of the benefits provided too.
3. Prioritise wellbeing
A key part of any good working culture is having a happy and healthy workforce and employee wellbeing will continue to be a high priority for firms this year. In 2023, we expect to see more firms particularly focusing on supporting employees’ mental and financial wellbeing.
Many Asset Management firms have already implemented a wellbeing strategy or plan to do so in 2023. An effective strategy will identify the key wellbeing needs of employees and put in place the right solutions to help. That could be onsite therapists to help manage mental health and stress; access to physical wellbeing programmes; wellbeing apps such as Howden’s Be Well World, or financial education.
There isn’t a one size fits all solution so it’s advisable to work with your benefits consultant to pinpoint the main aspects of wellbeing that need to be addresses and create a plan which directs benefits spend in the most effective way.
4. Help staff through the cost-of-living crisis.
Firms will also need to support staff who face additional pressures due to the cost-of-living crisis. Younger employees who won’t have experienced a recession before are particularly likely to benefit from this support.
Offering access to services such as financial education programmes, online tools, discount platforms and financial advice are all likely to be welcomed in helping employees take control of their finances.
Research shows the current crisis is impacting business productivity and engagement. According to The Financial Capability Strategy for the UK: 1 in 4 workers have lost sleep over money worries, over half say that current financial worries stop them from performing at their best and almost half (46%) say that financial worries have impacted their relationship with their manager[i].
Howden has launched a guide to help employers support their staff through the cost of living crisis – To download the full guide please go to: www.howdengroup.com/uk-en/Cost-of-living-crisis-an-employers-guide
For more information, please visit: www.howdengroup.co.uk