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As the workforce continues to change at a rapid rate and the U.S. experiences historically low unemployment rates and a competitive hiring market, employers must listen to the needs and expectations of employees when it comes to their benefits programs. Providing a variety of benefits that are relevant for employees and have an impact on their personal lives has a significant influence on how an employee feels about their organization. Our recent Thomsons Online Benefits Global Employee Benefits Watch report, which surveyed over 2,000 employees from global multinational organizations, found that 81 percent of employees surveyed who can easily access their benefits said they feel loyal to their employer. This understanding and accessibility also makes employees prouder to work for an organization, and more likely to be workplace advocates and see themselves working for their employer for the foreseeable future. While employee loyalty and engagement is a complex matter, engaged employees can increase productivity and, as a result, profit for a company.

Employee demand is not being met

Our recent research shows there is still a disparity between what support employees actually want from their benefits programs and what is available to them. For example, 57 percent of employees surveyed would like support from their employer in improving mental well-being, while only 23 percent of employers offer this kind of benefit. Additionally, 45 percent of employees surveyed want benefits to help them with their personal finances, and only 20 percent of employers offer this. On the other hand, areas where employers are meeting employee needs the most are those that are less important to employees, including getting married and socializing. Data collection and the right technology to process it makes it easier for HR teams to gain a personalized view of each employee and understand what they want the most, even at a very large organization. It is crucial to know the differences between each individual, since our research shows that what might be important for one person within the 26-35 age group, such as buying a house, might not be a priority for another person in the same age demographic. If employers are able to personalize benefits needs, they can better provide the support their employees want.

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