Analysis reveals emerging trends shaping global benefits programs

Business Group on Health identifies five benefits to watch

Analysis reveals emerging trends shaping global benefits programs

The Business Group on Health has announced five significant global benefits and well-being trends to watch.

These trends reflect the growing focus on employee well-being, global consistency, inclusive programs, cost sustainability, and government mandates.

“Employers remain sharply focused on the health and wellbeing of their employees around the globe, with the goal of creating and nurturing healthier, equitable, and more engaged workforces,” said Ellen Kelsay, president and CEO of Business Group on Health. “Factors further influencing these trends include the easing of the global pandemic, economic fluctuations, and rising inflation, which has helped to shift these health and wellbeing programs from a corporate responsibility to a strategic imperative.”

The complete set of trends, derived from the insights provided by member companies of the Business Group, includes:

1, An expanded vision of wellbeing for global workforces

Employers are recognizing the importance of comprehensive employee well-being strategies. The focus is shifting towards a broader understanding of wellbeing, encompassing physical health, mental health, social connectedness, financial security, job satisfaction, and community. By embracing this expanded vision and implementing balanced and holistic programs, employers can expect a more engaged workforce and potentially lower turnover rates.

2, A heightened focus on global consistency and governance

With increasingly diverse workforces, ensuring global consistency in benefits management and delivery has become crucial. Employers are striving to navigate complex administrative landscapes, maintain transparency, and provide a consistent employee experience across markets. Global consistency not only promotes equity and regulatory compliance but also enables informed decision-making. However, challenges remain, such as differing employee needs by country and a lack of providers offering global solutions.

3, Balancing cost and sustainability for health and benefits programs

Employers face economic uncertainties and resource scarcity while striving to deliver impactful and cost-effective health and benefits programs. Innovative financing mechanisms, including captive insurance companies and multinational pooling, are being explored as solutions. These mechanisms offer a more sustainable financial model, along with risk management and cost-saving opportunities. Balancing cost and sustainability will be essential for employers to weather economic fluctuations and maintain competitive benefits offerings.

4, Inclusive and relevant benefits programs for diverse workforces

The global workforce is becoming more multigenerational and culturally diverse, necessitating benefits programs that are globally consistent and locally relevant. Employers must address varying levels of access to care and ensure the specific health and well-being needs of all employees are met. Inclusivity and health equity are vital, requiring employers to understand and meet the needs of underrepresented groups and accommodate cultural differences while complying with local laws. Constructing globally inclusive and relevant benefits programs will be a key differentiator for employers.

5, Smart navigation of government mandates

Local and national government mandates significantly influence the development and delivery of benefits programs. These mandates cover various areas, such as childcare benefits, job protections for illnesses, and retirement plans. Employers must navigate these regulations on a country-by-country basis to provide comprehensive benefits programs that are both globally consistent and locally relevant.