Just 22 per cent of employers target the employee benefits they offer to specific demographics in their workforce, dependent on their age, lifestyle and risk factors, according to new research from Towergate Health & Protection.
A survey of 500 HR decision makers found that the majority of employers – 57 per cent – offer exactly the same benefits to all staff, and 18 per cent base their benefits offering solely on seniority of staff. Half of employers say they would like to target employee benefits to different demographics, but they find it too complicated.
The overwhelming majority of those surveyed – 78 per cent – said it would be valuable to have a better understanding of the risk profile of the health and wellbeing of their staff.
The main reason for this was to enable employers to tailor health and wellbeing support to help keep employees healthy and in work, stated by 49 per cent. A further 42 per cent said it would mean they could tailor their health and wellbeing support to the specific needs of their workforce. Aiding recruitment and retention was cited by 39% of employers as a reason to use risk profiling, while 38 per cent felt it would help to meet corporate and social responsibilities. For 32 per cent of employers, the advantage of risk profiling would be that if they were only able to offer a limited range of health and wellbeing support, it would help them to prioritise what was most relevant.
Debra Clark, head of specialist consulting for Towergate Health & Protection says: “Risk profiling is revolutionary for employers, it can ensure health and wellbeing support is targeted and makes a tangible difference and, what’s more, it’s very simple to implement. This is a gamechanger for employee benefits, and the increase in engagement is quantifiable.
“By taking demographics and risk profiles of staff into consideration it is possible to make health and wellbeing support much more targeted. For example, if employees are found to be at high risk of developing a certain health condition, like diabetes, then they could be provided with appropriate preventative benefits like nutrition advice, screening services and increased support to improve fitness.
“Employers have put forward really good reasons for using risk profiling. It enables health and wellbeing support to be focussed exactly where it is needed. If employers are only able to offer a small selection of benefits, then it makes a huge amount of sense to ensure that they are really relevant to the specific workforce and that the support will benefit the company too by helping to keep each employee healthy and productive.”