Employee Benefits Stunted by HR Budget Constraints: REBA Survey

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The survey also revealed that 72% of employers identified competing HR or business priorities as a barrier to making benefits changes. Additionally, 68% indicated a lack of resources or capacity to deliver as a barrier to change.
Employee Benefits Stunted by HR Budget Constraints: REBA Survey

The latest survey conducted by the Reward and Employee Benefits Association (REBA) in collaboration with Howden Employee Benefits and Wellbeing has revealed that budget constraints are a significant barrier to implementing changes to employee benefits. The survey, which included 234 UK employers, found that 81% of employers cited budget approval as a hurdle for the year 2024/2025.

 

The research also highlighted that half of the employers were apprehensive about the impact of cost increases on their benefits’ strategy. This concern is further exacerbated by the current high inflation rates, making it increasingly difficult for HR to secure budgets.

 

Kayla Velnoskey, a senior research associate at Gartner HR, emphasized the need for innovation in benefits to retain talent. She stated, “The competition for candidates remains intense, therefore, there is a need for companies to innovate in their approach to attracting and retaining their top talent, particularly for those unable to compete solely on compensation.”

 

The survey also revealed that 72% of employers identified competing HR or business priorities as a barrier to making benefits changes. Additionally, 68% indicated a lack of resources or capacity to deliver as a barrier to change.

 

Ruth Cornish, founder of HR consultancy Amelore, suggested that HR should demonstrate that enhanced benefits will contribute to organizational goals when seeking budget approval. She said, “HR will present a business case most effectively if it is fully aligned with organizational goals and strategy. Having a good understanding of competing priorities will help identify clear commercial benefits, particularly if directly linked to a detailed workforce plan.”

 

The survey results showed that for over a quarter (27%) of employers, employee benefits provided effective support for HR transformation in 2023. Nearly half (47%) of respondents anticipated that employee benefits would make a difference over the next two years.

 

When asked what areas benefits had positively impacted in 2023, 58% of respondents reported employee wellbeing, employee engagement (48%), workforce cost pressures (47%), and retaining (46%) and attracting (49%) employees.

 

Cornish further noted that statistics on employee benefits could help secure budget approvals. She commented, “Hard facts, data, and evidence speak loudly. HR needs to be able to clearly link any investment with employee engagement, increased productivity, and profit. Capturing and measuring this using engagement surveys, systems, ad hoc feedback, performance management tools, and exit interviews, in addition to all relevant workforce metrics, should present a compelling picture.”

 

Velnoskey suggested that HR should also focus on how benefits contribute to the employee experience as a whole. She added, “HR can showcase the effectiveness of employee-centric benefits by communicating how crafting work procedures and cultures that address both the physical and psychological requirements of staff members improve employees’ health and wellbeing.

 

By instilling such benefits, organizations can expect to see elevated levels of engagement, motivation, and overall wellbeing among employees, resulting in enhanced productivity and improved business results.”

 

The survey conducted by REBA represented an estimated total of approximately 1.5 million employees between January and February 2024. The findings of this survey underscore the challenges faced by HR departments in managing employee benefits amidst budget constraints and highlight the need for innovative strategies to navigate these challenges.

Stay tuned, to PropleManager.co.in for further updates on the evolving workplace paradigm.   

 

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