Optimism around business growth and performance is at its highest since economic recovery began. This means that talent management is now firmly back on the corporate agenda. With headcount growth having peaked, many organisations are now focusing on delivering their growth strategy and vision.

To meet these challenges, countless companies have undergone complete organisational restructuring. This aims to bring greater flexibility, mobility and agility in an evolving global market.

As a positive sign, employee retention rates have indeed improved over 2013. For the majority (84%) of employers surveyed for our latest Employee Rewards Watch (ERW) report, a robust employee benefits offering has played a key role in this.

The post auto-enrolment pensions market is all about employee engagement and education. Companies have overcome the regulatory hurdles of staging and transition. They are now focusing on employee engagement levels.

Other areas of employee benefits have risen to rapid prominence, including health and wellbeing. Healthcare costs have become more transparent. Yet, a lack of transparency around absence trends remains.

Our report has shown positive signs of potential savings here. In life cover, for example, employees believe 2.8 times salary is enough, which is 0.7 times less than HR’s view of 3.5 times salary.

Perception gaps also exist elsewhere. Finance and HR teams place a much higher value on their employee benefits investment than employees. Our ERW data quantified that gap. Finance and HR value benefits investment at 13.8% and 11.3% of basic pay respectively, whereas employees estimate it at 6.6%.

This is somewhat surprising, yet it highlights some real opportunities for employers. Improving benefits communications would help maximise the value of this key investment.

Another challenge facing employers in this era of renewed business growth is an increase in global business activity and talent mobilisation.

For effective management of employee benefits, it is imperative that international companies can manage these from a central hub. Realistically, this would be via a third party provider and benefits software. This would then deliver a consistent global employee experience.

Organisations continue to focus on business growth, talent acquisition and international expansion. Engaging employees with their benefits package is key to these goals.

Arguably, HR's biggest challenge remains securing high levels of engagement from staff. As many experts are already predicting, the solution lies with investment in the latest HR and benefits management technology platforms. This would also help finance teams measure the return on their investment.