2014 Global Employee Benefits Watch

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With increased globalisation, as companies expand into new markets and on-board new employees in multiple countries, HR teams are encountering new complexities and challenges. Legislative changes, escalating costs, slashed HR budgets and an uneven economy are just some of the factors organisations are dealing with today, along with the increasing complexity in administrating and communicating benefits to multinational employees.

Thomsons’ 2014 Global Employee Benefits Watch analyses the current concerns and challenges that face multinational organisations as it relates to benefit administration and engagement.

The survey comprised more than 150 HR professionals working globally across EMEA, APAC and the USA, from 48 different industries and covering more than 3 million employees worldwide. The respondents were generally senior executives and managers (25% HR Directors, 17% HR Managers), compensation and benefits/reward Managers (25%) and Directors (13%).

Our research has revealed that organisations are continuing to make gradual changes and shifts to their benefits plans in the wake of the challenges faced. It has also pinpointed an increasing need for global companies to create a unified approach to control their global reward message and offer a consistent experience for internationally located employees, as well as implement solutions that will allow them to demonstrate the value of benefits investment on an individual employee level.

Some key findings:

Less than half of those surveyed (49%) had a written global benefits strategy in place at their organisation.

More than 60% faced issues regarding global benefits administration efficiency, and 53% cited burden on internal resources as their biggest benefits administration issue.

The most common challenge regarding global benefits strategy for multinationals was their employees’ lack of understanding of the value of the organisation’s total reward program (50%).

Improving employee engagement and communications were among the top HR challenges globally.

Nearly half (49%) of companies reported that their approach to administering and communicating global benefits varies from country to country, and 83% lack a branded rewards program.

69% of companies believe they’ll face a shortage of qualified workers within the next five years.

More than one-third (35%) of companies will change their recruitment focus, as more marginalised workers become increasingly important (24% will hire younger employees, 10% will hire older workers and 23% will rehire retired employees).

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