Singaporeans are an increasingly confident lot and employees today are far surer of themselves and know exactly what they want in their careers. This makes the retention of top talent more crucial than before.
Whether you are a small to medium-sized enterprise (SME) owner or a human resources practitioner at a multi-national corporation (MNC), the reality today is that attractive salaries are no longer enough if you want the best and brightest in your organisation.
Employees are now thinking further ahead, and looking closely at the employee benefits and healthcare options available to them. Employee Benefits has, for this reason, become one of the significant drivers for ensuring your employees stay happy and loyal.
A solution for everyone, no matter how big or small the company is
SMEs have always played a huge role in the growth of Singapore's economy, and will continue to do so.
Against this backdrop, employees in this sector have begun to expect benefit packages that were once reserved for employees at multinational corporations. Employees at SMEs today are privy to a host of insurance and financial benefits such as life and health cover, and innovative retirement fund entitlements. With these benefits, SMEs have been able to compete with large businesses when securing top talent.
That being said, these benefits come with added costs and administrative requirements which a business with low employee numbers might not be able to afford. With this in mind, such business should consider off-the-shelf group insurance products that are a lot more cost effective.
Aviva's MyBenefits Plus, for instance, provides comprehensive group coverage for as few as two employees. Mid-sized organisations though, need to consider more unique solutions. These organisations have in recent times been known to increasingly roll out flexible employee insurance schemes.
The plans – typically popular amongst MNCs – allow organisations to provide baseline insurance cover, while allowing employees to top-up their coverage with additional benefits, such as healthcare provisions, to suit their own individual needs.
Bundling relevant products
Some insurers, such as Aviva, serve as a one-stop shop for employees by offering customised solutions. This includes not only the standard employee benefits as part of the Group plan but also extends to GI products and in some cases, simple banking products.
This element of flexibility is not only attractive to employees, but provides employers with various cost savings. Unlike some traditional group insurance policies, which have seen premiums increase due to higher healthcare costs and an aging workforce, flexible group insurance schemes allow employers to cap expenditure by passing on some of the responsibility to employees.
In order to mitigate risk and lessen the cost even more, some Singaporean businesses have also been rolling out a number of initiatives, particularly those focused on employee education.
Healthier employees are happier employees
Anecdotal research suggests businesses that have adopted this proactive approach to employee wellness have experienced a significant drop in health insurance claims and employee absenteeism due to illness.
Organisations are working towards reducing healthcare claims, and consequently premiums, by educating their employees about the importance of good health and nutrition, and even incentivizing them to lead more healthy lifestyles.
For example, Aviva's Employee Benefits plan offers a customer loyalty and reward programme called Fit&Well, a health and wellness portal where employees can log on and earn reward points for action steps they take towards their fitness goals.
Catering to a mobile workforce
While cost is a major concern for SMEs and mid-sized organisations, we should also take into consideration the added complexity MNCs with a highly mobile workforce face. A large number of expatriates are being posted to Singapore each year, often working on fixed-term contracts before being relocated to other markets.
In such an instance, market-specific group insurance policies would be unsuitable as these cannot be transferred to other countries. As a result, MNCs end up having to deal with unnecessary premium payments and duplicate administration costs that come with additional policies set-up for employees who relocate.
To solve this issue, MNCs are increasingly turning to insurance products such as Aviva's MyGlobalBenefits, which offer comprehensive, global coverage and protect employees when they travel, live, and work abroad.
Some of these policies even combine health, life, disability, accident and illness protection into a single policy. These are not only more attractive for employees, but easier for businesses to administer.
All in all, organisations today have to consider more sophisticated solutions for its employees. From flexible global insurance cover to bespoke cover for key employees, organisations have to evolve along with the labour market that now expects even greater degree employee benefit and healthcare insurance.
This, in the long term, would be a crucial differentiator for any organisation hoping to attract and retain top talent.