New research from Aon, a leading global professional services firm providing a broad range of risk, retirement and health solutions, says that 97% of employers agree that employees’ expectations of their experience in the workplace are changing. Aon’s Benefits and Trends Survey 2019 highlights that employers are saying that employees’ top priorities now include flexible working hours, agile working, mental health, diversity and inclusion, and parental leave.
The survey, now in its ninth year, which polled more than 200 employers of various sizes, found that flexible working features heavily in employees’ changing expectations. Some 98% of respondents said staff now expect more flexibility in their working hours, while 89% stated that employees increasingly expect agile or home working to be readily available.
Making up the rest of the top five expectations from employees were better awareness of mental health issues (79%), better approaches to diversity and inclusion (65%) and improved maternity, paternity and parental leave policies (63%). More than half (54%) of respondents also said that access to financial education is an increasingly popular expectation among employees.
Interestingly, 60% of employers say that their businesses are either already changing or are expected to change in the next five years, meaning they are now competing for talent within different market sectors. This can mean that the demographics of the organisation change – yet half of the respondents said that their current benefits do not meet the needs of all generations, while 89% believed they will need to change their benefits offering to meet the needs of future generations.
Richard Morgan, strategic consultant at Aon, said, “There seems to be a particularly rapid pace of change at the moment, much of it driven by technology. This impacts an organisation’s workforce model and has consequences on an employee’s role fulfilment, the types of people who fill those roles, as well as the organisations they compete with for talent.
“When it comes to employee demographics – although age is unlikely to define people – there are external factors that differ and continue to change, so the issues that one generation faces are often quite different to the generations before and after them. For example, Baby Boomers largely enjoyed final salary pensions and are likely to be relatively much better off in retirement. Owning one’s own home is much less common among 25-34 year olds, especially in London, while the ‘sandwich generation’ is emerging with people having caring responsibilities for both their children and their parents.
“How employers respond to these changes will define how successfully they can implement their future workforce plans.”
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