Inclusion and diversity is the top driver of benefit strategies in India, WTW survey finds
- 84% companies in India provide inclusion and diversity programmes
- Organisations are now offering programmes targeted towards lifestyle risks and high-cost cases
Amidst a rapidly evolving work landscape, Indian employers are increasingly recognising that employee wellbeing is a critical component of business success. Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) programmes are the top social wellbeing initiative provided by Indian organisations according to the latest Wellbeing Programmes India Survey by leading global advisory, broking and solutions company WTW (NASDAQ: WTW).
The programmes offered under DEI include inclusion and diversity training (71%), accessible office spaces (71%), gender neutral company communications (71%) and inclusive benefits options (62%). Some companies also have gender neutral restrooms (33%) and diversity scholarships (20%).
Figure 1: Programmes offered under inclusion and diversity for social wellbeing
Top actions planned
Organisations are planning or considering various steps around the wellbeing of their employees across the four pillars of wellbeing – physical, emotional, financial and social in the next three years. These include offering health risk assessments (89%), having an organisation-wide mental health strategy (86%) and offering financial wellbeing education (69%).
Figure 2: Top two actions in each wellbeing category that employers are planning or considering in the next three years
Wellbeing programmes are gradually expanding to cover family, but more needs to happen
The study also finds that companies are already expanding coverage beyond the employee but more needs to be done. For programmes covering emotional wellbeing, 50% of the companies included the coverage for spouse and 39% of companies covered parents.
Figure 3: Who are covered under wellbeing programmes?
Explaining the trend, Vinod VK, Head of Health and Benefits, India, WTW said, “In order to accomplish holistic wellbeing, companies must first understand the employee’s sphere of influence and expand specific benefit programmes to these influencers. For instance, it is natural to expect a spouse or partner to contribute to financial decisions and it is important to include them in such education programmes. Covering families under financial wellbeing programmes can also help address the gender wealth gap, which remains a major concern in India.”
“Similarly, the emotional wellbeing of partners, children and parents has a direct impact on the employee, and any such programmes would be sub-optimal if they do not involve these family members.”
Lifestyle risk management and target specific health conditions
The survey reveals that an increasing number of companies are now moving towards offering programmes under lifestyle risk management and target specific conditions. These include weight management programme (32%), healthy sleep programme (29%), cardiovascular disease management (26%), diabetes management (26%) and cancer management (25%). Notably, programmes targeting specific conditions are also becoming more inclusive with 35% companies offering maternity management and 19% companies offering fertility support.
Figure 4: Programmes offered under lifestyle risk management
Figure 5: Programmes offered under target specific conditions or high-cost cases
“The pandemic was a watershed moment when companies started moving away from merely benchmarking their employee benefits towards taking an inward-out approach. This starts with looking deeper into the correlation between employee behaviour and preferences. Progressive organisations should focus on listening to their employees, identifying their needs and wants, understanding employee cohorts and moving towards purposeful and relevant benefits,” added Vinod.
About the survey
WTW’s Wellbeing Programmes India Survey was run between October and November 2022 and covers responses from 210 employers from India. The survey aimed to better understand organisations’ approaches to wellbeing in the workplace. The top industries covered include IT and telecom, general services, manufacturing and financial services.
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