Editor, Reward & Employee Benefits Association (REBA)
With pressures from investors, governments, customers and employees, transformation in the workplace has never been more intense. With so much change facing organisations, the need for business resilience is critical.
Findings from the Reward & Employee Benefits Association (REBA) research ‘Evolving EVP: meeting business and workforce change’, published in partnership with Mercer Marsh Benefits in June 2023, highlight that people resilience is central to building business resilience.
Reasons business resilience is crucial
Changing ways of working; differing skills requirements; technology advances and demand for workplaces to offer a sense of purpose; while simultaneously protecting and enhancing employees’ wellbeing are all important to developing and supporting a resilient workforce that is agile and adaptable to meet future business needs.
What makes a workforce resilient?
A resilient workforce has no employee burnout, low staff turnover and absenteeism rates. It has good ongoing skills development and high productivity and engagement levels. Yet, REBA’s research indicates a gap between the nearly three-quarters (73%) of HR leaders who see resilience as a ‘business challenge’ and the 60% who believe creating a resilient and/or sustainable workforce is a key ‘HR challenge.’ If employers fail to recognise the need to transform their workforce, then overall business resilience may suffer.
For HR, this means adapting to meet employee and candidate expectations, which are continuing to transform. Employers anticipate an increase in demand for: clear career progression pathways; culture and/or support which avoids burnout; more/enhanced benefits; flexibility on time/location of work; clear links between work and corporate purpose.
If employers fail to recognise the need to
transform their workforce, then overall
business resilience may suffer.
Where progress is being made and where it is needed
The good news is that employers are already making headway in many of these areas. REBA’s research shows progress being made in wellbeing support, the offering of health and risk benefits and greater provisions for employees’ families. However, fewer employers felt that benefits aligned with changing demographics of the workforce and benefits linked to skills development were highly effective at enhancing the employee offering.
The mismatch between employee expectations around career progression pathways and the employers’ approach to benefits that support skills development needs to be addressed. If employers are unable to attract and retain the talent necessary — as well as upskill their existing workforce — it will pose a risk both to individual employees and the resilience of the business.
Only through transforming the employee offering can employers develop a workforce that is capable of steering a business into a sustainable and resilient future.