In today’s ultra-competitive talent landscape, your C&B policies need to go beyond the paycheck and perks. Here are the wellness pillars you can focus on for 2022 and beyond.
“Throw money at the problem,” or so the old adage goes. However, as economies chug back to life, employees dust off their CVs, and companies struggle to cope with what’s been termed the ‘Great Resignation,’ what do you do when even outlandishly large sums of money can’t stave off the inevitable?
In today’s ultra-competitive talent landscape, your compensation and benefits (C&B) policies need to go beyond the paycheck and perks, to encompass all that is employee wellbeing including; mental, emotional, physical and financial interventions.
Employee wellbeing and how it relates to compensation and benefits is something CHROs the world over are grappling with. Hosted by Human Resources Online (HRO) and Fidelity International, Human Resources Insights, a half-day symposium, was attended by Hong Kong’s HR leaders to discuss workplace benefits and wellbeing.
1. C&B and employee well-being - what are employees looking for?
Compensation and benefits are both critical issues HR continues to struggle with; rewarding employees, retaining them through workplace happiness and wellbeing initiatives, all the while sustaining operations and reducing costs in troubling and uncertain times are clearly no easy tasks.
According to the Fidelity Global Sentiment Survey*, the negative impact of the pandemic continued to weigh on 35% and 40% of Hong Kong respondents, who felt ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ worried and fatigued respectively, mainly due to loss of income and the deterioration of living standards.
The ability to stay home (39%), the improvement in general health (37%), and the ability to save more (37%) has driven some respondents to stay positive. Moreover, the survey revealed that work/life balance, work flexibility (flexibility on working time/location/leave), and health insurance are becoming important to Hong Kong respondents.
There is a significant opportunity for employers to continue and/or expand flexible work options and other benefits, including physical and mental health support, as well as financial education to continue improving the wellbeing of their employees.
*The Fidelity Global Sentiment Survey was conducted in August 2021 across 16 markets, looking at 19,000 adults’ sentiment in the past six months and coming six months. For the Hong Kong survey, it includes 1,000 respondents whose household monthly income is at least HK$15,000.
2. However, what about – financial wellbeing?
“Being financially comfortable in retirement” is a long-term financial goal for 95% of Hong Kong respondents of Fidelity’s Global Sentiment Survey. Around a quarter of the same respondents however, are not confident they will achieve their goal.
More than half of the respondents of the same survey expressed that not having a big enough retirement fund is causing some stress and this is a phenomenon particularly visible among young and middle-aged workers.
One of the key benefits offered to employees in Hong Kong is the Mandatory Provident Fund “MPF”. Before the implementation of the MPF system, only about 1/3rd of the workforce had some form of retirement protection. With MPF, around 85% is covered under a retirement scheme, be it through MPF, ORSO, or statutory pension or provident fund. There is much that it has achieved, but still there is more it can deliver for the working population in Hong Kong.
Employers are well positioned to play a key role in boosting financial knowledge and retirement confidence across their working population, potentially providing access to valuable information, resources, and education on retirement savings goals and options to those who need it most.
“Understanding investment concepts takes time and effort before one can see a good outcome, just like picking up any new skills. Fidelity has always focused on investor education - from the basics to sophisticated ideas.” said Charlotte Chan, Head of Distribution, Hong Kong Workplace and Personal Investing at Fidelity International.
The team at Fidelity thinks employers play an important role in financial education, so they can support employees’ changing financial needs over time and help them understand how to achieve their retirement goals.
By prioritising investor education to equip and empower employees in managing their investments, increase their retirement reserves, and achieve wealth creation, through streamlined means, the team at Fidelity not only takes care of employee wellbeing but also helps retain and attract talent that is ever more concerned with the future for employers.
3. Support that employers can benefit from
Fidelity International’s flagship financial education programme - Financial Wellness aims to provide holistic and personalised financial planning experience to Hongkongers, through three components:
- The Global Financial Wellness Survey,
- An interactive online tool to understand financial wellness level, and
- An online educational content hub for financial improvement tips.
All these are easily accessible in a dedicated Fidelity webpage for employees to equip themselves with financial knowledge and assess one's financial wellness on regular basis.
A healthy workplace is the foundation of any successful business. We hope this report gives you the impetus you may have been seeking to revive and refresh your employee wellness strategies into 2022 and beyond. Wish you the best of luck!
Human Resources Online and Fidelity International would like to thank the following speakers, panellists and moderators for joining us for this edition of HR Insights:
- Charlotte Chan, CFA, CAIA, Head of Distribution, Hong Kong Workplace & Personal Investing - Fidelity International
- Robert Amos Vice President, Human Resources - Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEX)
- Catherine Chow General Manager – Human Resources, Greater China Inchcape
- Angie Sung, Head of Human Resources, Hong Kong & Macau - Hilti
- Philip Lee, Director, Human Resources, Asia Pacific - The Clorox Company
- Dorothy Chan, Vice President, Global Talent Management - Schneider Electric
- Marina Vogt, Chief Happiness Officer - CHO Academy
- Michael Kwan, Senior People Partner & Talent Lead - Woolworths Group Asia
- Louis Li, CFA, Associate Director, Hong Kong WI Sales - Fidelity International
- Bridgette Hall, Deputy Editor, North Asia - Human Resources Online
Photo / HR Insights