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Employee Benefits, Global

5 considerations for benchmarking your global benefits offering


Two top priorities for Global Reward Directors are to ensure they’re offering competitive benefits across the organisation, and that their benefits meet growing employee expectations. With 52% of global employees saying their expectations of their benefits package have increased in the last 12 months, providing great benefits is essential to engage, retain and attract the best people. And as well as making sure benefits are competitive, Reward Directors want to optimise their budgets and avoid overspending on their benefits programme.  

To understand how their offering stacks up against competitors in each region, HR and Reward teams need to go through a benefits benchmarking process. Although the decision to rollout benefits technology can be the driver that kick-starts this exercise, benchmarking is worth doing every few years because the benefits landscape is always evolving. However, benchmarking isn’t always a straightforward task. 76% of global organisations can’t show ROI on benefits investments and most are a long way from being able to benchmark their offering against competitors. They are often held back by budgetary constraints, outdated technology, and fragmented and disparate data. Not to mention the fact that market data on benefits is often hard to find and even concealed by local brokers.  

For organisations trying to review their offering across several countries, the scale of the task can feel immense (and somewhat overwhelming).  

So what do you need to consider for your benchmarking project?  

5 questions to ask when benchmarking your global benefits offering 

1. What benefits do you offer in each region?  

It might seem obvious, but before you can start to benchmark your benefits offering, you need to know exactly what you already have in place in each country.  

To audit your existing benefits offering, compile a comprehensive list of the benefits you offer in each country. If you’ve inherited a benefits programme that’s a bit of a mystery this often involves digging through systems, policies and paperwork – and capturing insights from local HR teams. Sometimes our customers find that the design of the current benefits offering is recorded only in a member of the local HR team’s memory, rather than in any written documentation!  

This step can take some time – and lots of conversations with local teams – but it’s essential to the process. Our global customers typically spend three-to-four weeks on this information gathering exercise.  

2. What are you trying to achieve with your global benefits strategy?  

Knowing what you want to achieve with your overarching global benefits strategy will help you understand what good looks like for your organisation – helping you define the type of benefits programme you’re aiming for. Some global organisations will prioritise core benefits that meet essential needs, while others will adopt a wider goal to be an employer of choice, for example. You may know what you want to achieve from the outset, or the benchmarking exercise might help you make the case for a new strategic direction.  

Another common goal for global organisations is to deliver a consistent global benefits experience, regardless of where employees are located. Although the individual benefits might differ, the strategy might be to have a certain level of protection in place for all employees, like life assurance or access to medical care. When you’re striving for a globally consistent offering, you’ll want to compare your in-country offerings against each other, as well as benchmarking against other organisations.  

You also might need your benefits strategy to support rapid growth in a region (attracting and engaging top talent), or you might be looking to evolve it in line with the organisation’s values, mission and purpose – as well as ESG and DEI strategies. 

3. How can tech help you benchmark? 

Now you know what benefits you’ve got, it’s time to see how they compare to industry standards and competitors on a country-by-country basis – so you can get a sense of what good looks like and whether your offering is in line with or above the market. And you can start to identify any gaps in your offering. You’ll also want to understand local regulations and employee expectations as part of your benchmarking process.  

Sometimes our customers find that they get mixed messages from employees in-country when it comes to what benefits are expected – so being able to compare your offering against similar organisations can help you understand which benefits should be prioritised. 

Benefits tech like OneHub Analytics gives you a picture of what other companies in your market are offering and suggests new benefits to include to make your scheme market-leading; you can see the popularity of, and average engagement with, specific benefits in each region. You can also understand whether benefits are typically employer paid or voluntary/flexible benefits. Using analytics technology to get an overview of the benefits landscape is a good foundation and then a global benefits consultant can help you with understanding the nuances of specific markets and benefits.  

4. Are you benchmarking with the right data?  

As a global organisation, you want to make sure you’re benchmarking against the right calibre of organisation – you’ll want to see what other multinational organisations in your industry, or of a similar size, are offering. Local organisations will likely have a different approach to benefits so comparing against their strategy is less valuable.  

OneHub Analytics allows our customers to benchmark by sector and headcount in each region. For example, a multinational tech company that wants to see how competitive their offering is in Poland can compare their offering with similar sized, global tech companies.  

5. How can you continue to iterate?  

Benchmarking your global benefits offering isn’t a one-time task; it’s an ongoing process. Our global research shows that employee expectations are growing at pace. And this is even more true for employees at large international organisations; 79% of international employees are demanding more choice in benefits compared with 63% in single-region companies.  Regularly evaluating the effectiveness of your benefits programme, soliciting feedback from employees, and monitoring industry trends can help keep your scheme competitive – and aligned with the evolving needs of your workforce.   

Need some support with benefits benchmarking?  

We help our customers go from overwhelmed to knowledgeable and informed of the local benefits landscape – and better able to make strategic benefits decisions.  

Our customers often find that a benefits benchmarking exercise helps them make the case to level up their benefits offering, giving them the data they need to make the business case for investment in benefits. We help customers create flexible benefits schemes that meet the needs of all their people – and introduce benefits such as holiday purchase, allowances, EVs, and more. 

If you’d like to learn more, get in touch 

Picture of Paul Andrews

Paul Andrews

Global Benefits Director, Benefex

Picture of Clare Dolan

Clare Dolan

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