Touted as the next level digitalisation of the manufacturing sector, 4IR is one that is marked by disruptive trend highlights which include the rise of advanced data analytics and connectivity.
It is one of the impactful factors that drives changes in the economic landscape now - and together with the complete shift in employee and consumer expectations today, the workforce of the 21st century is a defining force that is undergoing reconfiguring, yet stimulating the demand for new occupations and skills.
Due to different expectations and requirements in the now-digitised sectors or industries, skillsets have evolved to cater to a different “high in demand” today. World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report 2023 ranked Analytical Thinking as the top core skill by global employers - which constitutes an average of 9.1% of core skills reported by organisations. Creative Thinking ranked second - ahead of skills such as resilience, flexibility, motivation and curiosity as well as lifelong learning.1
In Asia, the economic landscape is a dynamic one: the region contributed about 70% of global growth this year, as its expansion accelerated to 4.6% from 3.8% in 2022. However, several risks loomed despite the growth - public debt being one of them - and inflation being another one.2 With such a changing economic ecosystem and prevalent core skillset being valued by employers, how do these factors impact employees in Asia - more accurately, how do the factors affect the benefits that employees in Asia receive or value highly in a dynamic workforce today?
Employee benefits offered in Asia
Employees can be concerned about different benefits that bring value, but there are key trends that emerge as the top employee benefits being offered in organisations in Asia.
In the 2022 AON Asia Pacific Employee Benefit Trends Report, it was cited that flexible benefits are more highly valued in technology, financial services, pharmaceutical and life sciences sectors. Employee wellbeing is prioritised in today’s working arrangements, with 2 in 3 companies incorporating wellbeing strategies as part of their benefits program.
The technology sector seemed to champion this - making up as much as 70% to 80% of all the sectors surveyed. Remote work is rising to prominence day by day, with more than 50% of the companies surveyed in Asia adopting hybrid working arrangements, and 34% of employers say that 25% or more of their workforce will continue working from home in the future.
With these new remote work arrangements, providing benefits choices and options for a diverse workforce became top priority for more than half of employers in Asia - and employers in countries such as Singapore, India, Malaysia, China, The Philippines and Hong Kong are more extensive in having a flexible plan in place. When these benefits are being projected into the future, 27% employers cite importance of benefit plan renewal terms, while 18% view Asia Pacific retirement plan review and wellbeing benefits as their main priorities.3
What benefits do employees in Asia value?
When it comes to employee benefits Asia, there are several key benefits that stand out:4
Compensation - i.e. salary and bonus - is of prime value, as according to the 2022 Global Benefit Attitudes Survey by WTW. Other factors - namely job security, paid time off, flexible working and a sense of purpose - also play important roles in determining whether an employee accepts a job offer or if the company retains talent. This comes as no surprise as diverse workforce and remote teams make up the majority of workforce today, and organisations are also increasing their diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) initiatives to cater to such workforce. Employees are more discerning when choosing the right work and rewards that suit them - partly due to the fact that Covid-19 pandemic forced self-reflection and impacted changes in work environments.
The same survey also noted that employees in Asia consistently want their employers to focus on retirement, health, and flexible work benefits. When asked to rank their top three benefits, retirement ranks highly - and this could be due to a few important reasons. There is an increasing concern about wellbeing; 1 in 8 employees in Asia report issues in all wellbeing dimensions, and many are seeing a deterioration in their levels of financial and social wellbeing apart from marginal improvements in physical and emotional wellbeing. More than 4 in 10 employees that makes up an alarming 43% of the surveyed respondents say they live paycheque to paycheque - a figure that has jumped by 13% since 2019, which contributed to the factor that employees are demanding companies to put retirement and wellbeing benefits plans as top priority.
Benefits management and how it can help to cater to employee’s expectations
In the digitised and automated global workforce, employee benefits can be managed successfully and efficiently through effective benefits management. How do benefits management help in meeting your employee’s expectations?
For one, benefits management utilises automation to improve the process. This ensures that employee benefits are processed accurately and efficiently, while reducing the amount of paperwork and manual data entry involved. It saves time and effort, as well as reducing risks of errors. Automated benefits systems also help organisations comply with relevant laws and regulations that are related to employee benefits.
Apart from this, benefits management ensures that your employees are paid accurately and on time, while additional compensation is accurately budgeted for - so that employee benefits remain cost-effective for your organisation.5
At AYP, our HR solutions go beyond award-winning services and benefits. Our EOR services benefit organisations through the following:
- Comprehensive and attractive benefits packages to retain talents
- Maintenance of compliance with employment contracts and evolving labour laws
- Streamlining of payroll by handling local taxes, pensions, and statutory benefits on your behalf
So why not drop us a line at here to talk to our HR experts about Asia Employer of Record - or discover more of our EOR services here? Let us help you hire and manage the best talents for you - and watch your business grow and accelerate!
- The Future of Jobs Report 2023 ↩︎
- Asia Likely to See Dynamic Economic Growth, but With Policy Challenges ↩︎
- 2022 Asia Pacific Employee Benefit Trends Report ↩︎
- The growing importance of benefits: How employee attitudes are changing in Asia Pacific ↩︎
- Managing employee benefits in an effective and efficient manner ↩︎