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Employee Benefits in 2021: Trends For a Flexible Workforce

This past year has led many employers to re-evaluate how they manage their employee benefits
Published on January 29, 2021

What are employee benefits?

Employee benefits are merits other than salary, given from a company to its employees. It aims to become the central of employee value proposition (EVP) within organisations by engaging with top talents. Employee benefits are one major player, and there is no denying that it is crucial in developing an effective managing strategy for the people of an organisation.

“An Investment That Will Provide Empowerment Towards Employees”

Why employee benefits are important?

Providing benefits to employees represents that the organisation is invested in employee satisfaction and well-being in the long run. Likewise, employees are attracted to benefits as they provide extensive selections of beneficial compensation such as flexible working hours, health, well programs, and medical coverage.

When implemented correctly, companies can gain a competitive advantage by attracting and recruiting top talents, improving morale, and reducing turnover rates leading to better job performance. As claimed by research, almost 7 in 10 job seekers in Malaysia said that an attractive 'salary and employee benefits' is their #1 top interest when looking for an ideal employer.
On the other hand, retaining employees can be as distressing and difficult as attracting employees. According to Hays Malaysia, 
more than 5 in 10 employees looking to switch jobs are unsatisfied with their current salary or benefits package. Thus, it is noticeable that employers are expected to provide desirable and appealing benefits package to retain top talents in their organisations.

A good set of employee benefits package enables organisations to further support employees' ability to grow and engage in companies' core values. Moreover, with benefits in hand, employees will have an elevated sense of belonging, motivation, and loyalty

What is the level of engagement of Malaysian employees?

Employee benefits contributes significantly to employee engagement by providing targeted incentives and perks promotes employee satisfaction in the workplaces. A recent survey by Qualtrics, shows that Malaysia has the second-lowest employee engagement in the South East Asian (SEA) region, resulting 54% in 2020, which has seen a drop compared to 59% in 2016. These results translate that Malaysian companies are losing out in both productivity and profits.
According to a Gallup study, an increase in employee engagement can lead to a 21% spike in productivity and a 22% spike in profits, meaning employers are not only required to provide competitive salaries but also offer strategic benefits to keep your employees engaged. When employers listen to their employees' needs and provide the desired services to complement the staff, it provides a stepping stone to reinforce a positive attitude and a dedicated workforce.

What are the top 10 benefit to offer employees in 2021?

There are many ways of captivating the attention of employees and job seekers in Malaysia. But there are always the most preferred employee benefits when it comes to expectations for what an ideal organisation can offer. Here is a list of the top ten most preferred type of employee benefits within the employees and job seekers in Malaysia:

1. Insurance/Medical Coverage

It’s always beyond doubt that flashy and new types of health benefits are on the rise. Besides, with the rising costs of healthcare, it is such a little wonder that employers’ health insurance or benefits are always so highly valued amongst employees, especially in Malaysia.
Although employee health benefits are sought upon amongst employees and jobseekers, it is also important to note that the implementation requires an abundance of HR resources. Through the use of  Healthmetrics, companies will be able to reduce the duty of manual workload of sorting each individual benefits and healthcare plan, while being provided effective tools and resources to monitor every employees wellbeing.

2 . Offer Flexible Working Hours and Working From Home Arrangements

In survey conduct by KPMG, employees prefer the freedom to decide for themselves where, when, and how they want to do their work. The same number of respondents prefer flexibility as they believe it can increase work productivity and improve job satisfaction.

3. Life Assurance

Like health and medical benefits, life assurance gives the financial safety net for employees and their families. It provides peace of mind because their loved ones are safeguarded financially secured if the employee were to meet with their demise.

4. Health and Wellness programs and reimbursement

According to an international Harvard Business Review, nearly 8 in 10 employees participating in health and wellness programs are satisfied and are more likely to stay in a company. Furthermore, since wellness is a current trend amongst workers, it is always seen as a perk when companies offer their employees’ health and wellness programs and reimbursement.

5. Enhancing Mental Health Support

Mental wellness is just as crucial to success at work and away from the office as our traditional understanding of physical health. Therefore, it must assume its proper place as a cornerstone of your overall employee benefits strategy.

6. Tuition Assistance

Tuition assistance programs offer substantial benefits to employees that are looking to upskill and advance their career path. Employees see this as a diamond opportunity and can take advantage of the financial support to turn it into a promising degree to carry for the rest of their professional careers.

7. Pension

Employees work for the most part of their lives until the end of their career. Pension benefits is one way a company says ‘thank you’ to the many important contributions an employee has made. Additionally, it helps to maintain an employee’s standard of living in retirement and provides a financial security at old age.

8. Performance Recognition Awards & Rewards

Employee recognition is the acknowledgment of a company's staff for exemplary performance. Essentially, employee recognition in the workplace reinforces particular behaviours, practices, or activities that result in better performance and positive business results.

9.Offering new virtual solutions and support employees to work-from-home

Employers can offer guidance on setting up a healthy, ergonomic work environment at home or even offer one-on-one evaluations of home workspaces to evaluate ergonomics or health and safety risks.

10.Fitness Perks

Gyms and yoga studios have certainly struggled during the pandemic. Many employees find great value in fitness and diet challenges, and employers benefit from a healthy, active workforce.


In conclusion, to retain and promote positive growth, employers are expected to provide attractive salary and benefits package. This will eventually lead to meaningful employee engagement and ultimately businesses will profit through increased productivity due to a stronger determination to work.
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Copyright © 2020 • HealthMetrics 
(Reg # 1170495-P | 201501045173) 
Copyright © 2020 • HealthMetrics (Reg # 201501045173) 
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