Three key trends from Employee Benefits Live 2013

We’ve had a busy, noisy, eventful two days at the Employee Benefits Live conference in London this week.

Eventful because we managed to win the organiser’s prize for the best big stand in the show.

Busy because we have been talking non-stop on our stand to reward, benefits and HR professionals about their plans for 2014. We’ll be putting together a report over the next few weeks which shares our findings in more detail– you can sign up for that here. But being at the show allowed me get fresh insight into the hot issues in Employee Benefits right now.  Here are the three which stood out for me:

1         The auto-enrolment challenge is only just beginning: Next year really is the big year for auto-enrolment as the staging dates will bring through a large number of the small and medium sized employers. Seeing the sheer number of people talking about the issues of communication, data, compliance and implementation really reinforced what a challenge this is likely to be for these employers. Organisations who aren’t in the first wave of auto-enrolment or won’t be affected until 2015 still need to start thinking right now about their own plans.


2         A new communication opportunity for employees: In the week that Tesco launched its own tablet for the masses, you could also barely move for iPads on the stands at EB. Tablets and smartphones are now becoming the channels of choice for consumers and business at a pace that we could barely have imagined – even last year. This presents a wonderful opportunity for employers to use this connectivity to re-engage their people with their reward and benefits proposition.


3         Wellbeing as a mainstream business issue: It has been growing in prominence over the last few years but this year the issue seemed to be everywhere. From the content stream dedicated to wellbeing to the number of stands offering different flavours of wellbeing support. Employee health has now cemented its place as a mainstream issue for organisations from a proactive and reactive perspective. Organisations who don’t pay attention to this in their benefits mix are likely to be left behind.

There were, of course lots of other areas debated in the seminars.

Low pay and high pay took the spotlight in separate discussions. There was also a welcome emphasis on doing more with less resources and measuring effectiveness of benefits spend. And of course, there were more than enough sweets, prize giveaways and drinks receptions to give a festive feel to the show.

Putting all of that aside, if there was one overwhelming feeling I had when I left the conference it was the sense that what will hopefully be a more buoyant and vibrant economy, the challenges will come thick and fast. None of us can be caught sleeping at the wheel if we want to thrive.

Congratulations to the team at Employee Benefits for organising such a great event!

This article was written by Andy Philpott.

Author: Andy Philpott | Category: Blog | 26/09/2013 | 0

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