Workplace Culture

Day-to-Day Gets in the Way

By Sarah Sipek

Jan. 28, 2015

For large global companies, it seems that the little things are getting in the way of great benefits programs.

Global professional services company Towers Watson’s annual Current and Emerging Global Benefit Themes survey found that 62 percent of global pension and benefit leaders at multinational companies claim daily operational activities limit their availability to make meaningful, strategic contributions.

The overarching goal is to create a global standard for benefits implementation, the survey noted. This involves increasing focus on global control and oversight, financial management and employee appreciation across benefits programs in 2015.  

Achieving these goals is no small task. A successful global strategy must engage and satisfy a diverse group of employees at the lowest possible cost to the company. Adding insult to injury is the fact that 75 percent of those surveyed expressed that there is pressure to achieve results with fewer resources.

The solution, according to Towers Watson senior consultant Brian Makuck, is to delegate.

“To overcome this, leaders need to revisit and review their team’s activities, and evaluate the impact of the business and what changes can be made to improve efficiency,” Makuck said. “Global pension and benefits leaders should also consider different resourcing models to create space to focus on more valuable opportunities.”

Any change that occurs should begin at the top. According to the survey, 71 percent of respondents predict a significant increase in headquarters involvement in pensions and other benefits in 2015. The intention is to be able to make key local decisions with a clear global benefits goal in mind.

“The respondents overwhelmingly believe that real value-added business opportunities exist from HQ getting more actively involved in pension and benefit management globally to help bring global perspective to key local decisions,” Makuck said. 

Sarah Sipek is a Workforce associate editor.

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