Malaysia: Healthy Workforce

Managing Transitions: Delivering Relevant, Flexible Benefits

As businesses in Malaysia shift to having their employees return to work in the office, employers are challenged during this transitory period to open their workplaces while addressing concerns on safety and hygiene. They also need to tackle the changing expectations on employee engagement; the MCO has provided flexibility in where and when employees work, raising the need for better digital infrastructure.

Employers are now reviewing how they can make changes to their workplaces for a flexible work environment while balancing between productivity and health issues.    

This is a good opportunity for companies to establish a benefit program built to respond effectively and swiftly to workplace changes, and I will discuss why employers should look at choice and empowering staff beyond just working arrangements

Flexibility as Resilience

When work arrangements changed due to pandemic-related restrictions, many companies became more critically aware of the quick-changing nature of employees’ concerns, especially with regards to their health and safety amidst the uncertainty of the pandemic.

Employee benefits that catered specifically to the context of working in an office environment required a refreshed view of whether they remained relevant to employees’ needs. For example, many employees spent less on transport when they worked from home but their benefits still included an allowance for this — more flexible benefit programs were able to offer employees a direct way to pivot to utilizing benefits that were more suited to this change in work arrangement.

A flexible benefits plan is well adapted to respond to a wider diversity of needs, highlighting its value over traditional benefit programs.

Offering Choice for Relevant Benefits

Having an optimal work arrangement is only addressing half the equation. Consider a parent having the flexibility of time to send their children to childcare but not having the option to utilize childcare benefits. Many times, there are areas of their benefits they are not using that could have been used for a more relevant benefit of their choice instead. 

This is a gap that Mercer Marsh Benefits can address by using our insightful data analyses to take a deep dive into your business’s needs to determine the effectiveness of your current benefits program. In a recent example, we worked closely with a multinational financial institution and discovered areas in their benefits plan that can be optimized based on our findings. We then launched the implementation while keeping the overall cost low and maintaining the sustainability of the program.

We are also reviewing if our clients’ benefits are relevant to the changing environment of their workplace, such as providing Wi-Fi, suitable working chairs and tables, digital tools for online school classes for employees’ children, etc.

Beyond just providing advice, we help with the implementation of our advice — this an aspect of our service that clients highly appreciate, especially when it comes to building a well-rounded benefits program.

Get in touch with us to find out more. 

Image placeholder

Ho Mun Kiat 

Mercer Marsh Benefits Leader, Malaysia