The business case for personalized benefits programs

Every year Deloitte publishes a study that looks at trends in human capital. This year’s study, Human Capital Trends Survey, revealed ten key themes. Here we examine a couple of the themes focused on employee well-being and rewards.

Companies are moving beyond traditional benefits and rewards to create personalized, creative and innovative programs that can help to better engage today’s workforce and attract key talent. In fact, many organizations now view employee well-being programs as a business performance strategy. There is good reason for this—employers believe effective wellness programs can improve employee retention and productivity, combatting the cost of lost productivity which research has shown to be 2.3 times higher than medical and pharmacy costs.1 Companies also see wellness and rewards programs as important to aligning with and supporting their corporate culture and responsibilities.

But the Deloitte study found there is still work to do to close the gap between what employers offer and what employees value and expect. Today’s workforce is seeking custom experiences that reflect their values—in and out of the workplace—versus the traditional one-size-fits-all approach. Companies at the forefront of transitioning to highly personalized rewards are offering programs that are delivered more continuously and aligned to individual preferences.

Employees are motivated by agile compensation programs that provide raises, bonuses or other incentives more often than once a year, as is traditionally done. In fact, employees are eight times more engaged when they receive smaller, more frequent rewards compared to once-a-year rewards.2

Personalizing rewards requires evaluating data to better understand employee motivators and preferences. We addressed the notion of using data and applying a marketing approach to human resource functions in our February Workplace Insights. Making the effort to personalize programs and expand benefit options can have a positive impact on attraction and retention goals.

Watch for more information on benefit trends in future editions of Workplace Insights where you’ll have the opportunity to learn about expanded benefits and reward programs other HR executives are offering.


Use data analytics to determine the needs and preferences of your workforce.

Tailor benefit and reward programs to support employees’ individual preferences.

Challenge your organization to break through the status quo to deliver flexible, innovative solutions.

Seek continuous employee feedback and adjust offerings.

Talk with your Bank of America Merrill Lynch representative about incorporating a broad financial wellness focus into your overall benefits.

1 Leonard Berry, Ann Mirabito, and William Baun, “What’s the hard return on employee wellness programs?,” Harvard Business Review, December 2010.

2 Society for Human Resource Management and Globoforce, 2018 SHRM/Globoforce employee recognition report.