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25 Jan 2024
by Samantha Barrett

Mark Ramsook of Howden Employee Benefits on the role of data in global benefits strategies

Data can help an organisation shape its global benefits strategy and ensure it continues to deliver value, outlined Howden's Mark Ramsook during a recent REBA webinar



Data is key to the success of a global benefits strategy, according to Mark Ramsook, Director of Global Health & Benefits Europe & LatAm at Howden Employee Benefits, speaking on REBA’s Building a realistic and achievable multinational benefits strategy webinar on 8 November 2023. 

Organisations can pull together a wide range of data including demographics, existing provision and claims to help them understand their global benefits strategies. “It’s about getting insight into the programmes you have, how they perform and how current provision compares to where you’d like to be,” said Ramsook.  

Data can also help to ensure compliance. As an example, he points to Europe. “The social security underpins and requirements are so different across each market,” he explained. “Local HR teams can provide the data to ensure compliance on this level.”

Thought should be given to where data is held. “Many organisations, especially smaller ones, will have their data across a mix of local shared drives and spreadsheets. It needs to be managed to ensure a consistent view,” he added.  

But the value data brings makes this admin task worthwhile. “Data is absolutely fundamental to justify the project, evidence value and demonstrate where you have gaps,” says Ramsook. “Challenges such as medical inflation mean many organisations could see their benefits costs double over a seven-to-nine-year period. It’s hard to manage this without the visibility data brings.” 

Emerging trends in global benefits 

Keeping an eye on emerging trends can also help to keep a global benefits programme relevant. Ramsook identified four key trends that are influencing programme design:

  • A shift from a one-size-fits-all approach for benefit provision to adopting a benefits philosophy that encourages local interpretation
  • A heightened focus on health and wellbeing, but delivered on a local level to ensure cultural relevance 
  • Greater use of funds or allowances to drive more flexibility and choice from an employee perspective
  • More focus on people-based risks such as retaining talent, which is driving more collaboration across benefits, HR, finance and risk management.

In partnership with Howden Employee Benefits & Wellbeing

Howden provides insurance broking, risk management and claims consulting services, globally. We work with clients of all sizes to provide dedicated employee benefits & wellbeing consultancy.

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