Only about a quarter of Ghanaian workers in the formal sector have access to suitable benefits. In a report, which takes a look at the role of unions in improving work conditions in Ghana, Partnership for Economic Policy (PEP)-supported researchers found that this is because many employees are poorly informed about their entitlements or how to secure these benefits.
In order to address such challenges, Mercer and Alexander Forbes, one of Africa’s leading financial services organisations, have come together to design Arrive, a pan-African benefits solution across, health, wealth and career that aligns to local regulations and is based on global best practices. The collaboration is the first of its kind between the two companies and the most comprehensive benefit service offering across Africa.
The “Arrive” programme is a response to challenges faced by large local companies and multinationals in developing appropriate benefits that work across all countries in which they operate. “Because each country has its own regulatory and benefit rules, it makes it difficult for multinationals to standardise benefits when operating in multiple jurisdictions and countries,” says Dawie de Villiers, Alexander Forbes Group Chief Executive.
Peter Botha, CEO for Africa at Mercer, believes a one-stop platform is the solution for companies in Africa looking to standardise their benefits. “With Arrive employers can enjoy improved efficiency, easy decision-making and affordability from a single point of contact while enabling employees to arrive at financial well-being, a rewarding career and better health throughout their life journey.”
With Africa susceptible to the disruptions presented by the Fourth Industrial Revolution, a compelling employee value proposition is becoming increasingly vital. According to Mercer’s 2019 Global Talent Trends Study, 73% of C-suite executives expect significant industry disruption in the next three years, which puts companies under increasing pressure to stay ahead of the challenges presented by technological advancements and changing workforce dynamics.
According to the 2018 Alexander Forbes Benefits Barometer, the financial wellbeing of employees impacts presentism, absenteeism and, in turn, lowers productivity, and ultimately retention. Similar studies, such as the Healthy, Wealthy, Work-Wise Study conducted last year revealed that 60% of employees are at least somewhat stressed by their financial situation, thereby unable to bring their whole selves to work.
“Thriving businesses place people at the heart of what they do, because it makes good business sense. If people feel valued then they are more likely to really thrive at work, and, in turn, the company achieves better results,” notes Botha. “Success comes from seeing the big picture, therefore business leaders need to ensure they treat their people as an asset in which to invest, and not as a business cost.”
The 2017 WEF Human Capital Report showed this is not being recognised enough on our continent, with Kenya ranking at 78 in the world, and South Africa and Nigeria coming in at number 87 and 114 respectively. “African organisations have to be mindful of giving their employees flexible and personalised work/life solutions, as the continent is not immune to global developments. Our partnership with Mercer ensures we can structure benefits and solutions that deliver value consistently for companies,” concludes de Villiers.
Mercer delivers advice and technology-driven solutions that help organizations meet the health, wealth and career needs of a changing workforce. Mercer’s more than 22,000 employees are based in 44 countries and the firm operates in over 130 countries. Mercer is a wholly owned subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies (NYSE: MMC), the leading global professional services firm in the areas of risk, strategy and people. With nearly 65,000 colleagues and annual revenue over $14 billion, Marsh & McLennan helps clients navigate an increasingly dynamic and complex environment. Marsh & McLennan Companies is also the parent company of Marsh,which advises individual and commercial clients of all sizes on insurance broking and innovative risk management solutions; Guy Carpenter, which develops advanced risk, reinsurance and capital strategies that help clients grow profitably and pursue emerging opportunities; and Oliver Wyman, which serves as a critical strategic, economic and brand advisor to private sector and governmental clients. For more information, visit www.mercer-africa.com. Follow Mercer on LinkedIn Mercer Africa.
About Alexander Forbes
Alexander Forbes is a specialised financial services group headquartered in South Africa focusing on employee benefits solutions for institutional clients, and financial well-being and retail financial solutions for individual clients, in particular employees of the Group’s institutional clients. Alexander Forbes is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (“JSE”), and its primary clients span both the private and public sector market segments, including employers, retirement, health, investment and other special purpose funds on the institutional side, and individual members and beneficiaries of these funds, as well as the wider individual market, on the retail side. The main services provided by the Group include retirement funds and asset consulting, actuarial, investment and administration services, employee risk benefits and healthcare consulting, personal lines insurance, individual financial advisory and multi-manager investment solutions. Alexander Forbes’ principal geographic focus is in South Africa, where it has been operating since 1935, sub-Saharan Africa, the UK and other selected jurisdictions which have employee benefits legislative frameworks similar to South Africa. www.alexanderforbes.co.za