We recently posed a few questions to our Polish Partner MAI-CEE asking them to give us their in-depth perspectives on key issues concerning Polish employee benefits. Read on to learn about business and demographic changes, how to attract talent in the country, and what MAI-CEE sees coming in the future.
Business and Demographic Changes
Asinta: How have the continuing business and demographic changes in Poland impacted the way employers approach benefits?
MAI-CEE: The image of contemporary Poland is significantly shaped by the demographic changes caused by the progressive aging of the population, the lengthening of the average duration of life, the falling birth rate, and the changing family model.
This phenomenon is not only visible in Poland. The prognosis assumes that the percentage of people over age 65 through the year 2050 will increase from 11 to 25% worldwide. In Europe, whose population is much older than the rest of the world, this percentage will rise from 27 to 51%.
In Poland and some other countries, slowing population growth further impacts the phenomenon of population aging. With the challenges facing the pensions sector, and employees who have increasingly high expectations for both work and retirement benefits, it is crucial that employers understand how benefits can serve their needs around recruitment, retention and productivity management.
Asinta: Given the ongoing battle for talent, how have your clients effectively used benefits to compete for the best talent? Are you seeing any differentiation by industry or company size?
MAI-CEE: Managing talent, hiring, retaining, and raising productivity is now more important than ever. This is most observable in technology companies where it’s increasingly difficult to retain employees.
In addition to high salaries, benefit programs are a very important component of overall compensation. They’ve become a very significant priority for many organizations. So apart from life insurance and private health plans, employers are also offering cafeteria plans, lunch coupons, language courses, postgraduate studies and professional courses.
Furthermore, the Polish government is working on pension reform. We know that many employees are concerned about financial security both for their families and themselves in retirement – making these important areas for additional provisions by employers. Pension schemes can also offset concerns about less predictable state retirement provisions and low returns.
Based on emerging international research, in the near future employees will not want to work in companies where there are employee benefits offerings. This would make benefit plans a key differentiator for job seekers when looking for an “employer of choice.”
Asinta: What new cost control or benefit delivery methods do you see your clients implementing in the next few years? Why is this important for them to consider or do?
MAI-CEE: In the future in Poland, it will be important for employers to educate their employees about the value of the employee benefits offering. Very often employees undervalue insurance and do not consider its impact on future financial security. This is particularly noticeable among young employees, which employers especially desire. Companies can gain significant advantage in terms of employee recruitment and retention by starting a dialogue about the evolving employee benefits landscape.
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