Market Research Team @ Assert

In the race for the competitiveness in the market, the expectations of both employers and employees are constantly growing and changing. Due to the increasing investment of employees in their personal development, their expectations regarding offers and treatment by employers are becoming more and more demanding. A meta-analysis of global studies indicates that compared to the previous year, the number of employees who are convinced that the employer is responsible for the health and well-being of their employees has increased by 8% (from 68% to 76%). As a key factor that contributes to the feeling of well-being of employees, the package of benefits aimed at preserving the health and balance of working life stands out. These benefits are no longer just an option – employees consider them as necessary.

According to the findings of a study conducted by Assert International, during emergency situations, caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, as many as 21.17% of employers in Serbia, due to the difficulty of maintaining liquidity, reduced the system of existing benefits packages. At the same time, employee satisfaction with the benefits package fell by 9% during crisis situationswhich was simultaneously reflected in the reduced productivity of these employees by 10%, as well as the tendency to spread negative images of the employer (25%). At the same time, employee dissatisfaction initiated by this reaction of employers is progressively growing – during the third quarter, it increased by an additional 12.5%. Given that during the crisis, the need to preserve business competitiveness does not cease – it is even further intensified through the need to preserve existing and attract new talent from the labor market, there is a noticeable need of employers to strategically allocate resources aimed at creating benefits programs. In doing so – it is important to pay attention to specific benefits that are in line with the real needs of employees.

The findings of the aforementioned study by Assert International indicate that over 70% of employees stated that benefits that are related to health and a sense of well-being (Health & Wellbeing) are benefits of primary importance. At the same time, the average amount that employers in Serbia allocate for benefits aimed at health care of employees on an annual basis is relatively low – 36,600 RSD net. A small percentage of employees state that the mentioned benefits are present in the companies in which they work. 20% of employees report the presence of benefits related to sports activities – paid cargo and Fit Pass cards, 16% private health insurance, 4% private pension insurance, and health insurance for family members.

Benefits related to private health insurance (both for employees and their family members), but also financial security stand out as most important for employees – both in Serbia and globally. A meta-analysis of global studies indicates that the most significant benefits of Health & Wellbeing for employees are the coverage of the costs of health insurance and protection after retirement, as well as in the event of an accident (over 67%). Also, helping family members significantly contributes to the feeling of Wellbeing among employees – e.g. scholarships for children’s education, financial, and legal counselingThe mentioned benefits are minimally present on the Serbian market, and yet, through encouraging a sense of control and the possibility of more efficient planning of financial resources, they could significantly contribute to the feeling of security among employees, especially in the situations of crisis.

Even when an employer creates a benefits program aligned with the needs of employees, if they do not understand how a given program can help them and how to use it effectively, they will not understand its importance. Therefore, HR representatives need to be focused on transparent communication and providing support to employees in using the available benefits package.

Harvard’s meta-analysis of global studies indicates that the introduction of Health & Wellbeing-oriented benefits has multiple positive effects:

  • Reduced percentage of fluctuation (over 30%)
  • Reduced absenteeism rate (savings in reducing sick leave costs – ROI 2.73)
  • Lower costs of recruitment and selection processes (over 87% of candidates list the Health and Well-Being program as one of the 5 best attraction factors)
  • Increased productivity (2-3 times and 50% reduced presentism)
  • Increased business efficiency and profitability (ROI – 3.27)


Taking the health and well-being of employees into account when creating an attractive benefits program can play one of the key roles in maintaining the competitiveness of employers in an uncertain crisis situation. It does not only lead to increased employee satisfaction but also optimizes company cost by strategically directing it towards what is really important to employees – and thus encourages their loyalty to the employer and willingness to return on investment in achieving company goals.

Rastko Radulović

HR Consultant


The main duty of the @Assert Research Team is to provide clients with a detailed and realistic overview of working conditions in the market, as well as to successfully map all employed and unemployed profiles and talents, through various industries. We strive to develop the market in the direction of fair and transparent conditions for all employees. We are focused on creating a plan and methodology, as well as efficiently conducting internal and external research in accordance with high standards of quality and efficiency, as well as the specific needs of our clients. We propose and implement action measures that lead to the company’s competitive position in the labor market.