Canadian employers say competition for talent (84 per cent) is the No. 1 issue influencing their benefits strategies, according to a new survey by WTW.

The survey, which polled around 130 employers, found rising mental-health issues (63 per cent), a focus on inclusion and diversity (48 per cent) and rising costs (40 per cent) are also impacting employers’ benefits strategies.

Employers said they want to ensure their benefits plans meet the needs of all employees (50 per cent) and employee well-being (45 per cent). As a result, respondents said they plan to prioritize mental-health support (77 per cent), health benefits (59 per cent) and inclusion and diversity (44 per cent).

Read: Canadian employers investing in innovative wellness benefits to drive attraction, retention efforts: survey

Roughly a third of employers said they’re looking to improve their market positions on financial well-being (31 per cent), retirement plans (30 per cent) and social responsibility/environmental, social and governance factors (29 per cent).

However, more than half (59 per cent) of employers said managing plan costs is a key financial consideration and two-fifths (40 per cent) said they anticipate inflation to be their No. 1 financial challenge over the next two years.

“Financial and labour market pressures are putting employers in a position of needing to balance the competition for talent with the rising cost of services, while budgets remain tight,” said Justin Kreller, health and benefits director at WTW, in a press release. “This is especially challenging when employees are seeking benefits provisions that support the key areas of inclusive well-being, lifestyle and financial protection, which are at the same time environmentally and socially conscious.”

 Read: Survey finds 60% of employees say they’d leave current job for one with more inclusive benefits