In today’s modern world, filling out paperwork to make a benefits claim feels archaic, especially considering the ease of making other life choices, such as an app for ordering coffee from Starbucks Corp. or personalized viewing suggestions from Netflix Inc.

“People’s expectations are changing,” says Ofelia Isabel, managing director and client management leader for Canada at Willis Towers Watson. She notes these advancements are coming at a time when employers are under more pressure than ever to spend their dollars carefully. Looking at a total rewards package today is a delicate balance, she adds.

Read: Learn how search terms reveal who we are at 2019 Benefits and Pension Summit

“It’s a really interesting time and opportunity for organizations to get the balance of those things right: what people are expecting and what organizations can provide given the new tools and resources we have.”

How does the industry get that balance right? Isabel will answer this question and more during a session at Benefits Canada’s 2019 Benefits and Pension Summit at the Marriott Downtown at CF Toronto Eaton Centre on April 17. She will be joined by Sabrin Lila, director of compensation and human resources analytics at Hydro One, who will share her company’s transformational total rewards journey and the lessons learned along the way.

While there are many variables for plan sponsors to weigh, total rewards packages need a dramatic refresh, says Isabel. “For the most part, we created these total rewards programs decades ago for a completely different workforce, in a completely different era, with completely different tools that are just over.”

Read: Learn about AI, blockchain at 2019 Benefits and Pension Summit

One way to bring programs into the present is to look into diversity and inclusivity, she adds. “A lot is being talked about from [the] gender perspective of a pay gap. But how does that apply to benefits as well?”

If organizations are serious about equalizing the experiences of employees of all genders, one example would be moving maternity and parental benefits closer together, says Isabel. And, from a cultural perspective, there’s definitely more that organizations could be doing.

“If we’re an organization that [has a] mandate to be more inclusive of the Indigenous population, should we be looking at traditional medicine in our benefits plans?”

To attend this session and other benefits and DC pension topics, register for the 2019 Benefits and Pension Summit here.

Copyright © 2020 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on

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