2021 Global Priorities: Looking Forward

At the end of 2020, Global Institute members responded to a survey about their priorities for the coming year.

February 16, 2021

2020 was a year that transformed the way the world thinks about health, work and well-being. In looking towards 2021, employers identified their priorities, seen in the word cloud to the right. In addition to the areas of mental health, well-being, virtual solutions, health equity, and quality and value, it is no surprise that employers noted COVID-19 and a global vaccination strategy as a key area of focus in the new year.

Mental Health

For the 3rd year in a row, survey participants identified mental health as the top priority for the coming year. In thinking about mental health, stigma and access remain the key focus areas. Employers also noted a focus on training, EAPs, local country health plan coverage, country and culture/language nuances, virtual solutions and change management. Our Mental Health Guide addresses mental health from a holistic global approach, in addition to breaking down the issue in several key countries.

Global Institute members' 2021 priorities word cloud 
Figure 1: 2021 Global Priorities


When it comes to well-being, global employers are most focused on strategy, communications and measurement. 27% of employers surveyed noted that establishing their well-being strategy is the biggest focus area for global well-being.

Virtual Solutions

38% of survey participants noted that establishing capability across countries is the main concern for their global virtual solutions strategy, while 29% are focused on establishing local and regional solutions. It seems there is not yet a “one size fits all” approach to virtual solutions, and employers are willing to pursue multiple options to ensure that their employees have access.

Health Equity

81% of survey respondents identified that a minimum standards strategy is their main focus to addressing health equity. Globally, employers are also focused on company plan eligibility for all employees in country regardless of their level, engagement and easy access, as well as affordability for lower income employees.

Quality and Value

Over half of respondents indicated governance as a top priority to derive quality and value in 2021. Employers are also focused on harmonization and M&A, purchasing and captives. Our recent Global Broker Guide highlights all of these key focus areas.

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