New analysis from ALM Intelligence Pacesetter Research shows that the pandemic has seriously disrupted the workplace but in the process, it has also laid bare several festering problems that have long gone unaddressed. These problems had become serious enough even before the pandemic to attract some attention such as a 2016 ABA study that found alarming rates of burnout, substance abuse, suicide and other mental distress symptoms among lawyers. Prior to the pandemic, with a few notable exceptions, the crisis in employee well-being tended to be treated with the equivalent of bandaids in the form of under-utilized employee health awareness programs buried in benefits packages. The pandemic forced employers to confront their employee problem head-on.

This research asseses seventeen providers’ strategies and service offerings identified as Innovators for their ability to deliver client impact in today’s ever-shifting employee well-being markets. Additionally, the research and analysis provide insights into the competitive dynamics and service delivery trends driving convergence across insurance & benefits, legal, management consulting, and multi-service providers.

Research Highlights

  • The pandemic has rapidly accelerated existing trends around employee well-being, in a way that has fundamentally changed the dynamics of employee-employer relations
  • In recent years some innovative providers have been focusing on the employee experience (EX), recognizing the link between that and enhancing the end-user customer experience (UX) 
  • Professional services providers tend to fall starkly into one of a few service approach categories: compliance, benefits/rewards, workforce management, and holistic solutions
  • The intangible elements are often cited by employees as at least as important, if not more important than just compensation in the employee experience, like feeling valued by both the employer and fellow employees or work-life balance 
  • A consistent theme is that providers now expect to work with the C-Suite or the board (not just HR), and must address the needs of a much broader group of client stakeholders

What Makes An ALM Intelligence Employee Well-being Pacesetter & Innovator?

What Innovators and Pacesetters brought to the equation was the realization (some before the pandemic) that there was a measurable link between optimizing the employee experience (EX) and improving the customer experience (UX). The elements that shape the employee experience are woven together like the threads in a Persian rug, and span the employer organization – and beyond – which means that the employee experience is no longer just an HR concern. Leading Innovators and Pacesetters help clients create long-term, actionable strategies for their employees’ experience that have a measurable impact on the bottom line.

The 2022-2023 Employee Well-being Innovators & Pacesetters

  • Allen & Overy
  • Aon
  • Bain & Company
  • Borden Ladner Gervais
  • Boston Consulting Group
  • Buck
  • Deloitte
  • Eagle Hill Consulting
  • EY
  • Korn Ferry
  • KPMG
  • Mercer
  • North Highland
  • Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart
  • Oliver Wyman
  • PwC
  • Willis Towers Watson

the methodology

The goal of ALM Pacesetter Research is to help buyers of professional services navigate an increasingly complex landscape with confidence. We use a multidisciplinary perspective to identify best-in-class providers of legal, consulting, financial, insurance, employee benefits, and other professional services and analyze how they are evolving as an ecosystem of interdisciplinary service providers. Our research is grounded in over 50 years of accumulated market insights and qualitative research models that combine knowledge of management science with case studies and other sources of knowledge to understand patterns of market supply, demand, behavior, and ways of doing business. Our research also includes voices/perspectives from both the sellside and buyside, as well as knowledgeable people working in industry associations, academia, etc.

  • The ALM Pacesetter Advisory Council (PAC) convenes in advance of the research project kick-off; members include ALM journalists and editors, and external experts such as consultants, general counsel, and industry thought leaders

  • The PAC selects the set of Innovators that will be covered in the research topic from a larger group of providers that members have identified in the normal course of their work

  • PAC members also provide expert knowledge and insights to the ALM Pacesetter team throughout the research and analysis process

  • The ALM Pacesetter Team within ALM Intelligence conducts primary and secondary research

  • Primary research includes in-depth interviews with practice leaders at the provider firms covered in the research; satisfaction interviews with clients referred by those providers; and in-depth interviews with thought leaders, recruiting professionals, and other sources

  • Secondary research includes data gathered from annual reports and earnings calls, management presentations, public filings, case studies, press releases, journals and publications, online information databases and other publicly available resources

  • Innovators that achieve a Pacesetter Impact Score equal to or over 85 are designated as ALM Pacesetters

  • Pacesetter analysts map markets and stakeholders and write market trends

  • Market segment overviews are peer reviewed by the appropriate PAC member

Service providers are evaluated and scored based on five core criteria

Business Model

Provider’s ability to reposition core competencies around new products, services, and business models to adapt to shifting patterns of market supply, demand, behavior, and ways of doing business.

Value Proposition

Provider’s ability to deliver on its value proposition, i.e., the positioning statement that communicates the benefits and economic value a prospect will receive by purchasing the provider’s products and services over a competitor’s.

Service Delivery

Provider’s ability to mobilize resources and configure assets to serve clients.

Client Impact

Provider’s ability to help clients affect continuous, sustainable change, mitigate risk, improve performance, and achieve growth.

Brand Eminence

Provider’s ability to leverage brand and marketing strategies to differentiate in its marketplace as an expert practitioner and thought leader.

About The Analyst

Headshot of Tomek Jankowski, Senior Analyst, Consulting, ALM Intelligence

Tomek’s focus is on finance management consulting, which includes finance operations, balance sheet strategy & investor relations, portfolio & capital strategy, and transaction advisory services.

Before joining ALM Intelligence, Tomek led the European asset-backed securities (ABS) and global collateralized debt obligation (CDO) report sourcing and research efforts for the asset-backed securities market intelligence firm Lewtan Technologies. Before that he spent five years with Capital Access International, a fixed-income market intelligence firm responsible for bringing the widely known fixed-income investment professional and securities profile tool eMAXX™ to the investment world. He was Director of North American data research when that firm was acquired by Lipper (a Reuters company) in 2002.

Tomek earned a B.A. in History magna cum laude, with a minor in Cultural Anthropology, from SUNY at Buffalo (New York). In 2017 Tomek earned his Masters of Science degree in Applied Economics from Southern New Hampshire University. He also spent several years living and studying in Poland, Hungary, and other regions of Eastern Europe and has authored a successful book (published in late 2013) on Eastern Europe, which is going into its second edition in 2018.

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