How employee benefits have surged in the last 12 months
Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, employee benefits have shifted towards wellness and financial support. The most common changes have included virtual healthcare programs, broadening mental health support and introducing cost-sharing plans.
What are Employee Benefits?
Employee benefits schemes are a great way of retaining employees and attracting new talent. It has become fashionable, in recent years, to offer employees a range of “fun” perks including food in the office, unlimited holidays and even on-site massages. Given the hugely unprecedented events of 2020, many employee benefits are no longer relevant as staff have moved away from the office. Stability, consistency, financial security and healthcare have proven to be the most valuable benefits.
There has been a significant increase in the use of Total Reward Statements (TRS) with total reward packages and employee experience becoming intrinsically linked. Additionally, many more companies have chosen to develop an Employee Value Proposition (EVP) to help their employees better understand their benefits.
More than ever before, companies are putting their employees at the centre of their benefit plan and realising that happier employees leads to a more productive workforce, using employee benefits to create a connection with employees and colleagues where possible.
Health and Wellness
Employee wellbeing has become more of a priority as a result of the last year, not just physical health but also mental health and avoiding burnout. Mind charity reported that 1 in five adults with no prior mental health problems now describe their mental health as ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’. According to the 2021 UK Benefits and Trends survey, 87% of businesses have a specific focus on wellbeing for home working.
With the effects of ‘long covid’ still relatively unknown, employers will need to continue to invest in employee health. According to HR Executive, one third of employers have committed to enhancing their benefits programs by adding or enhancing wellness benefits.
Flexible Working and Remote Working
Working from home used to be a luxury, until it became a necessity in 2020. As companies start to think about returning to the office, flexible work arrangements will become a benefit once more. Employers will need to assess how best to accommodate employee preferences whilst factoring in health and safety as well as a productive team. This will be especially pertinent for those employees who are also caregivers.
With furlough and unemployment affecting many in the past year, financial security has become more important than ever. As such, options such as salary finance and cash advances could be a crucial benefit for many.
Last year was a reminder of our mortality for many. In addition to company health insurance, which benefits employees and, in turn, reduces sick leave and work absence, health insurance and life insurance plans could also be a gamechanger for many.
Keeping people motivated
One of the greatest challenges of a remote workforce is keeping staff motivated. Making employee happiness and health a priority tells your staff that you value them. This makes staff turnover less likely and increases loyalty to the company. The more personalised and relevant employee benefit packages are, the more likely staff are to want to stay in your company and maintain productivity.