Highlight: The global shift in working patterns has propelled organizations to rethink their employee benefits packages. As we approach 2022, businesses must revamp their policies according to the changing lifestyles of the workers.
Employee Benefits Packages are the additional perks given to employees, in addition to their salaries, by organizations to improve employee retention, engagement, productivity, and overall job satisfaction. A robust benefits program is crucial for the success of any organization as happy, and well-satisfied employees form the backbone of any thriving organization. To reiterate the same, a LinkedIn survey showed that 56% of companies faced less employee attrition if they concentrated on their employees’ needs and benefits.
The past two years haven’t been easy on employees. Apart from work, they’ve also had to take care of personal finances, their health, and their family’s health and well-being. On the flip side, the pandemic revealed that our healthcare infrastructure is broken, mental-health assistance is lacking, and many of us are trapped in demanding, inflexible, and burnout-inducing job cultures.
According to a Microsoft study released in September 2020, 30% of worldwide information and front-line professionals think the epidemic has exacerbated their sense of fatigue at work. Workers have participated in significantly more meetings and managed significantly more inbound chats, including twice as many after-hours communications during their work-from-home pandemic schedules.
At such a time, employee benefits, particularly those oriented on care, flexibility, and mental health, can be life-changing for employees. Here’s a rundown on five possible ways in which organizations can modernize their benefits programs:
Flexibility in work schedules is going to be the guiding light for post-pandemic employee perks. Even as the epidemic fades, localized outbreaks that close schools or impose new restrictions on communities could pose issues. Employers who allow employees to work as per their time and place convenience are more likely to be seen positively by current and potential employees.
This flexibility includes offering a variety of benefits to satisfy the requirements of employees and adjusting those benefits when it calls for a change. Replacing an onsite gym with an annual stipend that employees may use to purchase in-home equipment, providing in-person or virtual classes, or creating a personal fitness app for all employees are examples of positive changes. These changes are crucial in increasing employee benefits in today’s virtual workspace.
Another example of benefits flexibility is allowing employees to work from home at their preferred working hours. Employers who use a hybrid or remote-first approach to work may also wish to consider providing compensation for home-office furniture and supplies.
As employers examine post-pandemic employee benefits, mental and behavioral health care need to be prioritized. The immensity of the pandemic, with its attendant stress and isolation, has taken away the stigma connected with seeking mental health treatment, and people have become more eager to seek aid.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), depression and anxiety cost the global economy $1 trillion in lost productivity each year. However, WHO also discovered that every dollar spent treating common mental health issues results in a $4 return in increased health and productivity. Measures such as:
Companies are also starting to use EAPs or Employee Assistance Programs to support workplace mental health. Encouraging increased communication between employers and employees will also ensure the establishment of a safe working environment.
In 2020, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention recorded a 50% rise in virtual visits. This can be undisputedly considered a direct consequence of the pandemic.
The pandemic provided an ideal ground for developing virtual solutions to aid employees’ physical and emotional well-being. Employees can now see a doctor with fewer hurdles using virtual care or help their families with rapid access to solving healthcare concerns, decreasing time away from work and stress around family health.
Investing in virtual care in the workplace also reduces absenteeism. It fosters a healthy, productive work environment. It is imperative to revamp the one-for-all healthcare to virtual care, which is easily accessible and usable.
A Paid Time Off (PTO) policy establishes a pool of days that an employee may use as needed. Considering the strain on employees, companies should tweak their policies regarding PTO as they prepare for a post-pandemic environment.
Employees can rest, relax, and recharge during their paid time off. It’s a crucial part of employee happiness. However, due to work interruptions and the move to remote work, many employees have opted out of using earned PTO in the last year. As a result, many staff may be overworked.
Encouraging the staff to use the paid time off available will create a sense of trust and good faith among the workforce. After a year of remote work, the piling up of unused PTOs is inevitable. Gentle reminders and creative ways of implementing PTOs will lead to a thriving working experience. It will also increase the productivity of the workers. Allowing employees to know that corporate leadership supports their decision to use their PTO may encourage some hesitant employees to take advantage of this precious time off.
As firms continue to thrive with their extensive global networks and impressive technology, they must not forget the binding force of their companies – the employees. Employee benefits packages might be just another log in the account book on the company’s financial records, but the productivity and well-being of employees rely on it.
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