There has been a complete shift in the work scenario since the onset of the pandemic in 2020. Employees face several challenges while working from home, and providing them with a strong support system on the part of the leaders is important. Employee benefits have been a crucial part of their engagement with firms, and in times of crisis, it increases the chances of employee retention. Surveys conducted on employee health and benefits reveal that employees are more likely to stay in jobs that provide non-health benefits such as a pension, retirement savings, and such tools that could help relieve them of their financial burdens.
In this blog, we discuss the new trends of employee benefits in 2021 and their importance, particularly in times of crisis.
In simple terms, employee benefits are the benefits offered to the employees, other than their wages and base salary. It provides the workers with a safety blanket to give them income protection to save them from cash crunch in times of emergency. Employment benefits are of two main types: short-term benefits and long-term benefits. Short-term benefits include wages, salaries, social security contributions, annual and sick leaves, profits and bonuses, and non-monetary benefits such as health-care, residence, food coupons, etc. Long-term benefits constitute pensions, life insurances, medical facilities, long-term disability benefits, etc.
The pandemic has led the employees to reconsider the benefits offered to them by their organizations. Companies have been rethinking the importance of employee benefits and some of them are now offering additional benefits such as paid time off, employee assistance programs, hospital indemnity insurance, mental health services, and wellness benefits. Brands like Amazon, Twitter, and Target are offering the above benefits along with bonuses, virtual camps for parents, and mental health sessions for their employees.
A large number of organizations have been working remotely for the whole year, and maintaining a list of policies of remote work can help regulate a work-life balance for the employees. The companies can also look into providing the right tools and technology to the workers in the absence of offices and formal work settings. Additionally, cost-effective benefits such as laundry services or food services could aid the employees in taking care of their household chores to maintain a work-life balance.
Enterprises should reconsider the financial and health benefits that employees receive. The pandemic has increased the need for financial security among the employees. Health insurance benefits play a huge role in increasing employee engagement, especially when it includes security for their family. Some firms have also considered offering death insurance to their employees.
Given the major health concerns during the COVID crisis, employees have been looking forward to taking time off work more frequently. Allowing sabbaticals or paid leaves could serve as a major employee motivation strategy. It may help them recover from work stress and help employees be rejuvenated that can improve their creativity and productivity for work.
While physical health insurance is taken care of by the companies, the pandemic has forced everyone to pay attention to their mental health as well. Virtual mental-health counseling sessions could be held while the workforce is tied to remote work. When the offices reopen, mental health aid could be made available for every employee, and companies can consider making their offices pet-friendly to aid workers if they suffer from bouts of anxiety or fear at any point.
With the increasing dependence on technology, internet allowances can serve as a basic advantage to the employees. It can reduce their burden and save them from an extra expenditure, and allow them to arrange for a better quality of internet services. The companies can offer internet services or they can reimburse the internet bills for their employees.
Employees have been highly interested in improving their skills set or gaining new skills to upgrade their careers. Encouraging the workforce to attend virtual sessions, or signing up for educational programs, can act as a motivating factor. With their improved skills, they could also serve as an advantage to the firm and become more efficient in their work. The company can also provide virtual training programs and workshops at their end.
In the absence of schools and childcare facilities during the pandemic, many parents had to stress over maintaining a balance between their work and child-care. Introducing child-care benefits in the offices or providing virtual activities to keep kids busy at home could help the employees alleviate their stress and focus on their work. Providing tuitions online and virtually could also aid in keeping the kids occupied during their parents’ work hours.
In times of uncertainty, introducing these employee benefits could bring a drastic change in the lives of the employees and in turn affect the company positively. When the employees feel like they are given importance, efforts are made for their well-being, their commitment towards their work increases, and they feel more dedicated towards their work goals. Taking into account the work performance and providing constant positive feedback to them can be a great way to improve their work production and output.
OnBlick provides a virtual platform that allows organizations to manage their workforce with ease. To make the workforce management process simplified, you can sign up for OnBlick’s HR platform. Our business partners can efficiently handle your HR processes while keeping the employees motivated towards the company’s purpose from the very start.