After the beginning of the pandemic, the business climate in the world changed, leaving employees in a better position to negotiate their work environment and employee benefits.
In fact, according to the Shortlister 2021 industry wellness report, the interest and demand for behavioral health programs, senior care, financial wellness, EAPs, and telehealth have increased dramatically.
Employees took the globalization of the business world as a chance to think internationally and select their employers from all around the world. Hence, most companies try to enrich their employees’ benefits and provide a better experience to prevent retention and turnover.
Consequently, competitive compensation packages became an essential part of the job offer for corporations trying to retain great workers.
What are Employee Benefits?
Employee benefits are tangible or intangible compensation packages provided to employees in addition to their base wage.
The benefits are divided into four major sections:
1. Benefits at Work
- Working hours and leave
- Skills development
- Food and beverage
- Employee clubs, activities, and gifts
2. Benefits for Health
- Employee wellness programs
- Health care
- Mental health care
3. Benefits for Financial Security
- Pension plans
- Financial benefits
- Personal finance benefits
4. Lifestyle Benefits
- Work-life balance
These four types of benefits are the most common. However, companies are constantly improving the perks to retain their best workers.
The Employee Benefits That Are a Game-Changer in 2021
Hybrid models are becoming increasingly popular and are likely to persist. While some employees intend to continue working remotely after the crisis, fewer are willing to give up the office entirely.
Remote working is undoubtedly a game-changer, and it saves time and money both for the employer and the employee. Companies intend to provide more options like the hybrid model to attract and retain their employees, given the demand for remote work.
After the pandemic, child care benefits became essential to employees. When companies provide child care, they get an increase in employees’ productivity and success at work.
According to a Harvard Business Review, 63% of the companies said they plan to increase their existing child care benefits.
Employers are now more aware of the difficulties that employees face if they have to be caregivers. According to the same Harvard Business Review research, 41% of companies intend to offer or expand senior care benefits to employees. They claim that their employees can’t concentrate if they have to care for dependents.
Ten million Millennials in the U.S. provide unpaid care, making them a vulnerable group that can’t work unless the company cares about their personal needs.
Employees’ Mental Health
The pandemic’s toll on mental health and wellness has been staggering. As a result, employers attempt to mitigate mental health issues that affect their employees by providing behavioral health programs.
Employee mental health and well-being is not just an employee issue; it is an employer issue that needs employer-led solutions.
Benefits expansion will not stop the tide of burnout and mental health issues. Still, it may provide a bridge to the work environment changes that employees need.
Employees want to excel in their careers. Given that people acknowledge that time is precious, they value internal training as an opportunity to shine. On the other hand, HR can also benefit because employee retention increases when training and development opportunities are provided.
Regardless of the number of career development options available, companies can still assist employees in refining skills and expanding knowledge that will benefit them in the future.
Workers in the United States want to learn new skills and improve their abilities. According to ADP’s Evolution of Work study, 84% of Americans are excited to use technology and learn in real-time. This is a benefit that can enrich employees and strengthen the talent pipeline for management positions.
Why Do Companies Offer Benefits to Employees?
Benefit packages consume a significant amount of time for many HR professionals.
And for a good reason: they are one of the most fundamental employee engagement and retention strategies and a supporter of talent attraction.
While two different companies can offer the same salary for a given position, they can vary significantly in the employee benefits packages. Hence, making one offer a better financial proposition than the other.
According to extensive research conducted by the Society of Human Resource Management, 92% of employees consider employment benefits essential for their overall job satisfaction and thus a significant factor in retention and productivity.
Almost one-third of employees rank work benefits as the most important reason for job hunting or deciding to stay with their current employer.
Another thing that comes as a perk for companies is that employee benefits also allow the employer to take care of high-performing workers without investing in excessive pay raises.
In the HR world, this is called salary packaging. It refers to the practice of employees giving up a portion of their salary for benefits, which may result in tax deductions or other gains for either party.