Here, we look at five key trends in the employee benefits space.
- Employee feedback and lifestyle needs will drive benefits strategy
Employee needs and expectations have changed in light of the pandemic. What was important before, is now no longer so. Employers need to survey their staff to retain and engage their workforce.
Companies need to change what employee benefits they spend money on and provide benefits that employees now want, like discounts at entertainment venues.
- A renewed focus on physical wellness with remote workers
In the new remote working world, work happens around exercise in the daylight hours. Commuting is a thing of the past for many employees, so this is necessary to stay physically active.
Health issues, such as diabetes, are fast becoming a huge factor in dealing with a workforce staying at home. Corresponding health insurance benefits should be added to employee benefits programs.
- Human connection in mental efforts will return
Technology can only help so much with post-pandemic isolation and continued disconnection mental illness issues. More mental health providers are needed to cope with the demand.
Employees will return to wanting face-to-face contact as they tire of the technology of Zoom. Companies will need to prioritise mental health professionals as an employee benefit.
- Family focussed flexibility will get more attention
Remote work and flexible scheduling issues continue to arise. Caregiving challenges, both for children and the elderly, are obvious.
More funding needs to be put into childcare providers and demand for death and bereavement benefits has been increased. Both of these should be accounted for in employee benefit portfolios.
- Employers will focus on near-term financial issues
Companies usually focus on long-term financial stability. However, employees live in the financial present.
Short-term market volatility plays a factor in the employee psyche. Companies should add strategies such as emergency savings being taken out of payroll, to cater for this need.
What is apparent is that employee benefits will need to evolve to accommodate the changing nature of work in a post-pandemic environment. The need for companies to examine and re-evaluate benefits is clear.