Overall, companies, and in particular HR departments, helped employees adapt to the sudden change of work due to COVID-19 extremely well, ensuring the safety, stability and transparency.
But even with all the hard work, employee engagement and well-being is down. Now is a great opportunity to revise the benefits and perks that are currently offered to employees, creating considered benefits & perks that employees want, and importantly, need in this new age of work and life. This will not only have a positive impact on the productivity and engagement levels of current employees but help you to stand out to new prospective employees in 2021.
In this blog, we will give you ideas for modern benefits & perks to suit employees current and future needs.
Before we dive into the perks & benefits ideas to futureproof your employee retention and talent attraction, it is important to note that the old reliable's still remain as ‘must-haves’ if feasible for a company to offer. They are:
Note: we have left out workplace flexibility/remote working in this blog given our recent benchmark study, which found that 74% of companies plan to go either fully or partially remote going forward. Flexibility and remote working can no longer be seen as a ‘perk’ of a job but a requirement to attract talent going forward.
Even before the pandemic, burnout, workplace stress and anxiety were on the rise and a case of concern for employers as it is actively contributing to employee disengagement and ultimately turnover, 20-50% in fact (Forbes).
Well-being is not a new perk but where companies fail is understanding that well-being is not a one-size-fits-all approach, what is a stressor for one individual can be the total opposite for another. Companies should go about creating tailored strategies that take into consideration the employees individual needs. HR software can assist in ensuring the blanket approach to well-being is overcome. POWR by Wrkit offers well-being strategies and programmes based on an initial survey taken by the employee and tailors the programme accordingly. The added advantage of this software is that you can monitor engagement and results, gaining ongoing insights to feed your wider well-being strategy and promote popular wellness programmes in your benefits & perks.
The advantages of learning are evident, you invest in the employee, they will (hopefully) invest in you. But how learning is carried out, the encouragement of learning and the areas of learning on offer need to be revised to retain and attract employees now and in a post-COVID world.
It is the employer’s responsibility to create an environment that enables employees to constantly learn and train, whenever it is convenient for them. Actively encourage employees to undertake learning, both professional and personal, by creating a programme and calendar. This demonstrates your vested interest in their learning and ensures employees invest in their learning and development properly without letting their day-to-day work get in the way.
Secondly, In order to maximise engagement with your learning initiatives, you should implement a variety of training options that will appeal to the diverse needs of your employees. These could be anything from structured training courses to mentorship programmes to at-home elearning programmes, but the employee should have the freedom to choose their best fit.
For many, COVID-19 has brought about a greater need to focus on their financial situations, whether that is due to pay-cuts, furloughing or job uncertainty. However, generally speaking, employees would like more assistance in managing their finances. Some areas that employees might like guidance are:
There are a number of ways financial planning and guidance can be offered; a mentorship programme with a co-worker in the finance department, access to a financial planning software/resource or a designated financial advisor.
More and more companies are going completely remote and letting their office space go. While for most this is not a problem, for some, permanent remote working is not feasible or wanted. Offering a designated space for employees to work can be a huge perk as it allows employees to create a sense of routine, mix with others and work in a properly equipped, productive environment.
Co-working spaces are excellent option as they generally operate on a pay-by-desk basis, allowing you to offer employees this when needed and schedule times that the desks will be available. Furthermore, given the rise in popularity of co-working spaces, like Iconic Offices, there are generally multiple locations to choose from so you can find locations that are close to your employees where possible.
An important future of work trend is the rise of employees wanting to work for a company that focuses on its corporate social responsibility (CSR). So much so that a study by Deloitte found that 70% of millennials listed their company’s commitment to their community as an influence on their decision to work there, with another study revealing that 94% of Gen Z employees think a company should address critical issues (CONE).
In addition to this, and in line with COVID-19 related burnout, more employees are looking for additional time-off. Many companies are now offering half-day or even complete Friday’s off, but why not enhance this offering by combining time off with either a dedicated company CSR project or a volunteering opportunity of an employee’s choice that is company supported. This results in positive company exposure, both the company and employee giving back and meeting the need for additional time off.
6. Gym/health support: with no guarantees of gyms and fitness centres remaining open but fitness being such an important stress relief for many, offering to support employees fitness regime can be of huge benefit. This can include vouchers towards equipment such as bikes or weights, subscriptions to online class or even PT sessions.
7. Office equipment: something as simple as a laptop stand or back support can go a long way in helping employees feel they are in the most productive environment, even when at home.
8. Company town halls and employee brainstorming sessions: there is a universal fear of job security for most nowadays but even when the pandemic passes, employees now want a seat a table, to input ideas and know where the company is headed with transparency. Create regular town hall meetings where business leaders can speak on the current and future plans for the company and host regular brainstorm sessions where employees can suggest ideas for both their department and the wider business.
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Ideas for modern benefits & perks to suit employees current and future needs. Note: we left remote working out as this is no longer a benefit but a necessity where possible to offer.