The Pandemic Has Shifted Workplace Benefits

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Employee benefit is a tool for rewarding, attracting, and retaining the best talents in an organization. It is also a traditional tool important to enhance employee engagement, training and boost worker morale.

Somehow, however, the pandemic has influenced or seen a shift in how employees regard traditional benefits. But it does not mean that the significance of benefits is fading, compared to what they used to be, or would be replaced. Instead, the changes affect how employees now see or prioritize benefits and what employers can do to satisfy employees. Fortunately, human resource information systems software streamlines the entire process to assist HR in making informed decisions.

Cezanne HR surveyed 750 UK employees to find out about workplace benefits. The survey shows what benefits employees consider and the benefits they are leveraging at the workplace, which you can check out the comprehensive research here.

What Benefits Could Your Employees Be Considering in Your Organisation?

Let’s assess some of the key takeaways COVID could be making in your business.

  • A similar report in 2018 shows healthcare and insurance top in the benefits that your employee thought about the most before the pandemic. However, the pandemic changed priorities, and your employees are considering different benefits now.
  • It’s 2021 and after, and employees are considering enhanced leave following the challenges during the UK lockdown, including childcare. However, although extra time-off is popular in the perk, many employees are yet to take their entitled leave.

Note: Cezanne HR conducted an anonymous report from their HR systems and management software showing more employees delay to book annual leave. However, employees booking annual leave reschedule paid time off, which triggers an administrative nightmare for managers.

    • Compared to 2018, healthcare and insurance dropped in ranking in 2021. However, this drop may not be on the rise any sooner as children in the UK are returning to schools, additional pressure on the NHS to subdue COVID and some employees are sometimes working or all the time from home.
  • Career development rose from 6th to 3rd position.

Note: Most benefits tying employees to work lost popularity in 2021, especially considering that more businesses are going virtual, and customers prefer goods and services online.

What Benefits Are Your Employees Planning or Are Taking Advantage of?

The 2018 and 2021 surveys show a difference in the benefits employees consider the most and the actual benefits they take advantage of.

The 2021 survey, for instance, shows flexible working is 4th in the ranking order, but it has been the most used benefit. However, career development ranked 3rd as most considered is ranking 7th in terms of user benefits.

These differences in the benefits considered and actual benefits used could reflect aspirations employees need but are yet to satisfy themselves with. 

How COVID Has Impacted Workplace Benefits 

  • Focus on Employee Wellness. COVID has forced more employees to grow increasingly interested in taking advantage of wellness programs at the workplace. This could result from making sure to manage their finances from health expenses or just taking time out to avoid burnout. 

An employee’s health and wellness can change their medical results with proper attention to themselves.

  • Opportunities for Career Development. The pandemic has created more opportunities for employees to prioritize career development. This could be because more employees want to adapt to job changes in remote settings because of COVID restrictions. 

Therefore, you can consider increasing career development to connect the employee’s career goals and your company’s continuing professional training and development strategies.

  • Resolution of Childcare Benefits. It does not matter whether parents have to leave home for work or work remotely. The chance is that parents are having to juggle virtual learning or work with childcare.

Low-income families particularly face the impact of childcare problems because only a few of them are working from home. Meanwhile, an Urban Institute report shows that below a quarter of households with income below 250% of the federal poverty level are doing at least some of their work remotely.

When you offer benefits in the area, stressed-out parents will enjoy some measure of relief.

  • Home Office Expenses. During the early parts of COVID lockdown, some businesses publicly showed support for new remote employees and their home offices. 1 in 5 companies was committed to paying home office expenses to employees. 

Today, with a significant number of businesses still operating or having some departments operate remotely, home office benefits are becoming more relevant for employees working from home.

How Can COVID Effect on Benefits Impact Future HR?

Providing benefits for employees in your organization can be an expensive task. However, when there is a wrong benefits structure, your company could waste resources and lose out in aspects like employee satisfaction, retention, and recruitment.

Thankfully, HR software can help your HR streamline benefits processes, such that they can carefully review and revisit the need for benefits concerning employee and organization’s values. In essence, human resource systems will help HR determine what benefits employees require the most to determine how to satisfy employee expectations.

The Pandemic Has Shifted Workplace Benefits

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