Not surprisingly, the COVID-19 pandemic and yearlong shutdown have influenced the benefits employees value – and seek out – the most. Proactively understanding these trends can help employers successfully recruit and retain top talent in the current competitive job market.
A recent article by Forbes’ Ashley Stahl outlines 5 distinct areas that top prospective employees identify as benefit priorities. A brief examination of each brings forward important lessons learned from a particularly rough year in America’s workplace:
- Childcare and Family Benefits – Back to basics rings true with employees’ desire to take care of the ones closest to home. Dependable childcare and adequate family support/leave are key concerns as we head into the second half of the year.
- Home Office Expenses – In 2020, the American worker proved that remote work was no longer an excuse for a less than productive day at home. Technological advances made working from home possible and profitable. Companies and workers continue to push the envelope in this area and employees want the tools, permission – and funds – to work most effectively.
- Mental Health – The sudden upheaval in our daily lives surely took a toll on the American worker. Mental Health coverage, once a rarely mentioned benefit, has moved front-and-center in the minds of employees and employers, for both better health and increased productivity.
- Remote Work & Flex Schedules – The COVID shutdown revealed a win/win for employers and employees. Many staffers discovered they get more done outside the confines of 9 to 5 and the four walls of the traditional office. Plus, many companies realized they could create savings on facility and real estate overhead by letting workers create their own workplace.
- Employee Resource Groups – A pandemic-driven shutdown coupled with widespread societal upheaval created new opportunities for employees to seek out answers and allies in their efforts to understand the changes around them. Expect this to continue well into 2022.
These 5 key trends reflect a general shift in priorities for both employers and employees. Importantly, three themes weave their way through these top trends: concerns for financial health, technology-enabled work tools and greater flexibility/more choice for employees. Employers who are mindful of these trends and what’s prompting them should be able to recruit and retain the very brightest of today’s super-engaged workforce.
We’re Oakbridge and we’re here to answer your questions and outline how our transparent benefits process and packages can save your company and your employees time, effort and money. Contact your representative today.