Best Employee Benefits for the Changing Workforce

on morale, benefits, employees


Any successful business owner will tell that their employees are their greatest asset. It takes a solid, reliable team to run a solid, reliable business. In the past, we discussed ways to foster teamwork among your staff. While teamwork will improve you and your team's morale and productivity, it will be difficult to establish if team members are not content with their employer.

People who don’t feel valued in their company quickly start to lose morale, and with it, their work ethic. Low employee morale has the potential to negatively impact your business as a whole. And with the present worldwide morale deficit, your staff's well-being should occupy the top of your priority list.

It is difficult to be certain about anything these days, but your employees must feel secure in their roles. By offering the right benefits, you can take loads of stress off of your team while showing them they are valued. But what benefits do employees look for, and how can you make sure that you offer the right ones? Here are some of the most valuable benefits you should be offering.

Health Insurance

Nobody wants to fall ill, especially with something that requires a lengthy recovery. Most people follow guidelines in order to stay as safe as possible, but few are able to achieve the level of self-isolation necessary to guarantee their safety from the pandemic.

Even in a crisis-free world, the healthiest of people get sick on occasion. This is why health insurance can be a huge relief for your employees under any circumstances. The American insurance company Aflac found in their 2019-2020 WorkForce Report that 63% of employees surveyed place health benefits among their top 3 considerations when searching for a job, some even ranking it above salary.

Health insurance gives them the opportunity to take advantage of private healthcare, or to claim back any money that has been spent out on private healthcare. Having access to healthcare gives employees peace of mind that they will be taken care of in an emergency.

Flexible Schedules

Do not underestimate the power of a flexible working schedule within your company. Employees who are juggling personal, professional, and family obligations will remain fiercely loyal to a company that is willing to work with their schedules.

Flexibility is becoming an increasingly higher demand for the modern workforce. Added challenges brought on by the pandemic have turned it into a necessity. But even with progressing technology facilitating more flexibility, most employees still feel their employers could do more to accommodate them.

Flexibility in the workplace shows your staff that you have their best interests in mind. Of course, you need to make sure everyone is working within the parameters of your business and deadlines. But exceptional managers take everyone’s needs into account, not only their own. You may also find that employees perform better when you make it easier for them to strike a balance in their work and home lives.

Flexible schedules are one of the most coveted employee benefits.

Retirement Benefits

People sometimes ignore the advantages of reliable, employer-sponsored retirement options. This does not give you an excuse to forego them, however. Retirement planning may not be a priority for a young new hire, but as that person nears retirement they will appreciate its value.

The retirement age in today’s world is rising steadily. More and more people need to work well into their 60s and even 70s before they can finally clock out for good. And unfortunately, their retirement savings don’t always offer enough money to comfortably live out the rest of their lives.

Increasingly fewer retirees have the luxury of retiring fully on a company pension, as was the standard 20-30 years ago. While company sponsored pension is mandatory in some European countries including the UK. most US companies are moving away from pensions and other defined benefit plans in favour of other options, such as IRA's and 401k's. Today, in the USA in particular, as few as 14% of companies still offer any pension option for employees.

As traditional pensions slowly fade into history, several retirement plan options have appeared in their place. Be sure to do your research and find what most suits you and your employees' needs, as the specifics of each varies depending on company contribution and tax parameters.

Some company sponsored retirement plans do not require any employer contributions. However, investing in your team and rewarding their efforts to establish a comfortable retirement builds their trust and loyalty. Whether you opt for a 401k contribution match, company stock benefits, or a full pension, be sure to contribute more than just a paycheck to you team members' financial futures.

Bonuses Linked to Performance

We all like to be recognised for our hard work and efforts, especially in the workplace. But too often, companies overlook this fact. Working in a constantly-changing environment can wear down your team. Over time, the extra effort can have adverse effects that reduce performance.

Your staff continues to work hard for you, adapting to changes brought on by social distancing. Recognize and reward their hard work with incentives such as cash bonuses, gifts, and special privileges.

Not only do extra bonuses ensure that your employees feel appreciated, but the added incentive of earning rewards for exceptional performance also motivates employees to go above and beyond. If you work hard for your staff, your staff will work hard for you.

Tuition Reimbursement

Distance learning has made it so much easier for people to expand their areas of knowledge and develop their skills, but high tuition costs often dissuade them from doing so. You can help your employees succeed with tuition reimbursement, or money toward training that will further their careers. And as many suddenly have added time on their hands, people are increasingly more willing to set that time aside for their education.

Education benefits people in more ways than you may realize. In communities, education has proven to reduce rates of poverty, crime, and even pollution. Personally, it can lead to better income, increased happiness, and even a longer life.

Not only do the perks of a good education improve the lives of your employees, they can extend to you as well, should you choose to invest in them. The skills they learn and apply to their career will more than justify your initial cost. If members of your team are happy in their role and passionate about their field, the education they choose to pursue will ultimately benefit your business.

As you can see, there is a wide array of employee benefits that benefit you as well. Some of them may seem minor to you as an employer, but do not underestimate just how useful they can be for those who come to work for you every day. In these uncertain times, you and your team need to be able to rely on one another. Show your employees they can rely on you by providing the benefits they need to succeed.

Not sure where to start? Send out a survey using an employee communication app or intranet service to find out which benefits matter most to your staff!

Image sources:
Pixabay - Mohamed_hassan, DarkWorkX

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