As the world continues to deal with a pandemic of unprecedented scale, there is no organization that has been unaffected.
While some industries are experiencing significant declines, with many companies forced to make layoffs, other industries are experiencing increased demand, such as software gaming companies, plant-based food companies, and home gym supplies. While employees in the hotel industry are among the hardest hit, competition for programmers, developers, and other IT skills are still in demand just as they were before COVID-19.
Regardless of industry or occupation, and irrespective of whether your company has needed to make layoffs or whether you are actively recruiting, if there is one thing this current pandemic has shown us, it is that we are all in this together. We all need to support one another. As such, organizations that focus on supporting their employees’ health and well-being and maintain high levels of motivation and engagement will become stronger through the pandemic.
One of the best ways that companies can support employee well-being is through employee benefits. However, as we share in our upcoming report, where we surveyed approximately 5,000 participants aged 18 and older in the UK, Germany and Sweden, not just any benefits will do.
Below we share four reasons why employers should review their employee benefits today:
1. Employees Need Support
As McKinsey reports, in April 2020, average life satisfaction in Europe fell to its lowest level since 1980 as a result of COVID-19. Factors include loss of income, job security as well as how people feel about their health and their relationships — with reports of depression and loneliness well and truly exceeding previous norms.
For almost all of us, our work conditions have changed. However, the importance of employee well-being has not. For employers, this means supporting employees with the tools they need to stay productive and healthy in the face of new challenges.
Review your current benefits offer to ensure you are offering benefits that support employee well-being, physically and mentally. Additionally, it’s imperative that you offer benefits that can be enrolled in and utilized digitally. In other words, utilizing technology to support employee well-being is essential. Your benefits offer could include everything from online yoga and training, psychological services such as counseling, home cleaning, remote work needs such as monitors, grocery delivery services, and more.
2. Safeguard Your Employer Brand and Consumer Brand
Positive or negative, how companies act during COVID-19 will most certainly impact their employer brand. After all, the most inspirational company values mean very little if they are followed during challenging times.
As we reveal in our upcoming report, The Benefits & Engagement Report, one US survey revealed that 84% of people say their buying behavior is affected by their perception of how a company manages employee well-being during the pandemic.
While there are reports of companies not adhering to social distancing guidelines and even requiring employees to come into work despite advice from health officials, there are many others who have put employee well-being at the forefront and have strengthened their employer brand because of it.
3. To Combat “Survivor Syndrome”
Of course, being laid off is difficult for the employee; however, as Wiley Wakeman from Stockholm School of Economics shares, one of the more harmful effects of layoffs is what is known as “survivor syndrome.” Survivor syndrome is the demotivating effect that can happen to remaining employees.
As Wakeman says, “Survivor syndrome typically leads employees to disengage at work, hurting organizational performance, and ironically leading survivors to leave organizations that are already trying to do more with fewer employees.”
To prevent this from occurring, it’s important that employers offer employees benefits and support that keep motivation and spirits high.
4. Pay Increases Limited, but People Still Need to Be Rewarded
While understandably, pay increases and bonuses are likely to be scarce, it’s essential that employers still reward their employees. Rewarding employees’ for their hard work not only shows appreciation but also helps increase positive mood.
As we share in our post, 4 Ways You Can Personalize Your Global Benefits many leading companies are allowing employees to choose their own reward - for example, stock options or an extra week of vacation – directly from their employee benefits and rewards platform.
Another option is for employers to choose a predetermined gift amount and then allow each employee to choose from a range of gifts, which they can order inside their benefits platform.
Want to discover what benefits are most important to employees today? Download The Benefits and Engagement Report today!