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Employee benefits fit for the workplace of the future

by Wanda Rich
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By: Nick Greenston, CEO of Retinue Talent Solutions

COVID-19 has shone a light on the importance of employee benefits.  And, as workers prepare to return to the workplace, Nick Greenston, CEO of Retinue Talent Solutions, which provides extra resourcing capacity and expertise to a company’s in-house recruitment function, reflects on how important it is that companies start to assess their benefits offering and ask themselves if they are fit for the workplace of the future and address the needs of employees.

As organisations of all sizes prepare to welcome people back to work and resume business in the ‘new normal’, they will be thinking about what has happened over this past year and how they might need to change how they look after their employees so that they can attract the best talent and retain the best talent.  In the post pandemic working world, employers may want to focus on tailoring their benefits packages to meet the new and evolving needs of their workforce so that they feel well supported and rewarded.   That way, they will hang on to the right talent they need to help them be successful.

Employees want to be rewarded well financially and benefit from career progression opportunities.  However, beyond that, flexibility will have become very important to them.  They might now be seeking benefits that will help them to look after their children on a 50/50 basis with their partners, they might want flexi-work or to work fewer hours.  And, along with achieving a good work/life balance, they will look to firms to holistically support them when it comes to their mental health and wellbeing; these are increasingly prominent considerations in the workplace and companies need to respond accordingly if they want to hang on to staff.

Benefits will play a pivotal role and companies need to use the tools available to them to attract and retain staff.  Whilst the ‘hard benefits’ like money, healthcare insurance and company cars are attractive and enticing, companies need to understand an individual’s needs.  If you employ a group of dog lovers, introduce a ‘take your dog to work’ day, if you have individuals who have gone the extra mile then perhaps offer them a bonus paid holiday, for some employees with children, provide a baby-sitter once a month so that they can go out on a ‘date night’ with their partner or send in someone to get some chores done at home for them.  For young employees or recent graduates and early career entrants who might not have families to support and rush home to after work, firms might want to consider introducing after-hours experiences.

During times of uncertainty as we emerge from the pandemic into the ‘new normal’ a company must look at ways of retaining staff; they may have cancelled benefits to reduce costs over the last year, but employees will be seeking to regain their due benefits and those firms that deliver the ‘wow factor’ benefits will win the talent war, hang onto staff and attract more talent.

What is important is selecting benefits that stand out from the crowd and offering employees those benefits that make a real difference to them and their lives outside of work.  Show your employees that you are going the extra mile so that when they receive a call to entice them to another firm, they will feel a sense of loyalty because they are being well looked after – make it easy for them to turn down another offer.

In a post pandemic working world, those companies that introduce improved benefits packages tailored for each employee’s needs will win the battle to attract and retain staff.  Those companies that ignore an employee’s benefits package today do so at their peril and are setting themselves up to experience attrition, recruitment and retention issues tomorrow.