The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly transformed the ways we work, learn, and interact. It has left a massive impact on us and how we live in the workplace and society. These same changes also brought upon a shift in perspective towards health and job security.
While the prospect of returning to the pre-COVID office routine shows a tiny bit of possibility, the impact of the pandemic on the workforce cannot be ignored. Take the case of the recruitment industry, where a shift in the applicants’ preferences and priorities are evidently taking place. Job seekers now prioritize the type of employee benefits that would help them navigate the ongoing pandemic and the future.
Below are some of the employee benefits applicants are looking for in a company post-pandemic.
1. Wellness benefits
The health crisis has accelerated the trend in remote work, which continues to shape and change the work schedules of many employees. One important implication is that virtual health offerings—such as online fitness classes, mindfulness exercises, and healthy living webinars—have become all the more relevant.
Offering a wellness package, which may include virtual gym membership, access to online medical services and consultations, and health-monitoring devices, will help promote employee health while addressing issues associated with isolation and anxiety. Essentially, this can result in increased productivity and sustained engagement.
In the post-lockdown workplace, these wellness benefits should continue to ensure that employees are in good shape and continually motivated to work. In turn, employers will benefit from a healthy and active workforce.
2. Mental health support
Even before the pandemic, burnout, anxiety, and depression were major workplace issues. However, the health crisis has heightened these concerns. Isolation, loss of income, and worry due to the pandemic have triggered mental health conditions and worsened existing ones. These sources of stress have taken a toll on employees’ mental well-being, driving some to anxiety and depression.
As companies reopen, business leaders need to expand health benefits to provide mental health support for employees. Counseling and therapy benefits are a good starting point. One-on-one interactive sessions with health experts will also enable workers to better deal with stress and thrive in the workplace.
3. Financial benefits
Extensive pandemic restrictions have devastated the national economy, prompting it to reach record-low levels. With millions of workers feeling the weight of this economic decline, the need for financial literacy in the workplace becomes imperative.
Following the financial downturn induced by the health crisis, workers need resources to improve their financial health and make smarter decisions. With this, they are looking to their employers to provide them with these tools.
In the post-pandemic workplace, employers need to design a literacy plan for employees. This can include self-assessment applications, online classes, webinars, or interactive sessions that tackle financial education. Moreover, companies can incorporate mobile apps in their programs since these contain built-in financial tools that can be used to create budgets and analyze savings.
4. Healthcare programs
The global impact of COVID-19 and the repercussions of widespread layoffs have prompted people to value healthcare plans. Employer-provided health programs can go a long way in helping workers feel secure, stable, and cared for.
In offering employee healthcare plans, companies can consider incorporating direct primary care or personalized medical service providers. Prospects will be looking for employer-covered plans that will not put them in a position of making hard decisions to get the medical care they cannot afford.
5. Loans and reimbursement assistance
The coronavirus has stifled the global economy, and the financial impact continues to burden many families. To make your employees feel valued, extend loans that can help alleviate their financial worries, which might help increase their overall productivity.
Another form of financial assistance is reimbursement. Employers can refund payments to employees who have incurred reasonable and necessary expenses due to the pandemic. These can include the purchase of remote work devices such as laptops and headphones, the cost to install new or expanded Internet service, and the charge of increased utilities resulting from working from home, among others.
Helping employees get through difficult financial situations will help ease their stress. If companies show that they care for their workers, they win their commitment and loyalty.
6. Genuine work flexibility
With the surge of decentralized workforces across industries, HR leaders should consider offering benefits that provide flexibility to support workers wherever they are.
Hybrid work lets employees get the job done when they’re most productive. It’s worth noting that this work model is anticipated to be more widespread in 2021 and likely to endure. One key advantage is that it is a family-friendly benefit with no direct costs to the business.
To attract applicants and retain employees, businesses should consider providing more options for work flexibility.
7. Paid and unpaid leave policies
Employers also need to consider leave policies that are beneficial to employees while ensuring that these are flexible. Paid leaves, such as family and medical leave, not only improve workplace morale but also boost profitability in the long term. From increased employee retention to heightened productivity, business owners reap the rewards of offering a well-crafted leave policy.
Welcoming the New Normal
The workplace is going through a paradigm shift. This has extended to hiring and recruitment, prompting applicants to anticipate changes in employee benefits to include pandemic-related considerations. To deal with the changes, employers need to consider redesigning their benefits package, taking into account the impact caused by the health crisis.
In this area, the HR industry is at the forefront of such undertakings. Hence, it helps businesses consult a recruitment agency in the Philippines to tackle the issues with proper judgment and ease.
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