Why Covid has increased the importance of employee benefits

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Why Covid has increased the importance of employee benefits
If the past year has shown us anything, it is that the little things we used to take for granted such as meeting a friend at the pub, getting a haircut or going to the gym are what we miss the most!

With our weekly highlights being a visit to the supermarket or a walk around the park, there is no doubt that when we are granted extra freedoms, we will be making the most of what ‘normal’, pre-covid life has to offer.

An American survey found that 1 in 4 workers would take a pay cut in favour of a better work-life balance. It’s widely acknowledged however that the US is the laggard of the developed world when it comes to employee benefits, with an average of just 10 days’ holiday per year. But if you were to ask UK workers, you would be likely to find the same to be true – a work-life balance comes up high on any employee’s list.

This survey result raises an important point, that salary is only motivation to a certain extent. That’s not to say that salary isn’t a motivator, it’s just not the only motivator.

Employee benefits are becoming more and more crucial in an employer’s value proposition. Take Glassdoor for example, the workplace review website which lets employees anonymously rate their employer. Potential candidates are now able to explore and compare the employee benefits provided by each company.  

Now that employers are having to be more transparent with their employee benefits, employees have the chance to be more discerning about the wider benefits of the job they are applying for.  

They might value 100% home working over being in the office, or generous pension contributions over holiday allocation. Depending on what they value the most, individuals can now pick out their ideal employer. Naturally, we can expect that the employers with the best perks will be those with more job applicants.  

These days, only the smallest minority of companies provide no employee benefits; quite rightfully paid sick pay, pension contributions and insurance are the bare minimum of what you can expect from most employers.

The mental pressures of the past year have taken their toll on many. With the need to juggle a job and homeschooling, being far from loved-ones, or indeed feeling isolated due to lack of social contact, employers have had so step up and provide employees with the guidance and structure that their workforce are looking for.

Now is the time for employers to raise awareness of the employee benefits on offer, and for employees to appreciate and make the most of the flexible working policy, phone counselling service or family leave policy. The key with employee benefits is to provide the right perks at the right time and the events of the past year have demonstrated the importance of wellbeing.

There are two distinct camps of employers in the UK; those who survey their workers on their emotional wellbeing and the 48% who don’t. Those who are not keeping on the pulse of their workforce wellbeing are missing a trick. It is the opportunity to learn more about the areas your employees need help and then offer them the right benefits.  

In light of Covid, employers have been shaping their benefits to allow for the changing needs of the workforce. More have invested in employee assistance programmes, and mental health initiatives.

Adapting employee benefits does not need to be expensive; it could involve taking on an EAP or giving each employee a bonus day off to be taken when they feel like it.

More holistic offerings such as counselling to support mental wellbeing are also inexpensive. Plus introducing asynchronous working costs nothing at all.  

Having a strong financial wellbeing offering is also an aspect to consider in any employer’s arsenal. Covid-times have undoubtedly had a financial impact on everyone, whether that has been through salary cuts, redundancies or furlough, it has shown the importance of saving for a rainy day.  

Our digital financial expert MyEva can help employers gain insightful management information on the worries that are affecting their workforce the most. Employees can also benefit from financial guidance and advice to help them with their money goals and feel more in control of their finances.

Digital benefits offerings help to keep costs low, can be accessed at an employee’s convenience and are more available to remote workers.

When considering the employer proposition, employees are looking for flexibility and understanding from their employer in return for better productivity and loyalty.

As employee priorities shift towards the preservation of mental wellbeing, it has been predicted that employees will no longer be valuing fancy away days and free snacks. Instead, they will be looking to employers with a reputation of a ‘psychologically considerate’ environment.  

Gone are the days when employees just go to work in exchange for a salary. To remain competitive and attract the best talent, it is clear that employers must up their game when it comes to holistic employee offerings as well as raising awareness of the fabulous benefits they presently offer.  

Learn more about MyEva

MyEva is a digital financial wellbeing expert designed to support employees with their financial wellbeing by helping to improve their financial situation with independent personalised guidance and advice.

For more information please visit www.myeva.com, email daniel.gillett@wealthwizards.com or zoe.semmens@wealthwizards.com or complete the form below.

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