It’s hard to imagine, but one day the COVID-19 pandemic will be behind us.
In this new normal, the employee benefits your company offered in the past may seem stale and out of date. Remote work, for example, was once a sought-after perk but it’s become commonplace amid the health crisis. As businesses plan to reopen, the savvy ones will assess which benefits mean the most to their employees. They’ll use this information to evaluate which existing policies should remain and what needs to be creatively retooled.
If you want to attract and retain premier talent in the post-pandemic world, here are five powerful benefits to consider.
Comprehensive, high-quality medical plans.
COVID-19 has taught people to value their healthcare coverage more than ever before so it’s likely to become a priority in employment decisions. Superior employer-provided healthcare can go a long way in supporting workers and helping them feel secure when the world feels unstable. Strive to offer the best coverage available and to deliver a benefits experience that includes telehealth options, Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs), and other forward-thinking tools that offer accessibility and ease-of-use.
Support for mental wellbeing.
Stress and anxiety have been on the rise for decades in America and the strain of the pandemic has compounded these issues. There are several ways employers can champion mental health. You can start by encouraging a culture of openness through your policies and education to help remove the stigma. Supporting work-life balance through flexible and remote-working policies—which will be expected in the post-COVID-19 landscape—will allow your team members to feel more in control of their time and better able to manage their responsibilities. An EAP is another valuable supportive tool, providing workers with assistance in the form of counseling and additional resources. It can be accessed from anywhere, making it ideal for the remote working environment.
Tools that support our new, virtual way of life.
With an increasing number of employers relying on fragmented workforces, those exclusive on-site gym memberships won’t hold the appeal they once did. Programs like these will need a dose of innovation and flexibility. Instead, you might consider offering virtual gym memberships, a stipend that employees can use for physical fitness activities, or more emphasis on matching HSA or FSA contributions. Many children are attending school virtually so employee memberships to childcare services like Care.com have also become a more prevalent and appealing offering. Similarly, Tutor.com, which provides online tutoring for students in K-12 and even college, is seeing an explosion in interest from businesses seeking to offer its services as an employee perk.
Financial wellness education.
Wellness isn’t limited to physical health—it also includes financial health. Research suggests that a financially stable workforce can contribute more to the bottom line because less stress about money leads to better engagement on the job. Financial wellness educational programs serve to help staff members reach their monetary goals and achieve long-term fiscal stability. Today’s workforce is looking to their employers for guidance on how to manage their money, prepare for retirement, save for college and more. Employers who make the effort to understand their workers’ financial situations and strive to help them improve will be rewarded through better morale and increased productivity.
Student loan reimbursement assistance.
This underused benefit can pack a robust competitive advantage. As the coronavirus continues to wreak havoc on the economy, the student loan crisis has become even more pressing for many Americans. Recent graduates owe more than $1.6 trillion collectively and this staggering debt is likely to worsen before it improves. Yet, the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans found that few U.S. employers offer student loan assistance. This highly desirable benefit responds to a need that’s predicted to soar in the coming years. Offering assistance with student loan reimbursement demonstrates your company’s investment in the financial wellness of your employees.
Begin building a legacy of goodwill.
Your company’s response to the COVID-19 crisis will have long-term effects on your current and future employees. Take time to revamp and improve your benefits packages to meet the new needs of American workers. You’ll be happy you did when your best employees stay put and new superstars come knocking on your door.
Is your organization ready to implement an effective post-pandemic employee benefit strategy? The HR Team can help! Please reach out to our friendly team of skilled professionals to get started.
About The HR Team: Founded in 1996, The HR Team is a Maryland-based human resources outsourcing firm committed to developing strategic, customized solutions that respond to the unique needs and cultures of organizations of all types and sizes. Available as a one-source alternative to an in-house HR department or on an à la carte project basis, the company’s flexible service models address the full spectrum of HR needs that many organizations struggle to address. The HR Team helps clients achieve their highest level of success by providing value-driven human resources services that leave them time to focus on what they do best: directing business growth and profitability. Headquartered in Columbia, Maryland, the firm serves all of Maryland, Washington, DC, and Virginia. To learn more about The HR Team, call 410.381.9700 or visit https://www.thehrteam.com/.