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Why the Pandemic Should Change How You Think About Your Employee Benefits Package Thumbnail

Why the Pandemic Should Change How You Think About Your Employee Benefits Package

The world of work has changed drastically over the past year and a half. 

As people have spent more time remotely working from home, their desires regarding their workplace have shifted. While the pandemic hasn’t changed worker’s expectations of wages, their expectations for work and benefits are quickly diverging from tradition.

That means the employee benefits package you compiled just a few years ago may look much less appealing to potential employees these days.

So, if you haven’t had the chance to reevaluate your benefits package in the last few years, we recommend taking the time to do it now.

To guide you in building a better benefits package for today’s workers, we’re going to outline a few changes we’ve seen recently in the world of employee benefits.

Great benefits, and why you need them

Before we get into which benefits are best for today’s workers, let’s do a quick refresh of why benefits are so important when trying to attract top talent to your team.

While wages are often one of the most important considerations for employees when choosing a company to work for, they’re certainly not the only feature. Offering a good benefits package is an essential part of compensation according to a recent Glassdoor survey

Based on that survey, 60% of job-seekers strongly consider perks and benefits available from the company before making the decision to accept or reject an offer. Perhaps more surprisingly, 80% of employees would prefer additional benefits over a raise.

So, for companies looking to attract the best employees in a competitive job market, benefits are a critical piece of that compensation puzzle. 

However, unlike compensation, the value of certain benefits shift and wane over time. That means the benefits package you created a few years ago may not offer the same value today as it did back then.

While this is bad news for companies unwilling to take the time to go through their benefits packages, it’s great news for employers willing to go the extra mile to attract the best talent.

Not only will benefits add more value to your compensation package, but they will position your company as an employer who works to make sure their employees are happy. 

And that’s a powerful way to attract talent.

The push for flexibility

One of the largest new trends in benefits is the increased desire for adaptability and customization. 

As employees have gotten a taste of working from home and the flexibility that comes with it, they’re increasingly looking to maintain that sense of freedom as real life resumes.

This desire translates into more than just the freedom to work from home, or to take a couple extra days off each year – though these are also increasingly valued as workplace perks. 

Employees are also looking to find freedom in the more traditional realms of benefits, such as health benefits.

Keeping your health benefits nimble

In the last few years, the idea of health has greatly expanded in North America. Services once considered luxuries (such as massages, chiropractic care, etc.) are now commonly viewed as preventative health measures.

And, as the idea of health expands, health spending and wellness spending accounts, which allow employees to spend their benefits dollars how they see fit, are increasing in popularity.

This is great news for employers, as adding health and wellness spending accounts to your benefits package offers a great way to control spending, while giving your employees the freedom they value. 

What are health spending accounts?

Health and wellness spending accounts are essentially a set amount of money employees can spend at their own discretion. This gives you, as the employer, a hard limit on the amount spent on benefits, with any unspent potentially money going back into the company. 

This ensures your benefits package won’t balloon unexpectedly, making health and wellness spending accounts a win-win outcome.

A few more perks employees are asking for

Of course, the increased drive for more flexible benefits also includes a variety of new perks employees have grown accustomed to during the pandemic. 

These can include:

  • Remote work opportunities

  • Flexible time off

  • Paid parental leave

Making sure you offer the most valuable benefits for your employees

Following benefits trends and maintaining open lines of communication with your benefits provider are great ways to ensure your benefits package stays up to date with employee values. 

However, perhaps the most powerful method of ensuring your company is offering what employees want, is to speak directly with your employees. 

For small businesses, this can be as simple as setting a meeting to talk about your benefits plan, what it offers, and what it can offer, before opening the floor to your employees to hear their feedback.

For larger businesses, a meeting like that could become unmanageable, but that doesn’t mean you can’t garner some constructive feedback. One of the easiest ways to hear from your employees is to send out a short survey about their desires for a benefits package.

If you don’t know where to start when creating a survey (or even when setting up a meeting with your employees), we can help you ask the right questions and deliver your survey to ensure your employees get the benefits that are most valuable to them.

Getting the right benefits 

Once you’ve gathered input from employees, you can work with your provider to modernize your benefits package. 

For more information on how you can tailor your benefits package to your business, employees and industry, contact Bayview Financial. We’ll walk you through your options, filling you in on what companies in your sector are offering, and how you can work within your budget to give your employees the most value possible.

And that’s another win-win.