2020 was quite a disturbing year for many across the globe, especially for the employees and employers. Despite the advances in wellness technology to develop COVID-19 vaccinations, the American workforce is still facing the pandemic’s consequences.
In addition to normalizing remote working options, the COVID-19 pandemic bought many changes to the workplace strategies, especially the employer’s perspective towards employee health and wellness. These changes led to them redefining their employee engagement and workplace wellness policies for a better 2021 and future.
With businesses trying to recover from the economic meltdown, the remote working options have opened more opportunities for employees to make desirable choices while choosing their employers. Studies show such corporate battles can cost employers almost 20% of the annual employee salary towards employee turnover costs.
With 2021 here, employers must develop workplace wellness and employee engagement strategies that can help them overcome the issues caused by the pandemic and also be prepared for any uncertain situations.
Changes In Workplace Strategies
One big change in the workplace strategies caused by the pandemic is the normalization of remote working. A Gartner study showed that almost 88% of global businesses encouraged their employees to work remotely during the pandemic to ensure employee health and safety. A Slack Future Forum global survey conducted on 9,000 knowledge workers showed that almost 72% of the respondents preferred a workplace that accommodated remote working options along with regular workplace working strategies.
Along with the employers, even benefits leaders must prepare themselves to incorporate these paradigm shifts and address employee wellbeing matters. A BrightPlan survey reported that a majority of employees looked forward to financial wellness benefits and healthcare benefits from their employers as these caused them the most stress. Employers could replace their regular perks with employee wellness benefits that make a difference that positively impacts their holistic wellbeing and also fuel business growth.
Acceleration In Wellness Technology
Digital technology is advancing in every field now, and workplaces are working towards internalizing modern corporate technology for their businesses. However, the pandemic just accelerated technological growth and its utilization by companies. For example, cloud services became the bread and butter of every organization in just a few days. Companies have started embracing new digital tools and resources, and are also offering personalized solutions. Be it to boost employee engagement, providing financial wellness solutions, or collaboration tools, including employee wellness programs, employers are exploring new ways to incorporate modern digital technology into their workplace strategies.
In addition to digital technology, the healthcare sector also saw a growth in wellness technology. From virtual healthcare and telemedicine to other digital health solutions, employers have started to include modern wellness technology into their workplace modules to ensure employee health and wellness.
New Employee Wellbeing Benefits and Perks
Expectations of employee benefits and perks have changed in the past decade. While previously, employee benefits meant HSAs or other insurances, it is not the same anymore. Employees expect more and different workplace benefits and services, which also becomes one of their core criteria while choosing the organization to work. The pandemic has changed employer perspective about employee health and wellness, and are now willing to address their holistic wellness concerns. Right from flexible working schedules to remote working options, financial wellness solutions, physical health resources, and paid vacations, employers are prioritizing employee wellness solutions.
Employer Focus On Social Wellness
Previously, a healthy workplace culture meant a peaceful working ambiance and no politics. However, employees of the current generation are fueled by civil rights upheavals and other social awareness issues. They expect their employers to indulge in conversations and lead a change in social wellness aspects that revolve around diversity, gender equality, racial discrimination, and more. A Harris Poll reported that almost 82% of Americans felt it was important for companies to acknowledge and improve racial equality. However, only 21% believed that employers are actually making a difference in this aspect.
A recent IDC survey report showed that companies that offered employee wellness programs, including physical health, mental wellbeing, and financial wellness modules had their workforce staying with them for at least 6 – 10 years, thus reducing the employee turnover rates.
In 2021, employers are looking to build a workplace culture with greater diversity and broad inclusion of employee health and wellness programs, while being involved in social awareness programs. They must continue to prioritize employee engagement strategies to improve workplace experience and foster high organizational productivity.