The COVID-10 pandemic probably bought the worst global crisis in many decades. The economy, employee health and wellbeing, workplace productivity, and business growth – the pandemic has affected everything.
Many studies have revealed the impact of the pandemic on employee health and wellbeing, especially the consequences on mental health, social wellness, and financial wellbeing.
Poor employee wellness influences engagement, productivity, and overall workplace culture. And so, employers have started taking serious measures to counteract the negative influence and enhance them. More importantly, the lack of engagement, high stress, and disrupted work-life balance led to the ‘Great Resignation’ with people quitting their jobs.
So, in addition to focusing on employee wellness, organizations were also looking for the right recruitment and retention strategies. Studies show that employee turnover is expensive. Also, high turnover rates can influence employee engagement, workplace culture, and overall organizational productivity.
One of the best ways to boost employee retention rates is by offering the right workplace benefits and perks.
The nonprofit Transamerica Institute and its Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies examined the pandemic’s impact on employers, their response, and timely opportunities. The study outcomes showed that many employers are offering various workplace benefits for employee health and wellness, and retention. Of them all, workplace wellness programs were of the most importance.
Workplace Benefits for Employee Wellbeing
On behalf of TI, The Harris Poll conducted an online survey from November 18 to December 20, 2020, with a sample of 1,903 employers. The potential respondents were business executives from companies of all sizes (small, medium, and large) who made decisions about employee benefits at their company.
A majority with 63% of the employers cited salary or pay compensation as an effective benefits to attract and retain employees.
This was followed by a net 60% of employers saying employee benefits were the best retention strategies.
Compared to 54% of small-size companies, 86% of medium and large companies were more likely to consider employee benefits as important retention tools.
On the other hand, 61% of small companies consider flexible work schedules as a more important retention strategy compared to 50% of medium and 52% of large companies.
The most common workplace retention strategies cited by employers of all company sizes were –
- 47% – health insurance
- 36% – retirement benefits
- 25% – other benefits
The other benefits included – workplace wellness programs, financial wellness benefits, employee assistance programs, and other supplemental insurance.
In addition to employee benefits, workplace culture, flexibility, and other factors were also cited as effective retention tools –
- 59% – flexible work schedule
- 52% – safe working environment
- 42% – remote working options
- 42% – paid time off
- 39% – workplace culture and reputation
- 32% – occupational development opportunities
Health and Welfare Benefits
Almost 70% of employers offered one or more kinds of employee health and welfare benefits. The most frequently offered benefit was health insurance offered by 57% of the employers. The other most common types of health and welfare benefits included –
- 33% – Life insurance
- 29% – Employee assistance program
- 24% – Workplace wellness program
- 18% – Financial wellness programs
- 17% – Critical illness insurance
Large companies were more likely to offer most of these workplace benefits for employee wellbeing.
While 65% of large companies were offering or willing to offer employee assistance programs, 46% of mid-size and 22% of small companies were offering the same.
Similarly, compared to 55% of large companies, only 39% of mid-size and 18% of small companies were offering workplace wellness programs.
Likewise, a higher 47% of larger-size companies offered financial wellness programs, while only 12% of small and 31% of medium-sized companies offered the same.
Most employers felt responsible for their employee health and wellbeing, and so they offered resources for –
- 81% – mental health support
- 80% – work-life balance
- 74% – long-term health and wellbeing
- 65% – financial security/retirement
Employee health and wellness have been significantly impacted by the pandemic, and so have the employers. While many implemented cost-cutting, measures to overcome concerns, others have also started investing wisely in the right workplace wellness programs to ensure employee health and wellness.
With the right engagement strategies, relevant wellness challenge ideas, and other modules, well-designed workplace wellness benefits can enhance employee health and wellbeing, thus boosting retention and productivity rates.