The unprecedented challenge of keeping employees connected, engaged and supported in the midst of the pandemic meant that benefits has become more essential for employers than ever. Traditional insurance programs tend to offer only reactive support. With greater focus on emotional support and mental wellbeing, many office-based benefits – from transport allowances to gym memberships – also became obsolete.
It is important to invest in more proactive solutions, but remember that investments don’t always have to be significant. Sometimes the most effective solutions are the inexpensive ones (think meeting-free Fridays, employee social support groups, or stricter policies around using company devices outside working hours).
Here are three areas that are vital for companies to invest in:
- Focus on the employee experience– Every employee is different, so a ‘one size fits all’ approach won’t work. HR and benefits teams will need to find ways to unite employees in a shared employee experience, wherever and however they are working. Although the workforce has been forced to cope with unprecedented change, this can be a unifying experience that helps build trust and loyalty and this must continue to be nurtured.
The people who need support the most, are the least likely to receive it, so investing time to connect with your employees is paramount. Ensure that you constantly listen and communicate. Consider various forums through which to gather feedback; all-employee pulse surveys are great for identifying macro trends, but smaller focus groups, with a diverse group, is particularly useful in understanding specific employee needs, and identifying gaps in provision.
- Prioritize a digital-first approach – The fact that most organizations have adapted so effectively to seismic shifts in the way their employees work underscores just how vital the right technology and software platforms are in delivering the benefits employees need. Consider investing in bespoke, gamified solutions, delivered through technology.
Technology also represents the need for adaptability. Change starts with leadership and filters through people managers, so remember to invest in training. As remote and hybrid working models become the norm, it is important to ensure that business leaders are well-equipped and familiar with the use of technology, so that they can extend and provide support to their staff with confidence.
- Measure with data and analytics – With organizations planning to funnel more money into wellbeing benefits, it’s concerning that many of them are not measuring if they are actually being taken up. Employers that are still failing to collect and analyze data are missing a huge opportunity to spend smarter and create better employee experiences. After all, how would you know which benefits require more (or less) investment if you don’t have the data to back up these decisions?
Good data solutions may cost more, but are far more effective for you to identify key risks, access the most appropriate interventions, and track performance. You’ll also be able to view anonymous, company-wide dashboards and analytics – invaluable for the evolution of your employee wellbeing programs.
Companies have already made great strides to future-proof their HR and rewards strategies. The challenge for HR and reward teams now is to continue building engaging, effective and impactful strategies – focused on the employee experience, supported with agile technology solutions and underpinned by data and analytics – to bring real value to their people.
Contact us today to find out how we can help you manage workforce health and wellbeing with our range of digital solutions.