The Covid-19 pandemic has had far-reaching consequences on the world of work including in the sphere of employee benefits. We take a peek at how employee preferences have changed with regard to perks.
It is well documented that employee benefits are of increasing importance to attract and retain the best talent. Recent research by employee retention specialists, Access Perks, reveals that 62% of US workers say better-than-average pay and benefits is a leading workplace differentiator.
This is unlikely to change in the post-Covid world (whenever we get to that point) but the dramatic shifts in preferences and circumstances of employees will impact the type and nature of benefits that are considered to be the most desirable.
Health insurance has always been a highly prized perk and that is unlikely to change. What is changing though is our definition of health. Mental health was well and truly put in the spotlight over the course of 2020 as employees dealt with the stress of the pandemic and an often dramatic switch to working from home. Data released in March 2021 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the US revealed that more than 40% of adults in the US experienced symptoms of anxiety or depressive disorders at some point between August 2020 and January 2021.
The good news is that employers are taking note. A PwC Survey carried out in November 2020 revealed that 72% of business leaders in the US had plans to increase support for mental health. It has become clear that supporting employee mental health brings many benefits including increased productivity and a reduction in absenteeism.
Forward-thinking companies are already widening the mental health services that they offer and taking a more holistic approach. We are beginning to see the inclusion of corporate benefits such as virtual wellness services, online counselling, life coaching, mindfulness training, and stress clinics for staff. Simple examples include Lyra Health offering all workers access to the Calm app or major US banks setting up yoga, guided meditation and Zoom ‘happy hours’.
Your business can set yourself apart from the competition with the corporate benefits it offers. A great corporate benefits package will not only help with recruiting and retaining the best talent but also keep them in optimum health to be at their most productive.
We understand that businesses have to balance the solutions they offer with cost, especially as they wrestle with the financial impact of Covid-19 on their businesses and health insurance inflation. There are options available to reduce costs. These might include switching from international to local cover, cutting down on benefits with low take up and reviewing your health insurance provider.
There is also a trend towards flex benefits whereby employers share some of the benefit costs with employees who can personalise the perks they receive to suit their individual circumstances. This is a relatively new concept in Asia but one which we believe will gain traction to help companies dealing with the rising cost of corporate benefits.
Whatever happens in the corporate benefits arena in the future, the cornerstones of a great package are a company pension scheme and group medical cover. As specialists in international corporate benefits, Infinity has helped numerous businesses in Asia set up these schemes to protect their employees and would love to hear from you if you need advice regarding your company’s offering.
Contact us today to set up a consultation.
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