In our work from anywhere era, HR teams have been tasked with maintaining a long-term view of the workplace — how, where and when people are working – and their efforts have paid off. According to a report by McKinsey, 80% of employees have enjoyed working from home. And it looks as though this is set to continue for some time. With this in mind, HR teams need to make sure they have a continuous and accurate view of their workforce, and use this insight to create both an engaging and personalized employee experience. Employee benefits play a huge role in this, not only in affirming the organizations clear commitment to employee wellbeing and development, but in helping HR teams deliver real value to their people in the worst of times.
1. Start by putting wellbeing front and center
Roughly half of U.S. workplaces offer health and wellness programs, but most of them were created with the traditional workplace in mind. The new working reality means that many organizations have had to pivot their approach – and fast – to make sure they continue to meet their employees’ needs.
There are two critical components here, starting with the way employees access support when working remotely. Whether offering virtual health advice, online yoga or exercise classes, virtual book clubs, or reimbursements for wellbeing essentials, these benefits must be easy to access. And data is essential in determining which benefits are being utilized and which are no longer fit for purpose. Organizations should keep this in mind as they craft and refine their work from home (WFH) policies. Additionally, now more than ever enterprises must clearly communicate the support they offer to make sure every employee can fully utilize these benefits.
2. Helping employees stay connected
With 41% of employees likely to work from home at least part time after the pandemic, HR will need to make sure that employees continue to feel connected to their organizations. Employees’ social wellbeing is often overlooked, but is in dire need of support.
Organizations should focus on providing benefits that help employees stay connected – to their colleagues and to their employers. Tech has become an essential enabler, helping organizations keep teams connected, and also deliver value-add benefits such as virtual team social events or guest speaker events.
3. Take full advantage of data analytics
There are a growing number of organizations, including Walmart, that are relying on analytics providers like Embold Health to find cost-efficient health plans using data. This is one of the many advantages of data analytics, and the pandemic has widened the gap between the have and the have nots when it comes to efficient and reliable data analytics solutions.
Benefits technology has provided HR teams with increasing amounts of data, but many aren’t using it effectively. HR teams that have real-time and easy access to robust benefits data are able to use that information to stay agile and pivot their strategy as needed to meet fluctuations in the demand of their workforce. This is especially important now in the wake of the pandemic, which has brought new benefits complexities to employers trying to cater to the needs of staff in multiple locations.
4. Elevate staff with new skills
The World Economic Forum estimates that at least 54% of employees will need to be reskilled or upskilled by 2022. By taking the time to provide online courses and virtual career development sessions today, enterprises can help staff continue to evolve and advance.
By taking the time to provide virtual learning today, enterprises can help staff evolve and advance even while working at home. As a result, they will be ready for the future of work – wherever it takes them.
Embrace the work from anywhere era
Organizations have an opportunity to strengthen their relationship with their employees no matter where they are working. They can start by ensuring that employee wellbeing continues to be a priority within the firm. Organizations can also help their employees stay productive by providing the necessary tools and training to optimize their remote working experience.
Further, employers can take advantage of data analytics to study how employees are interacting with their benefits. This data could allow them to reduce their expenses by eliminating unused or underutilized benefits to focus on offerings that employees want most.
Lastly, organizations should remember that even in these challenging times, employees still want to improve their skills and advance in their careers. Employers can continue to support their employees, wherever they are based, and make the best of the worst of times.