2021 left employers with a lot of cleaning up to do after the storm the pandemic left behind.
And even though we still aren’t in the clear yet, its impact on the labor market and HR has been so powerful that it may have changed how HR teams approach employee benefits entirely.
Here are some of the main issues HR teams have had to solve through employee benefits:
- High levels of employee stress and burnout
- The worst mental health in employees since the Great Recession
- A competitive candidate market in 2021
- A newer remote working model
For these reasons, employee engagement, hiring, and employee retention are now more complicated than they once were. This means that, like other companies, your HR team has had to develop a new approach to employee benefits to recruit and retain top talent.
For millennials and most employees nowadays, a paycheck alone isn't enough. Here are 5 types of benefits and compensation that will continue to keep you competitive in 2022.
Employee Benefits #1: Mental Health and Wellness
If you thought that the economy was having challenges, wait until you see the mental health statistics for employees across the board.
In one study, 4 in 10 workers reported suffering from symptoms of anxiety and depression, which is quite an increase from the 1 in 10 they reported back in 2019.
Another by the Kaiser Foundation found that 45% of Americans believe that Covid 19 is harming their mental health.
Coupled with the candidates market, Great Resignation, and lowering unemployment rates, mental health benefits have become a necessary trend in employee benefits.
Starbucks, for example, took an early lead, offering each employee 20 free counseling sessions with a therapist each year.
Employee Benefits #2: Fitness Passes
During the pandemic, not all of your employees learned a new hobby. Some skipped this stage and perhaps even set aside previous health and wellness habits.
However, with the hope of a return to normal, fitness and healthy living are now top priorities for existing and prospecting employees.
This has made fitness passes, like Classpass, one of the most effective pandemic employee benefits. Gym memberships are back, but employers are giving their employees the perk of flexibility when it comes to their health and wellness.
Employee Benefits #3: Financial Benefits
Financial benefits will always remain the most effective of employee benefits and incentives. In the wise words of the great Walter White, "Dinero is a universal language."
In 2021, employers had to up their financial benefits to retain talent. And surprisingly, we're not even talking about top talent here.
Headlines are full of companies raising their minimum wages in a frantic effort to retain and attract talent.
For example, McDonald's, aiming to hire 10,000 more workers, promised to increase their wages by 10%, with workers now starting from anywhere between $11-$17 an hour.
For top firms, it's even more apparent. In a LinkedIn article with the title "Prioritizing our People," KPMG CEO Paul Knopp committed to:
- Making 401(K) contributions up to 8% of workers pay instead of matching their contributions
- A 10% reduction in healthcare premiums
- 12 weeks of paid parental leave for bonding with a new child
Employee Benefits #4: Childcare
If you were a working parent during the pandemic, you had to adjust to both working from home, and creative childcare solutions, like Sitterstream which offers 1:1 on-demand virtual childcare, tutoring, classes, and more. There are fewer people who felt the brunt of the chaos more than parents working.
For one, schools closed, and kids were at home. If that wasn't enough, the launch of remote learning shifted responsibilities to parents who still needed to work.
This was the perfect storm that eventually pushed childcare into one of the most appealing employee benefits of the year and a winner when recruiting in a competitive market.
According to SHRM, 40% of employers are allowing their employees to use their sick leaves and vacation days for child care needs.
If you're considering upgrading your childcare packages, Best Buy is one example of an organization that already has. Apart from offering $100 reimbursements to tutors for children between the ages of 5 and 18, they expanded their paid leave program to up to six weeks of paid leave.
Employee Benefits #5: Pet Perks
Before 2021, most people believed that monetary compensation was what competitive hires loved most.
However, what's becoming apparent is that maybe what that CEO you're eyeing loves most is dogs (hers in particular).
This realization is how pet perks came to be a reliable employee benefit. Think about it: so many people worriedly leave their pets back at home when heading to work. Bringing pets to work is a radical big-time perk.
Amazon, VMware, and Zenga are just a few examples of pet-friendly companies that offer their employees pet insurance, in addition to health insurance. While other companies are offering their employees “pawternity” leave to spend time with their new puppy.
Employee Benefits #6: Home Office Expenses
For HR teams providing a remote work option, it can be a benefit in itself. That said, you must have probably thought about the expense it shifts to your employees.
Well, you're not alone. E-commerce giant Spotify committed to giving their employees a $1,000 stipend to spend on their home offices as they went remote.
It makes a lot of sense. Your employees now have to purchase high-speed internet, routers, computers, orthopedic work chairs, printers, and more.
For this reason, helping with home office expenses has become an employee benefits trend. By doing so, you're telling your prospective recruits that above offering remote work, you'll give them the resources to become productive.
Crosschq Can Help Up Your Recruiting Game
While you’re handling remote workers, building compensation models, and engaging your teams, let Crosschq help you be more productive and efficient with candidate sourcing, reference checks - completed up to 95% faster than if you conducted them manually, candidate assessments, onboarding, and collecting employee data.
Crosschq is your one-stop shop for all things HR and recruitment automation. Our Talent Intelligence Cloud™ software solution handles tasks from pre- hire assessment to post-hire employee performance measurement.
From pre-hire to post-hire, Crosschq helps you source, screen, onboard, and measure the best talent. Fast.
Request a free demo from a team expert to see how we can help your company.