The COVID-19 pandemic has shined a light on the importance of employee well-being and shifted employees’ perspectives on work and benefits that matter. As we enter the complex phase of re-opening offices, 94% of HR leaders―surveyed in BrightPlan’s 2021 Wellness Barometer Survey―believe that their companies need to adjust benefits significantly to keep employees happy and engaged.
In the survey, BrightPlan asked 1,500 knowledge workers at organizations with 1,000 or more employees to rank the most important benefits post-pandemic. Here’s what the survey found:
Healthcare gets the top spot
While healthcare benefits have long been used to attract and retain talent, these benefits took on a renewed focus during the pandemic. Record job losses in 2020 underscored the importance of employer-provided health insurance and 37% of survey respondents placed healthcare as the most important employee benefit.
Providing health insurance benefits is a great first step, but competitive employers are taking additional measures to help employees cope with the stress and exhaustion brought on by the new normal. Many are looking to also address mental, emotional and financial health by offering stress management resources, enhanced mental health benefits, and financial wellness programs.
Flexibility is here to stay
The pandemic thrust knowledge workers into a remote-first environment and has proven that it’s possible to perform productive work from anywhere. Despite the stress brought on by the pandemic, more than half of the population we surveyed reported that their work-life balance improved.
Employees who have the flexibility to work remotely, or to work around the constraints of their personal lives, tend to be more satisfied and productive. For these reasons, many employers have committed to fully remote and/or hybrid work options and to providing increased flexibility to help employees with child care and other commitments.
Financial wellness takes center stage
65% of survey respondents indicated that finances were a top source of stress, with the pandemic spurring many to reassess their financial situation. Over 80% of employees are looking to their employers for financial support, including financial education, tools for investing, and access to a financial professional. Offering your employees a comprehensive financial wellness program can help fast-track their financial stability and demonstrate that you care about their overall well-being.
More than nine in ten employees (93%) say access to enhanced employer-provided benefits would motivate them to be more productive and engaged, confirming findings that support investing in employees can directly boost the bottom line. Employees are overwhelmingly looking to their employers to support their overall well-being and HR leaders have the opportunity to shape a holistic employee experience that takes into account their employees’ physical, mental, and financial well-being.