The Benefits of benefits - how employers are taking a more holistic approach to their offering

The pandemic has changed the future of work, and employee wellbeing has become even more of a priority. Organisations and individuals are no longer focused solely on renumeration and basic benefits, but many are placing more importance on promoting a positive work life balance and supporting wellbeing in the workplace through a greater range of initiatives.

To attract talent, employers now need to consider the full package, not just salary. A more rounded, holistic approach to benefits helps build a stronger employee value proposition, ensuring employers remain competitive in the hunt for talent.

So, how are employers taking a more holistic approach to their offering?

Greater flexibility

The pandemic has placed a spotlight on how employers can integrate flexible working into their company. Employees no longer have to follow the nine ‘til five approach of a typical office. Some individuals will particularly value this new level of autonomy, and candidates will expect it to continue as lockdown eases.

Research by Future Forum found that 72 per cent of workers want a hybrid workplace going forward. Flexible working benefits both employees and employers, helping increase productivity and allowing for a better work-life balance. Offering a flexible work environment with remote working and flexitime will incite future candidates while also retaining current talent. 

Taking annual leave and a break from work are also essential to creating a better work-life balance. Expanded holiday packages and sabbaticals offer employees opportunities to reduce stress and avoid burnouts.

Mental health support

The pandemic has been detrimental to many employees’ mental health. Over half of adults say their mental health has worsened during lockdown. Some employees may have lost family members or been ill themselves. Others may be anxious about re-entering the office, while some may have found remote working isolating and lonely.

Physical and mental health are also more highly valued following the pandemic. 63 per cent of employees say that working for an employer who provides mental health support is more important to them now than it was a year ago. Employers now understand that the issues employees face can impact their physical and emotional health and cause a decline in productivity, and so it is not only the right thing to support them, but it also makes business sense too.

Supporting diversity

Each employee is different, which is why the most effective benefits will celebrate diversity, not exclude. Offering benefits such as childcare support, enhanced maternity and paternity packages enable employees to succeed in their personal and work lives.

40 per cent of employees admit to feeling nervous about returning to the office. Focus on creating inclusive policies to ensure each member of the team feels comfortable with the return.

Career wellbeing

Supporting employees in their career goals benefits both individuals and the organisation. Access to training courses, subsidised further education and upskilling will help entice candidates and retain current employees. 93 per cent of UK HR leaders report that skills development will be a focus in 2021.This is hugely important as the UK is facing a skills shortage and nearly 50 per cent of employees who remain in their positions will need reskilling in the next five years.

We understand there is no one-size-fits-all approach to benefits. We recently reviewed our own benefits offering to ensure we were fully support our staff, providing tailored packages that suit individuals at different stages of their careers. We now offer access to 24/7 healthcare, childcare vouchers and subsidised further education, among many others.

 If this sounds like something you would be interested in, we are currently hiring and have a range of opportunities available. Get in touch to learn more!

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