Employee Benefits: The Top Employee Benefits In 2021

An attractive employee benefits package helps to build motivated and successful teams. We look at some of the top employee benefits for 2021.

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COVID-19 has changed the way we live and work in unprecedented ways. Home lives and work lives have intermingled as more employees work from home than ever before, making many businesses rethink their strategies to recruit, engage and retain their workforce. An attractive employee benefits package not only helps with talent attraction, it can also increase loyalty, focus, attendance and productivity, building more motivated and successful teams.

With the future still uncertain, we look at some of the top employee benefits to consider implementing in 2021. 

1. Healthcare
The pandemic has put healthcare at the top of everyone’s list. While the NHS continues to do exceptional work in hugely challenging circumstances, their data shows that at the end of December 2020, over 4.5 million patients had to wait an average of 11 weeks to start their treatment. Long waits to access healthcare can affect employees’ abilities to carry out their work as well as creating stress and anxiety. By implementing a corporate health insurance policy, you can help your employees get quick access to mental health care, chiropractic and physiotherapy treatments, and even treatments for serious or chronic illnesses that they might otherwise not be able to access. Giving employees the ability to access virtual consults with health professionals is another trend we expect to see on the rise.

In addition to the benefits for your employees, company health insurance policies bring bottom-line business benefits too, helping to increase productivity, reduce absenteeism and improve employee retention.

 

2. Wellbeing Benefits
Workplace wellbeing has been a hot topic for several years and the events of 2020 put it firmly in the spotlight, with the impact of COVID-19 putting a strain on the mental and physical resilience of people across the country and all over the world. 

The business impact of low employee wellbeing is widely recognised, and many business are integrating wellness programmes into their core benefits offering. AON’s 2020 Benefits and Trends Survey shows a range of mental health services dominating health and wellbeing programmes, with 92% of employers focusing resources in this area. Investing in employee wellbeing is beneficial for employers as well as employees – it can lead to reduced sickness absence along with higher performance and productivity. There are many ways to provide wellbeing benefits to your workforce, such as Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs) - EAPs typically cover a range of issues including mental health counselling, financial and legal advice. Physical wellness benefits are also expected to remain popular – employers can offer access to online fitness classes, or free or subsidised gym memberships as part of their wellbeing benefits. 

Providing access to health & wellbeing apps can be a simple and effective way to improve workplace wellbeing, with apps such as Headspace used by some of the world’s biggest companies such as Google, Apple and Nike. Wellbeing apps can provide employees with support on mindfulness, personal fitness, nutrition, or relaxation goals. 


3. Flexible Working
The growing popularity of working from home looks set to continue, and employers who do not support flexible working practices could end up missing out on the best candidates. AON reports that a whopping 95% of workers expect agile or home-working scenarios while 93% expect flexible working hours. Owl Labs’ UK State Of Remote Work report reiterates this and states that workers expect this trend to continue, with almost half (45%) willing to take a pay cut in order to keep their flexible working schedules once offices reopen. Hybrid work schedules are a consideration for the future, where employees can spend a couple of days a week working from home and the rest at the office. There are various options to offer your employees when it comes to flexible working – from
compressed hours such as the four-day workweek to job sharing opportunities or part-time working hours. 

Offering a flexible work schedule shows staff that you recognise the importance of a healthy work-life balance and strengthens employee loyalty to a company as well as encouraging long-term commitment. Supporting flexible working arrangements can be a huge draw for candidates and can also reduce staff turnover, absenteeism, and lateness by allowing employees to fit working hours around home life and family obligations. Another bonus is that you may be able to cast your net wider and attract top non-local talent.

 

4. Office Perks
Although the restrictions on our work and home lives have lasted much longer than most would have anticipated this time last year, a return (of some sort) to the office may soon be on the cards. Now could be a good time to review and enhance your on-site or office-based benefits. 

Introducing healthy snacking helps show your employees that you’re invested in their health and wellbeing, as well as laying the foundations for an overall wellness culture. You could offer free or subsided healthy options at the office, such as nutritious snacks like granola bars and fruit. Why not create a dedicated area in the office that employees can use to take a break away from their laptops, relax, catch up with colleagues or read a book? Creating a ‘recharge’ space does not have to cost the earth – you can get creative by adding potted plants, soft lighting, and some comfortable seating, and even having earplugs and eye masks on hand for employees to shut out the outside world for a moment. 

Adding things like plants, artwork, and team photos to the workplace can help contribute to a positive and creative work environment, which ultimately drives productivity too – you could also get the paintbrush out to bring some colour and energy into the office space. Whether or not you have a huge amount of extra room it’s about making best use of the space you do have, so listen to your teams about what they would value most and try to incorporate as many of their ideas as you can. 

Multiple studies show that employees, especially millennials, expect businesses to contribute in a meaningful way towards making the world a better place. Offering to match your employees’ donations to their favourite charities shows that you appreciate their good work outside the workplace. Giving employees paid time off to carry out volunteer work is another option to consider. 

Creating a pet-friendly workspace can prove very popular among employees and candidates, bringing improved work-life balance for pet owners, enhancing the office atmosphere and company culture and boosting employee morale. Many of the best candidates in the market for a new job are looking for forward thinking companies who offer benefits such as pet-friendly workplaces, and having this in place can set your company apart from others when hiring. With the huge rise in pet purchases and adoptions during lockdown, now could be an ideal time to consider implementing a pet-friendly office space, and there are plenty of online resources to help you get  started. 

Adecco can help put the right people on your team and give you the support and resources you need to keep them there. To learn more, contact us today.

Discover more employer resources here.

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