With the pandemic has come a huge change in how we all work. In fact, it has forced this change for obvious health reasons. But what it has also left behind is an inherently new "the employee as an individual" environment that employers must now honour going forward.
Employees in practically every sector have experienced a more flexible work environment and have realized the same amount of work and quality of output can be accomplished in a much differently structured work environment. It's now fact that many employees will have a very difficulty time transitioning back to anything close to the way things were.
With this change so too must come a realization from HR teams and people managers that employee benefits are going to need to adapt accordingly. The balance of power has shifted, and employees know that they can raise their level of expectation. And they are. One size fits all employee benefits are simply no longer going to be effective. Benefits and experiences are not going to work if they are based on larger subsets of an organization, rather they will need to be based on the employee as an individual.
The proof is there. Just ask your employees.. which is what MetLife did in their annual U.S. Employee Benefit Trends Study 2021: “Redesigning the Employee Experience: Preparing the Workforce for a Transformed World,” which identified the top three factors that will affect the workplace of the future. The study concluded they are as follows:
Employee well-being (74%)
Ability for employees to work remotely (71%)
Employee mental health, stress, and burnout (70%)
Three quarters of all employees also ranked "work-life benefits" among their top five desired benefits to improve their overall well-being.
Personalization isn't new but it has yet to take hold into our work life. Benefits programs and offerings are going to have to adapt or die. Employers now have an opportunity going forward to embrace it and address the overall wellness of their employees, on a more individual and personalized level than ever before.