Employers—when it comes to attracting talent are you feeling the pressure of today’s marketplace? It’s not your imagination. Employee resignations and job openings are at levels not seen for more than 20 years. How do you navigate the intense competition? Firms who want to hire top talent must uncover and execute new strategies that give them an edge. There’s a strong case for employee benefits making the difference you need.
Understand current workplace attitudes
To understand workers’ current mindset, during the spring of 2021 HealthEquity surveyed over one thousand full-time employees across the U.S. The survey focused on one of the pandemic’s most notable workplace impacts: a shift from on-site to remote work. When asked how well their employers supported them during COVID and which benefits matter most to them now when evaluating an employer, the feedback clearly points to flexibility.
Flexibility shows up as important in several ways:
- Adapting benefits to meet workers’ evolving needs
- Providing options for work location
- Giving choices in work schedule
adapt your benefits to meet new needs
This research shows that recognizing and responding to employees’ evolving benefits needs makes a real difference. Employees report dramatically higher satisfaction if their employer made a positive update to benefits during COVID: 72% expressed satisfaction with their employer versus only 44% of those whose employer did not update benefits.
flex the location
Decisions about the future of remote work are in focus for many firms. Listening to employees, it is clear there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Many—but not all—employees who shifted to remote work during COVID want to retain at least some remote work on an ongoing basis. Our study showed a sizeable portion of workers who prefer each of three possibilities: fully remote, fully on-site, and hybrid.
Women are more likely than men to prefer working remotely full time, further underscoring the importance of offering options in order to maintain a diverse workforce.
Importantly, the data indicates that employees are likely to select the work location in which they can be most productive. Workers who want to continue working remotely full time are significantly more likely to say their productivity increases in this situation. Conversely, those who prefer to work on-site full time are more likely to cite challenges they’ve experienced with remote work. This finding suggests that in addition to more satisfied employees, employers who offer choices may gain the added bonus of increased productivity.
work schedule choices earn top marks
In the survey, people ranked the importance of a variety of employee benefits when evaluating a firm for potential employment. A flexible work schedule won with 33% of respondents ranking it first and 71% placing it among their top three. Surprisingly, flexible work schedules even placed ahead of retirement plans.
Schedule flexibility also emerged as an important consideration for firms who value diversity and attracting the best next-generation talent. Rankings of this benefit were higher for women and for families with children at home. And younger employees cited a flexible schedule as the top reason they prefer to work remotely.
benefits tip the scales in a worker's market
In the current market employees have the advantage and are able to consider all their options. As you plan to compete for talent, not all benefits are valued the same. Savvy benefits professionals should focus on what matters most to employees: flexibility.
For many people, evaluating their benefits is no longer just about money, but about overall life satisfaction. While this means something different to everyone, ultimately for employers, it’s about showing that you value what each individual contributes. And it’s about trusting employees to make smart decisions about how they do their best work.
When you view the current landscape as an opportunity to create a win-win for your organization and your employees you’ll likely yield a more diverse and productive workforce.
HealthEquity does not provide legal, tax or financial advice.
About the study: data reported are taken from original research conducted via an online survey fielded in May 2021 among a national sample of 1006 full-time employees who transitioned from onsite work environments to remote work environments at least part-time due to the pandemic. The survey was designed by HealthEquity in partnership with 8 Acre Perspective, an independent research firm.