Updated: Jul 7, 2022
This week we discuss an increasingly present issue, what benefits to give your employees to make them happier and why?
Sick days may seem like a norm, but COVID has rid most companies of them. More workers find it harder to leave their desks while working from home and are less likely to take a sick day even when facing a severe illness.
With that said, work from home/hybrid structure is still an increasingly important benefit for most. 60% of American office workers prefer to work from home because they avoid the long commute and feel that they have a better work/life balance. Most prefer the WFH structure as opposed to a hybrid structure.
This creates a conundrum. If employees want to work from home stating they are not receiving the benefits shared by their employer for being in the office and yet they don't take time off or adequate time to care for themselves, there will be an imbalance.
That leads us to the topic of wellness and wellness perks.
Wellness is an essential benefit to employees. Companies have poured money into wellness perks since 2019. However, now more than ever, employees don't feel that they are perks. Why? Because these perks are to be used outside of the work space and tend to be a one size fits all approach, with minimal employee input.
TLR Search recently asked our community and candidates what they valued most when working for a company. We asked if it was working from home/flexible hours, an emphasis on health, environmental efforts, or various perks like meditation rooms and free food. Close to 100% valued working from home and/or flexible hours. People are looking to put their best selves forward and taking away a long commute or paying for gas or being able to pick their kids up earlier (cutting out the commute) are areas of stress that get cut out.
With all of these issues/concerns being top of mind, it is important for leaders to step back to determine if their expectations, policies, and benefits are contributing to overall employee satisfaction. Communicate what the value of working in the office leads to and show why it is important to the team and the business. Make sure employees know that their health is valued and encourage them to take the time they need to care for themselves, whether physically or mentally.
Overall a company’s end result is to build an aligned team that drives a higher rates of productivity, innovation, and a higher revenue. The employees end result is to create value, learn or be challenged, and to make a living for their family or themselves that they can be proud of. With the pandemic still very much a part of our lives, everyone’s values have changed.
The overall message here: Perks are important, but they need to be aligned with what people value and they need to be inclusive. Leaders need to lead by example and need to communicate with employees on the WHY of initiatives. In all of these articles, they show a disconnect on WHY employers have set expectations, policies and benefits versus how employees interpret them.