Now that open enrollment is almost over, you can take a breather and relax a little. After you recover and feel refreshed, it’s time to start on next year’s benefits offering.
Why so soon?
Because the “Great Resignation” has caused employees to reevaluate what they want from an employer.
And that means employers must reevaluate their benefits offerings for 2022 based on what they are hearing and seeing from employees.
Unfortunately, the competition for finding new employees and keeping your current ones isn’t going to get any easier this year.
In fact, 33% of 1,500 U.S. full-time employees who receive benefits as part of their pay said they’re actively looking for a new job, according to the State of Work in America survey by Grant Thornton LLP, a leading professional services firm.
And 45% don’t believe you understand their needs as employees!
“There is most definitely a war for talent occurring, with an intensity unseen in recent years,” Tim Glowa, a principal and leader of Grant Thornton’s employee listening and human capital services offerings, said. “Our survey finds that workers want flexibility. But ‘flexibility’ does not mean working from home 100% of the time, and physically returning to work does not mean being in the office five days a week.”
Employees want to work for employers who get that they have other responsibilities like childcare and elder care.
“People value employers that respect their time, their family responsibilities and their work-life balance,” says Glowa. “Employers that put that respect into action are well-positioned to win the ongoing war for talent.”
What else do employees want?
Well, 56% of respondent said they’re happy about returning to the office.
However, 40% said they’d look for another job if forced to return to the office full time.
Isn’t that like being stuck between a rock and a hard place?
Don’t despair because here’s one solution: Seventy-nine percent of the respondents said they want flexibility in when and where they work!
“The challenge that companies face is creating an engaging experience for all employees, whether they are working in an office or remotely,” said Jennifer Morelli, a principal and leader of Grant Thornton’s Business Change Enablement practice. “Organizations need to make sure they are providing meaningful opportunities and reasons to come into the office. For example, in-person working sessions, an important meeting or a team-building event.”
As far as health care goes, the survey revealed employees are happy with their benefits, but 30% don’t feel you’re being transparent with the amount they pay for it. And they’re also not sure they’ve selected the plan that is best for them.
Listening is key
To help them, first you must listen closely to them, communicate often and track what benefits they use.
Listening is key right now because 45% said they don’t believe their employer understands their needs as an employee. And 40% said they don’t feel like their voices are heard by their employers.
And guess what 34% of the respondents said was the most stressful part of their day?
Interacting with their manager!
The key here is to find out why. Is it the management style or lack of training, or both?
“To better attract and retain employees – especially in a tight labor market – requires thinking like a marketing professional,” Glowa added. “You need to understand employee pain points, then brainstorm potential solutions and benefits to address them. If you can fix that pain point, you’ve made a big difference in the eyes of employees – ideally, in a way that is difficult for competitors to replicate.” The overall takeaway from the survey is employers must focus on the employee experience, as well as what keeps them up at night. If employees don’t think you have their back, they’ll go elsewhere.