3 ways to meet new employee demands in the post-pandemic work environment

While the work environment has always evolved to meet new demands, nothing has shifted things so quickly and drastically than the COVID-19 pandemic. Where once employers had the power over work hours and location, the new remote-work environment has entirely changed this dynamic. 

Businesses today are now competing for top talent with organizations outside the usual geographic boundaries. This has given employees greater opportunities to demand higher pay, stronger company culture, more flexible work schedules, and better employee benefits.  

Employers who want to keep talent acquisition and retention high can’t become complacent to these new demands. Business owners, managers, and human resource teams must come together to fine-tune their strategies to best meet employee expectations. 

Below we’re highlighting three key areas that can drive long-term success for both employees and employers as the post-pandemic work environment continues to evolve. 

3 critical post-pandemic success factors for employers

  1. Hybrid and flexible work options 

According to a new Mercer Canada survey, 77 % of employers currently offer remote work, compared to just 15% pre-pandemic. 

The same survey reported that about 54% of Canadian employers are adopting a hybrid working arrangements following the COVID-19 pandemic. This is mostly in response to 61% of Canadian employees who said they prefer to work from home and 57% who are expecting flexible working arrangements to continue after the pandemic is over. 

The demand for flexible work is clear. Employees appreciate less time commuting and more time balancing family obligations and other life goals within their workweek. Some also just feel far more productive working from home, and that’s a win-win for both the remote worker and the employer. 

Giving teams the flexibility to split up their work time between the office and home is one of the most effective strategies to keep employees happy and productivity high in this new workforce paradigm. 

  1. Strong employee benefits offering

Within the same Mercer Canada report, 50% of employers said they’re re-evaluating current compensation and benefits offerings to boost retention and acquisition. 

About 56% of the responding employers also said that employee turnover was driven by dissatisfaction with pay and sometimes, the ability to get more money at another company. Furthermore, 61 % said a commitment to health and well-being is the top retention factor for existing employees.

These results showcase how the combination of both competitive compensation and a strong employee benefits offering can make a significant difference in the minds of current and prospective employees. 

Many organizations that have limited salary budgets can lean more towards developing a robust and comprehensive benefits plan to incentivize employees. Everything from supplementary wellness perks and virtual telemedicine options to family assistance programs and group RRPS contributions can sweeten the pot for top talent who want a little more than what they are getting. 

  1. Supportive employee engagement 

According to a report by Gallup, only 36% of employees are fully engaged at work. Another survey by Gallop found that companies with higher levels of employee engagement not only boost productivity and retention, they also see an average of 21% higher profitability.

As employees seek consistent at-home work hours and more wellness and health-focused perks, businesses need to step up their engagement strategies. This should include more than organizing virtual social events and discussing objectives in annual reviews. 

Organizations must actively keep the lines of communication open between management and employees with regular team meetings and one-on-one check-ins. This offers a more supportive and connected work experience where together, a manager and team member can set micro-goals, share feedback, and voice concerns. 

Taking the time to consistently praise and reward employees for a job well done also goes a long way in keep team members feeling proud and engaged in the work they do.   

Build strategies with trusted experts

The more a company can stay flexible to new employee demands, the more successful they’ll be with employee retention, acquisition, and productivity. But changing things up isn’t always straightforward. 

Businesses who are ready to build a hybrid work environment, strengthen their benefits plan, and prioritize employee engagement can rely on our team at BenefitDeck for help. Not only will we help you create a custom strategy to ensure your business remains a top employer in the eyes of prospective talent, but we’ll make sure your current team members stay happy and healthy.  

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