Do Benefits Still Motivate Employees during the Pandemic?

Employees are overwhelmed by a heavy mental load now more than ever. They might try to evade them, but reasons to worry about the stability of their job, finances, health, and mental state still manage to creep in the semblance of normalcy they try to maintain in their daily routines. 

It intensifies the employer’s role in keeping their well-being in check and driving them to work at their best. For so long, the model of rewarding employee performance through benefits. But, questions arise whether these universal provisions remain effective in this age of unprecedented crises that are rocking the economy and the livelihoods of many.

It is difficult to quantify, but having the day free to spend your birthday or simply to avail of leave credits invites the inquiry of whether this does any more than giving ample time to destress and unwind. An employee may be promised a degree of healthcare coverage, but this may prove insufficient for an invisible health threat that could hit anytime not knowing if he will sustain only mild or severe infection. All these benefits are granted, but soaring bills, commodity prices, and taxes continue to be hard-to-digest realities.

Businesses are struggling to stay afloat. No matter how they would like to turn things around, they know they couldn’t make impactful strides without a cohesive team whose members have undivided focus and dedication towards achieving the company’s goals. Many employers would agree that incentivizing the effort of their people need not be in the monetary form as, most often than not, it breeds a culture of unhealthy gratification and dependency as if only money can satisfy every need.

How, then, do employers position themselves in a matter such as employee benefits in the transformed playing field today?

Emphasis on Sickness Benefits

If you’re an employer that has less than 500 people working for you, there are recent developments instituted by the Department of Labor you need to know. Employees may now avail of as long as two-week sick leaves for which they will be paid 67 percent of their regular rate. Those who are quarantined or who need to care for a quarantined family member or a child whose daycare service provider is currently closed due to COVID-related business restrictions may avail of such a provision. For the same pay rate, an employee could take 10 more weeks of paid medical leave to their children in the event their daycare remains closed.

Ask People Down the Lines

Randomly identify representatives from every rank and department in the organization and assign them to brainstorm on ways to upgrade the company’s existing benefits program. Every participant should be given an equal chance of pitching their ideas while the rest assesses the plausibility of these ideas. Considering the suggestions employees handpicked themselves will make them feel seen and, more importantly, valued and understood for the struggles they face in and out of the workplace. 

The Heart for Holistic Development

There is no better time to break out of the conventional benefits scheme than now. Employers could learn better to cater to the work-life balance needs of their people. Doing so need not involve overtly giving money. For any employee, it will be more satisfying to see additional perks such as cafe, diner, or grocery vouchers and gym subscription discounts apart from every time they access their personnel dashboard. 

Leveraging technology such as ServiceNow HR case management software revolutionizes the way HR department delivers its services now that the importance of its role of retaining employee engagement is being intensified. Through integrated systems like this, an employee can have a bird’s eye view of how his concerns related to training and development, among others, are being managed. Likewise, managers can tap on this capability for advice in handling complex manpower-related issues such as soft skill development and productivity.

Genuine Gratitude

Nothing feels better than genuinely being credited for the success the company has achieved amid this unusual time. Big gatherings are currently discouraged which makes giving praises in public impractical. Nevertheless, managers are given more chances to personally thank their staff for a job well done. A short thankful statement is enough to uplift a person’s spirits.

Employers can ever so proceed with caution when making revisions in their benefits program. It should strike a balance between keeping people motivated and the company’s ability to shoulder the costs. The most a company can go on a limb workforce-wise is having to lay off some people. This could drastically change long-established work dynamics and potentially cost them precious talent.

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