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blog workplace benefits 2023

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Workplace benefits in 2023:  What should you be offering to stay competitive?

Employers are more than ever forced to think outside the box when it comes to attracting and retaining key talent.  With that in mind let’s look at what employers feel like they need in employees and what employees want in terms of benefits from their employers in today’s labour market.

The Great Resignation, Quiet Quitting, the Remote workforce. These are all terms that have made headlines recently.  Employers are more than ever forced to think outside the box when it comes to attracting and retaining key talent.  With that in mind let’s look at what employers feel like they need in employees and what employees want in terms of workplace benefits from their employers in today’s labour market.

In This Article:

Here’s a few of the things that employers are looking for from employees today:

  • Employers are looking to hire people who have shown that they are adaptable.  How well you can adjust to things as simple as a new procedure for handling a customer enquiry or as complex as a new inventory management software can make you a valuable candidate to a new employer.
  • Self-motivated individuals are in demand.  There is less oversight than ever for employees as the shift to work-from-home has happened.  As a result employers want to ensure that employees are self-motivated to ensure they are getting maximum effort even when the boss isn’t looking over their shoulder.
  • Strong time management skills are also essential to ensure that while remote work is happening that all an employee’s daily tasks are completed.  Being efficient in planning work time and getting tasks done is an essential ability.
  • Digital literacy is crucial.  Long gone are the days of only needing someone who can work with MS Office and figure out how to run formulas on Excel.  Today you need to be fluent in how to run virtual meetings, capable with social media and be able to use multiple digital platforms to help you get through your day.
  • If this is what employers are looking for we should also have a look at what potential employees are in search of.  This comes with a disclaimer, I am not looking at addressing salary, instead we are looking at other parts of the total rewards offered to employees.
employee benefits Canada 2023

Employees in today’s job market are looking for in their employer:

  • Employees want to work for a company that has a culture that supports personal health and wellness.  The highest importance in this type of culture is placed on encouraging workplace safety, but other areas such as good relationships with their co-workers and supervisors, a reasonable workload and good leadership from executives also rate highly with employees as part of fostering a wellness culture at a company. 
  • Alternative work arrangements also fall into the category of things employees desire.  The ability to have flexible schedules and less of a push towards the traditional ‘9 to 5’  office job is high.  Being allowed to work remotely and outside of traditional hours is something that employees desire more now than ever.
  • Having fun activities and non-financial incentives are desired as well.  Providing employees with fun activities or wellness programs (some type of fitness challenge as an example) can really foster a feeling of wellbeing for employees and shows that their employer is interested in promoting a wellness culture within their business.
  • Access to employee assistance programs that provide support for the employee in a wide range of areas.  These programs can provide support for mental health issues, addiction counselling or grief counseling as a few examples.  Your EAP can also provide portals to virtual doctors for routine health care related questions and can access legal help as well.  Overall, they support the employee’s wellness outside of the traditional insurance plan that will cover costs associated with health or dental related costs.

As an employer what can you include as workplace benefits to help you build this wellness culture?

  • Offer employees hybrid work environments that include flexible scheduling options.  Typically we are seeing employers offer a schedule that no longer demands five days a week in the office, instead you see two or three days a week at the office and the remaining time allows for work to be completed remotely.  Likewise, offering employees flexibility with when they complete their work while working remotely is important.  Employees are operating more and more in the zone of it not mattering what time they are ‘at work’ as long as they keep their productivity up and can meet time sensitive deadlines as needed.
  • Offer employees access to continuing education initiatives.  This allows employees to continuously improve their training and in turn the efficiency with which they complete their work.  Offering educational programs can make it easier for an employer to promote from within as well because you have continuous access to a pool of people who are working to improve their skills all the time.
  • Have a great health care plan.  As an employer have you ever thought about what the effect of having an employee with a health issue is?  What if your health care plan doesn’t provide the help they need?  Remember how employee’s value the relationships that they have with their co-workers so highly?  What do you think it does to morale and your wellness culture when your health care plan can’t step up in a situation where an employee needs it most?  As an employer you lose productivity as well as damaging the culture you are trying to build when your health care plan isn’t designed properly.
  • Offer a workplace retirement savings plan.  You will have employees that don’t value a health care plan.  Maybe they have coverage through a spouse or partner, maybe they are healthy and don’t utilize the plan.  There are a multitude of reasons that someone may place lower value on the health care plan you provide (that is, until they need it and then, oh boy are the happy that you provide it).  Most of your employees will plan on retiring at some point in the future though.  By providing a workplace retirement plan you can offer employer matching contributions towards retirement savings that benefits all employees regardless of their current health. 
  • Include an EAP with your health care program.

The key take away from all of this is that the world has changed and as an employer you need to change with it to maintain your edge.  Understanding what employees want as benefits that fall outside of their earned income will help you attract and retain the best talent.  Remember, a happy, healthy, productive team of employees are the best investment you can make. Let us help you create an enticing workplace benefits package to both attract and keep staff. Give us a call today 705-645-3229.