Employee Benefits

2021 Hiring Trends: 5 Benefits Employees Value

Young woman sitting outdoors working on laptop.

Employers in every industry are scrambling to find and keep talented employees in today’s remote work world. Due to the pandemic, businesses had to adapt quickly to having employees work from home. Over 58% of employers plan to continue remote work options with some days spent in the office. Nearly 15% of businesses plan to have employees return to the office full time. Interestingly, 98% of employees surveyed want to work remotely for the rest of their careers.

After adjusting to having most employees working away from the office, employers discovered that remote work options open the door to a different pool of workers. They are attracting talented team members from other states and around the world. Employees today want to work for employers who understand their needs and provide the benefits and rewards they value. As 2021 hiring trends change, providing the benefits employees value is an essential business strategy. Here are five benefits to offer.

  1. Telemedicine

    During the pandemic, about 47% of adults delayed dental care, according to a recent survey. They worried they could be exposed to the virus, so they did not go. And at the time, many dental offices were closed, too. In another survey, about 33% of adults said they went without care and their health problems became worse. Dental and medical care require access to health professionals.

    To meet this growing need, telemedicine and teledentistry quickly became popular benefits. Employees found it easy to schedule phone appointments or video chats with their doctor or dentist to discuss health problems. On average, these appointments last about 15 minutes. Employees are thrilled with the time and gas savings of telemedicine and teledentistry calls. They also feel more secure talking with the doctor or dentist from the privacy of their home.

  1. Mental health

    The pandemic took a significant toll on the emotional health of employees of every age. The sudden switch to remote work caught people off guard. Many did not have office space or equipment to work from home. Workers scrambled to schedule online video chats for regular team meetings. They juggled family members’ schedules, many of whom also were working at home. All of these changes increased employees’ stress and anxiety, impacting their emotional health.

    In 2021, employers should focus on providing benefits and programs that support employees’ mental health. The goal should be to reduce work pressures to balance job and family responsibilities better. Counseling services, such as an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), are trendy benefits. Employees can chat with a professional who listens to their concerns and offers suggestions for the next steps.

    Emotional health benefits can keep employees healthier and happier. Studies show that happier employees are 31% more productive, 87% more loyal, three times more creative, generate 37% more sales, make 41% fewer mistakes, and create 147% higher earnings for their employer.

  1. Financial well-being

    Employees are concerned about their financial health. During the past year, most have accrued unexpected bills, along with lost work hours or jobs. Many also are paying off student loan debts. On average, these employees have debts of over $35,000.

    Employer-sponsored health benefits help keep medical costs in check and employees appreciate that. However, they want robust plan options with different pricing points to fit their budgets and meet their health needs. Workers look for medical insurance, along with dental and vision coverage. They also want benefits that assist with retirement, life insurance and student loan repayment. All of these benefits help maintain financial well-being.

    A new trend for 2021 is providing an employee discount program. Employers can offer workers access to various services at discounted rates, such as fitness memberships. They also can contract with an existing online platform to provide these services.

  1. Education and training

    Remote workers are interested in enhancing their knowledge and skills. Since they are not in the office, they may miss educational opportunities or training programs. Employers can provide online training on topics of interest to employees. Businesses also are taking advantage of senior-level employees’ expertise, having them host online learning discussions.

  1. Flexible time off

    This is a popular benefit for employees, especially for those who care for their families and parents. This perk enables workers to take time off as needed instead of waiting until they have earned paid time off. During the pandemic, employees appreciated the flexible time off options to balance work commitments, help kids with online school, or care for their parents.

World Economic Forum