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Right now, many employers are grappling with record-high turnover. Don’t expect the problem to solve itself. The situation may get worse before it gets better. Perhaps even more importantly, the current surge in resignations may lead to long-term changes in employee expectations. To stay competitive, employers will have to up their game, and employee benefits are more important than ever.
Expect the Tight Labor Market to Continue
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says that quits reached 4.3 million in November 2021. It’s an all-time high, but it’s not an anomaly. Quit rates have been high for months now.
Between the Great Resignation, as it’s being called, and absences caused by the omicron variant of COVID-19, many businesses are struggling to stay open. Some aren’t succeeding. Fortune says that many businesses – including Macy’s and McDonald’s – have had to reduce their hours.
More quits may be coming. According to ResumeBuilder, 23% of employed workers plan to find a new job in 2022. Although no industry is truly safe, turnover is expected to be greatest in retail, food and hospitality, education and office and administrative support.
A Strong Employee Benefits Package Can Help
People have many different reasons for quitting, but according to the ResumeBuilder study, one in two workers is looking for better pay and benefits. For many workers, the benefits may be even more important than the pay. Joblist’s 2022 Trends U.S. Job Market Report found that 54% of job seekers would consider taking a lower-paying job if it came with a better benefits package.
Many employers are listening. According to Motley Fool, a survey from Monster found that 41% of companies say they plan to increase employee benefits this year.
Right now, workers know they have some leverage. The labor shortages mean that they’re in demand. As a result, they can afford to be picky. The employers that try to lure them with great compensation packages will likely come out ahead.
On the other hand, employers that don’t offer attractive benefits and pay may experience a downward spiral. When workers quit, the workers who stay behind are often forced to pick up the slack. They may be asked to work longer hours or juggle more tasks. This can lead to burnout and stress, and it may encourage more workers to quit, perpetuating the cycle.
Your Old Benefits Aren’t Good Enough Anymore
You may think that you don’t have to worry because you already offer benefits, but don’t be so sure. Worker expectations have changed, and benefit offerings that used to be competitive may no longer be sufficient.
According to Joblist’s 2022 Trends U.S. Job Market Report, 67% of job seekers say that benefits have become more important to them since the start of the pandemic. Furthermore, 80% of job seekers think employers need to re-evaluate the benefits that they offer.
To make matters worse, HR leaders may be grossly overestimating the value of their benefits. According to SHRM, a report from Achievers Workforce Institute found that 47% of HR leaders say their company supports workers’ well-being, but only 24% of employees agree.
Go Beyond the Basics
Employees are stressed about work, money and health. They’re dealing with mental health issues, and they’re struggling to find work-life balance. To help employees deal with these issues, employers need to offer well-rounded benefits packages that go far beyond a basic medical and dental package.
For example, an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) can help employees navigate many of their professional and personal problems, and childcare benefits can help working parents. For pet parents, pet insurance has become a popular option. The pandemic has also led to increased interest in life insurance, and critical illness and disability insurance coverage may also be popular. Workers with massive student loan debt may be interested in student loan repayment benefits, and many workers can benefit from financial wellness offerings.
Look at your workers. Talk to your workers. Determine what their needs are, and then create a benefits package that addresses those needs.
A strong employee benefits package can help you meet your recruitment and retention goals. Do you need help putting together a competitive package? We can help. Contact us today.