The COVID-19 pandemic will have lasting effects on the workforce in more ways than one. With stay-at-home orders forcing consumers to stay at home and non-essential workers to work remotely, or in a worst-case scenario, be furloughed or laid off, businesses have had to find creative ways to reel in customers and retain top talent.
For business owners, in order for your company to survive post-pandemic, you’re going to need to reimagine your benefits package to incentivize your workers to stay at your company. The coronavirus pandemic has shown many faults in our society, such as a need for healthcare, childcare, and other essential basic needs, which means finding new ways to alleviate some burdens can help bring in and retain top talent that can help grow your business.
Employees will also remember the actions you take during these unprecedented times. In order for your legacy to live on, you need to adjust to the new normal employees are expected to adapt to in the post-pandemic era. And as a prospective job candidate, it’s important to look at what companies did for their employees to help them navigate the pandemic. Whether you’re a business owner or a job hunter, these are some post-COVID benefits you should expect from your next employer.
America is one of the only countries on the planet where citizens can get health coverage through their employers. While not mandated by law, depending on the size of your company, providing employer-sponsored healthcare to your staff will not only allow them to get the help they need when they’re sick but will show you care about their basic human needs.
One aspect of life the coronavirus has brought to light is that far too many people don’t have adequate healthcare. COVID exposed the American healthcare system’s fragility when millions of workers were left without a job during a deadly pandemic. With that said, employees are going to search for companies that offer comprehensive healthcare plans that will keep them safe and stable, even during unexpected medical emergencies.
As an employer, it’s best to find a provider that offers broad coverage rather than narrow, as it will appeal to a larger pool of workers and provide more options. After all, no one’s body is the same, so the more healthcare options your employees have, the better. The last thing an employee wants is to be stuck with a tough decision to get care that they can’t afford.
- Child care
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced millions of Americans across the country to abide by stay-at-home orders and quarantine until the virus is under control. While many states are reopening with certain measures in place, such as social distancing and mask-wearing, we’re not back to the normal we were once so comfortable with. One of the major disruptions that came about the pandemic was school and daycare closures, leading many students to learn remotely from the comfort of their homes. The problem? What do parents with essential jobs do?
Many families had to make hard sacrifices to determine how to take care of the children while still going to work and making money. Some had to make the difficult decision of quitting their job altogether, while others had to rearrange their schedules or find a new job where they could be home with their children while they learned.
Post-pandemic, many workers are going to look for employers who offer some sort of child care assistance to maintain a better work-life balance. This can take a few forms, such as having an on-site daycare facility where parents can drop their kids off, providing monetary assistance to cover expensive daycare costs, or giving workers flexible schedules that allow them to drop off and pick up their children when daycare facilities and schools close. Offering child care assistance will go a long way for many working parents. It will help ease stress and allow them to save for other life expenses, such as purchasing a new home, building a trust fund, buying a car, or going on vacation.
- Student loan assistance
Many employers require applicants to meet certain qualifications in order to be hired for a job. One of the most common qualifications is holding a bachelor’s degree, or in some cases, a master’s degree or beyond. While business owners need workers who have the education and knowledge to perform certain tasks in their job, it comes at a pretty hefty expense on behalf of the employee. College tuition costs are at an all-time high, and today’s students are graduating with more debt than any other generation before them.
One way to attract and retain top talent is by offering student loan assistance. And for recent grads swimming in mounds of student loan debt, finding an employer who offers student loan assistance can be extremely beneficial finance-wise.
With the coronavirus stifling the economy, many employees with student loan debt are finding themselves struggling to get by. While interest and payments have been halted on federal student loans, those with private student loans might still be required to make their monthly payments. Workers need assistance, and they need it now, so offering some sort of monetary aid will go a long way. Even better, the one-time stimulus bill includes tax benefits for employers who offer student loan debt assistance, meaning you can save a significant amount of money on your taxes when Uncle Sam comes knocking at your door.
We’re still in the midst of an unprecedented global pandemic, which has had crippling effects on the economy and workers around the world. While businesses have had their own fair share of challenges during these times, one way to bounce back and recover is ensuring employees’ needs are met.
Employees who feel valued by their employers are often more productive and have higher levels of satisfaction, which means taking care of these needs is a win-win for both parties. These three post-COVID benefits are just some of the benefits you can expect from your next employer. While this list is non-exhaustive, it serves as a good starting point for what to expect from an employer.
Samantha Rupp holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. She is the managing editor for 365 Business Tips as well as runs a personal blog, Mixed Bits Media. She lives in San Diego, California and enjoys spending time on the beach, reading up on current industry trends, and traveling.