Eight Trends to Meet Employee Expectations Include Financial Wellness, Well-Being, Embracing Generational Nuances, and enabling Employee-First Culture
CHICAGO – December 14, 2021 – Evive, the leader in digital engagement and communication technology, today revealed its annual Top Human Resources Trends for the coming year.
To pinpoint the trends, Evive’s team of experts, which range from executive leaders and HR professionals to data engineers, poured over the latest research to predict these rising and shifting trends.
This year’s notable trends include:
Ending the ‘Great Resignation’
Millions of people quit their jobs in a movement known as the ‘Great Resignation.’ Workers demand higher wages, more flexibility, better working conditions, Covid-related considerations and more work-life balance. Others feel frustrated over poor workplace communication or lack of appreciation for their hard work. To reverse this trend, companies will start listening (and hearing) staff’s concerns, ideas and needs and letting them know their voice matters.
More companies are setting up paths for open, honest communication between leaders and employees through every step of the employee journey. Leaders are listening to verbal and non-verbal cues about their staff’s experience from onboarding through offboarding, thoughts about the communication and culture, ensuring that staff have the right learning and leadership opportunities to succeed and requesting input about their well-being, healthcare and financial benefits.
Employers that listen and use the input to develop a culture aligned with people’s values and beliefs, create a future-ready organization where employees feel cared for and supported, and therefore don’t want to leave.
Developing an Employee-First Culture
Building an authentic culture of empathy and diversity, equity and inclusion are nonnegotiable today.
And, employers don’t disagree. Evive’s latest National Employee Journey research found a whopping 96% of employers say DEI is important. Organizations are starting to create new opportunities for diverse talent, change business processes, help employees create authentic and respectful social connections and create a culture where differences and similarities are appreciated and embraced.
By balancing culture, structure and strategy, listening to how others feel and respecting team members’ unique needs and perspectives, organizations will recruit great talent, achieve greater innovation, gain a distinct advantage over the competition and show people come first.
Benefits for a Multigenerational and Diverse Workforce
With four generations in the workplace and a diverse labor pool, it’s a priority for organizations to consider a cross-generational approach in their benefits selection to meet the diverse needs of each generation of workers.
Employers in Evive’s study reported 72% offered medical benefits, 76% paid time off (PTO), 50% dental, 66% retirement benefits and 47% provided vision. When employees were asked to rank which benefits they would like to see, they differed across generations. A four-day workweek was the only benefit that ranked No. 1 consistently throughout all four ages.
- Baby boomers – Four-day workweek, identity theft protection, flexible hours, financial planning and fitness perks
- Gen X – Four-day workweek, flexible hours, fitness perks, student loan assistance and financial planning
- Millennials – Four-day workweek, flexible hours, fitness perks, student loan assistance and tuition reimbursement
- Gen Z – Four-day workweek, student loan assistance, financial planning, Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
In 2022, employers will further diversify their benefits package to meet the needs of a multigenerational workforce.
Improving Well-Being and Mental Health
Across the organization, mental health and wellness challenges have impacted the workplace. Study after study suggests people continue to experience high levels of stress, anxiety, depression and insomnia from the pandemic compared to surveys pre-pandemic. Yet, people with mental health challenges often don’t get the treatment they need because of the stigma and discrimination they face. Just like schools have become an important source of mental healthcare for students, employers need to do the same for employees.
While 90% of large, mid-size employers offer medical benefits, and Evive showing that 72% of employers offer medical benefits, there is a misunderstanding that mental health and well-being services are provided under traditional healthcare benefits plans. However, most health providers don’t adequately cover mental health and well-being. Today, employees require more emotional well-being support, whether it’s providing resources to help employees balance today’s demands as a caregiver, helping a same-sex couple with adoption or providing support groups or telehealth therapy.
In 2022, employers will dedicate the time and resources to expand employee mental health and well-being benefits to attract and retain employees and to foster the needs of a diverse, multigenerational team.
Enhancing Financial Wellness
A survey from the National Endowment for Financial Education® (NEFE), revealed that nearly 9 in 10 Americans said that the pandemic was causing stress on their personal finances. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) said employees who worry about their finances missed almost twice as many days per year compared to their money-worry-free colleagues.
Yet, according to Evive’s research, not only did employees report that financial planning benefits as one of the least offered benefits (15%), but the MetLife Annual Benefit Trends showed 82% of employees want a financial wellness benefit option and 38% see it as a necessity.
Financial wellness programs teach employees how to manage short-term finances, unexpected expenses and long-term financial goals, as well as offer courses on homeownership, retirement account growth, debt reduction and more.
In 2022, employers will respond to employees by adding more financial wellness offerings that meet the needs of a diverse workforce and equip employees with more confidence and knowledge to manage finances. It’s critical to ensure employees have financial security and understand the big picture of their financial health.
Creating a Unified, Seamless Experience
Many employers today have a disconnected ecosystem of HR software, systems and point solutions. Still, with employee communications, onboarding/offboarding, benefits information, career development resources and employee engagement all critical to organizational success, employers must provide a personalized communications platform with information all in one place. Engaging and listening to employees demands a level of personalization throughout the employee experience that builds trust, encourages open communication and boosts productivity.
The Business Group on Health found 87% of employers think personalization is valuable to their organization but few are leveraging data and automated recommendations to deliver personalized content. According to Evive’s 2021 National Employee Journey research, only 15% of employers implemented their first communications platform during the last year.
Next year, more companies will adopt an integrated communications platform to highlight their total rewards package, aid in listening to employees, send and receive personal benefits communication and information and tailor the employee experience.
Monetizing Data to Increase Employee Engagement
To execute personalized benefits communication for employees, data is critical.
Data fuels the personalization engine and helps identify the right messaging to employees or segments of employees. Using data to support personalization helps employers understand an employee’s needs and wants, determines when employees might need a little reminder to act or helps identify when an employee is disengaged and needs some motivation.
Employers that leverage data in 2022 to further personalize and improve employee messaging, proactively monitor and recommend resources that drive a better employee experience and understand the benefits an employee engages (or doesn’t engage) with, will help create a seamless, consistent experience through all communication channels, build brand loyalty and drive ROI.
Eliminating Mass Email
In a diverse, multigenerational workforce, employees’ have different communication styles, response times and ways of responding. Organizations must communicate with employees based on their preferred mode of communication.
According to Evive’s research, two-thirds of employees (66%) surveyed said they received mass emails from their employer. Only a small percentage of employees received personalized emails (18%), 8% of communications came from a communications platform, 6% via text/SMS and 2% via push notification.
Mass emails are often seen as employer spam, and if the information isn’t relevant or of interest, employees are most likely to delete or ignore it. As a result, this kills morale, wastes people’s time and leads to disinterest.
Consumers can choose how to engage and communicate with a brand so it’s time employers offer the same experience to employees. Looking ahead, organizations will listen and communicate with their employees based on their preferred mode of communication.
An automated communications platform that distributes personalized messages to the right employee at the right times based on their preferred communication method will show employees you value their time and opinion. The same platform can use behavior or event triggers and multimodal messages to optimize employee response and drive desired actions.
For more information on Evive’s 2022 trends, visit here.