Where are your staff’s priorities in the wake of the pandemic?

Employee priorities

When it comes to providing employee benefits, the best intentions can often be misdirected. Approaching the employee benefits process as a box-ticking exercise, or just providing a blanket policy for all, isn’t the best route to go down.

This article looks at current employee priorities when it comes to benefits, reflecting on how the pandemic and the economic crisis have affected them. Findings from our ‘Work, Health, and Wellbeing’ survey reveal important trends for businesses wishing to attract and retain the best people.

Need professional help finding the best employee benefits to support your staff? Contact our team of independent experts at +44 (0)1273 974419 or use the contact form on the right.

 

Top employee priorities currently leading the way

The needs and desires of staff are constantly shifting according to personal or external factors. Living through a pandemic really does take its toll, as does the rising cost of living.

The question is: can you support your teams where they really need it?

Understanding where your staff need the most support is the best place to start. For our survey, we asked respondents to rank 13 important life factors in order of importance. The top three life priorities were ‘my health’, ‘the health of my family’, and ‘financial security’. This was also the case when we broke it down by income, age, or employment status.

Life priorities results
Life priorities results

 

How do personal factors influence employee priorities?

A variety of personal factors can affect employee needs. e.g., age, income, industry and location.

Let’s focus on a couple of these:

Life priorities by age:

The Engage survey revealed that the top 3 priorities (health, health of family, financial security) remained the same across all age groups. The priorities following the top 3, however, saw slight differences between the older generation and younger. The older age group of employees were less likely to prioritise obtaining a sense of purpose, love, and friendships – focusing more on health.

Meanwhile, the younger employees placed a higher emphasis on improving their education and boosting their careers, social life, and love.

With such a wide range of priorities, businesses must work out how best to fulfil the needs of all.

Life priorities by income:

As with the different age groups, the top 3 priorities were consistent across income groups.

An interesting finding that came out of this was how maintaining/improving the home, having a sense of purpose, and improving education, ranked higher amongst lower-income groups, compared to others. Perhaps this trend will encompass more people in the wake of rising living costs.

There is a wide range of benefit options available to support these initiatives, so it’s important to consult with your teams and get a true understanding of what they most need.

 

Current employee priorities: a surprise, or expected?

With the current industry trends (such as remote/hybrid working), you would think there would be a move away from traditional priorities in employee benefits such as health – but no! Employee health and wellbeing still sit comfortably at the top of the list, reflecting how staff worries around how to best look after themselves has only been amplified by the pandemic.

The pandemic has increased our awareness of mental wellbeing and how important it is to have a positive work-life balance. The pandemic, costs of living rising, world conflicts, remote/hybrid working, and the Great Resignation, have forced many to question the how, when, and where of workday expectations.

Has a reset of priorities, perspectives, and work culture been on the cards for a while?

Many workers are looking to employers to prioritise flexibility and skills development opportunities, allowing a sense of freedom and autonomy on flexible working options and a selection of benefits to suit their individual needs. And yet, despite the rising demand for these lifestyle perks, they still don’t trump the fundamental importance of health and wellbeing among people’s priorities.

Looking for expert advice on how to establish the perfect employee benefits for your teams? Contact us at +44 (0)1273 974419 or click on the bottom right chatbox. We’re here to answer any queries, offering FREE no-obligation support.

 

How the pandemic has influenced employee benefit demand

More than two years on from the beginning of the pandemic and we are all still feeling its impact. This is particularly shown through the shift in life priorities and the added onus on looking after our health and wellbeing. The prominence of health remaining at the top of the list is likely a reflection of a growing sense of external threat.

The strain on NHS services and concern over what support resources are available is another factor of likely concern – certainly one that points in the direction of private healthcare.

Health is not the only issue. There are also concerns over personal finances. Earnings may have been hit during the pandemic, there are rising costs every which way you look and general increasing financial uncertainty. No surprise then that financial security sits firmly among the top three employee priorities.

It’s worth noting that employees had these same needs pre-pandemic; their priorities have just been heightened over the past two years. Essentially, this raises the stakes for employers.

 

Employee benefits which address staff needs

If your teams are feeling listened to, appreciated, and supported, their output is inevitably only going to improve, and your business is going to be thriving.

To target your employee’s top priorities (in particular health, family health, and financial security) you could offer:

To help decide on which employee benefits your staff want, try consulting your team directly. This could be done through workplace surveys, setting up 1-2-1s, group meetings, or via email.

Further reading: How to measure employee wellness in the workplace

 

At Engage Health Group we help match employee benefits to the needs of your business and its employees – all within budgetary requirements. We offer FREE comprehensive advice, quotes and ongoing support to help alleviate the strain on HR teams.

Contact us at Engage Health Group Ltd or call +44 (0)1273 974419 for FREE no-obligation advice and support.

Eleanor Chilvers

Eleanor Chilvers

Eleanor started at Engage in 2021, and is now a Digital Content Writer after studying BA English Literature at University of Sussex for the last 3 years.

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