1,013 words | 3.5 minutes
As Canada’s workforce ages and population growth slows, employment growth becomes increasingly constrained. Amid COVID-19, businesses also had to transition to digitalizing services and offerings, adding to labour shortages across industries and skilled tech talent. A continual pivot to adjust to a new norm has undoubtedly also added to the decline of employee engagement as the remote working environment defines the lines of a healthy work-life balance.
Data from HUB International’s 2022 Outlook shows that since the pandemic, the workday has increased an average of 49 minutes each day, partly due to the short-staffing of companies.
So where does this leave us?
The rules for talent recruiting and retention strategies have changed; the pandemic has resulted in organizations reevaluating their talent marketing strategies at a holistic level. And a deeper dive into the employee benefits by employers is necessary to meet the demands of a new workforce.
We sat down virtually with our friends and Invest Ottawa sponsor, HUB International, to learn how evolving your employee benefits package with practical strategies can help transform your recruitment and retention strategies while engaging, supporting, and keeping your employees happy.
HUB International identified three key considerations within your benefits package that you should be focusing on in 2022.
1. A happy employee, a happy bottom line: focus on wellbeing
There’s no surprise that remote working provides a challenge for employers to build an engaging and connected culture in addition to employees’ wellbeing and mental health. Today, organizations examine their benefits through a holistic lens of employee wellbeing that includes physical and mental health, financial health, and career support. If left ignored, it could have a detrimental impact on not only an employee’s performance and engagement but your bottom line. According to PwC Canada, 40% of employees who were provided upskilling opportunities prior to COVID-19 saw a jump in productivity during the pandemic.
At Invest Ottawa, where we support firms to attract, develop and retain the top tech and business talent so that they can thrive, compete and succeed in the global market, then it must also be taken into consideration the upskilling and reskilling opportunities required. This is especially the case for tech companies needing new skills in their workforce around digital capabilities like big data, artificial intelligence, and cybersecurity. KPMG’s report, Future of HR 2020: Which path are you taking?, indicates that organizations that meet the range of upskilling 11-30 percent of the current workforce are more likely to report increased revenue growth year over year than those upskilling a different proportion. So it’s a win-win for the employer and employee to partake in upskilling opportunities within their benefits package.
The pandemic has also caused financial turmoil for many Canadians, and this financial stress can carry over into the workplace as employees spend time working on financial issues, potentially causing them to be less productive or unengaged. As a result, companies need to look at how their benefits plan can help alleviate employee financial stress to improve the productivity and culture of the workplace. These benefits could range from financial literacy and basic budgeting education to a group retirement program and personal wellness account.
2. Look at your data for personalization options
No longer is it about guesswork on what each employee may find valuable in their benefits package, or is it about just tacking on additional mental and paramedical services. Now, more than ever with the talent shortage, employees have more opportunities to switch jobs or choose lifestyle over salary. Therefore, firms need to personalize their benefits through data analytics to improve how employees engage, access and experience their benefits. For example, a personal wellness account can provide flexibility for an employee to allocate funds where they see fit.
HUB International’s 2022 Outlook: Employee Benefits Industry shows that data analytics provides insight into benefits usage, highlighting gaps that voluntary benefits can bridge along with benchmarking competitors, pointing to new ideas for developing personalized benefits.
3. Evaluate your plan through a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) lens
Promoting Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in the workplace creates an open and safe environment for all employees to share their ideas, thoughts, and opinions—that everyone feels a sense of belonging to show up to work being their authentic self. Data from United Minds’ DEI Benchmark Report, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: A People Imperative, shows that 79% of people believe a diverse, equitable and inclusive organization attracts high-quality talent.
HUB International, however, notes that few firms have a plan to reach DEI goals, and it’s often the case that “organizations are introducing single, one-off benefits that draw attention to the issues like paternity leave benefits or coverage for gender reassignment surgery.”
Therefore, evaluating your benefits plan through a DEI lens can help you reach your organization’s goals. It’s becoming increasingly common for employers to designate a DEI position to help spearhead and build a framework around DEI. And it’s no surprise that data analysis plays a key role in personalizing benefits and the experience so that everybody feels included.
As the lead economic development agency for knowledge-based industries in Canada’s Capital, Invest Ottawa is committed to addressing Ottawa’s talent shortage and helping companies address key talent challenges, accelerate business growth, and create new jobs that fuel our economy. To learn more on how to leverage Invest Ottawa as an extension of your talent team, get in touch with us.
Our sponsors are essential in facilitating key programs and services to our business community.
About Hub International
Invest Ottawa sponsor, HUB International, is a leading full-service global insurance broker providing property and casualty, life and health, employee benefits, investment and risk management products and services. With more than 12,000 employees in offices located throughout North America, Hub’s vast network of specialists provides peace of mind on what matters most by protecting clients through unrelenting advocacy and tailored insurance solutions. For more information, please visit www.hubinternational.com.