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The COVID-19 pandemic has changed workplace culture and employee engagement strategies. With 2021 here, employees have different expectations of workplace benefits and perks, including voluntary benefits. While traditional employee benefits like insurance are still important, other non-traditional workplace benefits and perks have occupied the top charts.

A recent Citrix Talent Accelerator survey conducted on 2,500 employees and HR directors of large and mid-sized businesses in America studied their opinion on the shift in workplace culture and employee engagement.

The study outcomes reported 5 major workplace benefits expected in 2021 –

Workplace Flexibility

The pandemic has normalized remote working, and employees want the trend to continue for a long time. According to the Citrix survey, almost 88% of employees said they would choose employers who offered flexibility with work schedules and location. Also, 83% of workers were ready to move out of the cities and urban locations to smaller suburbs and other areas, if given the option to work remotely for a majority of the time. Surveys from companies like GoTo and LogMeIn showed that the need for flexible work options was so important for the current generation of employees that 66% of them were ready to take a pay cut if allowed to work remotely and flexibly.

Virtual Technology For Employee Engagement

Despite the initial concerns, the workflow was smooth for many businesses – thanks to advancing technology and other workplace solutions like Zoom, Meet, and Slack. According to the Citrix survey, 89% of employees said they were more productive at work by using digital platforms and other workplace solutions while working remotely. Also, 73% agreed that they communicated better virtually with their co-workers and managers. 88% of employees agreed that digital technology tools were important, and it played a major role in employee retention to reduce turnover rates.

Employee Development Resources

The current generation of employees, especially Millenials and Gen Z, look for every opportunity to upskill themselves and develop their strengths. The social isolation during the pandemic proved it since many people took up new courses to learn and upgrade their skills. The survey showed that 82% of employees wanted skills development training at their workplace, at least once annually to update themselves with the latest trends and stay competitive in their fields. However, other studies show employers are not meeting employee requirements. A West Monroe Partners report showed 56% of employees felt the skills gap at their organization ranged from moderate to severe. Also, 63% felt their managers and leaders were not equipped enough to help their teams upgrade their skills.

Supporting A Diverse Workforce

The year 2020 was difficult for employees on many fronts. In addition to the pandemic-related anxiety, the year also saw difficult conversations about workplace diversity. Employees are now demanding employers to make sincere efforts to bring on-board a diverse workforce and initiate a global change. Also, it could help with social wellness. The Citrix survey showed that 86% of employees wanted a diverse workforce, and they felt it would fit in for different roles and skills requirements. Many established organizations like Walmart, Merck, and Bank of America have taken initiatives to bridge the racial gaps in the workplace. Despite these actions, 65% of employees are not sure if their employers would prioritize workplace diversity.

Prioritizing Outcomes Over Output

The major concerns which employers had during the pandemic were regarding – Employee engagement and workplace productivity. According to a Mercer report, a majority of employers felt employee productivity was on the same level or even higher despite working remotely. However, 86% of the Citrix survey employees said they would prefer being evaluated based on their quality of work, and not the quantity. Also, 69% of employees felt they were more productive when their employer trusted their work and did not monitor their work over their shoulders. Other studies show employees wished employers to use the right metrics to effectively measure employee engagement.

The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly changed the way employers perceived employee wellness, and how employees approach work. These perceptions and requirements have changed the workplace culture. While employers have revised their working policies, workers are looking forward to new workplace benefits and services. To ensure employee retention and reduce turnover rates, employers must adhere to the 2021 workplace trends and change their mindset to accommodate the changes.

Post Author: Admin