In Canada, the coronavirus pandemic is entering a new phase — vaccines are widely available, travel restrictions are gradually lifting and people are returning to some normal routines in their personal lives.
People’s work lives are also entering a new phase, with many employers and employees thinking about when — and if — they’ll return to the office in 2022. What this new phase will ultimately look like is to be determined, with many employers forced to draw and redraw plans as the pandemic continues to take a circuitous route to becoming endemic.
While it’s unclear when the global pandemic will officially end, employers do know its resulting disruptions and stress has resulted in turnover and engagement challenges, leading to what’s been dubbed the Great Resignation. Many employees are feeling burned out, disengaged and struggling for work-life balance. And some are leaving or considering leaving existing roles for new opportunities, thus driving a new war for talent.
Organizations are being challenged to evolve. Employers need to deliver an experience where employees are likely to thrive, grow and succeed (and thus will stop resigning). As a result of many employees reassessing their current roles, there’s been a great awakening with employers taking a fresh look at how people experience work.
I believe the experience shaped by organizations is crucial and directly linked to employee engagement, productivity and, ultimately, business performance. However, relatively few organizations seem to be truly equipped with the technology, total rewards programs and policies that can transform the employee experience.
To be transformative, benefits and well-being programs that allow for personalization to reflect new work arrangements and life situations are required as more people are likely to routinely work from home even post-pandemic. This means programs should connect with an employee’s priorities and offer the flexibility to choose the benefits that best meet their personal circumstances.
This also means offerings should be delivered through easy-to-use virtual platforms that engage employees in their benefits programs and empower them to make informed decisions. The right technology will engage an organization’s workforce across all of the life moments that matter.
As employers and employees near the end of another pandemic-era year and look ahead to 2022, organizations have a real opportunity to keep pace with what workers want. Employers should take to heart the important learnings from recent experiences to create an environment where employee engagement is high and business thrives, so that both employees and their organizations emerge stronger in the post-pandemic world yet to come.