What’s on your employee wishlist 2024

By BHSF | January 4th, 2024

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Ever since the pandemic, business leaders have been acknowledging their responsibility to act to get the best out of their employees and with the new year upon us, organisations have started to create predictions about our working lives for the year ahead.

Navigating the evolving workplace landscape

The average British person will spend a total of 3,507 days working over their lifetime. With so much time dedicated to our working life, it is important that we’re constantly monitoring the trends that are shaping it.

For instance, there has been a shift from quiet quitting which companies rushed to address in 2023; where an employee might be chronically disengaged at work, doing the bare minimum of what is required from them; to staff wanting employers to ‘quietly manage’ in 2024. With managers addressing the problem of quiet quitting last year with constant check-ins and meetings to better gauge what individuals are working on and their performance, there was an opposite effect on employee productivity with nearly half of employees feeling micromanaged. By setting out clear priorities and goals, we can find a middle ground where leaders can have peace of mind that the highest value tasks will be completed, and employees will have the autonomy to reach their goals in their own way.

As well as this, The Great Resignation that has defined the past three years of workplace mobility is now a thing of the past. Due to an increasingly competitive labour market and fears of economic instability from the ongoing cost of living crisis, new data points to a new phenomenon of ‘The Big Stay’. 

Flexibility will remain key in 2024

Although there have been many more conversations in 2023 from employers around moving their workforce back into the office, those who do not require in-person attendance will gain a competitive advantage when hiring. By splitting time between the office and remote working, employees will have the ability to take care of their personal responsibilities when needed and save money whilst still maintaining a strong connection with their team.

The desire for flexibility was revealed in a new study by the workspace company, Beyond, stating that two in five UK employees are considering changing jobs before the end of 2024, with the demand for hybrid roles being their driving force. Other factors included additional annual leave, birthday leave and ‘charity days’ where employees can contribute something to the community. By offering these types of employee benefits, you can demonstrate your commitment to valuing employees’ time and wellbeing.

Wellbeing beyond benefits: A must-have for today's workforce

Health and wellbeing have become more than just a benefit, it is now a pivotal employee expectation. Companies that prioritise employee wellbeing packages are far more likely to attract and retain talent. This is especially important in current circumstances where families are struggling to make ends meet due to the cost-of-living crisis and individuals are finding it increasingly difficult to access basic healthcare due to the long NHS wait times.

CIPDs Rewards Management survey, found that only four in ten employees are happy with the benefits that are being offered to them by their employer and just 41% find them easy to access. The survey also found that UK employers need to work harder to ensure that low-paid workers can access benefits that could help them increase their spending power and protect them from poverty. A separate study by YouGov, reported that 85% of workers say that employers should play a role in their mental health and wellbeing, but many still do not have access to the support needed. And when it comes to health cash plans; despite one in five businesses making this service available to employees; only 25% of organisations have cash plans that provide access to GP appointments, physio, chiropractors, or councilors. This means opportunities are being missed to provide employees quick access to health services.

With almost half of UK workers experiencing burnout, mental ill health, and work-related stress, and a third of managers feeling out of their depth supporting their team with mental health concerns, special attention must also be given to mental health and wellbeing support. There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach when it comes to mental wellbeing, which is why we deliver quality, psychologist healthcare solutions across a range of conditions. With fast-track access to mental health support as well as a range of expert training and consultancy courses, we can help you to build a mentally healthy workforce.

In summary, the key to building a strong and well-informed wellbeing strategy is by understanding exactly what matters to your workforce. Only then can a relevant and productive portfolio of benefits and initiatives be created. It’s about analysing staff feedback, creating working groups to identify gaps and gauge mood/morale, looking at themes emerging from exit interviews, assessing productivity levels, absenteeism data and engaging, engaging, engaging with your people!

We would like to wish everyone much success in the delivery of your 2024 Wellbeing Programmes.

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