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4 top reward & benefit trends for 2022

Benefits | Wellness

Posted on: Wednesday December 15, 2021

by Andrew Walker, New Business Development Director

Man drinking coffee looking at reward & benefit trends on laptop

1. Hybrid working shakeout 

Last week the government reinstated guidance to work from home where possible as a response to rising Covid numbers. Successive lockdowns have taught us that remote working can be really successful, but companies need to find a balance between affording employees better work/life balance and keeping all the benefits of face-to-face contact.

Many companies have been operating a hybrid working model for office-based employees since late summer, so the shift to full-time remote working won’t be such a big stretch. However, we know by now that employee communications, learning, and creativity can suffer when colleagues aren’t able to share the same space. 

It’s very possible that we’ll see more stringent restrictions on social distancing and working from home in the new year. Now is the time to review your remote working practices - what works and what doesn’t? How can you make sure that you don’t lose momentum across the business? How will you keep everyone feeling like part of one team, especially if you have split between office/frontline employee populations?

2. Recruitment and retention 

Many companies have experienced difficulty in recruiting and retaining people this year. Why? 

  • Covid-19 making people re-evaluate their lives and looking to change jobs  - a phenomenon dubbed ‘the Great Resignation.’
  • Skills shortage in some industries pushing up salaries – IT, transport, healthcare, care workers and more.
  • Many companies froze salaries during Covid-19 and employees who feel their pay hasn’t caught up yet are being tempted away by higher salaries on offer elsewhere.

You can’t always stop the poaching, but you can slow down the people on your team looking on their own to leave. How?

  • Competitive salaries – obviously, you need to make sure pay stands up to what your competitors’ offers. When did you last benchmark to the market, or conduct an internal pay benchmarking exercise?
  • Truly flexible working - Competition is even fiercer now that employees who can work from home don’t have to relocate to start a new job. Offering flexible work patterns that help employees manage their work/life balance is key to keeping people in post.
  • Professional development – employees value education and training which will add value to them personally. What’s more, investment in training will help you upskill within your business and avoid paying a premium for in-demand skills.

3. Helping lower-paid employees with cost of living

The Bank of England is warning that inflation is likely to soar in early 2022, hitting a high of 5% in the Spring when the Ofgem cap on retail energy prices is next adjusted. High energy bills, surging costs in the shops and big rises in council tax bills all mean that employees face a significant rise in the cost of living, which could be devastating for those on lower incomes. 

The good news for employees is that the National Living Wage (for employees aged 23+) is expected to rise to £9.50 in April 2022, an increase of 6.6%. While this is a big pot of money for employers to find, it will ameliorate the cost of living crisis for the lowest-paid. However, keep an eye on pay differentials as those just a little higher up the ladder will be feeling the pinch as well. 

4. Wellbeing 

Employee wellbeing was one of the biggest trends of 2021, and it shows no signs of slowing down. Employers are increasingly recognising the link between employees being happy and well in their personal lives and better performance, retention and absence rates at work. 

We saw financial wellbeing and mental wellbeing services rocket in popularity last year as employees struggled to cope with the demands the pandemic placed on mental health and household finances. 

If we do indeed go into another lockdown in January, then employees will need mental health support that they can access remotely, as well as ideas on how to look after their physical health when gyms, sports clubs etc are closed. 

To find out more about how Personal Group can help support you in 2022, call 01908 605000 or email letschat@personalgroup.com

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