Job market

Flexibility Is Key To Solving The Mass Resignation

Illustration of man shaking hand of woman on monitor.

By Jaclyn Chen

The “Great Resignation” is here. As workers continue to quit in record numbers each month, many company leaders are finding themselves in uncharted territory: a tight labor market led by workers.

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Employees today are prepared and willing to leave their jobs in order to find a role that better matches their values and individual needs. Across the country, company leaders are huddling with HR teams to find answers.

While increased cash and equity compensation are certainly part of that conversation, workers have options today and can easily shop around for a higher paying role if they so desire.

If wages aren’t the answer, what is?

Today’s workers want their individual needs and circumstances valued and supported through meaningful company resources. They want to know their company cares for their well-being—both professionally and personally.

Benepass co-founder and CEO Jaclyn Chen

Benefits can serve as highly effective levers for achieving this level of support, yet are underutilized or ineffective. Perks and benefits designed for the pre-pandemic world—like gym discounts or healthy office snacks—will do little to encourage your people to stay or make your company stand out to prospective hires.

Instead, companies of all sizes can boost their appeal with current employees and attract new talent by providing workers with the flexible, individualized support they need through meaningful benefits their people value.

Here are several ways this can be achieved:

The choice of where to work

Workers have had to adapt to extraordinary conditions over the past 20 months. Many are simply not ready or no longer want to go back to the way it was—65 percent of workers are looking for a new job, according to a survey from PwC.

By offering remote, hybrid, or in-office options, you are empowering your employees with a choice about what’s best for them and expanding your talent pool in the process.

Remote and hybrid work success hinges on providing support such as stipends to purchase home office equipment or memberships to co-working spaces to ensure a culture of inclusivity and fairness regardless of whether they go into the office or not.

Holistic well-being

Well-being today can be defined more broadly to include physical, mental and financial health. Your well-being benefits should take a holistic approach and include options within each of these categories.

With the transition to hybrid work, programs designed around your employees’ needs, instead of what’s convenient for an in-office location, will be most effective and meaningful. Examples include a stipend for virtual mental health resources, gym class memberships, or access to financial advisers.

Improved well-being reduces burnout and leads to a happier and healthier workforce.

Flexible caregiver support

Employees between the ages of 30 and 45 have seen the greatest rise in resignation rates, up 20 percent between 2020 and 2021. It comes as little surprise as this age range is also more likely to also care for young children or aging parents. Caregivers have faced unprecedented challenges throughout the pandemic.

Flexibility is key when considering benefits for caregivers. Tailoring benefits to employees caring for young children, aging parents, friends, relatives and even pets can help with retention for this vulnerable population and shows empathy for the extra demands on their time.

Examples of support for caretakers include a childcare stipend, flexible work hours, mental health resources, sleep coaching or a stipend toward online classes and school.

Tailored professional development

Foster meaning and purpose for your employees by providing transparency on career progression within your company. Tangible steps on how your employees can reach their goals along with personalized benefits for targeted skills training and professional development appropriate to their level are essential for helping your employees grow and flourish with your company.

Transforming your benefits offering

Start from the perspective of the employee when modifying your benefits packages from a one-size-fits-all approach to a model centered on your employees’ needs. Identify gaps in your existing strategy by soliciting direct feedback and conducting employee surveys. Next, determine your investment level per employee.

You’ll also need to source the right solutions partner for your programs. A simple option for smaller companies might be to offer cash stipends for some or all of the benefits. For mid-size and larger companies, solutions like my own, Benepass, can help companies scale and administer tailor-made programs.

Ultimately, by offering employees personalized benefits at scale, HR teams have more tools at their disposal to design meaningful compensation packages that improve company culture and foster a workplace that new hires are eager to join.

Jaclyn Chen is co-founder and CEO of Benepass, a leading fringe benefits administrator dedicated to making benefits flexible and delightful for companies and their employees.

Illustration: Dom Guzman

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