What ‘perks’ do companies need to implement during COVID-19?


Okay, we’ll admit, that title was a bit of clickbait. It’s not so much about what ‘perks’ a business offers.

It’s more about building a long-lasting culture by introducing benefits that actually impact your employees in a positive way.

As many businesses adapt to mostly working from home, token perks such as breakfast bars or espresso machines are brought under the microscope. Whilst seemingly fun and tasty, are these perks making a long-long-term impact on employee engagement? Not really.

Businesses should be asking the question, ‘what really makes a difference for our employees?’

Chandler Macleod People Insights recently conducted research and created a whitepaper on employee engagement during COVID-19. There were several interesting findings that help companies understand what employees not only want but need.

Here are the things you can do to help support your staff in this new world of working.

Caring, honest leadership

Leadership is more important now than ever, yet it is also one of the greatest areas for development for Australian businesses. In times like this, employees need their leaders to genuinely connect with them, understand the demands and issues faced and communicate a clear and compelling way forward. We also need to support our own leaders to navigate their people through these challenging landscapes. The findings from this research support the benefits of investing in leadership development, especially in areas of communication and change management to positively boost and sustain employee engagement.

Clear and transparent communication

Communication is key to success and organisations need to be thinking about how to establish new systems and policies that foster better collaboration and more effective working relationships in this new world of working.

Connecting with employees, asking about their needs

Rather than a ‘wait and see’ approach, organisations are encouraged to take a proactive approach to demonstrate they genuinely value their employees by seeking out their voice and listening to their challenges and concerns. This could be achieved using anonymous surveys and/or smaller focused meetings. If left unchecked, people can quickly become disengaged, burned out and disconnected.

Important adaptions to support Hybrid and Remote Working

Hybrid working is here to stay, and there is early evidence to suggest there is hope when it comes to employee engagement. This research indicates that people are experiencing heavy work demands at present and we need to bear in mind that this is unlikely to be sustainable in the long term, especially without support systems and resources.

Ongoing revision of existing policies and guidelines is recommended, specifically related to work and role responsibilities, as well as hybrid and remote onboarding processes.

Other implementations to consider here could be:

  • A strong IT support team and home setup process

  • Work flexibility

  • Workload balance

  • Openness to new employees when teams are stretched thin

Providing meaningful work

We also need to continue to support our people by providing meaningful and rewarding work to help keep people stimulated and engaged. This can be seen to be of particular importance for employees under the age of 30.

Focusing on wellbeing

Lastly, investment in mental health and well-being initiatives that demonstrate genuine care for employees is particularly important in the current environment to drive and protect employee engagement.​

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