Today’s employee-centric market requires employers to work even harder to attract, retain, and engage top talent. During the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, organizations focused their response to this unprecedented crisis, primarily through keeping their employees engaged and productive.
Amidst layoffs and furloughs, voluntary turnover rates plummeted; now, as organizations are looking to thrive in this post-pandemic world, retaining and engaging top talent has become more important than ever.
McKinsey says human resources departments are busy reimagining their processes to develop a strong talent acquisition and retention strategy.
Businesses are making various adjustments, including adapting to an increasingly remote workforce, stepping up communication and engagement efforts to reach out to employees, and taking care of their workforce’s mental, physical, and financial well-being.
What is employee experience? Why do you need to care?
Employee experience is among the four top trends in the way companies are retaining top talent, according to a report published by LinkedIn. Elevating the employee experience by boosting engagement can positively impact employee productivity and retention.
The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the wave of digital transformation and enabled employers and HR professionals to look into employee-centric, intensely-personalized benefits. One way to do it is to tap into data analytics to personalize benefits and analyze the relationship between engagement and retention.
Why should you care about employee retention and engagement?
Only around a third of employees are engaged at work, according to a study. Employee engagement impacts retention, and thus overall turnover of a company. Many companies are also struggling to implement effective employee retention strategies. Nearly half of HR professionals named retention as their top workforce management challenge, according to a survey by SHRM.
Why should you make employee retention a priority? According to the Work Institute 2020 Retention Report:
What are the ways in which employers can boost employee productivity, motivation, and retention?
Optimizing Virtual Care to Improve Outcomes
A recent study by AON outlines new ways in which employers are responding to the ongoing changes in how healthcare is delivered. The study notes that recent research has found a 400% increase in virtual visits to physicians and other providers since the pandemic began in early 2020.
A digital strategy enables employees to manage their own health, become active participants in making informed healthcare decisions, and overcomes the hassle of implementing customized plans. This leads to a positive experience for both employees and employers by enhancing employee experience and enabling outcomes that are more aligned with the employer’s business goals.
Employers can incorporate a centralized digital hub to ensure employees can seamlessly navigate and access the resources they need. This reduces employee confusion by unifying data from disparate sources in one place and personalizes their experience to meet their individual needs.
Using Data-Driven Strategies to Personalize Benefits
Employers are increasingly looking for data-driven strategies to personalize employee benefits to improve outcomes. Brokers and benefit consultants are privy to critical data that allows them to customize employee benefits packages that cater to the individualized needs of their employees.
Employee engagement and retention can be measured, analyzed, and improved by using data analytics. Self-insured employers are collecting and analyzing data including high-cost claimants in their employee population, ER utilization, telemedicine benefit utilization, health risk scores, employee engagement in wellness programs, provider quality, costs for common procedures, preventive screening tests, and top conditions prevailing in their workplace.
Utilizing data enables employers to identify care gaps and create targeted outreach and communication plans to connect with employees. This further encourages employees to enable medication adherence, prescription savings, and behavioral changes to enhance their health and well-being.
Tapping into technologies like data analytics also enables employers to administer and personalize benefits to improve employee engagement, morale, and productivity.
Supporting Your Employees’ Mental Health
Social distancing norms leading to isolationism, worry about catching the virus, uncertainty about future prospects, and increased at-home responsibilities led to additional stress and anxiety for employees dealing with work pressure.
Depression, alcohol use, substance abuse, and anxiety skyrocketed because of pandemic-related stress, according to a report from the University of Michigan.
Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) are one way in which employers can handle problems related to mental well-being. This includes removing barriers to communication and creating a culture where employees can talk about their mental health anonymously and get help.
But studies show that the average EAP utilization rate is below 10%. These services are not used because sometimes employees don't know about them, or don't understand what it provides, or they may feel there is a stigma around using them. EAPs help in connecting members to the right care, offer counseling, and also ensure the continuation of care. Employers need to step up their efforts to communicate these benefits to employees, ensure that employees understand the value of these benefits, and ensure that employees feel comfortable in using these services.
By addressing employees’ mental health and employee burnout, employers and benefits consultants can build a culture where employees feel healthy, motivated, and inspired to work.
Leveraging Digital Transformation to Boost Employee Engagement
In order to enhance the overall employee experience, employers need to meet them where they are in their healthcare journey and make their benefits programs engaging.
People are increasingly connected to their smartphones, making it convenient to access and engage with their benefits via their devices. This convenience is critical to improving their experience and utilization. By integrating benefits programs into a centralized digital hub, employers can help employees navigate the complex healthcare system. It enables them to access the resources they need according to their needs, including benefits information, contact numbers, healthcare expense records, chronic disease management tools, and health savings account (HSA) balance management on a unified mobile/online platform.
Engaged employees are less likely to seek job opportunities outside the company and, therefore, have a more positive impact on both individual and business performance.
The Road Ahead
Employee retention is undoubtedly an important goal for any organization, but it can be difficult. Finding ways to help employees navigate their new reality by investing in their personal well-being and adopting virtual care strategies can boost employee engagement and foster a sense of loyalty and goodwill throughout its workforce.
To learn more about how you can enhance the care you deliver to your employees with the Innovaccer Health Cloud, get a demo.
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