Employee Health and Safety as a Benefit

One of the most frequent questions I’ve been asked by candidates the last few months is, “What has ‘Company X’ done to make sure their employees are staying safe and well with COVID-19?” Potential employees want to know, unsurprisingly, what organizations are doing to protect their people in the midst of a global pandemic.

The fundamentals have changed on what benefits are valuable to a candidate when pursuing a career change, and organizations need to recognize that change to attract the talent they want. People want to work for a company that cares for their people, and that’s nothing new. But the way companies need to show this care has changed dramatically.

In recent years, trends in employee benefits have followed the theme of social inclusion and camaraderie. Social gatherings, ping pong tournaments, and kegs in the office all fueled this feeling of connection to a company. That’s been replaced with face-masks, hand sanitizer, and work from home flexibility. The standards of health insurance, paid time off, and 401(k) plans are still in place, but employees have grown to expect more than that.

Here are a few options I’ve seen organizations implement to show their commitment to employee health and safety:

  • Proactive Office Sanitation: Many companies that have chosen to remain in their office (for various reasons) have partnered with sanitation companies to regularly rid their offices of germs. Keeping the space clean and, in turn, making it safer for employees. If you’re local to Orlando, BioAway provides a great solution for this.
  • Sick Leave Leniency: Getting more liberal about what employees can take sick days for, not requiring doctor’s notes, and being supportive when concerns arise. You truly need to foster an environment where employees feel comfortable taking sick days off and aren’t afraid to ask.
  • Company Provided PPE: Providing PPE like masks, gloves, and other safety measures to employees. Make sure your employees have this for both in the office and out of the office. There are lots of cool companies even making custom masks and PPE with your logo on it.

As a hiring manager or company owner, be prepared for candidates to ask about health and safety benefits. It has quickly become a fundamental part of the company evaluation process and will continue to help candidates decide where they want to go in their next career move.

Emphasizing employee well being and promoting a culture of care will help further define your candidate experience, keep current employees safe, increase retention, and definitely just make you feel good!

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