Say you have started a new job. Your family and friends most likely ask you about your salary, work culture and benefits you get to avail yourself as an employee of that company. Nowadays, with the rising cost of living, salary alone will not suffice. Employee benefits play a crucial part as well. Hence, it is necessary to remain the employer of choice to avoid being overlooked and unrecognised.
Hence, for employers to attract competent and qualified employees, they will have to develop a solid, all-inclusive, and thorough employee benefits plan. However, it is quite a complicated task and comes with its own set of challenges. We will look at some of the challenges employers and employees face in giving and receiving benefits, respectively.
Common challenges faced in giving employee benefits
It is as complex to understand a plan as it is to formulate one, and many employees struggle even to understand their benefit plans. How exactly do these plans benefit me? In what way will these plans prove helpful for my family and me? These are some questions that may affect the employees' peace of mind if the employers do not provide correct guidance and knowledge.
Therefore, it is the responsibility of the employer to educate every employee about the benefits they are entitled to avail of and how to decide what package choices provide the best options for them and their families.
To avoid confusion among employees about the benefits, simplifying the explanation is the best way to ensure clarity about the information they are being provided with effectively. Ultimately, they can decide which package works the best for them.
Another common challenge the employer faces is staying up-to-date with the changing market needs and trends. A conflict of interest between the employer and employees may raise a question on what value the existing benefit plans hold and if it is even favourable to the employees anymore or not. The current Covid-19 pandemic has impacted the existing health care policies of the companies. Not implementing appropriate health care policies according to the changing needs of the employees may affect the employees' productivity and success at work. Hence, employers must develop strategies to make necessary changes to ensure the well-being of the employees.
However, contrary to popular belief, a survey recently conducted by Ekincare shows that many Indian companies are taking the health and well-being of the employees seriously and implementing strategies to improve the healthcare policies better to suit the needs of the
employees and their families. More than 50% of the companies have already made changes to their well-being programs.
It is important to note that not only the physical health of the employees is taken into consideration, but also the mental health due to the pandemic. The most common change made to the well-being programs is the addition of online counselling sessions amidst the new trend of WFH arrangements.
The other challenging aspect that may go unnoticed while designing a benefit plan is the diversity factor. Since the employees may be of different age groups, social situations, and classes, a one-for-all approach to a benefit plan might not be the best idea. It may create a difference of opinion amongst the employees. E.g. a senior employee and a GenZ employee may have different priorities when it comes to what counts as beneficial for both parties.
While some benefits may prove helpful to some employees, it may not be the case for everyone. The employer needs to reach a middle ground and devise solutions that collectively work for all the employees. These challenges need to be overcome, and solutions need to be found for the employee to contribute to the work environment efficiently and thus ensure smooth functioning and enhance the company's success.
Little to no benefits for non-traditional employees
We have talked about how the regular, 9-5 working employees and their employers face challenges when it comes to benefit plans and policy implementations. But what we did not consider is that, apart from these traditional employees, there is a whole group of non-traditional employees who don't necessarily work in an office setting, such as workers, freelancers, independent consultants, and gig workers. The employees that come under this non-traditional workforce do not enjoy all the health-related benefits that a regular, office-going employee might be able to avail themselves of.
One big difficulty that the employers of these workers face is whether to classify them as independent workers or traditional employees. Since this legal distinction cannot be easily made, this workforce lacks the benefit of availing basic privileges such as health insurance, retirement benefits, etc. The income factor comes into the picture as well.
For this type of workforce, especially freelancers and gig workers, the income is not based on a fixed paycheck. It isn't easy to provide them with financial benefits, unlike the traditional workforce. Many of these workers don't even have a credit history. This makes it harder for banks and financial services companies to give them access to credits or provide them loans.
As we can see, even though challenges persist in implementing changes in healthcare policies, many companies and employers have started taking serious responsibility in bringing about a change in the well-being of the employees. It surely is a step in the right direction, and we can witness more and more advancements in these implementations if the companies, employers, and employees continue to work towards bringing a change relentlessly.
Let Batik do the heavy lifting for you
One-size fits all approach is long gone. It all boils down to what companies have to offer and how they treat their employees. The benefits offered have become a significant differentiator in employee management.
Batik is an employee benefits marketplace that puts your people first. Align benefits needed with today's employees and make benefit solutions simple and easy to engage with, making your workplace employee-centric. Access over 100+ benefits for your employees, all on a unified platform where it's easy to activate benefits that your employees care about and need. Say no to administrative burdens, multiple vendors, and high costs.