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#HRTrending - 3 New Benefits to Keep Employees Happy during The Covid-19 Season

Amid the complicated development of the epidemic, the "traditional" welfare (i.e: fuel allowance for traveling, lunch support, etc.) seem to be unnecessary as employees are stationed at home for work (work from home). Therefore, businesses need to find new benefit packages to be befitting with “the new now”.

Businesses should prioritize relieving employees of their concern for physical health problems and ensuring mental well-being amid the pandemic

Businesses should prioritize relieving employees of their concern for physical health problems and ensuring mental well-being amid the pandemic

Powerful Combo – Physical and Mental Healthcare

Covid-19 poses a new challenge for human resources managers in terms of "employee reassurance" in both physical and mental health concerns. During this pandemic, some businesses were not hesitating to "pay extra dollars" for telehealth services to provide health consultation for their employees. In addition, providing vaccines is also highly prefered as 56% of businesses have provided vaccines as a health benefit for their employees, according to a survey conducted by HR consulting firm – Talentnet.

Besides physical health, mental health is another top priority of businesses during this period. According to the Ministry of Health, the fear of being infected, the boredom caused by losing connection with people, or the “bread and butter” worry, etc. can lead to mental disorders such as depression, anxiety or even post-traumatic disorder.

More than ever, businesses should consider including psychological counselling services in their welfare package. Cooperating with partners, experts in healthcare, nutrition, and insurance to provide in-depth sharing sessions for employees also needs to be prioritized. In fact, it is a trend that was applied by many large corporations around the world before the pandemic happened. This trend is still proving its effectiveness until now.

Ms. Nguyen Thi An Ha – Head of Strategic Partnership at Talentnet

One of the global businesses that has successfully applied “the happy benefit package" is Johnson & Johnson. To keep employees happy during the Covid-19 season, J&J has actively encouraged employees to regulate proper rest time, and organized psychological counselling activities, provided emotional management courses or meditation sessions for employees, etc. These activities are simple methods that any Vietnamese businesses can apply based on their actual condition.

Improving conditions of “home office"

After a long time working at home, employees have been adapting to the new working style and do not want to return to work at the office. According to Forbes, after the pandemic, about 92% of Americans want to continue working from home once per week, and about 80% of Americans expect to work remotely 3 days a week.

This new trend creates a premise for businesses to develop welfare packages when working from home. Indeed - an American online recruitment company announced that it would reimbruise employees up to $500 for the cost of "renovating" home offices. This move not only scores in the eyes of their current employee but also attracts various new talents.

Improving the home working corner helps employees enhance productivity and happiness during the work from home season

Improving the home working corner helps employees enhance productivity and happiness during the work from home season

In Vietnam, many businesses also applied “home” benefits during the third wave of the epidemic. According to Talentnet's 3rd Covid-19 Human Resources Policy Survey, 34% of companies agreed to give employees some monetary benefits while working from home, such as paying for electricity, phone and internet.

Enhancing communication, doubling understanding

During the Covid-19 pandemic, the bonds between colleagues may be "broken" due to "out of sight, out of mind". According to the employee communication & advocacy platform - Smarp, "difficulty in communicating with colleagues" is among the top 3 reasons why employees do not like working from home. Additionally, a survey from Gallup found that social distancing made it difficult for 74% of employees to fully grasp important information.

Understanding this barrier, a telecommunications company in Germany - Deutsche Telekom implements an idea to “take down the fences”: managers are asked to upload a instructional video to an internal application on what important works that need to be done. This initiative was proven to be effective in improving work processes significantly as well as helping employees feel more connected.

An  activity while being “virtual” yet creating "real" connections is one of the ways to strenthen interaction between employees during the epidemic season.

An  activity while being “virtual” yet creating "real" connections is one of the ways to strenthen interaction between employees during the epidemic season.

In Vietnam, while it’s still “a long way” to be back to the office, businesses should encourage staff interactions by using applications/intranets or popular video call platforms like Zoom/Skype. HR practioners may consider some activities that will be warmly welcomed by employees such as organizing a “virtual” event that creating “real” connections, lucky draws, team-playing games…

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), each year, depression and anxiety in employees cost companies around the world about 1.000 billion dolars in lost productivity. It can be seen that mentality - performance - business results are 3 standing upright dominoes. In that case, when the mentality is shaken, the whole set of dominoes can be in danger. Businesses may be facing a long to-do list to deal with the Covid-19 threats, yet, reassuring employees still needs to be prioritized.