- Businesses nationwide are scrambling to increase their workforces as they face historic labor shortages.
- To combat the resignation surge, employers are restructuring their talent retention programs, in addition to offering higher wages and travel benefits.
- arrivia’s Vice President says that employers can ensure their employees take full advantage of their vacation time by offering lifestyle benefits in the form of exclusive travel deals, discounts, and experiences.
Businesses nationwide are scrambling to increase their workforces as they face historic labor shortages.
To combat the resignation surge (4.4 million in September and 4.2 in October 21), employers are restructuring their talent retention programs, in addition to offering higher wages.
As workers’ attitudes change — they’re looking for opportunities that provide more flexibility and value — companies are changing their rewards structures, too.
As employers rethink their workforce retention strategies and stretch beyond offering higher wages, more companies are considering unique benefits that contribute to employees’ quality of life and demonstrate how appreciated they are.
arrivia, a technology company that works with employer brands and member-based organizations to design unique incentive structures, believes companies should offer benefits that inspire their workforce, using the power of travel as a reward.
In a Q&A with Stacey Sutherland, Vice President of B2B Marketing and Strategic Development at arrivia, she explains how HR teams can attract strong job candidates and successfully retain workers by offering travel benefits and rewards that go beyond traditional employee perks.
Allwork.Space: In order to retain employees (or attract them), what different types of benefits can employers offer?
Stacey Sutherland: Depending on the job type, there’s a baseline of available benefit types that employees or candidates expect, and that employers need to offer in order to be competitive. But to really excel in terms of talent acquisition and retention, employers must offer benefits that demonstrate their commitment to work-life balance.
I don’t think it’s a secret that for many, the line between home and work life has become quite blurred, particularly over the last two years.
Too often, that has meant work time eclipsing personal time, even in work-from-home setups, and a creeping culture of universal availability (the “always on” mentality). But that’s not healthy and it’s important that workers find time to truly disconnect.
Employers can ensure their employees take full advantage of their vacation time by offering lifestyle benefits in the form of exclusive travel deals, discounts, and experiences that they would otherwise be unable to access through public platforms.
By offering travel-related benefits, employers send a clear message to their employees that how they spend their time off is just as important as the time itself.
Allwork.Space: What benefits matter to employees the most?
As I’m sure your readers have, we’ve seen the recent research from the MIT Sloan Management Review indicating that compensation lags several other factors influencing employee attrition.
Workers are more concerned about workplace culture and being recognized for their contributions than their base level of pay. It’s reasonable to assume that these attitudes apply to benefits as well.
Employees are looking for benefits that will help them and their families lead fuller, more well-balanced lives — benefits that take care of their physical, emotional, and mental well-being.
That means benefits that they can use in their everyday lives and provide them with distinct value, whether they’re working remotely or from the office.
I think they’re also looking to be inspired by their benefits. If you have a health spending account that allows you to sign up for paddleboard lessons or yoga classes, for example, you might just take that leap and try something new.
Similarly, if you have access to travel benefits and are presented with a deal for a European river cruise, you might consider taking that trip even if it’s not something you would have thought to book previously.
Allwork.Space: What will be some employee reward trends for 2022?
If inflation rates stay high, benefits that enable employees to do more with their money will become more popular in 2022.
For example, a travel rewards program that enables an employee to reduce the upfront cost of a trip, or upgrade to a different status class for the same price as standard. This kind of reward delivers recognizable value on a sought-after commodity: travel.
In a broader sense, I think the concept of “rewards” is interesting and could be a way for companies to think outside the box when it comes to compensation. A company that uses arrivia’s travel privileges platform, for instance, can award their employees with travel credits when they hit certain milestones or as a bonus.
As the MIT study reveals, workers want to feel appreciated, and with remote work, it can be more challenging for employers to convey that appreciation. Achievement-based rewards – in contrast to the standard, predefined benefits package – is one way to do that.
Lastly, I think we’ll see personalization enter the workplace benefits space. From arrivia’s perspective, this means understanding each individual worker, what’s important to them and shaping the benefit (e.g., the travel deals they see when they log into their workplace travel privileges platform) to meet their needs or desires.