More than seven in ten workers in the UK feel that companies have a social responsibility for their staff, research has found.
An increased role in staff welfare, wellbeing and overall happiness is important for 71% of employees, the research carried out for MetLife suggests.
More than six in ten (61%) of employees say that they expect their employer to make allowances for their personal circumstances following the pandemic and move to working from home such as more flexibility around childcare and home-schooling commitments.
Around a quarter (27% and 25% respectively) of employers and employees also that their employer’s response to Covid-19 has either “somewhat or significantly weakened the trust between employers and employees”.
Adrian Matthews, EB director at MetLife UK, said that the shift to working from home has “naturally” allowed colleagues and employers to have a greater insight into personal lives and home working set-ups.
He added: “More than this, employers have learnt a great deal about their staff and what is truly important to them as they seek to find ways to sensitively accommodate their needs. For example, those needing to shield, or those with caring responsibilities for parents or loved ones. It has undoubtedly shifted the traditional employer/employee dynamic.
This changing relationship between employers and employees is also being carried into what employees are expecting from their benefits packages.”
Matthews said that employee benefits such as income protection, critical illness and health screening are likely to become more “central” to people’s lives than before.
He said: “Employers will need to play a greater role in supporting employees through offering benefits packages that aide employee’s health and wellbeing while at work and at home. As well as offering quality benefits packages, employer’s must also make employees aware of the services already on offer and ensure strong take up for each of the offerings. If interest remains low, employers should speak openly to their staff about why this may be and if there is an equivalent service that could be offered instead. This is not a one-time conversation. Employers and employees must establish an open forum in the post-Covid environment to ensure that everyone is being properly and equally supported.”
The findings and analysis are available here.