As the end of the pandemic looks within reach in the US and many parts of Europe, everyone is keen to see the economy bounce back. To spark a return to work, many countries have begun dismantling the benefits they implemented during the pandemic.
US president Joe Biden has ended the support schemes he introduced during the pandemic in an effort to kick-start the economy.
The UK, France, and Germany introduced loans to help businesses keep employees, but all three plan to remove these payments. In fact, in the UK furlough payments will end before the end of September, despite more than a million people still receiving them. Additionally, France has begun to scale back its schemes such as the activité partielle which gives the temporarily unemployed financial assistance.
These changes in policy have been done with the job market in mind, especially as many industries suffer labor shortages.
At the moment, the US has had the clearest hiring problems with the ‘Great Resignation’. In response, some companies have appealed to have access to more immigrant workers.
Also, JP Morgan found that 2.9 million US workers won’t be returning to work at all any time soon. This was partly due to growing retirement numbers, but there were also close to 2 million people who have not come back to work, most of these people were women and minorities.
The UK has also had issues with its number of lorry drivers that have sparked supply fears and Daniel Kral, an economist at Oxford Economics, told the Financial Times that there is “a key supply-side risk for the eurozone recovery.”
Attracting employees during labor shortages
There has been a decrease in the number of people in work schemes in the EU over the course of 2021. Only 5% of the workforce are on schemes now which is significantly less than the 25% at the peak of the pandemic in 2020.
Nonetheless, there are concerns that the pandemic has discouraged employees to remain in industries like hospitality. Equally, there has not been time for individuals to reskill and upskill to succeed in new industries.
Some companies are reassessing how much they pay potential staff, the training they provide, and the benefits they offer in an effort to get new talent. Of course, this may impact the short-term profit margins of companies, but it could have a positive impact on the overall economy as more people have money to spend on consumer goods.
While salary increases may attract some people into roles, the quality of the role is an important factor in retaining staff. In order to do this, companies will undoubtedly need to look at new HR tech products.
An essential component of keeping employees and avoiding future labor shortages is measuring workers’ satisfaction. The likes of Peakon allow companies to do this by asking real-time questions through emails, texts, and Slack. Once these answers are collected, the data can be visualized and benchmarks can be set.
By doing this kind of monitoring, companies can have better insights and begin to anticipate problematic areas.
In terms of giving the correct benefits to attract and maintain employees, Benefex offers a solution. Benefex gives employees an easy way to see their benefits and understand the full value of them and lets managers communicate with them by commenting on achieved targets.
Of course, as companies attract staff there will be feedback loops from surveys so they can better understand the needs of a post-pandemic workforce. This will be particularly vital as the current workforce situation shows just how important it is to understand the feelings of employees.
After working with tech start-ups and media outlets like UNILAD Technology, The Hook and WhatCulture, Dan has become a journalist at UNLEASH. Dan is combining his first-hand experience alongside the latest news and opinions in the HR Technology space.