We have been facing the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic for several weeks now. Despite a very difficult period, we must still admit that the first wave will have taught us to be resilient, to let go, to organize ourselves differently, to reinvent ourselves, to help each other and to appreciate each other more.
Last spring, if you were one of those who were still working full or part time, working remotely or in person, you also suffered the consequences of the pandemic on your overall compensation plan: canceled salary increases. , bonuses postponed, social programs stopped, to name just a few. Therefore, now that we have started the second wave, it would be relevant to diagnose the concerns and real needs of your employees in order to properly align your offer, according to the current context.
In order to gather the necessary information, you must survey your employees on the importance they give to the components of your current overall compensation. The goal is to identify what is essential for them, what is optional and what could be added.
Then, highlight the trends, that is to say the elements that need to be improved in order to mobilize your teams and remain competitive in the market. There may also be gains to be made on obsolete programs which could be abandoned, and whose funds could be reallocated. The important thing here is not to do everything at once. It’s about listening to the needs of your employees by enhancing what you already offer or by offering them what they currently need, as long as it respects the constraints linked to the current context. You will thus demonstrate your organizational agility in managing working conditions.
Here are some possible solutions, if you haven’t already thought about them:
- Offer, for a limited period, COVID bonuses to compensate for workload or encourage retention (be careful, this solution does not apply to everyone, know how to contextualize it to your reality);
- Improve the variable remuneration program by adding an excellence bonus for employees who distinguished themselves during the crisis;
- Optimize the design of the benefits plan in order to maintain or add essential openings for employees
- Expand eligible health care benefits to include teleconference treatments (physiotherapists, psychologists, dietitians, naturopaths, etc.) without forgetting the EAP.
In short, additions certainly result in additional costs, but think about the long-term return on investment. For example, certain wellness programs are increasingly offered and enhance the employee experience. In the particular context we live in, they help employees deal with mental health problems or health problems in general, while remaining safe and in the comfort of their home.
This can help you navigate this second wave with a little more peace of mind. If you don’t already have an HR toolkit, I strongly advise you not to delay, it will save you a lot of hassle.