Stephanie Houston: What lessons can employers learn from 2020 for reward strategies in 2021?

Stephanie Houston: What lessons can employers learn from 2020 for reward strategies in 2021?

Across the globe, seismic shifts continue to take place in the workplace. Not only are employers reimagining business models and company values in response to the current climate, but employees, having been exposed to new ways of working, are paying even closer attention to the benefits provided by their employers. With this in mind, in 2021, business leaders must focus on long-term employee satisfaction with an enhanced reward strategy, prioritising flexible working, recognition and employee wellbeing

There is no denying that, since the start of the pandemic, flexibility has become the most valuable currency. Employees, many of whom have worked from home for the first time this year, are now seeking more choice of how, when and where they work. Remote work has also created an opportunity for employers to trust their employees more than ever before, enabling employers to explore new avenues and flexible working solutions. Providing employees with greater choice encourages a sense of independence, and an opportunity for staff to plan their day in a way that suits them, and helps support a happier workforce. For example, employers can offer employees more options on where they work from, encouraging a greater work-life balance with less commuting time. 

For most, it has not only been one of the most transformative years, but also one of the toughest. Positive affirmations and recognition, monetary and non-monetary, will continue to hold more weight than ever as we enter 2021. Organisations need to trust, reassure and reward their employees who are working hard in a period of greater stress and uncertainty. Authentic praise and trust from a manager can not only boost morale but increase productivity, performance and employee engagement.

Employee wellbeing has undeniably been affected by the pandemic. In this new era, and in the future where teams will gradually start returning to the office, it is important to provide emotional support for this adjustment. At WeWork, we have partnered with Unmind the workplace mental health platform, to empower employees to take time and take care of their mental health.

Covid-19 (Coronavirus) has shaped a new relationship between employers and employees, one based on trust and appreciation, and the workplace has become defined by more human-centric measures. Employees’ needs are, rightly, at the forefront of leaders’ minds as we look forward to this new year. 

Stephanie Houston is senior director, talent acquisition and people partners, Europe, Middle East and Africa (Emea) at WeWork