Survey: Employers feel responsible for worker health and well-being

Transamerica Institute survey also says older workers are benefiting from changing business environment

A new survey from Transamerica Institute and its Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies (TRCS) finds that – post-pandemic – employers feel more responsibility for the health and well-being of their employees. Employers also say they’re still having a hard time recruiting new workers.

Emerging From the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Employer’s Perspective examines the impacts COVID-19 on the benefits employers are offering to attract and retain employees.

“Employers have been navigating the complex issues in a rapidly-changing environment, especially in managing the needs of their workforce,” explains Catherine Collinson, CEO and president of Transamerica Institute and TRCS. “However, they can be doing even more to support their employees.”

According to the survey, 81% of employers feel responsible for helping employees maintain their long-term health, 72% cite one or more major concerns about employees’ mental health, and 47% say they are having trouble finding new employees.

Collinson says that employers believe that better compensation and benefits packages can be a win-win for them and their workers. “It can help employers attract and retain talent while providing employees income, work-life balance, and the ability to save for retirement while protecting their health, well-being, and financial situation.”

Catherine Collinson of Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies at Marketplace Studios in Los Angeles, CA.

She adds that the pandemic has really inspired employers to adopt new business practices and look at things differently.

“Working from home or other flexible work arrangements have proven workers can be just as production. What’s so exciting about this is that it opens up a whole new realm of opportunity in terms of inclusivity.”

Changes in Business Practices Bode Well for Older Workers

“The time may have come for age-inclusivity in the workforce,” Collinson tells me.

For example, an older worker who is also a caregiver may not have been able to go to work every day in an office before the pandemic. That has changed.

“Now that remote work arrangements are widespread, it opens up flexible schedules with employers recognizing the importance of work-life balance to find and keep workers. In many ways, it continues to bode well for older individuals who are looking to stay in the workforce longer. Between updated business practices, as well as widespread labor shortages, employers are starting to tap into the potential of older, experienced employees.”

For the survey, employers were asked how much consideration they were giving to older workers since the pandemic began. They said:

  • 29% – A great deal of consideration
  • 30% – Quite a bit of consideration
  • 23% – Some consideration

Collinson says the good news is that “70% – seven in ten – of large employers say they’ve given a great deal or quite a bit of consideration to age 50 plus job applicants. So, that’s a big deal.”

You can read more the full Emerging From the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Employer’s Perspective here.