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Reimagining Employee Benefits: Trend Alert

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A recent Axios article shared over a million parents have left their jobs due to childcare responsibilities during the pandemic. Now, companies are reimagining employee benefits.

The coronavirus pandemic revealed a lot of areas the health and fitness industry could improve in, such as proving importance to government officials and advertising the wellness aspects of gyms in marketing plans.

However, a recent Axios article revealed another area your facility may need to reconsider — employee benefits.

According to the article, well over a million parents have left their jobs due to childcare responsibilities during the pandemic. Now, companies — large and small — are attempting to reimagine workplace benefits and add flexibility to help those parents come back.

During the pandemic companies across the world quickly added benefits like emergency leave for those who had COVID-19 or had to self-quarantine, telemedicine options, mental health assistance and remote work before realizing these benefits needed to expand past the pandemic.

For example, Fitness Connection, with locations throughout Texas, Nevada and North Carolina, launched the EPIC Relief Fund in 2020, which helps employees during crises such as a pandemic or any natural disasters. The fund is administered as a 501(c)(3) through America’s Charities, and includes eligibility guidelines and a confidential application process for Fitness Connection employees.

“Our teammates are our most valued asset,” said Deslyn Norris, the former chief people officer at Fitness Connection, in a previous Club Solutions article. “We wanted to do something that showed our team we appreciate them, their passion and their commitment to our brand, especially through these tough times.”

This is a trend we will see more of. According to a survey of human resources departments from Care.com, 98% of employers plan to extend their benefits — adding flexibility to help parents/guardians or adding child care benefits.

In a Club Solutions Magazine Podcast episode, Mark Miller, the COO of Merritt Clubs in Maryland, said employees are realizing the importance of being healthy and will likely put a greater push on their own health.

Because of this, Miller believes employees will push more for corporate wellness, fitness and mental health opportunities.

Regardless of how many employees your facility has, it is clear their expectation of benefits will be modified due to COVID-19. Whether it’s adding more vacation time, offering free mental health workshops or increased flexibility for salaried positions, this is an important area for gyms to take a closer look at.

Does your facility plan on changing your employee benefits? If so, let us know at info@clubsolutionsmagazine.com.

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Taylor Brown

Taylor Brown is the assistant editor for Club Solutions Magazine. She can be reached at taylor@peakemedia.com

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