Employee Benefits

National Employer Pulse Study Provides Insight into the Impact of the Pandemic on Attracting and Retaining Employees, Mental Health and Return to Work Strategies

December 7, 2021

Deerfield, IL (December 7, 2021)—Alera Group, a top independent, national insurance and wealth services firm, today released the third edition of its COVID-19 Employer Pulse Survey¹. The survey offers insights into how employers are navigating employee health, benefits and human resources issues as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

Trends from the survey highlight the enormous impact of COVID-19 on hybrid workplaces, employee recruitment and retention, and mental health. Key findings include:

  • The future of work: As the pandemic continues, 25% of surveyed employers indicate that over half of their workforce is working remotely some or all of the time. The majority (69%) indicate they will follow a hybrid approach when they do bring employees back to the office, with some or all employees allowed to work remotely some of the time.

  • Talent attraction and retention challenges: Employers report difficulties with attracting and retaining employees as a top concern over the next six months, particularly if they have over 500 employees. About 60% of employers found attracting and retaining talent during the pandemic has been extremely or very challenging. Those who struggled the most were mid-sized employers (100-999).

  • Company size and mental health: The pandemic has put a spotlight on worker burnout and mental health, especially for large employers with more than 1,000 employees. Mental health deterioration increases with employer size, with 82% of large employers reporting that mental health worsened since the COVID-19 pandemic began. The survey results also found that those working in industries such as education, nonprofit and healthcare were more negatively impacted than other industry sectors.

“It’s no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic has forever altered the workplace, but it’s clear from these findings that large enterprises have faced the greatest adversity,” said Sally Prather, Executive Vice President and Employee Benefits Practice Leader at Alera Group, “Through this analysis, we hope to provide business executives with the tools and insights to adapt and meet employee needs while boosting workforce satisfaction and engagement. Additionally, by thoughtfully improving benefits offerings, companies of all sizes can overcome talent challenges and ultimately boost their bottom line.”

Alera Group conducted this online survey from October 18 to November 4, 2021. More than 790 companies across the United States participated. The aggregate report with a summary of key findings is available here. Please contact your local Alera Group firm or email info@aleragroup.com to be connected with an expert who can answer your questions.


About Alera Group

Alera Group is an independent, national insurance and wealth services firm with more than $850 million in annual revenue, offering comprehensive employee benefits, property and casualty, retirement plan services and wealth services solutions to clients nationwide. By working collaboratively across specialties and geographies, Alera Group’s team of more than 3,000 professionals in more than 120 offices provides creative, competitive services that help ensure a client’s business and personal success. For more information, visit www.aleragroup.com or follow us on LinkedIn.   


¹The first edition of the Alera COVID-19 Employer Pulse survey was conducted online from March 27 to April 6, 2020 and consisted of 831 employers. The second edition was conducted online from May 18 to May 29, 2020 and consisted of 804 employers.