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Author's profile photo Nicole Saunders

2021: A New Era of Employee Benefits

There are certain times in history that we all remember.  For example, I can recall exactly what I was doing when the 1989 earthquake hit San Francisco, the twin towers collapsed on September 11th and when Covid-19 shutdown the United States.  2020 will definitely be one of those years we will never forget, but for me, it will not be because of the global health crisis, but rather because it was the year my family grew when my son was born.

Moments of crisis and change can disrupt every aspect of our daily lives, and not knowing whenthings will get better continues to fuel anxiety and stress.  The global health crisis has thrust employee benefits into the spotlight with employee health and safety becoming top priorities for all employers.  Focusing on the holistic employee experience by considering the physical, financial and emotional welfare of your employees can keep your benefits relevant while helping you manage through change. My personal experience exemplifies the importance of offering benefits that focus on the total well-being of your employees and their families.

Having a baby during a pandemic has brought with it a unique set of challenges, however, my benefits package has given me the peace of mind that the company will support me as I navigate through this difficult time.  For example, I was able to take paid leave to bond with my new little one, thus eliminating financial stress so I could enjoy my time off  And, when the time came to go back to work, I was able to transition back into my job with a part time schedule, affording me the time to settle into my “new normal”, that is, working from home with two kids.  Now that I am back to working full-time, a flexible work schedule makes it easier to juggle the responsibilities of being a mother, wife, business professional and homeschool teacher.

As an HR professional, it’s important to take purposeful actions with policies and programs to reinforce support of total well-being for employees and their families during times of uncertainty.  This approach has many benefits including:

  • Providing peace of mind for your employees that they have the resources they need to keep themselves and their family in good health.
  • Ensuring financial wellness with financial support and resources for your employees and their families.
  • Protecting employee mental well-being by providing the knowledge and tools they need to cope with challenges and stresses at work and in life.

Check out this paper to explore these areas in detail and gain tips and key considerations on how to keep your benefits relevant for employees during seasons of disruption.

 

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