As we inch closer to starting the new year, it’s time to reevaluate and redesign your employee benefits to ensure you and your team are set up for success. So much has happened during this past year with the coronavirus pandemic. Changes have included long leaves of absences, employee status changes, and new employees hired in some cases. This means the demographics of the average work environment have changed considerably over the past months. Now is a good time to take stock of exactly what you will be offering your employees to meet employees’ needs and determine employer contributions.
Consider Offering an EAP
Many companies are now offering the advantages of an employee assistance program (EAP) which acts as a complement to employees’ main health insurance plan. EAP’s provide confidential counseling and consultation services to employees who are dealing with various mental, health, or wellness issues. With the chaos and uncertainty of the past 9 months, EAP’s can help improv attendance, reduce accident claims, yield better retention. Plus, they can significantly reduced long-term medical costs due to early identification and treatment of mental health/substance abuse issues. Employees’ mental health needs to be a priority for the new year.
While EAP’s typically focus on employees’ mental health, they do feature more general health and wellness services like nutrition consultations and child/elder care recommendations. EAP providers often send welcoming resources and even a representative to help employees understand what is available to them. EAP’s are a positive complement to your primary health care plan that will benefit the long-term health of your employees.
Finalizing Your Employee Benefits Budget for the New Year
It is important to determine your health care budgets and how much you can afford in contributions going into the new year. You want to ensure you aren’t wasting time chasing plans that are not realistic. Most benefit providers will have adjusted their limits and thresholds due to inflation; therefore, the previous years’ budget might not be adequate to provide the same level of employer contributions. With still so much uncertainty about how the pandemic will play out in the future, there is a great deal of concern among employees and how changes in their health care plans will affect them and their families. Equally, employers are mindful of the responsibility for their employee’s financial and wellness in addition to their emotional and physical needs.
Prioritize Strong Leadership in 2021
The pandemic will continue to greatly impact the first few months of 2021, but that shouldn’t stop leaders from aspiring to become better as the New Year approaches. Workers in every industry have been greatly impacted for nearly nine months straight—an incubation period that has produced enough stress, fear, pressure, and anxiety to last several lifetimes. Employee burnout and emotional stress has been on the rise. As a leader its important to help manage that for all of your employees. Be sure to make it a point to recognize employees for their hard work throughout the year. This could be as simple as a “Thank You” note or a gift or bonus. Lastly, be sure to make self-care a priority for yourself. A healthy leader is best suited to lead a healthy team.
As part of your planning strategy for the new year, download the following checklist 8 Steps to a Successful Open Enrollment. Be sure to call Innovative Broker Services directly at 916-932-2864 to discuss how you can make it easier for yourself and your employees to start the new year on the right foot.