Organizations are increasingly embracing benefits that support their employees’ physical, mental, financial, and social well-being.
By Tierney McAfee
The COVID-19 pandemic has presented a unique opportunity for employers to rethink and revamp their benefit offerings to ensure that they address employees’ evolving needs.
“Over the last year as people have worked virtually and spent a lot of time away from the office, they’re rethinking priorities,” says Steve Parkhouse, Senior Vice President of Client Services at bswift, a leading cloud-based technology company that helps enable employers to achieve their benefits and engagement strategies. “Our recent research has shown that nearly 70% of employees say their need for HR to focus on improving employee well-being has increased in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. In turn, we have been seeing our clients focus more on employees’ overall well-being which includes areas such as work-life balance, physical health, mental health and financial health.”
Parkhouse notes that the pandemic has accelerated benefits trends that were already in motion, such as an uptick in wellness product offerings like HRA plans for employers to pick and choose from and offer to employees.
“What we also see emerging are creative ways for employers to include those products in their communication campaigns, and their benefits strategies and offerings,” Parkhouse explains.
Embracing these growing priorities as themes for annual enrollment and other HR functions is one key way employers can make the benefits experience more relevant and engaging for their employees,” says Allison Malito, Senior Vice President of Operations and Practice Leadership at bswift. It also demonstrates their focus on their employees’ overall well-being.
“COVID and going virtual has really changed the space in the last year and that’s why we’ve really had to adapt and think more about the whole employee and the different aspects of well-being that are important to someone,” Malito says. “It’s not just the line of benefits that are tried and true that you’ve heard about in the past. The new approach to benefits puts employees at the center and shows them that they’re cared about beyond their job title by their employer.”
Forward-thinking organizations are enabling holistic wellness benefits for their workforces through partnerships with benefits administrators that can help communicate and implement a growing suite of services.