It’s more important than ever that businesses make mental and financial wellness benefits a priority for their employees
How can employers show that they truly value their employees? By caring about them. They can do this by:
On so many levels, the last year and a half has been incredibly hard for us. While the ongoing pandemic is responsible for the majority of our worries right now, it is far from the only thing we’ve been dealing with. Political discord, workplace uncertainty, and the almost daily reminder of the impact of climate change are just a few of the issues playing a huge role in society. It’s enough to make you want to crawl under the covers and not come out for six months or so.
But, as we all know, life has to go on. And, of course, this includes having to go to work, even if that means opening up your laptop at home. Because so many employees are struggling right now – even if they’re not outwardly showing it – employers should be doing everything they can to support them. Regular check-ins are great but it may also be time to offer additional benefits to help everybody get through these tough times.
To show your workers that you care about their well-being, we’ll talk about the areas to focus on now and in the future. By providing mental and financial wellness benefits, you are setting your employees up to be happier and more productive at work.
Even before COVID-19, employee stress levels were increasing. This has only been exacerbated by the uncertainty of the last year-plus. When workers are stressed, their productivity and engagement drop significantly. This is why employers need to make mental health a priority. They should be ready and willing to provide resources for those who need them. If you don’t have an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), now is the time to create one. Perhaps most importantly, you should encourage your employees to openly talk about mental health and the issues affecting them.
For most parents, day-to-day life became more overwhelming when schools and daycares started closing. Even if you don’t have children, chances are good that at least some of your employees had to do a lot of scrambling to make alternative arrangements. The same may also have been true for people taking care of parents or other older relatives. Even with things trying to go back to normal, there’s no guarantee that they will stay that way. This is why you should show compassion for any unforeseen circumstances that may arise and offer extra days off if an employee needs it.
COVID-19 has essentially redefined how, when, and where work gets done. Companies that didn’t give remote working a thought pre-pandemic realized that it was a viable option for their operations. While productivity is typically higher with at-home workers, many businesses still want employees in the office. But, if people don’t feel safe returning to the workplace or maybe they’ve discovered that working out of the office better suits their lifestyle, employers need to listen to them. If working entirely remotely isn’t an option, perhaps a hybrid setup is feasible.
If your employees haven’t felt the financial brunt of the pandemic, at one point or another, they almost certainly worried that they would. If you want to alleviate their concerns, you can do this by making financial wellness a priority. This could include providing financial education resources as well as tools to help with things like budgeting and retirement planning. You may also want to consider offering assistance to pay off student loans.
Emergency savings accounts
Even if they make a good salary, a large percentage of workers in the U.S. have very little to show for it. According to a recent survey, over 60% of respondents said they’re living paycheck-to-paycheck. And, perhaps more startling is the fact that 43% said they don’t have any emergency savings. This is why you should consider making an Emergency Savings Account (ESA) part of your benefits package. When money is automatically taken out of a paycheck – and your company matches the contribution – employees will have great peace of mind knowing that they’re building a financial safety net.
Supporting your team through these trying times (and perhaps future trying times) doesn’t have to be difficult. It’s important to remember to be open, available, and empathetic.
If you’re interested in setting up an ESA for your employees, we can make it easy. Learn about SecureSave, a new type of workplace savings program designed to help employees build and maintain an emergency savings account and to support them during unexpected financial hardships. The program can be implemented at any time during the year and does not require any complicated paperwork or training. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.