The costs of not aligning benefits to productivity.
With the world pivoting within days from in-person to a virtual, it is not surprising that a big win from the pandemic will be the access to new technologies to streamline not only our every day, but our access to care. Tele-Medicine—Tele-Health—access has allowed us to connect with employees on a holistic, proactive way to meet them where we are, right now in the delivery of appropriate care. In this, access to employee assistance programs has blossomed to support the overall culture of the organization.
Though there is still a long road ahead, with continued effective communication and open dialogue, employers and leadership will foster trust from this growing and evolving access to care.
Building psychological safety within the workforce means opening conversations that may have in the past seemed uncomfortable. Acknowledging, without judgement, people’s preference to care, their geographical location, and technology literacy are key elements for any leadership team to consider in any new benefit rollout.
How to align benefits with important conversations.
Engagement in the tools being offer, the legacy of building a healthy—physically, mentally, emotionally workplace—happens from the top-down by seeing every opportunity to align the messages. Dr. Harris suggests using the regular safety meetings to open these conversations. Acknowledging that not everyone is optimal health all the time. How can we retain productive employees and how the company will support employees who may need to be off due to a disability unrelated to the workplace. Or better still, how will the organization support employees with existing disabilities in their endeavour to be productive (virtual or onsite).
Allowing the venue for shared experiences can lift the curtain and allow for changing the stigma and bias by integrating the education on inclusion and diversity with the benefit plan. It’s okay to talk about in order to overcome our prejudice about living with a certain body shape, having a chronic condition, suffering through a side health issue of certain diseases, the fact that it isn’t a lifestyle choice to be infertile or suffer through erectile dysfunction.
Include information on the employee assistance program when educating staff on the equity and inclusion policies and open the health care door to say to employees “you are not alone”.
Keep the message clear
Policy alliance—corporate—safety—inclusion—culture—benefits—allow everyone to be on the same page to make the decision-making process easier for all to follow and understand.
Why is this important to the overall health of the organization?
A business owner pays one way or another. Employers can pay employees without thought to the investment and having a return on that investment, or they can choose to view the benefit plan as an investment in productivity and continued revenue growth.
Are you willing to lose a productive employee to a disability claim, or to the competition who knows how to invest in healthy outcomes? The cost is clear.
You hire staff to do perform—to be productive—in an effort to make the company money. When they win, you win. When your customer is satisfied and comes back—you win.
If you want to continue to “win”—continue to create revenue—retain valued staff—you need to keep them productive and keeping them productive means looking at the whole person. Their needs, as well as their wants in retaining health in order to be 100% present, 100% optimum functioning for work generation and continuation.
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