Employers have modified their workplace health plans to provide further support to employees impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, Pacific Business Group on Health reported. The changes made by employers include providing health benefits to roughly millions of employees and their dependents. Employers also ensure that their employees are getting telemedicine screening for testing with no cost-sharing at all.
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Another shift employers make is to invest more in mental health services. According to the survey above, 61 percent of employers are covering the full cost of mental health visits via telemedicine. At the same time, 20 percent employers are doing the same for office visits.
Although the ultimate impact of COVID-19 on employer costs are unknown, employers still provide new benefits, such as online learning or virtual wellness to support employees. Companies also create opportunities for connection via Zoom parties or virtual coffee breaks, maintaining company-wide fitness challenges, offering financial and retirement counselling and implementing pay cuts for senior leadership.
Another benefit such as Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) is also a great benefit to offer employees in this crisis. In the future, the programme can still be beneficial as employees will need to shift from their crisis anxiety back to normal work-day. EAP typically offers 24/7 confidential advice, either face-to-face or over the phone, for just about everything that could positively affect employees’ mental health.
Although flexibility is not a new trend, it remains vital to an organisation’s work arrangements. Based on the MetLife Employee Benefit Trends study, flexibility has shifted from being the most sought after perk to the most vital one to maintain operations and accommodate workers. Providing employees time to address personal needs is necessary as it can mitigate stress, burnout and depression. Consequently, employers could support employees and boost engagement, job satisfaction, and retention.
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