Which benefits should you be keeping? The ones that make the biggest difference.
This is the first time in history the entire world is focused on solving the same problem. The first time in history. Everyone on the planet is affected by this pandemic.
Quarantine, lockdown, social and physical distancing.
Everyone is having to make very hard choices. The employed are wondering if their paycheck is secure. The employers are wondering how they are going to make the next payroll. Revenue is drying up everywhere.
Cost cutting is the name of the game. Layoffs abound. If you're one of those employers doing everything to try and ensure your people are getting paid then you should be looking at how to tighten up your benefits offering so your dollar is going as far as possible while making the biggest impact for your people. Which benefits are absolutely essential, which can you put on hold, and which ones should you add? Our recommendations:
Health, Vision, Dental, Health
This is a no brainer. Jump on Zoom with your health insurance provider and ask how you can do more for your people. This is the single most impactful benefit at this time. Don't forget mental health. If you don't have a mental health plan, get one. Pay for your employees subscriptions to apps like Calm, Headspace, or any other mental wellness providers. A lot of these services have free content to help support people during this time (Calm, Headspace). This is not an expense. This is an investment.
If you offer any kind of health spending or reimbursement accounts remind your people to use them. Increase your match if you're not already maxed out. Offer directions on what qualifies and what doesn't. Send your people maps with health care providers in your insurance network.
You can probably suspend your vision and dental plans if you really need to - these are typically so much cheaper though so wait till there are no other options to cut these.
Paid time off, Sick days, Vacation days
Right now your people need to be with their people.
Do whatever you can to extend your policies around PTO. If you don't have a PTO policy enforce one by mandating time off. Give your people time to take care of themselves and their loved ones. Recommend and encourage people to take paid time off. Make 2 days a week half days. Do whatever you can to tell your people you support them prioritizing their people. You don't want to cut costs on health and time off right now. Again, not an expense. This is you investing in your people.
Obviously, don't ask your employees to work using their paid time off.
Financial Health and Wellness
Everyone's 401K has taken a significant hit in the last few weeks. This is especially worrying for those closer to retirement. So don't stop contributing. The markets will eventually recover. 🤞
If you can, take some of the financial stress off your peoples' plates by taking on some of their bills. Student loan repayment is a great way to do this. Especially with the recent waiver on student loan interest, your contribution will have an immediate and long term impact on your peoples' financial health. Noether Rudin can help you do this for your people - ask us about how to make your 401K contributions go further as well. Email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Food and Groceries: If you're in a position to form small teams that can shop for everyone on rotation this will probably be much appreciated by your people. You can likely get bulk discounts. Take those office snack perks to the next level. We're happy to help you with this. Email us: email@example.com
Telecommuting Options: If your business can operate remotely then please have everyone work from home.
Anything Else Is Unnecessary
Nuff said. Put your money where it matters. Suspend the rest.