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5 final topics to review if you’re missing HBLC

Though the COVID19 means we aren't gathering for our conference this year, HRE's coverage of the hottest trends concludes with these final thoughts.
By: | April 17, 2020 • 2 min read
Student loan repayment, graduate cap on money

Editor’s note: This is the final in a three-part series on topics that were on the HBLC agenda. Read part one here and part two here.

Benefits communications: We’re in a sophisticated time in employee benefits: There are more benefits offerings than ever; there are a plethora of digital tools; high personalization is possible; and there are plenty of methods of communicating said benefits. Yet employers are still falling short in the way they connect with and inform employees about their benefits, says Jennifer Benz, senior vice president at consulting firm Segal Benz, who was set to present about the topic at HBLC. HRE caught up with Benz to talk about what employers are getting wrong—and right—about benefits communications. Read it here.

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Tuition assistance: Tuition assistance has been around for a while, but it’s growing in popularity. The benefit helps employees attain higher education and develop their skills, which can be valuable for both the employer and employee. Read more about the popular benefit here and here.

Emergency savings accounts: While financial wellness programs—helping employees pay off or refinance debt and improve spending habits—have been a hot benefit trend for the past few years, taking actionable steps to help employees build emergency savings accounts is still not a priority for many employers. Access to emergency funds is one of the biggest pieces of financial health, and helping workers build their savings is actually one of the simplest things to do, says Melissa Gopnik, senior vice president at Commonwealth, a Boston-based financial nonprofit. Gopnik, who was slated to speak at HBLC, talked with HRE about how split deposits work, why employers should offer them as a benefit and why financial wellness matters. Read it here.

Technology in benefits: Technology is touching and bettering every aspect of our lives—and benefits is no exception. Don’t miss an in-depth look at how artificial intelligence is changing benefits selection, enrollment and communication here, or how gamification—like Fix Health’s zombie game called “The Outbreak”—is motivating employees to get fit here.

Breast milk shipping benefits: The rising benefit—which allows new moms to pump during a business trip, then ship the milk home overnight in a pharmaceutical-grade cooler, at no cost to them—is niche, to be sure. But it can have a big impact on the retention of new moms. Check out an in-depth feature—which details which employers are offering the benefit and how it works—here.

Kathryn Mayer is HRE’s benefits editor and chair of the Health & Benefits Leadership Conference. She has covered benefits for the better part of a decade, and her stories have won multiple awards, including a Jesse H. Neal Award and honors from the American Society of Business Publication Editors and the National Federation of Press Women. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Denver. She can be reached at kmayer@lrp.com.

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