Benefits news you may have missed: Feb. 22-26

How well are HR’s strategies helping mental health? There have been some strides in employees’ mental health since numbers hit an all-time low last month, according to new figures, but COVID-19 continues to take a dramatic toll on workers’ emotional wellbeing. Total Brain’s Mental Health Index shows some promising news for employers increasingly challenged to support their workers’ mental health amid COVID-19. Read more here.

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Podcast: COVID-19’s impact on workplace mental health: It wasn’t all that long ago that the idea of expanding workplace wellness to go beyond simple physical health, to include mental health, was considered a progressive move. Today, after weathering what we hope is the worst of the pandemic, our understanding of mental wellness and its impact on the workplace has never been clearer: the mental health of your workforce is just as important as their physical health, and in times like these, businesses need a healthy and resilient workforce to succeed. HRE’s benefits editor, Kathryn Mayer, was interviewed by ProjectHR on how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted workplace mental health. Listen to it here.

One in 4 workers plans to quit post-pandemic: A staggering one in four employees plan to leave their employer after the COVID-19 pandemic subsides, according to a new survey. That number is even higher for millennials and employees with children at home in remote learning situations, with one in three planning to jump ship once the pandemic is over. Read more here.

How NY’s largest hospital system tackled its vaccine strategy: As New York state’s largest healthcare provider–and largest private employer–Northwell Health has been working around the clock to educate and distribute the COVID-19 vaccine to its 74,000 employees as well as community members. It’s a multi-faceted task that has taken center stage for the health network’s HR teams, says Maxine Carrington, deputy CHRO. Read more here.

Scores of workers don’t plan to get vaccinated: Just over half of employed adults say they will get vaccinated against COVID-19, according to a survey of 16,970 employed U.S. adults from Morning Consult. The data indicate that organizations and company leaders–often seen as allies in the success of vaccines–have significant work to do in convincing employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Read more here.

Boese: Technology’s not-so-new impact on mental health: As many of the trends in the HR tech space have evolved over time, there are some–well, at least one–that never stopped being what we should be focused on: our relationships with the technologies that dominate our work lives and the impact of these technologies on our mental health and overall wellbeing. Read more here.

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Employees’ retirement savings hit record highs: Despite economic uncertainty and financial stress caused by COVID-19, employees are contributing to their retirement accounts at a record pace–and their balances have hit a high too. The average quarterly savings rate for 403(b) accounts was 7.3% while the savings rate for 401(k) accounts reached 9.1%, both record levels, according to new figures from Fidelity Investments, which manages some 30 million retirement accounts. Read more here.

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Kathryn Mayer
Kathryn Mayer is HRE’s former 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.