Benefits news you may have missed: June 21-25

From extra paid time off to fight burnout to how pandemic-fueled trauma is affecting workers, here are some of this week’s top stories.
By: | June 25, 2021

HRE seeks speakers for 2022 Health & Benefits Leadership Conference: Are you an innovative HR leader relying on benefits to retain, help and develop employees? Then you might want to consider submitting a proposal to speak at next year’s Health & Benefits Leadership Conference. Organizers of HRE’s annual event are seeking speaker proposals to present at the conference, which will be April 5-7, 2022, at the Aria Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. The deadline for submissions is July 22. Read more here.

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How Bumble, others are fighting burnout with collective time off: Bumble is the latest employer to embrace a progressive way to fight burnout among employees: a collective paid week off for all of its workers. Bumble is among a string of employers giving workers more—and collective—paid time off to help them cope with soaring rates of burnout and pandemic-related stress. Read more here.

Pandemic-fueled PTSD is hijacking worker focus; Can HR help? Pandemic-fueled trauma is driving a dramatic decline in employee focus and contributing to continued worsened mental health, especially among the nation’s youngest and oldest workers. According to the latest Mental Health Index: U.S. Worker Edition, the risk of post-traumatic stress disorder was up 36% between February and May 2021 and is now 55% higher than it was before COVID-19. Read more here.

COVID-19 is putting employee financial health in sharp focus: Workers’ confidence about achieving retirement goals has risen sharply since last year, according to a new survey from Schwab Retirement Plan Services, and so has their appetite for financial advice and help from their employer. The provider’s annual nationwide survey of 401(k) plan participants finds that more than half (53%) of 1,000 workers say they are very likely to achieve their retirement goals, compared to 37% in 2020—a positive sign after more than a year of financial turmoil and uncertainty caused by the pandemic. Read more here.

4 strategies to combat distrust as you return to the workplace: As the COVID-19 vaccine rollout continues, offices are welcoming back more employees each day. But not all employees or offices are ready. In fact, many people have differing opinions about vaccinations and the return to the workplace. Read more here.

Bersin: 8 factors to remember when creating a hybrid plan: In recent months, hybrid work has been one of the big topics of the Josh Bersin Academy’s ongoing Big Reset executive working groups. What we are seeing is that developing an effective, safe and productive approach to hybrid work takes planning and work across the enterprise. Work scheduling, management processes, systems and tools, benefits policies and much, much more all have to be factored in. Here are several considerations that might be less obvious but are nevertheless highly important. Read more here.

Employee wellbeing hasn’t rebounded to pre-pandemic levels: Fewer than half of employees say they feel positive about their overall wellbeing, according to new research from Alight Solutions and the Business Group on Health. The 2021 Employee Wellbeing Mindset Study examined 2,501 U.S. employees’ perceptions of wellbeing across key areas—including physical, mental/emotional, financial, social and career—revealing that perceptions across all five areas have declined during the pandemic. Here’s what that means for HR leaders. Read more here.

Working moms are planning to remain at home as full-time caregivers: Amid an ongoing exodus of women from the workforce during the pandemic, TopResume asked 1,508 women in the U.S. who identified as primary caregivers to children under the age of 18 if they plan to return to the workforce. Only 31% said they planned to return within the next 12 months, while the other 69% said they planned to stay at home. Read more 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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