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HRE soundbite: ‘Pandemic has led to a reset’ for employers

HR leaders are committing to more wellbeing efforts, especially mental and financial health help, says Willis Towers Watson leader.
By: | July 14, 2020 • 2 min read

The pandemic has reshaped the workplace in a number of ways—but it’s also put a “laser focus on wellbeing,” says Regina Ihrke, senior director and wellbeing leader at Willis Towers Watson.

“We have found that the pandemic has led to a reset for most organizations,” she says. “Leaders have been bold in redefining their organization’s purpose and their commitment to the health and safety of their employees, families and their customers.”

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All aspects of wellbeing are being zeroed in on, Ihrke says. Mental health, of course, has been a priority for most organizations as they witness the toll the COVID-19 pandemic and its repercussions have put on the mental health of their employees. More employers also are looking at financial wellness programs as employees struggle with loss of wages, increased medical expenses and other monetary issues.

Related: Is COVID-19 a turning point for workplace mental health?

“Emotional and financial wellbeing have had a significant impact on workers and their families, and leading organizations understand we need to address the whole person,” Ihrke says. “Both are a priority for all organizations, and you can’t address one without the other.”

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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