Maintaining diversity and inclusion is a vital topic in workplaces around the country, and there are several concepts you might consider while looking at this area. One such realm, and one that often doesn’t get enough attention from business owners, is the kinds of benefits you’re offering to employees, and ensuring they’re offered in inclusive ways.
At Nielsen Benefits Group, we’re happy to offer numerous employee benefits and employee insurance services to our Sandy clients, which include both small businesses and some of the largest entities in the area. What are some of the most important benefits-related concepts that business owners, HR managers and related groups should be considering to maintain inclusivity and diversity for the entire company? This two-part blog series will go over several.
Ensuring Benefits Are Available and Accessible
First and foremost, it’s important that companies make sure their employees are aware of the benefits available to them. This might seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many times we’ve come across instances where an employee didn’t even know their company offered a certain benefit – and this can often be chalked up to a lack of communication on the employer’s part.
Before we even get into how to ensure employees know about their various options (more on that in our next section), simply ensuring that benefits are equally available to all employees is a vital part of the process. This includes things like ensuring there are no gendered benefits – i.e., those that are only available to male or female employees – and also that all employees have an equal opportunity to take advantage of things like flexible spending accounts (FSAs), health savings accounts (HSAs) and other such offerings.
In addition, employers should be thinking about inclusivity in terms of the kinds of programs they make available. For example, are there enough options for employees with children? What about those who are taking care of aging parents? What sort of offerings do you have in place for employees who might have chronic health conditions? Making sure your benefits package covers as many bases as possible is a key way to show that you’re an inclusive employer.
Education and Communication
While ensuring your business’s benefits are available and accessible to all employees is vital, it won’t do much good if those employees don’t know about them in the first place. This is why education and communication are so important when it comes to inclusive benefits.
There are a few ways to go about this, but one of the most effective is to have a dedicated benefits specialist on staff, or to outsource this function to a company like Nielsen Benefits Group. This way, you can be sure that there’s always someone available to answer employees’ questions and help them navigate the often-confusing world of benefits.
Another key way to ensure employees are aware of their benefits is to have regular communication – whether that’s through email, an intranet site or some other method. This might take the form of monthly or quarterly newsletters that highlight different benefits, or even regular benefit fairs where employees can come and learn more about what’s available to them.
In part two of our series, we’ll go over some other important areas here. For more on this, or to learn about any of our employee benefits services to Sandy businesses, speak to our team at Nielsen Benefits Group today.