We may be wrapping up Annual Enrollment this month, but we are already looking to 2018 and what’s in store for the year ahead. A New Year brings renewed resolutions and updated calendars, but it’s also an opportunity to strategize for success in the coming year.
While no one likes a good sale more than I do, the buying focus of Black Friday and Cyber Monday has never appealed to me very much. Instead, the philosophy behind Giving Tuesday is much closer to my heart. Started in 2012, #GivingTuesday extends the season and spirit of Thanksgiving into the Tuesday following the holiday by encouraging people to donate to a charitable cause.
Yesterday, we feasted on turkey, gathered with our loved ones, and spent time counting our blessings. The relaxing time together laughing and reminiscing are always some of my favorite moments of the year.
It’s Thanksgiving week, and like many of you, I’m thankful that another Annual Enrollment season is coming to a close. Even after an entire career in the HR/benefits industry, I learn something new every year during AE – new technology innovations, new employer concerns and perspectives, new employee needs and priorities. I’m especially thankful that I can take these lessons and channel them into helping our teams refine the Benefitsolver® platform, as well as inform Businessolver’s own benefits strategy into the future.
This week, we hosted a panel of experts to discuss how empathy can transform workplace culture. The conversation was full of valuable insights that prompted me to revisit my own thoughts about empathy.
The blitz of coverage earlier this year about ride-share giant Uber provides a cautionary tale of the effect “bro culture” can have on the workplace. Uber wasn’t the only company making headlines, however. This past year delivered far too many alarming stories about companies with a culture of exclusivity and lack of diversity. The reality is, however, that these headline-making companies aren’t alone – workplaces across the U.S. are in a state of turmoil.
Millennials are now the largest age demographic in the workforce, and we’re already seeing them make their presence known through shifts in HR policy and programs. The “Millennial effect” is particularly apparent in benefits, with Millennials showing unprecedented benefits preferences compared to previous generations.
HR/benefits pros are behind the 8 ball. Most U.S. employees spend 15 minutes or less selecting their benefits, many would rather have a root canal than go through Annual Enrollment, and a fair amount also say navigating benefits is worse than losing their cell phone. All of those statistics are real.
I recently read a report that for the first time in history, five generations soon will be side-by-side in the workforce. While the stat isn’t surprising – Boomers and the Silent Generation are staying healthier and retiring later due to financial strains, and Millennials and Gen Z are just starting their careers – it’s nonetheless sobering to consider that more than 50 years could separate the generations in the workforce.
In the U.S., only 14 percent of adults can correctly define common health insurance terms and more than half of enrollees do not know how HSAs work. This lack of health literacy leads 28 percent of people to say that reviewing their benefits during Annual Enrollment is worse than losing their cell phone – which is pretty bad, considering how much most of us love our phones!