Skills Gap Analysis: Optimizing Workplace Potential

Employee Benefits, Employee Training, Family, HR, Human Resources, Mental Health, Wellness

Even before COVID-19 disrupted the marketplace worldwide, businesses were also evolving and asking their employees to do so. Due to rapidly developing and emerging technologies that change the way organizations do business, employers need employees who have an eager attitude about learning new information and are willing to learn or upgrade their skills.

Sectors as diverse as medicine, real estate, finance, and manufacturing increasingly ask employees to rise to the occasion and the next occasion to stay innovative and competitive.

As cost-effective and comforting it is to find and maintain business stability, this is no longer a realistic concept. Even worse, the idea of maintaining a long-standing status quo is likely to cause long-term harm—and sometimes short-term—to the best companies in their fields.

One issue that shines a glaring light on the need for agility and willingness on employees’ part is the urgent need to adopt and adapt new skills into their repertoire. The question for many business leaders is whether employees need to acquire new skills. One effective way to find out is by conducting a skills gap analysis to optimize workplace potential.

Do you think you might need to incorporate this testing measure into your organization?

by Chris Freitas

Risk and Resilience Assessment: An Overview

Employee Benefits, Employee Training, Family, HR, Human Resources, Mental Health, Wellness

In today’s global marketplace, disruptions have become increasingly frequent and varied. Business and information technology leaders face a few common disruptions: natural disasters and inclement weather, IT and telecommunications outages, deliberate cybercrime events, terrorist attacks, and the loss of talent and ever-changing skills needs.

With so many potential problems, threats, and rapidly changing conditions, it’s essential to find strategies to predict, prevent, and mitigate the many risks out there. Risk and resilience assessments provide you with a tool to examine risk and vulnerability within each context and determine how to manage the disruption and move forward.

by Chris Freitas

Sexual Harassment Training for Employees: Why It's Necessary

Employee Benefits, Employee Training, Family, HR, Human Resources, Sexual Harrassment, Wellness

It’s no secret that sexual harassment in the workplace was occurring long before the “#MeToo” and “#TimesUp” movements. A ruling on two court cases by the United States Supreme Court in 1998 said that an employer is liable for actionable sexual harassment caused by a supervisor or a higher authority over the employee if appropriate actions were not taken to correct the problem. After the ruling, sexual harassment training became a new norm in the workplace.

by Chris Freitas

Mental Health in the Construction Industry

Employee Benefits, Employee Training, Family, HR, Human Resources, Mental Health, Wellness

The past few years have taken their toll on people everywhere. Everyone from students to working moms to workplace professionals has struggled to stay afloat, physically, financially, and mentally.

Mayo Clinic confirms that the ongoing worry and anxiety surrounding COVID-19, related vaccinations, and new and emerging variants have proved overwhelming to many people from all walks of life.

by Chris Freitas

Employee Mental Health Risk Assessment

Benefits, Benefits Plans, Employee Benefits, Group Health, Health Insurance, Health Plans, Healthcare, Human Resources, Insurance, Teamwork

As an HR representative for your company, you know how important it is for your staff to feel their best—physically, emotionally, and mentally. In a perfect—or even better—world, everyone would run optimally, inside and out.

Unfortunately, mental health woes are as much a sign of our modern times as many physical ailments have become. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly one-in-five U.S. working adults aged 18 or older reported some type of mental illness in 2016. That equates to roughly 18.3% or 44.7 million people, making it one of the most burdensome health concerns in the country.

by Chris Freitas

Year-Round Benefits Engagement

Employee Benefits, Family, FMLA, Health Care, HR, Human Resources, Insurance, Wellness, Leave of Absence, PTO, Health Care Cost

Traditionally, benefits engagement has existed in a bubble for most companies. The typical timeframe for open enrollment is November 1 through January 15, and then the window closes until the following year.

But even though you might need to comply with the timeframe in the technical sense, you might want to expand year-round benefits engagement with your valued employees.

Maybe you and your HR team have considered trying to find ways to keep the conversation going long into the new year until the next official window opens. With this approach, you can foster a healthy relationship and more robust communication. Best of all, you can help your employees increase their benefits knowledge and confidence so that they can make the best decisions for the next open enrollment period.

by Chris Freitas

Examining Ethical Behavior in Business

Benefits, Benefits Plans, Employee Benefits, Group Health, Health Insurance, Health Plans, Healthcare, Human Resources, Insurance, Teamwork

Workplace ethics generally defines how your leaders, managers, and employees define right from wrong within the scope of the company environment. However, we all know there is never a simple answer to most business challenges – and defining right from wrong is usually easier said than done.

by Chris Freitas

Does Medicare Cover Telemedicine?

Employee Benefits, Family, FMLA, Health Care, HR, Human Resources, Insurance, Wellness, Leave of Absence, PTO, Health Care Cost

Telemedicine became an essential technological tool in the healthcare industry amid the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Everyone’s interactions were restricted, including health patients with pressing needs and their dedicated healthcare providers.

Fortunately, telemedicine was already in place before the pandemic, available to meet the needs of people in rural areas and in other complicated situations where an office visit didn’t work.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), however, telemedicine in the U.S. hadn’t taken off before COVID-19. The interest was minimal. But the pandemic changed everything, opening the healthcare community’s and patients’ eyes to the immense value of remote patient services.

Many patients and healthcare providers are now taking the time to learn more about what telemedicine means in terms of private insurance and Medicare coverage.

As your organization’s benefits manager, it might help to take a deeper look at the now fast-rising telemedicine trend and its vast potential benefits for the healthcare industry, patients, and employers.

by Chris Freitas

Digital Health and Employee Wellness

Benefits, Benefits Plans, Contribution Limits, Employee Benefits, Employees, Employers, Employment, Financial Planning, Insurance

Digital health innovations are transforming the way people access healthcare services – so it’s only fitting that employers are increasingly turning to digital health to increase employee awareness and engagement with their health benefits. In fact, according to a recent survey, 68% of employers plan to invest more in digital solutions over the next five years. It’s a change that’s likely to excite many employees – 49% of employees surveyed said they’d be more likely to use a digital health solution if their employer offered it.

by Chris Freitas

5 Benefits of Paid Parental Leave

Employee Benefits, Family, FMLA, Health Care, HR, Human Resources, Insurance, Wellness, Leave of Absence, PTO, Health Care Cost

Approximately 93% of fathers and 72% of mothers make up the U.S. workforce, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Because many of the men and women who are not currently parents will be at some point, family-friendly benefits are essential to offer as part of an organization’s employee value proposition.

However, in 2018, only 17% of workers had access to paid family leave, leaving approximately 80% of American workers without. Furthermore, 93% of low-wage workers who are in the bottom quarter of wage earners have no access to paid family leave, and 94% of part-time workers have no access to paid family leave.

Nearly all 193 countries in the United Nations offer paid parental leave to its citizens; the United States is one of the rare exceptions. The United States is also the only country out of the 41 in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the European Union that does not mandate some level of parental leave benefits for employees.

While these statistics paint an unfortunate picture for the U.S. workforce, competitive companies often offer paid parental leave – and for good reason. In the following content, we explore the history of paid leave in the U.S. and discuss the top 5 benefits of offering this competitive benefit.

Let’s dive in!

by Chris Freitas