For the second year in a row, Thorpe Benefits hosted the Benefits and Wellness Superhero Symposium, supported once again by HR Gazette. The 2022 event, held on April 6th and 7th, 2022, showcased some insightful presentations by some of the leading experts in the HR field. Sessions were held on eight of today’s hottest benefits and wellness topics. Each day featured an action-packed 90-minute agenda and included lively debates and discussions. Attendees came from a wide spectrum of organizations and included both in-house and external HR professionals as well as people from the finance area who are actively involved in the development and execution of benefits and wellness strategies at their companies.
Here are some brief highlights of what took place.
Top Trends in Benefits and Wellness
What are the top trends in the world of health and wellness?
Roger Thorpe, President of Thorpe Benefits and Nicole Cairns, the company’s Wellness Director presented seven trends over a high-energy 15-minute session. Attendees learned about a crucial topic of the day: how Covid impacted the employee environment from a benefits standpoint. In addition, they discussed what employees are looking for when it comes to benefits versus what they are getting and the need to close the gap.
Roger and Nicole weighed in on another key topic: where virtual care is going and how technology is having an impact on the benefits platform from an employee experience standpoint. They discussed the critical areas of disability and absence management. Finally, they weighed in on a key trend – how the industry is consolidating benefits care with consulting and what the role will be for benefits consultants moving forward.
How can companies get more from their benefits and wellness programs?
The answer is, through effective communication. Sarah Currie from Unity Outsourced Employee Communications, a division of Livewire Communications, provided her point of view on this key topic. She shared how companies without inside communications departments can build an effective team to develop a successful communications plan that will help them articulate the advantages of the benefits package being offered to employees. In this true hands-on session, she provided valuable tips that professionals can take back to their workplace to achieve the best results.
The Integration of Benefits and Wellness into Total Rewards
How important is wellness to the area of benefits? Many successful companies believe that its importance should not be understated.
In this informative session led by Roger Thorpe and Nicole Cairns, attendees discovered how the area of wellness is rapidly evolving. They explained why there is an urgent need for companies to invest in employee health and the creation of a safe working environment. One fundamental reason identified, is that wellness is now a significant part of a recruiting package. Importantly, Roger and Nicole provided helpful hints on how to make a business case for wellness programs with management to their get buy-in.
Getting Serious About Absence Management
Did you know that employee absenteeism became an even bigger issue during the pandemic?
Day one of the 2022 Benefits & Wellness Superhero Symposium closed with a presentation on the controversial topic. Sandra Grafe, from AGS, noted the complexities associated with organizations getting employees back to work. For example, how the absences of employees can have an impact on the overall company culture and how privacy comes into play when articulating why an individual is unable to work.
Sandra described how a more organized and consistent approach to absenteeism will help – and how showing your employees you care about their safe and expedient return will pay tremendous dividends for your company over the long run. As well, she provided valuable insights on how to handle claims when employees are unable to return to work.
Choosing and Comparing Health and Wellness Vendors
Do you find it to be a challenge choosing what tools and vendor services are worth adding to your wellness solution?
Roger Thorpe and Nicole Cairns provided a clear and unbiased approach on how to handle this during the first session of the symposium’s second day. They imparted what you need to do to develop the optimal vendor strategy. Specifically, they discussed the various vendor categories, how they are layered together and how you can compare vendors on comparable platforms. Attendees were provided with a handy checklist they can use when evaluating vendors, something that will prove to be invaluable down the road to improve your odds of choosing successfully.
Reducing the Stress and Anxiety of Managing Money
Did you know that managing money is one of the leading factors of stress for employees?
It happens to be true. In this highly informative session, Jay Seabrook from the Enrichment Academy provided practical ways employees can increase their level of financial wellbeing and literacy. Among other things, Jay discussed how people can enhance their level of financial literacy and communicate clearly with their partners about budgeting. Undoubtedly, these value-added insights will be shared by attendees with the employees at their company.
Best Tools Available To Assess and Measure Your Benefits and Wellness Investments
Today, C-suite professionals want proof that their company’s benefits program is successful. What is the best way to achieve this validation?
This session presented by Roger Thorpe delved into this very topic. Roger discussed the importance of having all the information you need when it comes to benefits and wellness plans because it will help ensure the overall success of the business. He discussed the tools you can use to see if your programs are working and whether changes need to be made to your offerings to satisfy your senior management and employees.
How HR and Finance Departments Work Together and Create Buy-In From Owners and Leadership Teams
Finance and HR departments often have entirely different agendas. So, getting them together to make decisions can be challenging, particularly in areas such as health and wellness.
How can you accomplish this?
In this session led by Kim Freeburn of the CFO Centre, attendees learned how to bring these two disparate parties together to not only build an emotional case for benefits and wellness plans, but to also make a financial case for them as well. As an experienced finance leader, strategist and executive coach, Kim was able to provide a unique perspective on how teams can work better with greater collaboration to communicate how important health and wellness is for any company.
Want to learn more about any of the topics discussed at the symposium?
There are recaps of each session available through Thorpe Benefits that you will find on the company’s website. But this is simply the beginning of the conversation. If you want to learn more about any of these topics or discuss other matters related to health and wellness, simply contact Roger Thorpe at 416.966.9229 or email him at [email protected] You can also connect with him on LinkedIn. And stay tuned to hear more about some exciting upcoming events being presented by Thorpe Benefits.