3 Strategies To Help Employers Manage Workplace Stress And Improve Productivity

Published in June 2013, Employee Benefits Healthcare research, reveals that just 46% of respondents have strategies in place to combat workplace stress. There are many reasons why the majority of employers have yet to address this problem. For example, many employers simply refuse to accept that stress is actually a problem in their workplace. Many others recognize the issue, but do not take it seriously and do not believe it is there responsibility. But lessening workplace stress and addressing employee health issues is part of a good employer’s compact.

How To Manage Workplace Stress

workplace stress

Managing Workplace Stress = Productive Employees

Pontrelli, Timour, & Associates Inc. has seen from experience that employers who address the issue of workplace stress in advance avoid problems and pitfalls later on. Yet, when the return on investment is so difficult to measure, it is difficult to convince senior managers to use resources, funds and valuable time to address this problem. Another problem is caused by the continuing sensitivity about mental health issues, particularly within the workplace. Many employees do not reveal the damage being done by difficult situations that generate workplace stress until it’s too late.

Here are three strategies to consider to proactively address employee workplace stress before it becomes a problem:

  1. Use online tools because they are anonymous & revealing
  2. Train managers to identify stress-related problem areas in your business and direct appropriate resources
  3. Encourage employees to take responsibility for their own physical and mental wellbeing

1) Online Tools For Workplace Stress Management

A number of organizations are working with the British program designed by PruHealth. The English company has developed online tools, packaged as the Vitality mental wellbeing suite, that can assess employee stress, psychological wellbeing, resilience and social support. Support is then offered through a Living Life online life skills course that uses cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and consists of modules, worksheets and e-books. In the United States, the Mayo Clinic and the Cleveland Clinic also have excellent online wellness programs.

2) Train Managers To Identify Potential Problem Areas

Managers are often not given any training to identify stress. Training involves giving managers the courage to have initial conversations with staff suffering with stress. Employers should identify particular problem areas of their business and direct their resources accordingly. Assess the challenging areas of your business and compile the difficulties in a document. Such an accounting can help in the targeting of potential problem areas.

3) Encourage Employees To Take Responsibility

In order to fully address the issue of stress in the workplace, employers need to encourage employees to take responsibility for their own health, both physical and mental.  It is surprising how promoting a walking group where employees enjoy an extended lunch break once a week can increase productivity and improve morale. Employees need to understand that employers support their efforts to promote wellness and engage in positive activities.

Pontrelli, Timour & Associates believes in helping our client companies address workplace issues at the outset in order to ensure they do not become problems. By addressing the issue of stress in the workplace, you can avoid a loss in productivity and profitability down the line. To learn more how PT Benefits can help you, please call 626-795-4138 for a free consultation.

5 Strategies To Optimize The Employee Benefit Enrollment Experience

Rate Your Employee Benefit Enrollment Experience

As respected employee benefits & insurance brokers in Pasadena, Pontrelli, Timour & Associates believe in helping our client companies optimize the employee benefit enrollment experience. With all of the changes brought on by the Affordable Care Act, it is important to avoid confusion and unneeded difficulties in the workplace. By making the enrollment experience as smooth as possible, company morale can be noticeably improved. The key to success is providing quality enrollment tools and support.

What is significant about this opportunity is the simple historical reality that as many as one-third of employees tune out during this important annual event. In fact, only 42% of employers – a minority – are very satisfied with their level of engagement. These are some of the findings from MetLife’s 11thAnnual Employee Benefits Trends Study. Such findings can be used to help improve the employee benefit enrollment experience.

Rolling Over No Longer A Viable Option

Employees can no longer simply roll-over the previous year’s selections, and they should not really be doing this in the first place. If they do, they often miss out on new coverage options. PT Benefits believes that by offering a wide range of benefits options that fit the needs of your employees, you can strengthen enrollment and engagement across the board.

Optimize Employee Benefit Enrollment

An analysis of the MetLife study suggests four strategies that help to drive benefits participation, raising employee engagement.

4 Strategies That Can Help

1. An Experience Upgrade:

50% of employees responding to the MetLife study said they appreciate online decision-support tools that help prioritize their needs. By providing such tools, you can upgrade the employee benefit enrollment experience. Such tools improve the ability of employees to understand how benefits decisions affect their paycheck. In addition, 7Personalized 4% of employees would value personalized benefits information focused on their age group.

2. A Straightforward Process:

In this hectic day and age, most employees have little patience for complexity when it comes to enrollment. MetLife’s study found that only 58% of respondents described their enrollment process as simple. By reducing and removing complexity from the process, PT Benefits gives our client companies the ability to help their employees make the right choices.

3. Easy Online Benefits Selection:

employee benefit enrollment

Online Tools For Employee Benefit Enrollment

50% of employees prefer online enrollment, but it’s only offered to 35% of the employees surveyed. Both greater satisfaction and engagement are associated with online enrollment. Expectations for an easy online experience are running high among employees who are used to shopping online. PT Benefits can turn this request into a reality for your employees.

4. A Feedback Mechanism:

By asking for employee feedback, it both gets employees involved while creating a sense of ownership of the process. 42% of employees who are engaged in annual enrollment report that their employer obtains their opinion and feedback. By having the input of your employees, you can improve the process and discover any problems that you might have missed.

The experienced management team at Pontrelli, Timour & Associates recognize that nothing makes the changes of the Affordable Care Act easy to handle for either employers or employees. Nevertheless, if an employer can improve the employee benefit enrollment experience, it will be a step in the right direction. If you want to know more about turning these strategies into realities, contact PT Benefits by calling 626-795-4138 for help.

 

 

 

Three Key Points For High Growth Companies To Consider About Employee Benefits Programs

As insurance brokers working with group benefit programs , Pontrelli, Timour & Associates understands the challenges facing high growth companies. If you are an owner or partner in a high growth company, you most likely experience change and the resulting business evolution on a regular basis. From expanding into new markets and developing your product lines and service offerings to finding the right talent and renovating office space, you have learned that to grow is to change. Without question, PPACA will present a new healthcare challenge for high growth companies in California.

ACA Challenges for High Growth Companies

high growth companies

High Growth Companies & ACA

Given the major changes in the past year with healthcare reform and the Affordable Care Act, the same evolution is true for a growing company’s  employee benefits strategy. Well before your company hits 50 full-time employees or equivalents, you need to be ready to act. The mandate was only delayed for one year.  Once you reach 50 employees, there are responsibilities that you will need to think through in order to help ensure the success of your company. With PT Benefits, you access insurance brokers that have both the skill set and expertise to work with your company as a growing firm.

As a full-service benefits program provider, we offer a host of services beyond just renewal numbers once a year. Given the complexities of the Affordable Care Act, we have become strategic advisors and business consultants for our clients. If you are a growing company and you are looking for an effective insurance broker, below are three key points you should take into consideration.

Three Key Points For High Growth Companies

Pontrelli, Timour & Associates recommends that you make sure you’re Employee Benefits Advisor can:

  1.  Provide Updates on ACA Compliance and Health Care Reform and Laws:  An advisor should provide consistent updates on regulations such as ERISA, HIPAA, FMLA as well as guidance on health care reform and Affordable Care Act Compliance.
  2. Develop an Employee Benefits Plan Built for the Future:  Are you planning to continue to grow and expand your business? If this is the case, do you have a plan in place? A Benefits Advisor should be able to help you develop a more strategic employee benefits plan that aims to achieve the goals of your organization in terms of growth and expansion.
  3. Help Establish an Employee Wellness Program: Consider implementing an employee wellness program to help reduce health care consumption at your organization.  A good wellness strategy can impact the bottom line by keeping your employees happy and working effectively. Nothing beats good health.

PT Benefits understands the growing pains of a successful company and it  can be stressful. By partnering with an experienced benefits advisor and insurance broker, you can both help ease some of that transitional pain while also being more prepared for the future growth of your firm. To learn more about how we can help smooth the growing pains for your successful business, please call PT Benefits at 626-795-4138.

Glassdoor 2013 Employment Confidence Survey Reveals A Strong Belief In Premium Health Benefits

A new survey conducted by Harris Interactive shows that employees want premium health benefits. A third of all employees believe the benefits packages they are offered are not as good as benefit packages provided by other companies. When taken side-by-side with the a greater employee confidence in the post-recession job market, it is clear to PT Benefits that many employers should be looking for better options when it comes to providing premium health benefits. These important findings can be found in Glassdoor’s Q2 2013 Employment Confidence Survey.

 Premium Health Benefits Preferred

When it comes to employee benefits, the 21st century shift into specialized perks does not seem to catch the fancy of most workers. Whether it is as simple as complimentary coffee and donuts at the office or as specialized as pet insurance and discounted gym memberships, such incentives simply do not rank high when compared to premium health benefits. Google gives employees free gourmet food and General Mills provides free dry cleaning, but those fancy perks ultimately do not have much of an impact. The in-depth survey found only one in five employees believe such fancy perks plays a part in determining job choice.

According to the Glassdoor Employment Confidence Survey, the number one perk for employees is premium health benefits. Done online and anonymously, the survey clearly demonstrates that more than three out of four workers rank quality medical plans as the employee benefit they care the most about and truly value. Pontrelli, Timour & Associates believes such findings should not be ignored.

The Survey’s List of the Top Employee Preferences:

premium health benefits

Glassdoor Survey Highlights Premium Health Benefits

While the top four were included by 60% at the low end to 76% at the high end of the employees surveyed, the bottom five were all in the low to mid 20s. The results reveal a desire by employees to receive quality care and support from their employers, both in the short-term and the long-term. Such an expression of preference should be taken seriously by every employer, particularly in light of the secondary conclusions about employee confidence in relation to the current job market.

The new survey also reveals that over 40% of employees believe they could find a job in the next six months that matches both their experience level and salary expectations. What is so impressive is that this confidence measurement point is the highest it has been since the third quarter of 2009. Such a finding in regards to employee confidence  should put employers on notice when it comes to effectively fulfilling the new healthcare requirements of the Affordable Care Act and providing premium health benefits.

Rusty Rueff, Glassdoor career and workplace expert, who ran global HR departments at Electronic Arts and PepsiCo, explains the implications of this shift for companies across the board: “In today’s environment of greater workplace transparency – combined with employees’ growing sense of confidence about the state of the job market – job seekers will be looking for companies that communicate clearly about the future of the business, the path for career advancement, and who address their benefit needs.”

Premium Health Benefits Delivered

Pontrelli, Timour & Associatess wholeheartedly agrees with the conclusions of the Glassdoor’s Q2 2013 Employment Confidence Survey. While providing premium health coverage is becoming a necessity in order to remain competitive in your field, being able to clearly communicate both the details of such packages and the future of the business as a whole is important as well. If employees are going to embrace the culture of your company, they need to feel embraced by the company. To learn more about how PT Benefits can deliver premium health coverage and benefits packages to your employees, please call 866-782-9899 or fill out our handy contact form.