Feel Good Benefits We Need Right Now

I ran across a post the other day that really got my attention. LinkedIn is sponsoring a program called LiftUp! -- multiple initiatives designed to support their employees during this extended work-from-home period. The program includes mental health resources, meeting-free days and some surprises and delights such as RestUp! – a week off in April. The program also includes a challenge to #LiftUpOthers with random acts of kindness. Everyone can participate and post about it on LinkedIn using the #LiftUpOthers hashtag.

Around the same time, a Mercer colleague sent an email asking for ideas for “feel good” benefits. That really got me thinking about the state of well-being as we hit one year since the pandemic caused work-life and home-life to merge together for so many of us. How is it going? Employees are struggling with unmanageable workloads, lack of support and burnout. And many feel unrecognized for the work they’ve been doing, sight unseen, during the pandemic – fully 40%, according to a report by the Achievers Workforce Institute.

That’s where the “feelgood” benefits come in. Employers are looking for ways to show empathy and support for the toll this year has taken on us all. Here are some ideas collected from Mercer colleagues and the employers they work with.

Work-style changes to reduce stress

  • No-meeting Fridays. Give everyone a chance to wrap up and prepare for the following week, so work doesn’t encroach on the weekend
  • Declare a “no video” day – cameras off, everyone! One of our teams at Mercer has video-free Fridays, although personally I would pick Monday
  • 10-minute gaps between meetings. One-hour meetings become 50 minutes. You can regroup, get coffee, and show up on time for the next call
  • Avoid scheduling meetings/calls during lunch time out of respect for caregivers and to give everyone a lunch break
  • Substitute a quick impromptu phone call for scheduled video meetings when possible. They can be more efficient and feel more personal

Reinforce the need for time off

  • Encourage taking time off via internal office communications to “relax and recharge”
  • Set “summer hours” – for example, close early on Fridays between Memorial Day and Labor Day
  • Go big and give everyone an extra week off, like the RestUp! week described above

Feel good benefits

  • Additional mental health resources 
  • Twic account for lifestyle, wellness, and/or rewards
  • Promote your own #LiftUpOthers campaign to encourage random acts of kindness; join the cause to participate and post on LinkedIn using the #LiftUpOthers hashtag.
  • Caregiver leave or additional stipends for caregiver support
  • Expand voluntary benefits. For example, pet insurance is viewed as a great benefit -- even by those who don’t enroll
  • Support for infertility, adoption, surrogacy – while it’s not a benefit for everyone, those who need it really value the support

It has been a long year – and the little things really matter. What are you doing to show the love to your employees? Send us a quick email with your feel good benefit idea. 

Tracy Watts
by Tracy Watts

Senior Partner, National Leader for U.S. Health Policy

Elliot Walters
by Elliot Walters

Health and Benefits Associate, Mercer

Su May Ong
by Su May Ong

Principal, Mercer

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