As the coronavirus pandemic
continues to cause unprecedented impact to business, employers, and employees,
human capital leaders continue to face both short- and long-term challenges.
Since March, i4cp has held a weekly series of calls specifically for Total
Rewards leaders to discuss problems and share ideas regarding health and
well-being benefits, compensation considerations, and more. Each week, nearly
one hundred executives join these calls to hear from their community and
access the latest research from i4cp's Coronavirus Employer Resource Center.
This week's featured guest is Ben Merrill, VP HR at Asurion & Michael Gettlin, VP Total Rewards at Peloton.
response to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak and its unprecedented impact to
business and employers, i4cp holds a weekly series of standing
help Total Rewards leaders navigate this unpredictable time.
On i4cp’s July 30, 2020
Total Rewards Leader COVID-19 Response Series call the primary topic was
Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs). Our special guest was i4cp Total Rewards
board member Ben Merrill, Vice
President of Human Resources at Asurion, a privately held company based in
Nashville, Tennessee, that provides insurance for smartphones, tablets,
consumer electronics, appliances, etc., and has around 20,000 employees
globally and 16,000 in the US.
with so many aspects of work life, we have been hearing that EAPs have been impacted
by the pandemic. When asked to what extent has the coronavirus pandemic
impacted the utilization of your employee assistance program, half of call
participants said it has to a moderate extent and another third said it has to
a significant extent.
Asurion, they started to redesign their EAPs several years ago, based on both
external and internal data and considerations in areas such as mental health
and other needs, to go beyond having standard solutions such as a 1-800 number.
Leadership was quickly on board noting that this was the right thing for the
company to do, in addition to the arguments from an ROI standpoint regarding
improved attrition, productivity, etc. The goal was to provide a broad solution
that would address both acute individual needs (e.g., emergencies such as natural
disasters, the pandemic, etc.) as well as more chronic needs (e.g., stress,
behavioral health, family issues, mindfulness, etc.) in order to provide an
overall wellness platform. The branding has shifted to be much more about
holistic well-being rather than a check-the-box, emergency-help focused
offering. The new program leverages Lyra as primary provider and was launched
just recently, during the COVID-19 pandemic, so was very timely and well-received.
should work to de-stigmatize the use of EAP and wellness services. For
instance, people generally don’t like to share any hint of emotional or
financial instability, and this can inhibit the use of employer-provided
services that can really help people when they most need it. One way to combat
this issue is to ask for volunteer employees, especially leaders, to share
their stories (via video or otherwise) of times when they relied on the
services, and what to expect in doing so. Creating a montage of such stories
can help normalize and encourage use for those seeking help.
can employees relieve stress while working from home? Some organizations are
declaring some days (often specific Fridays) as additional company holidays
this year. Participant Allan Brown from Electronic Arts shared the following
- Creating Teams/Slack
channels for parents
- Providing emergency
backup care (e.g., from LifeCare or care.com)
- Offering additional time
- Increasing the stipend for
work from home expense
- Providing ergonomic
support through a consultant
addition to this recording, please see these resources: