Posted September 28, 2021
Throughout the pandemic, teachers, administrators and support staff worked tirelessly to support the education and safety needs of students in their communities. These individuals focus on taking care of others, often putting aside their needs and personal interests. Educational employers, such as schools, colleges and universities, can reinvigorate teachers, administrators and support staff by offering the opportunities, experiences and benefits they value. Review these four tips about employee benefits for education professionals.
Support health needs
The stress of spending hours educating students takes a toll on employee health. As the pressure eases, employees may notice changes in their health and signs of new medical conditions. Providing generous medical insurance benefits can provide security and reassure educational team members that they have the coverage they need.
In addition to physical needs, workers may notice changes in their oral and vision health. Many people say when they go home after work, they are too exhausted to brush and floss their teeth. The next day, they give their teeth a quick brush before heading out the door. For the best results, it takes at least two teeth brushings a day for at least two minutes each time, plus at least one tooth flossing each day.
During the pandemic, many employees canceled or delayed annual checkups and professional teeth cleanings. As patients return, dentists have noticed an increase in people with oral health problems. These include fillings, crowns and root canals, along with jaw pain, broken or cracked enamel caused by teeth grinding.
Stress also can impact workers’ eyes, creating headaches, eye strain or dry eyes that cause vision problems. Research shows that nearly 33% of adults report eyesight changes since the pandemic started.
Employees want health insurance to handle unexpected medical conditions. But they also want robust dental and vision insurance in their benefits packages.
Since employees with dental and vision insurance tend to use their coverage, employers may receive more claims from workers. It’s essential to work with a dedicated dental and vision insurance carrier with an excellent reputation for supporting large group needs. The carrier should offer multiple plan options and extensive nationwide dental or vision networks to give employees choices of covered features and premiums to fit a range of needs. With dental, carriers also offer incentives and rewards, which can help retain employees, especially in a market where turnover is common. With vision plans, provide generous allowances for eye exams and contacts or eyeglasses to reward employees’ hard work and dedication.
Enhance employee growth and development
Many teachers, administrators and education staff are frustrated by their work opportunities and experiences. One way to improve their perceptions is through proactive communications. Explain how business decisions, community needs and economic factors affect operations and employees. Also, regularly share feedback from students and families, and talk about awards received and community support, so employees can see the impact they have on others.
Educators are continuous learners. However, due to the pandemic, they’ve had limited learning experiences. They’re frustrated by the lack of career growth opportunities.
Many educational organizations offer tuition assistance. But make sure associates know how to use the benefit. In addition, schedule internal training programs to help employees master new skills. Provide cross-training experiences to keep employees connected to their jobs and coworkers. Design pulse surveys to find out topics of interest to teachers, professors and educational support staff. Then create paths for training and internal growth and mobility.
Strengthen employee well-being
The pandemic has been tough on many employees’ finances. Most are concerned their finances won’t recover for at least another year. Some have less than $1,000 saved for unexpected bills.
Education employees with student loans may be overwhelmed by their debts. Nationally, about 64% of employees with student loans owe over $20,000. Nearly 31% owe over $50,000 for college loans. Student loan debt is considered one of the largest consumer debt groups. It’s right after home mortgages and before credit cards.
Offering a student loan repayment benefit can help improve employees’ financial well-being. When money worries are under control, employees are happier, healthier and more productive. In the end, offering this benefit is an excellent strategy for retaining and recruiting top teachers, professors and other employees.
Providing an emergency savings account benefit also can help employees. It offers a set amount that employees can access for urgent, unplanned expenses.
Financial counseling also is valuable. Arrange for a financial professional to provide tips and information to help employees learn how to set up and maintain a budget, including setting up an emergency fund and saving for retirement.
Provide caregiving benefits
Support teachers, administrators and education staff by offering extra paid time off and flexibility to care for family needs. It’s also helpful if you offer backup care options for employees when they don’t have access to caregiving services. These benefits will show you care and help keep them on the job and productive at work.