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Speak to an adviser 1 (317) 522-9966


Leading Your Post-Pandemic Workforce

With new rules and regulations, the post-pandemic Olympic Games has been a different experience for athletes and coaches alike. But perhaps one of the most talked about events of the Summer 2021 Olympics has been Simon Biles’ surprise withdrawal from the games. And her reasons are honorable. 

The Olympic gymnast, who is considered to be one of the top gymnasts of her time, withdrew from the summer games to protect her mental and physical well-being. Her coaches and teammates are all in support of her decision because they know the consequences of continuing to compete in the Olympics could have been disastrous.

The strength in admitting this to the entire world is admirable, a lesson our teachers should be sharing with all of our students. 

Closer to home than we think

The pandemic has affected all of us in different ways and as we head toward a post-pandemic way of doing business, we can look at Simon Biles decision to protect her mental health and apply it to the inner workings of our schools. 

To do this, we need to take a step back and look at the way we are leading our people. We need to support them on an individual level, representing any concerns or needs they may have. If we take care of our people on an individual basis we can make our teams, and our schools stronger.

Dig in and talk to your employees

Taking care of our employees is more than ensuring we have the proper protocols in place, we need to dig in and reach out to each employee to confirm we are taking care of everyone.

For example, a friend of mine works for colleges by participating in an extensive mental health awareness program. He is always on scene to talk with high-risk individuals, helping them through their crisis. While it is an excellent way to support staff and students, no one took the lead in caring for my friend, to help him deal with his own trauma of absorbing everyone else’s. He is trained to deal with suicidal people, but nobody looked at what he would need to decompress after those experiences. 

A missing step in a protocol designed to help employees. How can we protect our own people from situations like this? We need to take it back to the benefits. We need to look at how employees respond to us as an organization. In a recent Conner Chat webinar, Ben Conner talks about mission-driven benefits, which can help us be more efficient with our insurance benefits. 

By considering our employees individually in our benefits strategy we can create a better deliverable for our schools and allow our staff to feel a part of our culture and by doing so we can unlock revenues that we can put back into the business, to take care of our people.

We can also open the doors of communication to allow our staff to feel comfortable telling us when something is affecting them on a personal level.

Support your company culture

Simon Biles felt comfortable making a tremendous decision at this year’s summer games perhaps because she knew she had the support of her coach and team behind her. By taking care of her mental health and by giving her the tools she needs to repair, her team becomes stronger.

We cannot neglect the importance of mental health recognition within our schools. By listening to what they need and adjusting our benefits program accordingly we can support our people and grow a stronger team. This is especially important heading into the post-pandemic workforce.


Save Your People from the Complexity of Medicare

Understanding Medicare is difficult for many staff members within your school board. In fact, for some employees reaching sixty five, the challenges that Medicare enrollment presents may cause them to avoid the program even when they qualify. 

When employees avoid enrollment into Medicare, they could miss deadlines, choose the wrong plan or delay enrollment, which can cost teachers and staff considerably, due to penalties and late fees. 

When considering the federal health care program, there are some unique aspects that teachers need to take into account such as additional investments, 403b plans, pension and social security, all of which can further complicate Medicare and the retirement process. 

Proactive education.

Addressing these concerns with your employees should occur early and often. Resources, such as consultations with advisors, informational emails or workshops, should be available throughout the school board to help answer difficult questions that come when considering Medicare enrollment. 

Part of the reason Medicare is so complicated is because it comes with multiple options. Some aspects of Medicare that employees need to consider are:

  • Part A – Hospital insurance, which covers in-hospital and patient care.
  • Part B – Medical insurance, which covers outpatient and medical care.
  • Part D – Prescription drug coverage, covers most self-administered prescription drugs.
  • Medicare – includes Part A, Part B and the option of adding Part D
  • Medicare Advantage – considered an “all in one” alternative to Medicare, and includes Part A, Part B and sometimes Part D as well as other benefits such as vision/dental etc.
  • There are also premiums, deductibles and copays to consider. 

Many employees need and welcome the opportunity to to learn more about Medicare insurance, everything from options to eligibility as well as the relationship between their traditional health insurance plan and Medicare benefits. The more information and resources that are supplied, the better choices your people can make.

Discussing these choices with a professional who knows the answers to their specific questions can be beneficial. For example, some teachers pay into a Teacher Retirement System within their state, these teachers will need to know how Medicare enrollment affects this account.

Practical concern. 

About 25% of people are unsure about what a traditional health plan covers and the fact that Medicare is even more complex, some teachers may find Medicare simply too difficult to navigate or may even avoid it entirely.

By educating staff and spreading awareness to the possibilities medicare offers, an employee could find medicare is in fact a better option for them, helping them to enroll into Medicare at the right time. 

Understanding Medicare can be difficult for your employees, but by setting up consultations with an expert to talk about their individual health insurance needs, you can help employees who are considering Medicare enrollment make positive, smart decisions.