Why Employee Care Is More Critical Than Ever In A Globalized World

In the past two decades, we have witnessed a significant transformation in work dynamics, with notable changes in office environments and employee benefits across various geographical locations. As organizations evolved, their responsibility to ensure the well-being of their employees continues to remain paramount. Recognizing that your team members are your organization's most valuable asset, it is essential to prioritize their care not just as an ethical duty, but also as a legal obligation.

The progression of enhanced employee benefits has seen a significant transformation with the adoption of remote work. The COVID-19 pandemic underscored the importance for People leaders to  have robust programs in place,  ensuring the safety and well-being of all employees during local and global emergencies. In an era of flexible work arrangements, with people working from anywhere, it is crucial to have a system in place that can effectively locate and support employees when necessary. Key components of such a program include efficient monitoring, identification of those affected, and timely assistance during crises.

Although organizations have adopted the necessary tracking tools and health programs to facilitate remote work for their employees, some have yet to make such investments. Many of the  companies that enforce return-to-office mandates have hybrid perks and some even allow their employees the flexibility to work remotely for several weeks annually. For anyone in a people role, it's crucial to support all  employees, wherever they are - whether it be working on-site or remotely.

Here are three ways to ensure you care for your employees while enabling remote work at your organization.

1. Check if your health coverage plans provide coverage to all your employees and identify gaps.

In the past, companies with employees spread across multiple countries faced challenges in obtaining comprehensive health insurance coverage for their diverse workforce, including local nationals, regional workers, remote employees, and expatriates. This often necessitated acquiring separate plans for each country and those on international assignments, and often only provided emergency medical coverage for remote workers who may have visited a country for a shorter duration. However, the insurance landscape has evolved significantly through the pandemic, and companies like Insured Nomads now offer tailored solutions for organizations permitting remote work. These innovative approaches provide flexible health insurance options that cater to the unique needs of various employee groups, including long-term employees, short-term workers, and expats, streamlining the process and ensuring comprehensive coverage for all team members.

2. Invest in Crisis Management Tools.

The increasing prevalence of unexpected events, such as pandemics and natural disasters, has led to the development of more sophisticated crisis management plans. These plans prioritize the timely identification of impacted employees and the implementation of appropriate support measures. In the past, companies with policies that required employees to report their travel plans often relied on ineffective methods such as email or phone calls. These outdated reporting approaches were prone to inconsistencies, making it difficult to ensure the safety of employees during times of crisis. Today, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platforms offer innovative solutions for tracking employee locations, including geo-IP and app-based programs. These advanced tools enable organizations to efficiently monitor the whereabouts of their workforce, particularly during emergencies. By integrating these platforms with evacuation and crisis response providers, companies can foster a more proactive approach to employee safety, ensuring timely and appropriate support when it is needed most

3. Ensure Telehealth options are provided to all employees.

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the acceptance and reliance on virtual consultations for healthcare services. Today, people have become accustomed to  seeking medical advice, obtaining prescriptions, and attending doctor or therapy appointments via video or phone sessions on various telehealth platforms. Ensuring access to licensed clinicians and physicians 24/7 is a crucial aspect of caring for the well-being of employees and contractors. Telehealth providers like have made this possible by offering affordable consultation services that can be accessed virtually anywhere. These cost-effective solutions enable even small teams to prioritize employee wellness and provide comprehensive healthcare support.

I recently sat down with Tracy Desmond, a Strategic HR and Total Rewards Leader, to get her insights, and she echoed the importance of taking a broader view of employee care. “In today's evolving landscape, many companies are extending their benefits offerings beyond the traditional core health insurance options. Recognizing the diverse needs of their employees, employers are adopting a broader approach to employee well-being and safety. This expanded suite of benefits reflects an understanding of the varied lifestyle and health requirements of a modern workforce, including flexibility in where and how they work.”

Organizations should reevaluate their benefit programs to continue to effectively support their employees regardless of their location. Success in this endeavor hinges not on the physical workspace but on fostering a culture rooted in empathy and proactive support. This involves refining procedures and policies and ensuring clear, accessible communication about available support options.

In today's evolving work environment and future lifestyle shifts, the emphasis should be on demonstrating authentic support  for our team members. This is particularly crucial as communication increasingly occurs asynchronously, virtually, or remotely, which can dilute the impact of verbal reassurances. Therefore, it's the actions we take, the resources we provide, and the quality of our support services that truly embody our commitment to our employees' well-being—far beyond mere words. They are, after all, our most valuable asset.

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