Benefit Packages: How to Support Employees With Unique or Special Needs
To better understand how companies can support employees with unique needs, we reached out to CEOs, founders, and HR professionals for their best tips. From offering comprehensive health cards to implementing adaptive benefits, here are nine valuable insights shared by these experts to help your company create a more inclusive and supportive environment.
- Offer Comprehensive Health Cards
- Support Neurodiversity in the Workplace
- Utilize Flexible Spending Accounts
- Promote Equality and Accessibility
- Train Managers for Inclusivity
- Provide Inclusive Benefits and Accommodations
- Embrace Empathy and Flexibility
- Educate and Offer Flexible Work
- Implement Adaptive Benefits
Offer Comprehensive Health Cards
We value everyone in our company and we make sure to always provide the same opportunities to everyone, including our employees with disabilities and chronic illnesses.
To support them with their health struggles, we provide all our employees with a good health card that encompasses the treatments they need. Right now, we have a health card that pays for their medications and treatments, as long as it is ordered by their doctors. We believe that by caring for and prioritizing our employees, they will, in turn, give their best to the company.
Support Neurodiversity in the Workplace
My company believes it’s important to support neurodiversity in the workplace, so we always support employees struggling with, for example, ADHD or autism. I personally know how challenging it might be to manage ADHD symptoms in the workplace.
We provide neurodivergent employees with access to therapy sessions twice per month, giving them a safe space to discuss their challenges and develop strategies for coping in the workplace. We also offer flexible scheduling to accommodate their individual needs and make adjustments to their work organization, such as providing written instructions and clear deadlines.
Additionally, we provide all employees with access to Mindgram, a platform designed to improve mental health and productivity. By offering these resources, we hope to create a supportive and inclusive workplace for all of our employees, regardless of their neurodiversity.
Utilize Flexible Spending Accounts
We support employees with unique or special needs with employee benefits by adapting our policies to their specific needs and requirements. One example of this is our flexible spending account (FSA), which enables employees to set aside pre-tax dollars to cover eligible medical expenses not covered by their insurance plan, including health care, dental care, vision care, and dependent care expenses.
Each month, our employees can set aside up to $2,650 to be used throughout the year for qualified healthcare expenses. This can help you pay for vision and dental care, prescription drugs, and many other health care costs. Employees can set aside up to $2,650 annually, and this amount is not subject to income tax.
Promote Equality and Accessibility
As a business that works towards helping people living with disadvantages, we know the importance of equality not just in terms of opportunities, but in resources and accessibility as well.
Any employee that you value, which realistically should be every single one of them, should be uplifted and empowered by the support of their employer to live up to their maximum potential. Help these employees by granting them access to raise themselves up to a level playing field with their colleagues.
Train Managers for Inclusivity
One effective way for companies to address and support employees with unique or special needs is by training managers on how to accommodate and support them.
This includes educating managers on disability etiquette, reasonable accommodations, and the importance of communication and empathy. This not only benefits the employees with unique needs, but it also helps create a more inclusive and supportive workplace culture overall.
Other tips may include creating a diversity and inclusion committee, reviewing and revising benefit policies to accommodate unique needs, and providing resources and support for employees and their families.
Provide Inclusive Benefits and Accommodations
At our company, we believe that creating an inclusive workplace means providing support for all employees, including those with unique needs such as disabilities or chronic illnesses. We offer a range of benefits and accommodations to ensure that every employee can thrive.
One way we do this is by offering flexible work arrangements, such as remote work or flexible hours, to accommodate employees who may need to attend medical appointments or have other unique needs. We also provide access to assistive technology and ergonomic workstations for those who need them.
In addition, we provide comprehensive health insurance that covers a wide range of medical needs, including those related to chronic illnesses or disabilities. We also have an employee assistance program that provides confidential counseling and support services for mental health and wellness.
Embrace Empathy and Flexibility
In my salon, we emphasize inclusivity, believing in the potential of every individual. For our employee, who is deaf and mute, we’ve integrated sign language into our training sessions and daily communications.
We also provide visual aids and written instructions to ensure clear understanding. As for benefits, they are tailored to meet the unique needs of our employees, such as healthcare packages specific to their conditions or disabilities.
My tip to other companies is to embrace empathy and flexibility. Understand the unique needs of your employees and tailor your policies to meet these. This not only helps in creating an inclusive environment but also in harnessing the untapped potential that these individuals bring to the workplace.
Educate and Offer Flexible Work
To create an inclusive workplace for employees with disabilities or chronic illnesses, there are several important steps to consider.
First, it’s crucial to educate yourself and your team on the unique needs and challenges faced by these employees. This involves understanding their legal rights, as well as the resources and accommodations available to them. Providing training or resources to support employees with unique needs can also be helpful.
Second, offering flexible work arrangements can help accommodate employees with disabilities or chronic illnesses. This may include telecommuting, modified schedules, or job sharing. Implementing policies and practices that allow for flexible work arrangements can create a more inclusive workplace and benefit all employees.
Implement Adaptive Benefits
As a recruiter, I’ve made a habit of expanding my reach to the special needs community not only in an effort to increase diversity but because marginalized employees are often an untapped resource of highly qualified candidates.
The key to landing these valuable workers is flexibility. Supporting a range of unique needs means fewer hardline policies. For example, firm requirements like long-term notice for paid time off unfairly punish workers with unpredictable conditions.
Instead, consider implementing adaptive benefits like unlimited paid time off or hybrid work-from-home policies. These offer the flexibility disabled and ill employees need, ensuring they won’t have to choose between their health and career.
Submit Your Answer
Would you like to submit an alternate answer to the question, “How does your company address and support employees with unique or special needs when it comes to employee benefits, such as those with disabilities or chronic illnesses? Give your best tip for other companies to follow.”