With school back in session and fall right around the corner, it’s hard to believe the year is winding down. That makes it the perfect time to check in with employees on benefits housekeeping items they may not have gotten around to yet - like getting their annual physical and updating their beneficiary information. Additionally, there are a number of national awareness campaigns in September that help highlight benefits like Employee Assistance Programs and Life Insurance. With that in mind, here are the topics we suggest communicating to your employees in September.
1. Labor Day
Everyone loves a day off! Be sure to give employees plenty of advance notice if the office will be closed on Labor Day, so they aren’t left feeling unsure if the holiday is a day off from work.
2. Annual Physicals and Biometric Screenings
Many employers offer incentives to employees who complete their annual physical and biometric screening. Since September closes out the third quarter, it’s a great month to remind employees to schedule their physical and get their biometric screening. This is especially helpful if there are deadlines they need to hit to earn an incentive. Reminder: Make sure to highlight that annual physicals are considered preventive care and covered 100%, so they’ll be free for employees.
3. Review Beneficiaries
September is a great time to prompt employees to review their beneficiaries for plans like 401(k), life insurance, HSA, and more. We suggest that you also educate employees on why it is important to review beneficiaries, both annually and with major life changes. Many people don’t know that benefits like life insurance, 401(k), and HSA are not normally covered by a will and need to have a beneficiary designated for the assets to be passed over in the event of death.
4. Life Insurance Awareness Month
It’s important to educate employees about how life insurance can help provide financial protection and security if the unexpected happens. Studies show that for more than a third of households, the financial impact of losing the primary wage earner would be felt in just one month (2018 Insurance Barometer Study, Life Happens and LIMRA). Use this month to educate employees about the life insurance benefits they’re automatically enrolled in and the voluntary life insurance offerings that they can elect during Open Enrollment.
5. National Preparedness Month
Use September to encourage employees to prepare for a natural disaster. Specifically, connect how company benefits can help if the worst happens. Here are a few key programs to highlight:
- Employee Assistance Program: Find support resources, including legal assistance, government services, and more. Sample Content
- Emergency Alert System: Have all employees signed up? Send out information to promote sign-ups to receive emergency alerts if the office is closed and other important updates. Sample Content
- Emergency Contact Information: Is it up-to-date? Request that employees confirm and/or update their emergency contact information in the system. Sample Content
6. Suicide Prevention Awareness Month
According to Suicide Prevention Resource Center, over 9.8 million people had serious thoughts of suicide in 2016. Suicide is not an easy topic to discuss, but raising awareness and understanding about the warning signs can make all the difference. Leverage the national awareness month to educate employees on the topic and make them aware of available resources like the Employee Assistance Program (EAP).
Lighten things up with some wellness challenges that employees can easily do by making small tweaks to their lifestyle, like switching to whole wheat pasta or going for a walk after dinner. We recommend that these simple challenges be shared year-round.
Bonus Topic: Annual Enrollment coming up in October? Start communicating information employees should know before it starts. We suggest previewing upcoming changes, health insurance terms employees should know, on-site meeting dates, and important deadlines.