cohealth tweet chat: should we give employees what they want? (november 16 at noon ET)

November 7, 2011

in cohealth

this is a guest post by carol harnett, who will be co-facilitating our november #co_health tweet chat on this topic.

My elementary school teachers told me I should focus my attention on the front of the classroom where they were imparting facts I needed to succeed in school. “Talking with your neighbors,” as they phrased it, was a minor crime.

But, I simply couldn’t resist exchanging comments with my classroom friends. Sometimes, our teachers said things that went begging for some kind of reply or discussion.

Fast-forward several decades to the July 2011 CoHealth tweet chat with MetLife’s Ron Leopold on wellness programs and employee retention. Ron’s information was terrific, but one of the more interesting exchanges was a sidebar discussion on—of all things—pet insurance.

Ultimately, we were left with a question: “Should we give employees what they want?” More specifically, should we give employees what they want when it comes to employee benefits and perks—even if we don’t think the employees’ wants match what we think employees need?

Since July, a spiral of online posts and exchanges evolved:

Bob Merberg of the Employee Wellness Network, Paige Craig of BetterWorks and I created a YouTube discussion of he said, she said and I said. And there were additional discussions on Bob’s website and LinkedIn. I even dedicated my September HR Executive Online benefits column to the topic.

My colleague and friend, CoHealth’s Fran Melmed, wisely saw the opportunity for a focused tweet chat on the topic.

Tweet chat agenda

Join us Wednesday, November 16, at noon ET as we debate these and other questions.

Q1. Which employee benefits do you believe are essential to an employee’s physical, financial and emotional health and well-being?

Q2. Which employee benefits and perks do you think employees want?

Q3. Are there employee benefits or perks we can offer that improve employee life satisfaction and well-being or that simply make employees happy?

Q4. Should employers require employees to participate in a core set of benefits?

Q5. What are some ways employers can design benefit and perk offerings? (For example, cafeteria plans, opt out versus opt in, concierge benefits and employee clubs.)

Q6. As health care reform changes are implemented, how might employers package their benefits differently?

So, what do you think? Should we give employees what they want, what they need or a little of both?

Sidebar discussions are both welcomed and encouraged.

– Carol

about cohealth chats

cohealth tweet chats are held the third wednesday of every month from noon to 1 pm ET. you can follow us on twitter and join our linkedin group, where we regularly share information and discuss ideas, approaches and outcomes.

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