Employer education days benefit all involved

July 15, 2019

The Employee Benefits team is getting rave reviews from health system partners for its annual Employer Education Days, which combine essential benefits- and disability-related information with bigger-picture presentations concerning well-being and health.

Held every year in Regina and Saskatoon, in conjunction with the release of the annual employee benefits newsletter and members’ annual statement, the events bring employers together from across Saskatchewan’s health system to get informed about noteworthy changes to the employee benefit plans and to gather valuable take-home learnings that could positively affect their health and the health of their employees.
 
“We always get very positive feedback,” says 3sHealth Employee Benefits director Alana Shearer-Kleefeld. “Mostly what we hear is, they love to see our staff, and they love the opportunity to learn."
 
Employee Benefits began offering the sessions regularly about five years ago; initially, their main purpose was to ensure employers were well-informed about the contents of the annual newsletter.
 
“Before we put the newsletter in the hands of our 44,000 plan members, we wanted the employers to know what’s in there and be prepared to answer questions,” Shearer-Kleefeld said.
 
For that reason, the sessions were once focused almost exclusively on group life insurance, health, and dental benefit plans. In the fall of 2018, separate sessions focused on disability insurance.
 
“It was a real stretch on our resources for us to put on four education days instead of two,” Shearer-Kleefeld said. “And what we found was, a whole lot of the people in that room were the same people who attended our benefits education days.”
 
This observation dovetailed with the employee benefits team’s own efforts to connect the work they do taking care of the caregivers. And so, on May 22 in Regina and May 31 in Saskatoon, the team offered its first ‘Benefits and Disability Education Days.’ In addition to benefits and disability updates for employers, the days included sessions on the prevention and treatment of musculoskeletal injuries (the #1 cause of disability claims in the disability income plans), and on developing resilience as a way of enhancing and protecting one’s mental health.
 
“We do this as a service, and we love doing it, because we get employees at all levels of our team to do the presentations, and we think it’s super important to meet with the employers face to face,” Shearer-Kleefeld said.
 
Sheila Forman, manager of the Workplace Accommodation and Attendance Support Program in Regina, said she particularly appreciated Employee Benefits’ presentation of a three-year plan for the re-design of disability claims management processes.
 
“I was at the visioning day, and to see all those thoughts and ideas come together into something this tangible was impressive,” Forman said. “The planned changes and improvements are going to be very welcome by myself and my team. Looking forward to seeing how it rolls out!”

 


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