Practical Workplace Tips: Know Your Benefits

benefits career work-life Nov 14, 2019

You may have more support and tools than you realized. And, they might be coming from the last place you’d expect--work

Today’s podcast episode focuses on the highly practical topic of understanding and maximizing your benefits at work. 

Now, depending on the size of your employer you'll see a huge variety in the benefits offered.  But, whatever the size, you can and should be maximizing what they have to offer. 

A note: This is an increase in mental load.  Mental load is the mental work of planning, coordinating, and thinking that women do to keep their households running, relationships going, kids feeling supported, etc.  It’s noted as a term, because it’s a burden that women disproportionately take on vs. their spouse/partner. 

Therefore, one way to address this is to actually create an opportunity for your husband to do the same.  It’s his job to understand the benefits that his workplace may offer and then share with you so that you can maximize them both.

Listen to the Episode: 

  • Step 1: Understand all of your benefits
    • Is their a professional that you need for something at home (financial planner, accountant, discussing senior care options for aging parents)
    • If there is a benefits manual, read it. 
    • If there's a benefits fair, attend. You may say, "well I learned about that when I first  started." Chances are you were so focused on getting started with that you covered the basics, but did you take time to understand all the offerings?  Do you know how much you spend on healthcare to say that and HMO make more sense for your family now vs. the High Deductible Health Plan? 
    • What financial resources are available: 401K, 1:1 consultations, investing, will preparation, identity theft
    • What reimbursements  are available such as flexible spending accounts, fitness reimbursements, etc. 
    • Is there an Employee Assistance Program (EAP)  to help you in different areas of life like eldercare, finance, childcare, career support, counseling and mental health? 
    • Utilize on-site offerings or discounts to places near work for things like fitness and wellness.
    • Meet with someone from HR to talk about all the options
    • During open enrollment, don’t wait until the last minute to sign-up.  It will stress you and you don’t have time to think about what you are doing and why?
  • Step 2: Identify gaps or things that you want to follow-up on
    • You don’t have to make all the changes immediately.   You can, but it can also be something that you say, "I am going to spend 30 min for each of the next 2-3 months to go through this"
  • Step 3:  Discuss with your spouse/partner
    • What did they uncover at their workplace?  
    • Identify places where you’ll use your benefits vs. theirs. 
  • Step 4: Keeping things on your radar and making friends
    • Pay attention to HR emails about benefits, seminars, workshops. Go to those events and then identify one thing that you’ll implement.
    • Make a friend in HR, finance and Payroll, even if it has nothing to do with your daily work.
    • Don’t take your frustrations out on the people who can help you? 

What tips do you have? 


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