Why it’s important to keep empathy at the center of benefits choices

Healthcare.Office.Bloomberg.jpg

After being in a certain industry for so long, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the hustle of the job while working toward company growth and improving profits. However, it’s important to remember that is not all a job entails — especially in the increasingly complicated healthcare world.

Executives and benefits managers are constantly dealing with fluctuations in benefits models, pricing and questions from their employees. In this rapidly changing environment, it’s important for benefits leaders to take a moment to reflect and remember the overarching goals of their business. In healthcare, it is to help people by improving the care they receive. Hippocrates once said, “Wherever the art of medicine is loved, there is also a love of humanity.”

In the evolving digital health age, it’s crucial that we continue to put empathy at the center of our work and at the center of our benefits packages. This is important to keep in mind, as benefits packages are meant to do just that: benefit the person using them. As a benefits/HR manager, being empathetic to what employees really want ensures you are providing them with services that truly benefit their lives. At Grand Rounds, we work with employers to ensure employees are supported in their healthcare needs by connecting them with the highest quality doctors and helping them get to appointments.

Additionally, our employees take advantage of paid time-off to volunteer during our annual Philanthropy Week, which boosts morale and gives employees freedom to do what they want to make an impact. This also improves wellness as it makes employees feel good about the value they are bringing to the community and each other. We also support employees who have loved ones in palliative care or hospice, as being empathetic to other people’s situations can keep employees faithful.

Other common benefits include paid family leave and flexibility when it comes to remote work options, which is important for several reasons: acknowledging that every employee has a unique life situation and giving them flexibility in how and where they work is essential. Many companies have working parents, employees who are caretakers, employees who attend night school and more, so flexibility is key.

Humanity is important in all aspects of healthcare and benefits, and it’s something even people on the front lines can forget. I was lucky to come of age in my medical training when institutions and educators were realizing that we were losing touch with the humanity in medicine. While in residency, I attended a mandatory program at an art museum. There, we reflected on paintings and art in order to flex different parts of our brains that may have been at risk when working long hours in the hospital. Now, I encourage benefits managers and executives across industries to do something similar. Flexing different parts of your brain will not only allow yourself to grow, but it could motivate new ideas or initiatives that will benefit the business — especially from a healthcare perspective.

Even in this fast-paced world, it’s important to take time to remember the overall goal that your company is trying to achieve. In healthcare, it is to raise the standard of healthcare for everyone, everywhere. By keeping our empathy in check and putting our members at the center of what we do, we will achieve that.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, click here.