When Parental Leave Goes Global

By Danielle Foley
Senior Communication Consultant

Paid parental leave is a hot corporate benefit in the U.S., especially among millennials. But what happens when your company decides to make parental leave global?

Cultural differences and country regulations make communicating this benefit no easy feat. Here are some pitfalls to watch out for and tips for ensuring a smooth rollout.

Demonstrate senior leadership support. While actual benefits may differ by country, it’s critical to show unilateral support for the concept of parental leave at the highest levels of leadership. Suggested launch tactics include a post on the CEO’s blog, town hall meeting, webcast or video.

Be sensitive to cultural differences. Global attitudes about gender and family vary widely. For some men, in particular, there may be a stigma associated with taking parental leave. One client tackled this issue head-on with touching videos about the experiences of two new dads in Brazil and Japan.

Provide a customizable toolkit. One size definitely doesn’t fit all when it comes to global parental leave. A customizable toolkit with templates for employee emails, PowerPoint presentations, manager tip sheets, and article copy cuts down on the work for local communicators, and also ensures message consistency.

Get managers to walk the talk. Employees may feel reluctant to take leave because of the perceived impact on their careers. Managers should openly communicate their support for the policy, and actively encourage employees to take advantage of the benefit.

Anticipate the questions. Questions about how the global parental leave benefit will coordinate with country-specific maternity and paternity leave are inevitable. It’s smart to develop an exhaustive list of FAQs to help sites anticipate questions beforehand.

Don’t go it alone. Form a combined team with Corporate Communications early on. Brainstorm ways to tap into existing communication channels, or create impactful custom pieces. Identify a local point of contact in each country to serve as communications coordinator and hold regular touch base meetings.

Communication Insight

Successfully rolling out a global parental leave program is a big job. It takes planning, coordination, and commitment at all levels of the organization.

Need help with your plan? Contact us.

 

5 Tips to Help Employees Navigate Your High Deductible Health Plan

By Tammy Kleinman
Change Communication Consultant & Writer

Congratulations! You survived Annual Enrollment and your employees are participating in the High Deductible Health Plan. But do they know how to use it?

Share these 5 tips with employees to help them navigate the plan throughout the year:

Save Money on Taxes – 3 Ways
One of the best parts of a High Deductible Health Plan is the triple-tax benefit of the health savings account (HSA). You don’t pay taxes on contributions, investment earnings, or withdrawals for eligible health care expenses…even in retirement! That leaves more money in your pocket for things like prescription drugs and vision care. So start saving now for future health care costs.

Comparison Shop
High Deductible Health Plans are all about putting more control in the consumer’s hands. Remember, it’s your responsibility to research your options and find the most cost-effective care. But don’t go by price alone. Quality of care is also important.

To become a better consumer, you can research and interview doctors, and check online reports like ConsumerHealthChoices.org and Healthgrades.com.

Preventive Care Is a No-Brainer
Most High Deductible Health Plans cover preventive services at 100%, with no deductible. It just makes sense to schedule regular preventive health screenings and primary care visits—so you don’t incur higher costs down the road for untreated illnesses.

Invest the Balance
Most HSAs offer an investment option. Be sure to advantage of this extra way to help your money grow, tax-free, until you’re ready to spend it on health care expenses.

Get the Big Stuff Out of the Way Early
If you know you’re going to need surgery or a major procedure, schedule it early in the year. This way, if you need care later in the year, you’ll already have met the deductible, and the plan will start paying benefits sooner.

Communication Insight 

High Deductible Health Plans can be confusing to navigate—even for a seasoned health care consumer. Educating your employees about their benefits requires a deep understanding of your company’s offerings, a solid communication plan, and a year-round commitment.

Need help with your plan? Contact us.