Yours, Mine and Ours – Employee/Employer Responsibilities
I remember the time when a part-time employee showed up on my doorstep demanding that I explain to her how she was going to be able to live on her long-term disability benefit. I knew the benefit was 66.67% of her gross pay. I knew that it was not taxable and because it wasn’t, it would actually put pretty much the same amount of money in her bank account as her regular pay. She was that upset that she couldn’t listen to me. It was tempting to remind her of her responsibilities – she was responsible for reading the information her employer had given her on the long-term disability insurance coverage. She was responsible for purchasing additional insurance if she felt it was needed. Her employer was responsible for deducting her premiums and remitting them to the insurance company. We were also responsible for sharing the information about her coverage with her. We had done our part – she had not done hers.
What I learned from this uncomfortable situation was two things. Employers need to go above and beyond the call of duty to ensure that employees understand not only what they are getting from their employer, but also what their responsibilities are. I learned that I need to make sure that I accept my responsibilities and read every tedious line of the fine print when it comes to buying insurance, taking out a mortgage or line of credit, signing up for a new credit cards and so on. No one is looking out for me and mine – that’s my job.
The good news is that when employers remind their employees about the many benefits they are receiving, employees are more likely to appreciate the employer. Total Compensation Statements are also a great idea to help employees with their financial planning so not only are you raising appreciation for the employer, you are in many cases prompting the employee to provide a financially secured future and peace of mind. Both of these can increase happiness for employees and employee happiness can result in increased productivity and loyalty for the employer – a win win.