Author Archives: CorpStrat News

Trend Spotter: Employers Are Prioritizing Holistic Well-Being

Many employers enhanced their mental health and well-being benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic and are expected to build on that in 2023. Americans struggled with mental health and substance misuse before the pandemic, but these struggles were exacerbated during the pandemic and persist today. Today we’re talking about what employers have been doing to ensure their team has the support they need to maintain their mental health and strike a good work/life balance.

Americans are struggling to maintain their mental health.

According to a recent survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation, mental health is a serious concern for the majority of American adults. The findings revealed that an alarming 90% of adults feel the nation is experiencing a mental health crisis. Furthermore, 1 in 5 adults rated their mental health as “only fair” or “poor.” Most adults cited stressors, including finances, politics and current events, relationships with family and friends, and work. There are also many barriers that prevent people from accessing mental health services including cost, scheduling (e.g., couldn’t get time off work) and the stigma associated with mental health.

Since the average American will spend 90,000 hours at work over their lifetime, employers are uniquely poised to help address or eliminate these hurdles.

Employee burnt out is at an all-time high and could affect retention.

Another critical component of employee well-being revolves around work-life balance. As remote and hybrid work arrangements become the norm workers’ lines between work and life remain blurred. This lack of clarity can cause employees to never feel they they can “switch off”, quickly leading to burn out. Organizations will need to take greater responsibility for workers’ burnout and actively seek ways to help avoid it. To address burnout and other well-being challenges, employers may consider offering or expanding their employee assistance programs, behavioral health anti-stigma campaigns, and training for recognizing employee and peer behavioral health issues. Many workers will be looking to their employers for guidance as well as the education and support they need.

A new framework to ensure optimal employee physical and mental wellness.

Here are the U.S. Surgeon General’s new five-part framework for employers. It outlines how the workplace can promote employee mental health and well-being:

1. Protection from harm.

Physical and psychological safety is critical for ensuring employees’ mental health and well-being.

2. Connection and community.

Positive social interactions and relationships in the workplace can support employee well-being.

3. Work-life harmony.

Work-life harmony involves employees incorporating work into the rest of their lives in a way that promotes happiness during and outside of the workday.

4. Mattering at work.

Employees want to know that the work they do matters and contributes to the success of the overall company.

5. Opportunities for growth.

Employees may be more optimistic about their abilities and contributions when there are more opportunities to achieve goals based on their growth.


All signs indicate that employee well-being will become a primary focus for employers in 2023. Many workers have experienced elevated stress, burnout, and poor mental health in the past few years. Having holistic benefits offerings can alleviate many of these issues. These benefits will make employees feel recognized, appreciated, and safe. When an employee is thriving, you can expect increased job performance, better stress management, and less chance of burnout. This year, successful organizations will lead with humanity as employee well-being continues to be challenged by social and economic pressures.

Need help implementing holistic benefits? Contact us at

How to Take Care of Your Key People (the Right Way)

Your business is humming along but without your top employees, your company might start feeling the strain immediately. Many small businesses rely on a few key people to keep things running smoothly and efficiently. But what happens to your key people when they fall ill or become disabled? Today we’re going to talk about how to continue taking care of your key people even in the face of disability.

Who are your key people?

Most companies need their MVPs to run their business successfully. Your key people are high performing and often do the work of many people. Business simply runs better when they’re there. When a key person becomes sick, injured, or disabled, it’s likely to disrupt the business in both functionality and profit.

In today’s world, longevity at a company can seem like a rarity. Apart from losing key people to positions elsewhere, a big concern is if your top performing employees have an illness that disrupts their ability to do their job at a high level, thus impacting their earning capacity. It’s a problem most companies fail to consider.

How to take care of your key people when they’re disabled:

Many companies do have some type of Group Disability coverage that provides blanket protection to everyone and yet surprisingly these plans don’t adequately protect the highest earners. The limits typically cover the masses, leaving your MVP’s to receive less than their standard wages by a large differential. In addition, you’ll likely need to hire a temporary replacement to fill the shoes of your key person, further draining the company’s funds.

Sick pay is one area that the IRS allows companies to effectively discriminate in favor of highly compensated people, provided there is a plan in place. Many times, a company might use insurance to fund salary continuation when an employee is sick.

Careful, there’s a catch…

Tread cautiously because if you do it incorrectly, you could create a situation where all your employees expect to be paid when they are disabled.

If done right, companies can selectively discriminate in favor of their most highly compensated. They can also buy insurance products to assure that they have adequate income continuation while not posing a burden to the company.

If your firm has a Group Disability plan, reach out to us. Let’s talk about how we make sure your most important people are protected properly. Email us at

Should you Hire or Outsource HR?

A question we often get is, “Should I hire a full-time HR person or outsource my HR?” It’s a really important question and we wanted to address it on the blog today. In general, HR is a critical part of any business operation. So much gets wrapped up in the HR seat, it’s often responsible for: maintaining morale, culture, hiring, firing, delivering employee handbooks, ensuring compliance, and more.

However, many firms decide not to have a full-time, dedicated HR person. Instead they’ll opt to delegate the task among several employees, all who may know a little bit about HR laws and guidelines, but may not know enough of the nuances to keep a company in compliance and help it reach its full potential.

So is there are “right way to do it”? Not necessarily, but there is a “right” solution that best fits your organization. We think there are three primary ways a business can set up their HR department; none of them are “right” or “wrong”, it’s just about finding the option that best fits the employer.

1. Hire a full-time HR person.

This is pretty self-explanatory, you can hire an in-house HR person that focuses solely on managing and executing HR. We think having an in-house HR person may be best for growing companies that have 55-70 plus employees. These organizations are large enough that they really do require the support of a full-time HR person or HR team.

2.  Outsourced HR.

If you hop on Google and look for an outsourced HR solution, you’ll find hundreds of them. Very few of them are really good but there’s an unending supply of them. These outsourced HR companies will help you with all the baseline HR tasks: handbooks, compliance, access to form libraries and policies. They can even help with employee agreements like hiring or separation agreements. Often they’ll provide ongoing support through a call center or email.

The main drawback is as a user is you’re left on your own to navigate their system and, because these tech HR companies are so massive, it can be difficult to get someone on the phone to answer your questions directly.

3. Full-service, outsourced HR.

Full-service, outsourced HR provides the same benefits as the outsourced HR department, but you get much more value because you would have a proxy HR department but not on your payroll.

These type of firms, can step in, get to know your team, and help with culture, morale, interviewing, hiring, terminations, conflict resolution, etc. And a lot of times they’ll even work directly with the employees and help drive your HR initiatives. We think this is how you get the best of both worlds.

There’s really no right or wrong way to do this. Every company is going to set up their HR department differently, based on the size of their company and their objectives. Sometimes it’s about finding the best combination of the two, depending on the needs of the company.

At CorpStrat, we offer full-service, outsourced HR. If you have questions about how to best set up your HR department, let us know. We’re here to help.

Recession-Proofing Strategies for Small Businesses and Their HR Teams

Amid a recession, organizations of all sizes and sectors usually experience decreased sales and profits stemming from changing consumer behaviors. An economic downturn may also limit an organization’s credit capabilities and reduce their overall cash flow as customers take more time to pay for products and services.

While these behaviors can threaten the financial stability of any organization, large businesses are often better positioned to weather a recession because of their substantial revenues, excess reserves and privileged access to a wider range of credit markets. Small businesses, on the other hand, may be particularly vulnerable during an economic downturn, as they generally lack the additional capital necessary to offset extended periods of loss. As a result, when a recession occurs, small businesses are more likely to have to make difficult financial decisions to avoid issues such as insolvency or bankruptcy.

Recessions can’t be prevented or avoided but the strategies that HR teams implement can great impact whether organizations are able to withstand the downturn. Specifically, HR teams can ensure their organizations are sufficiently prepared for a recession by taking steps to limit related ramifications and maintain financial stability. Today we’re going to talk about how a recession impacts small businesses and explores what HR teams can do to adequately prepare their organizations for an economic downturn.

Tips to Prepare for a Recession

To promote financial stability among their organizations during an economic downturn, HR teams should consider the following recession-proofing tips:

1. Revisit compensation and benefits strategies.

Many employers have responded to recent labor challenges by increasing workers’ salaries, providing substantial bonuses and expanding employee benefits and perks. However, with the possibility of a recession on the horizon, HR teams may need to rethink how their organizations will address attraction and retention struggles. This may involve curtailing salary increases and reducing employee benefits. After all, recession-proof organizations tend to develop their budgets with an eye toward the future.

2. Automate internal processes.

The more efficient organizations are, the more resilient they will likely be during a recession. In particular, recession-proof organizations tend to stay one step ahead by optimizing their resources and automating where possible. As such, HR teams can improve organizational productivity by automating processes and implementing new technologies. This may entail automating recruiting, onboarding and payroll operations to bolster efficiency.

3. Try to minimize layoffs.

When organizations’ financial capabilities become uncertain, their immediate plans may be to reduce costs through layoffs. However, layoffs should only be considered a last resort, seeing as they can create additional risks (e.g., legal liabilities, lower morale and employee distrust) and negatively impact business operations by decreasing productivity and proficiency. Instead, HR teams may be able to minimize the need for layoffs within their organizations by implementing voluntary reduction-in-force programs or choosing to slow hiring or pause it entirely.

4. Stay transparent.

The possibility of a recession can bring uncertainty. Employees will likely be concerned about their futures. They may question the long-term viability of their respective organizations. With this in mind, HR teams need to find ways to keep employees informed without fostering their worries. Creating transparent workplace cultures can help organizations limit recession-related ramifications.

5. Prioritize employee engagement.

Employee engagement can be vital leading up to and during a recession. During periods of economic uncertainty, employees are likely to feel stressed. When organizations are forced to lay off employees, the remaining employees tend to shoulder additional responsibilities and greater workloads. As a result, these employees feel overworked and unsure about their futures. According to industry experts, highly engaged employees can help limit recession-related labor challenges among organizations. Engaged employees are more likely to accept negative work changes and remain loyal. HR teams can increase employee engagement by meeting with employees regularly and addressing their concerns early. By increasing employee engagement during difficult times, HR teams can help maintain staff morale and productivity.

6. Manage health care costs.

As healthcare budgets shrink during a recession, searching for cost-effective solutions can allow organizations to maintain affordable benefits for employees. Implementing effective strategies to manage health care expenses can help HR teams keep their organizations’ reduced benefits budgets intact without sacrificing employees’ needs. This can include reevaluating plan designs and offerings, directing staff to cost-effective services, and improving employee health care literacy.


A recession can have serious impacts on small businesses. Fortunately, by properly preparing for an economic downturn, HR teams can help their organizations be better positioned to minimize financial hardships.

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