1 How is the regional economy?
The short answer is strong. There are a lot of great things happening in the Greater Lehigh Valley. We are seeing a fair number of our clients’ businesses growing and adding new employees.
More broadly, there has been a lot of activity in terms of new companies, restaurants and businesses in the area, resulting in increased demand for HR [human resources] and payroll-related services.
2 Are business people confident? Why or why not?
Overall, my sense is that there is a positive and cautiously optimistic outlook on the economy.
Based on my conversations with fellow executives and business leaders, it seems that the relatively strong finish of the stock market in 2015, unemployment declines, oil prices stabilizing a bit and the market picking up toward end of Q1 of this year have most people feeling good about things right now.
3 Briefly, what advice would you give to human resources professionals when educating new employees about benefits?
Take a close look at your onboarding process and how you can improve the way new employees are informed about their benefit options.
Are you leveraging technology effectively? Recognize that not all employees consume information the same way. Look for opportunities to offer benefits-related information through various media, including online and mobile.
4 What major changes, if any, do you see in terms of the employee benefits landscape in the next couple of years?