MAYFIELD, Ky., Dec 11, 2021 (Reuters) – At least 100 people were feared dead in Kentucky after a swarm of tornadoes tore a 200-mile path through the U.S. Midwest and South, demolishing homes, levelling businesses and setting off a scramble to find survivors beneath the rubble, officials said Saturday.”

After deadly tornadoes hit communities in which employees lived and worked, we were put on alert by our client, LG&E/KU, mobilizing resources to help however they could. Calls for food, medications, and other supplies were made and direct support was provided by teams deployed to help search, clean up, and console. Fellow employees donated time, money, and other necessities in a rapid reaction to those who were in need.

As we watched and supported as we could, we were inspired by LG&E/KU’s collective compassion and deeply impressed by their willingness to act. We spend our days working with employers focused on health and wellness but this was something more. What we saw wasn’t a pragmatic process, execution of a strategic plan, SBAR, or financial analysis. It was caring. It was a reflection of purpose. It was prioritizing humanity and it was the right thing to do. And yes, it was also good stewardship.

In the first chapter of Nexus of Care: Fulfilling the Promise of Employee-Sponsored Health Centers, I ask the question: “Why Offer a Health Benefit?” There are a list of practical reasons: attraction and retention, presentee-ism, more productive employees, etc. Each presents a compelling win for the employer, however, the underlying “why” of the health benefits we offer is that we care. Sure, there are bottom-line implications but that doesn’t change the heart of the “why.” We want to help our team members thrive. And, we want to see our efforts to help bear fruit.

The place where our “why” of caring intersects with the mutual benefits of what happens when we care is where we find good stewardship. Showing up for employees where and when they need us is not only a highly pragmatic strategy, it is also a good strategy. We know this to be true. We feel it in our hearts.

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