It was more than four decades ago, but I can still vividly recall the setting.
I was sitting in an office of Human Resources, at that time called “Personnel,” on the second floor of Tressler-Lutheran Service Associates’ Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, office building, converted from the old Lutheran Home on the West Shore.
Six months had passed since my initial employment with Tressler and my discussion with one of the two staff members then in Personnel centered on my selection of benefits, which were now available to me.
Did I want to sign up for a pension contribution?
“Nope,” I asserted, testament to my naiveté at that age. I later attributed that poor decision to the small salary I was receiving; after all, it was 1978 and the salary at my former position, as a newspaper reporter and editor, had been even smaller.
Fortunately, I eventually came to my senses and signed up for Tressler’s 403(b) plan.
While most employees now know better than to wait for benefits, especially as employers focus on comprehensive orientation programs, many organizations still impose a “probationary period” before employees can receive benefits such as health-care coverage.
Diakon has been one those employers, but no longer.
Beginning Aug. 1, Diakon joins the list of forward-focused organizations offering “Day 1 health-care benefits.” That means new employees—both full- and part-time—can immediately sign up for health-care coverage, including medical, dental, vision and prescription drug coverage.
Other benefits, including tuition assistance, retirement plan, and disability insurance, still require waiting for the probationary period to end, but nearly all employees are most concerned about health-care insurance, so the change is a very welcomed one.
Making Day 1 employment today much better—and smarter—than mine 41 years ago.
By William Swanger, MA, APR, Fellow PRSA
Senior Vice President
Corporate Communications & Public Relations
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