SAP to offer early childhood development assistance as new benefit
- SAP's North American employees will have access to early childhood development resources through their company's partnership with Cognoa, a digital behavioral health firm. The Cognoa app will allow SAP workers to evaluate, track and support their children's emotional growth through early childhood, when interventions are most successful.
- The app lets parents watch for delays in behavior, language, speech and cognitive abilities. Parents also can identify the early signs of more serious developmental problems, such as autism and ADHD, in children as young as 18 months. Cognoa says this capability fosters information-sharing between parents and their pediatricians, who can initiate an earlier diagnosis and treatment plan, if necessary.
- Besides providing its workers with early childhood development resources, SAP also hires people living with autism through the Autism at Work program it launched in 2013. The enterprise application software company has hired more than 300 people with autism in full-time jobs and student programs worldwide.
The Cognoa app is an example of a benefit that can come about when an employer listens to its employees; it addresses a specific and personal concern of employees, in this case, the emotional development of their young children — a particular stressor for families of all types.
Employers can't assume that their benefit offerings are what employees want or need. In a December 2017 Willis Towers Watson study, 61% of employees said their organizations' well-being plans aren't fulfilling their needs. Taking the time to gather feedback on benefits plans and being transparent about benefits options can go a long way in improving retention.
Enhancing employee engagement and experience is high on organizations' priorities list, as is the quality of benefits, which can determine their ability to attract and retain talent. Examining employees' preferences when it comes to potential offerings, personalizing their experience and leveraging the technology that can give employees easy and 24/7 access to resources can be a winning strategy for providing benefits.