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by Clare Morin
HR Trends

Entrepreneurs and benefits planning in 2021


We speak to Scott Omelianuk, editor in chief of Inc. magazine, and Jill Sasso, Vice President of Human Resources, Governance & Programs at the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) about how small businesses are shifting their benefits planning in 2021. We discuss a new small business report from Unum, how leading companies are adapting, and key insights for keeping women, in particular, in the workforce. 

  • Industries have been hit by the pandemic in vastly different ways: Roughly half of small businesses are hiring back employees, hiring new employees, the other half are needing cut hours, layoffs and furloughs. (01:44)
  • Cashflow, well-being and business continuity are leading concern for many small businesses (03:53)
  • People are small businesses’ most vital resource – but there’s also a much great focus on people in 2021. Lead with empathy, be nimble in your policies, and offer flexibility. (06:14)
  • What constitutes the workplace and culture has changed during the pandemic. People are looking for the safety net they need to survive during times like these. (07:56)
  • Focusing on your employees is going to make you an employer of choice. (11:47)
  • To keep women in the workforce: Provide flexible options and adequate health and wellness programs. Make sure employees also getting development. And prioritize your culture. What we do now to support women, in particular, is going to have far-reaching effects for women in the workforce. (16:09)

Upcoming webinar: Hear more from our speakers and Shea Treadway from Unum in a SHRM webinar on January 28, 2021. Register here

Featured speakers:

Scott Omelianuk, Editor in Chief, Inc.
Scott Omelianuk recently joined Inc. as Editor in Chief, where he oversees the brand’s recognition programs, events, and content, and is charged with creating new lines of business to support the entrepreneurial community. Though in the role for less than a year, he has already redesigned Inc.’s digital and print properties, launched a data product for firms looking to invest in small businesses, partnered with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on a series of SMB town halls and created its breakout Best in Business franchise. Honored with Ad Age A-List and Media Vanguard awards, Scott is a sought-after speaker on entrepreneurship, marketing and branding. 

Jill Sasso, SHRM-SCP, Vice President, Human Resources, Governance & Programs, WBENC Jill Sasso is responsible for strategic human resource planning and alignment of human resource strategies with organizational vision and mission at the Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WEBENC). In addition, she leads the strategic planning and execution of WBENC programs and oversees the WBENC Board of Directors governance functions. Jill joined the WBENC team in 2016 after serving as Senior Vice President on the leadership team of a large WBENC-certified women owned firm. 



by Clare Morin