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Episode details

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 2021 employee benefits planning. We discuss the new small business survey 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 or hiring new employees, while the other half are needing to cut hours, layoffs and furloughs. (01:44)
  • Cashflow, well-being and business continuity are leading concerns for many small businesses. (03:53)
  • People are small businesses’ most vital resources – with a much greater focus on health and well-being of their 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 are also getting career development. And prioritize your workplace culture. What we do now to support women, in particular, is going to have far-reaching effects for women in the workforce. (16:09)

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Scott O headshot

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 Headshot

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 (WBENC). 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. 

About the host

Clare Morin headshot

Clare Morin

Unum Content Marketing Manager

Clare Morin is the Content Marketing Manager at Unum and a journalist who’s spent the last 20 years interviewing hundreds of thought leaders on topics ranging from wellness to culture, finance, human resources and technology. Born in the UK, raised in Hong Kong and based in the U.S. since 2009, she brings a global outlook to the HR Trends studio.

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