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ALL THINGS HR: Telehealth and TeleDocs

Talking to a medical doctor, either by phone, tablet or computer, with or without a visual component such as Facetime, can remove the need for many non-emergency ER visits. Telemedicine providers can advise individuals on home care, make recommendations for where and when to seek in-person care and even prescribe some medications. The textbook example is something like an ear infection, which can be diagnosed based on a description of symptoms, and treated with a prescription called into the nearest pharmacy. Saving not only the cost of an emergency room visit but the time and irritation factor of driving, parking and waiting, makes telemedicine a win-win for both employer and employee. 

Show Me The Money: The “tele” cost savings are significant. Every emergency room visit that is replaced with a telemedicine visit saves your health plan anywhere from $309 to more than $1,500. The average telemedicine visit costs $38 versus $114 for a face-to-face consultation. Multiply these numbers over all your employees and you can see why telemedicine is gaining traction across many industries. In 2017, close to 60% of American employers offered telemedicine as an option on their health plan. 

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How Promoting Employee Happiness Benefits Everyone

Happy employees positively affect workplace operations. Statistics show that companies that foster employee happiness outperform their competitors by 20%It’s no surprise, then, that some companies are taking more active measures to promote positive employee experiences. 

In 2015, Airbnb became one of the most notable companies to tackle the topic of employee happiness by hiring someone whose role was specifically dedicated to managing and improving their employee’s experiences. At the time, they transitioned their Chief Human Resources Officer into their shiny new position, the Head of Employee Experience. 

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HR: 2020 Limits | 401-k, HSA's, HDHP's, FSA's

High-deductible health plans are replacing many traditional health plans, SHRM's 2019 Employee Benefits survey shows. This year, 59 percent of employers offered a HDHP linked to a savings/spending account, and 56 percent offered an HSA, according to the survey, which received 2,763 responses among a random sample of Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) members.

The FSA limit on carrying over unspent funds at the end of the year creates challenges for individuals who, for one reason or another, cannot accurately forecast the coming year’s medical expenses. Let's recall that in 2013, the IRS softened the “use it or lose it” rule to allow a $500 carryover per year. Directing the Secretary of the Treasury to increase the current $500 carryover allotment is welcome news to individuals who do not always exhaust their FSA accounts as anticipated. 

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How to Write Impactful Job Descriptions

64% of applicants wouldn’t respond to a job posting with a poorly written or confusing job title. And 60% find jargon to be annoying. Writing effective job descriptions is a challenging task, but it has a major impact on the quality of applicants your business receives. Small businesses can be especially susceptible to poorly written job descriptions — with a smaller staff and more at stake per individual performance. So, attracting the right talent is critical to business success.

Often, job descriptions are written based on a template or use a framework that’s a one-size-fits-all, generalized version of a role written from a company viewpoint. For experienced workers who aren’t in a hurry or are more passive about finding work, this approach isn’t going to grab the attention of highly skilled individuals looking for an exciting new challenge. Using a checklist of responsibilities and the skills and qualifications necessary to accomplish them doesn’t work. And for small businesses or start-ups who don’t have a brand identity to leverage, making your description something meaningful, interesting, and informative is critical.

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Human Resources and Talent Management- Mental Health and Wellbeing Perspectives

Few people in the transportation industry would argue with the statement that professional driving can be a very unhealthy occupation.  Physically, the long hours sitting behind the wheel, lack of exercise (or for many OTR drivers little physical movement at all) and easy access to unhealthy food and drinks all take their toll on driver health.  

However, what often goes unnoticed is the condition of professional driver mental health. The professional driver lifestyle – social isolation, the cumulative stress associated with safely handling an 80,000 pound vehicle through traffic, separation from family and the related issues that extended family separation creates - can lead to serious mental health conditions. The severity of those mental health conditions is obvious in data like this:

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Is It Time to Self-Insure Your Health Plan?

Self-insured health plans traditionally have been more popular with larger companies, with 250 or more employees.  With rising healthcare costs and ACA fees for fully insured plans, self-insured (a.k.a. self-funded, and or partially self-funded) plans are gaining popularity among small and medium-sized businesses.

What many employers like about self-insuring (and related alternative funding options) is access to knowing how the plan is spending. Accessibility to trends, usage, and limited analytical data are also helpful. In addition a self-insured plan is governed by ERISA (Federal laws) as opposed to your state’s laws, offering flexibility in designing your plan, with a uniformity of plan design should you have out-of-state locations.

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Avoiding Turnover in High-Performing Salespeople

The average annual turnover rate for salespeople is 20%. Many factors account for that number, but a sizeable amount of voluntary turnover occurs from burnout and lack of motivation. To combat turnover, it’s crucial to put added resources behind your onboarding and development process to ensure your hires maintain the engagement, mental toughness, and willingness to tap into the personality traits that contribute to success in the role. We’ve previously discussed what the different sales jobs entail and which personality traits are best suited to those jobs, but how do you nurture your employees so that they maintain their performance and resist leaving?

Avoiding a Bad Hire

Just because a candidate exhibits the right personality traits doesn’t mean they will perfectly adapt to the role without additional coaching and development. Unproductive workers reduce revenue potential by 40%, and another 36% of your team can also experience negative performance trends when affected by negativity from a low-performing or unhappy co-worker. As we’ve previously outlined, it doesn’t always come down to experience. Look for candidates who are adept at navigating the modern sales force.

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Six Components of Self-Management

The office environment can be a challenging place. You have to deal with all kinds of personalities at any given time, you see things that are broken but lack the resources or influence to fix them, and, often, people who don’t understand your work are there to tell you how to do it. But, we all just want to produce good results and receive acknowledgment for our effort. In an ideal world, you are in a role that plays to your strengths and motivations and limits exposure to your weaknesses, and you are partnered with a manager who serves as your advocate. In reality, you’re likely motivated by some aspects of your job and not always by others, and your manager has many other responsibilities that prevent them from being the best coach they can be to their team. In this scenario, the best you can do is do your best. And achieving your best requires a measure of self-management.

Motivation is often a set factor. In other words, you can’t choose what motivates you at work any more than you can choose your height or your family members. You can’t make yourself be outgoing if you’re shy, and you can’t spark competition if trophies don’t interest you. And the external factors that can stand between you and your goals—economic upheaval, competitive threats, disruptive changes, and mergers and acquisitions—aren’t something we can always plan for. You can, however, choose how you conduct yourself.

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6 Personality Traits That Make an Impact on Top Performing Teams

Building mentally tough teams requires mentally tough employees. In our latest whitepaper,our research team defines the psychological advantage of six essential personality traits that make up mental toughness. And while some people are more naturally inclined to possess these traits, mental toughness is also a skill that can be developed by honing in on these key characteristics and building upon them over time.

Sharpening your team’s skill sets can improve their performance and outcomes in the workplace, so let’s dig into the six personality traits associated with mental toughness. We’ll use our research to show you how to spot mental toughness in your employees and how to further develop these traits on your team.

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The Wrong Employee… or the Wrong Role?

Every office, warehouse, and production facility has one employee who takes up an inequitable portion of their supervisor’s time and effort. This employee may bring valuable knowledge and experience to the role, but they also cause frustration for management, and other team members, because they “just don’t get it.”

What “it” is, varies from job to job, but the scenario plays out in a similar way. First, there’s the initial period while you wait for things to click. This is followed by the constructive coaching effort. Then, finally, the escalation to performance management, which is a coded way of saying warnings and performance improvement plans.

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The Secret Weapon of Today’s Successful Salespeople: Curiosity

If classic movies like Glengarry Glen Ross (1992), Tin Men (1987), Used Cars (1980)—or more recent hits like Wolf of Wall Street (2013)—have taught us anything, it’s that sales is not for those of a weak disposition.

And whether the character portrayal is ruthless and intimidating like Alec Baldwin’s Blake, broadly comedic like Danny DeVito’s Ernest Tilley, or charmingly sneaky like Kurt Russell’s Rudy Russo, movies have also suggested that salespeople need to be either pushy or conniving to achieve success.

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