leadership, Colonial Life, The BeneChoice Companies, Stacia Robinson, insurance, education, community, contribution, employer, employee, benefit, benefits, benefit administration, benefit administrator, life, health, accident, long term disability, workers compensation, planning, The BeneChoice Companies, workplace, employees, turnover, benefits, insurance, turnover, Stacia Robinson, Montgomery, AL, Colonial

Create Good Leadership Within Your Company

My friend in Colorado was a corporate recruiter and she told me that for 14 years, the number one reason people left their positions or even changed companies was because of poor leadership.

 

We are not just talking about the immediate boss, but the leadership team.

leadership, Colonial Life, The BeneChoice Companies, Stacia Robinson, insurance, education, community, contribution, employer, employee, benefit, benefits, benefit administration, benefit administrator, life, health, accident, long term disability, workers compensation, planning, The BeneChoice Companies, workplace, employees, turnover, benefits, insurance, turnover, Stacia Robinson, Montgomery, AL, Colonial

 

Your day to day interaction at work will primarily be with your co-workers and your immediate boss but there are others who will have an impact on your life with that company.

 

Consider these things:

  1. When your current staff does a good job at something, what does your company do. Do they get a thank you, a pat on the back, recognition? It takes less than a minute to do any of those things, yet the value they bring to the environment is unmeasurable.
  2. When someone makes a mistake, do they get yelled at, taken into a private meeting room, is there a grudge held against that person forever? No one is perfect. At least not where I am from.

 

Managers need to treat their staff with respect, and in turn, employees respect them. Respect breeds trust. Trust keeps people engaged.

 

So how do you fill your company with amazing leaders?

  • Inspire your employees – ask them for their ideas and thoughts on what your company is trying to do.
  • Get on the same page – when employees feel heard and know the big picture, they can see how they can fit in.
  • Celebrate success – not matter now big or how small. Make all success worth celebrating. It is about creating a culture of celebration and success.
  • Learn from the failures. Seek the lesson and then drop it. Forgive and grow together.
  • When your customers are happy, let your staff know that they are part of something bigger than they can possibly see from their desk.

 

Colonial Life says, 73% of people who trust their managers plan to say at their workplace a long time. Which means 27% don’t plan to stick around.

 

Be a good leader no matter if you are the direct boss, a neighboring departmental boss, a director, an executive or even the CEO.

 

Highest regards,

Stacia

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The BeneChoice Companies, workplace, employees, turnover, benefits, insurance, turnover, Stacia Robinson, Montgomery, AL, Colonial

Stop High Turnover With Your Team

Turnover is always a huge issue when it comes to being an employer. Why? Well, life happens. Let’s look deeper than that though. There might be a reason people are not staying with you or your organization long term. It is costly to your organization to have an ongoing turnover problem.

The BeneChoice Companies, workplace, employees, turnover, benefits, insurance, turnover, Stacia Robinson, Montgomery, AL, Colonial

So let’s look at how to keep your top talent, grow them and in turn, grow your business.

You can keep employees by:

  1. Paying well. Base pay is still at the top of the list for what employees are wanting.
  2. Be a good boss. Not that you ever have the intention to be a terrible boss but what if some of your actions are driving people away? Are you open to ideas of your team? Do you recognize your team for little and big accomplishments? Are you rigid or open and positive? Normally liking your boss has nothing to do with if you would be friends with them outside of work. It has everything to do with trust, respect, encouragement, listening and accountability.
  3. Provide opportunity for your team to develop and grow. People want to be considered for leadership, mentored and their leadership skills developed. That is your job as their leader. If you don’t have the skill, time or resources to do this, you’ll need to spend the money on third-party trainings or seminars.
  4. Ensure your environment is stimulating vs. toxic. No one wants to come to a toxic work place. Energetically it affects everything when you or your team are fostering the right environment and not allowing the wrong one to live. It really stinks when the leader is the toxic one. Take responsibility for your environment, even if it is you causing the discomfort.
  5. Offer perks. This could be as simple as coffee/tea, breakfast, meals, napping room, ability to play games or go on social media during breaks. Make your place of work a place people want to be at.
  6. Benefits! Along with base pay benefits are important. If you are an employer who does not offer benefits, please look into supplemental voluntary benefits or third party perks like mentioned in #5. Chair massages would go a long way with many people and it is very healing.

The BeneChoice Companies, workplace, employees, turnover, benefits, insurance, turnover, Stacia Robinson, Montgomery, AL, Colonial

Make your place of work a great place to work.

Highest regards,

Stacia

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New Teacher Success Program Sponsored by Colonial Life

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Colonial life has made a $25,000 commitment to University of South Carolina’s teacher induction program which will help pay for the continual support for graduates and teachers in their first three years of the classroom.

 

USC’s College Education Dean said the district would save $6,000,000 annually if we can keep teachers in their roles at an increased level of only 25%. That will benefit and bless the education of our children in local schools.

 

These funds will help new teachers build relationship with new graduates and teachers offering them professional development, instructional coaching and sharing best practices with them.

 

Colonial Life’s Community Relations Manager, Marie McGehee, says, “Education is the main focus of Colonial Life’s community giving. Thir program is a strong fit for our efforts to support education by equipping teachers and students with tools that help drive workforce development and economic success across the state.”

 

This is the our first venture with USC. Colonial Life has a long history of partnerships with the University of South Carolina, including naming rights at the Colonial Life Arena, support for the installation of a world-class sculpture at the Darla Moore School of Business and providing tuition scholarships through the Arnold School of Public Health.

 

The company also sponsors several programs to support educators, including the Midlands Educator Leadership Experience and the Strong Schools Grants program. Employees contribute to the company’s educational outreach efforts by volunteering with reading, mentoring and financial literacy partnerships at local schools; assisting with spring, summer and winter camps at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden; and coordinating after-school enrichment programs for Boys & Girls Clubs of the Midlands.

 

Colonial Life is a great caring company to represent. Here at The BeneChoice Companies we are grateful to be part of such a caring company!

 

Highest regards,

 

Stacia

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telemedicine, treatment, patients, medical, distance, doctor, online, digital, health care, health care, internet, BeneChoice Companies, The BeneChoice Companies, Stacia Robinson

Telemedicine is the Answer

Have you heard the term “telemedicine” before this article? If not, you have probably used it. Dictionary.com defines telemedicine as “the diagnosis and treatment of patients in remote areas using medical information, as x-rays or television pictures, transmitted over long distances.

 

Take a step back and think about things for a moment: we live in a world where instant access in the new normal. You can select next-day shipping for your online purchases. You can binge watch any show for several seasons. Any type of music is a quick swipe away from hearing. If you want an answer to any question, just ask your phone.

 

With all of this information just click away, why should immediate access to medical care be a long wait? Telemedicine is changing the way we look at healthcare. It’s more about getting the correct answer quickly and less about making an appointment and waiting to be seen.

 

Telemedicine is not a new concept but it is a growing option for employers to add to their health care packages. Ultimately, this helps to cut costs for health care and improve access for all employees. Now, 80 percent of employers offer a telehealth benefit to their employees. This may be access through apps on their phones, access to ask a nurse a question 24/7 through a phone line/internet service, and many more.

 

For many employers and employees, this may mean the difference between taking time off to visit a physician or being able to make quick inquiry and access to pick up a prescription at a local pharmacy quickly. This saves time for employers, employees, and licensed physicians. It’s predicted that this could save companies more than $6 billion a year in health care costs. With the savings of time and money, it is no surprise that employers and employees are flocking to the idea of telemedicine as a solution to give more access to everyone for healthcare options!

Highest regards,

Stacia


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Whose Benefits Should You Choose? Yours or Your Partners?

Determining who to select as a beneficiary for your insurance from your employer can present a challenge initially. Typically, the difficulty in choosing what to do increases when both you and your partner receive benefits from your employers. Nearly half of married couples had both partners working in 2016, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Options come in many ways:

  • which plans offer the best coverages
  • overall cost.

Keep these things in mind as you look at your benefit options:

1) Health Insurance
Think about these initial questions when comparing each plan option: What are the plan and network types of each package? Can you continue to use your primary physician? Do you take any regular prescriptions? If so, how would they be covered under each plan? What would be your our of pocket expenses? Are there any expected medical needs for the following year?

2) Cost
Look at the difference between being on separate plans, each through your own employer, or the cost of being on one plan together. Typically, when it comes to medical coverage, it’s more cost efficient to add a spouse than to get an individual medical plan. In 2017, the average employee saw a 5% increase in premiums compared to a near 25% increase for people buying coverage on their own.

3) Other Benefits: Disability Insurance Long & Short Term, Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA)/Health Savings Accounts (HSA), Childcare Aubsidy and Wellness Programs
There will likely be varying options from each employer. Compare all options to see which is best for your particular situation, both in terms of coverage and affordability.

When looking at disability insurance, ensure that you cover the earnings being replaced to the greatest extent available and the most cost-effective amount. (Do the same with the life insurance policy options as well.) Look to see if both you as the employee and your partner will receive benefits – if needed. If not for some reason, it may be best to consider single coverage through each respective employer.

Choosing between benefit plans as a couple can be an initial challenge, but there’s no reason for it to be difficult. The most important part will be to look at your options and make the best selections to fit your household needs.

Highest regards,

Stacia

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The BeneChoice Companies, Stacia Robinson, gift, holiday, Christmas

Is It Too Early To Think Of The Holidays?

School has started, the days are getting shorter, the nights are getting cooler, and before you know it, the holidays will be here begging for every cent of your paycheck.

We’ve gathered suggestions for you to stay within your budget and ideas for free / minimal cost gifts to begin preparing for the holiday season.

holiday, Christmas, gift, Stacia Robinson, The BeneChoice Companies

1) Creative Gifts are Memorable
Think about gifts that you can make instead of purchasing.  You don’t need to be a “crafty” person to make a creative gift. You can bake your favorite recipes and include them in a box, basket, or jar. Purchase small or relatively inexpensive items that you know people will enjoy. A small thoughtful something is better than an expensive gift that someone will never use.

2) Divide Large Gift Baskets
Purchase a large gift basket from a place like Costco or Sam’s Club then divide it into several smaller gifts. Doing this may cost you $50-75 initially, but you may also be able to give 5-10 people gifts from one purchase.

This splitting idea also works with other multi-packs. Think about fuzzy sucks, golf balls,  beauty sets, coffee mugs etc. You will save money and be able to personalize gifts as well – a double win!

3) Clearance & Discount
There is no reason to buy into the belief that you need to pay full price for a gift. Even if you strategically budgeted full price for an item, try to find coupons or sales for the item. There’s never a good reason to overpay for an item.

Look at secondhand items that don’t show worn signs. These are also great places to find baskets to gather treats into for people to give a polished look for low cost.

4) Unused Giftcards
Think about the gift cards you have yet to use and don’t intend to use; these are easy to give to someone else. Some places, especially restaurants, will have deals to purchase two or more gift cards for a discounted cost. Take advantage of these opportunities.

Whether you’ve started looking into your holiday budget yet or you’re simply getting back into the swing of school starting, the holidays will approach quickly. We’re hoping with these savings ideas you can not only save money but also be ahead of the game by getting things early and being on the lookout for the discounted items.

Happy Fall everyone!

Best wishes,

Stacia

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Awarding Vacation Requests the Easy Way

As the holidays begin to quickly approach around the corner, employers need to begin thinking about when their employees will be taking their time off. Balancing who can take time off and when can be a challenge for some businesses, but it does not have to be. We have accumulated some easy planning steps to help you plan for your employees to take time off; which ultimately helps your business thrive.
vacation, time off, Stacia Robinson, The BeneChoice Companies

Begin by planning ahead. If you have yet to ask your employees about their holiday plans, do this immediately. To plan accurately, you will need to begin the planning phase no later than the end of summer / early autumn. Try having a calendar (virtual or paper, whichever fits your business needs best) available for time off requests that has dates 6-12 months out from the current time period. Weddings, anniversaries, baby showers, and holiday plans are usually planned months in advance so if your employee is attending something important, chances are they have already begun planning.

Getting the request in writing will be a short and long term benefit for everyone involved. (Another benefit to having a time off calendar available for employees to write requests on!) Additionally, having a form accessible for employees to fill out will help with consistency. Relying on your own memory is relying on a detail to be forgotten or a message to be misinterpreted. This form should have the employees name (and identification number if your business location uses which), the date they are putting in said request, the date(s) the employee will be out of the office, who they report to, and (if applicable) any allotment of PTO/Sick/Vacation time to be used.

Does it seem like everyone in your office wants the exact same day off? Unless you plan to have your business closed that day, make certain days “Premium Time Off” as a privilege. Reserve this “Premium Time Off” for high-performers or employees who have made significant sacrifices during the rest of the year or constant team players. Reward their good actions and they will continue to contribute well to the success of your business.

Lastly, make sure employees fully understand the business needs and goals. Do not be afraid to black out certain dates when projects are typically due for completion or high business traffic happens.

When these steps are put in place and your employees are fully aware, you will have a successful plan in action for meeting business needs and giving your employees the vacation times they request.

Highest regards,

Stacia

pay raise, employee, pay, BeneChoice Companies

Ask for Your Pay Raise

Although the pay rate is not the primary motivator for most people, it is the primary reason why people have a job.

Asking for a raise can often feel like an emotional issue. The trick is learning how to leave personal emotions out of the workplace to allow yourself the courage to ask for a raise. Be candid yet focused on the skills and assets you bring to the table.

raise, BeneChoice Companies

We have gathered some tips to help you succeed with staying focused on skills and assets versus having an emotional onslaught.

  1. Employers must look at the last time an employee received a raise to determine when the employee is eligible for another raise. For many companies, a standard is in place of the frequency of compensation increases. Be aware if this is annually, semi-annually, or even quarterly.
  2. Utilize websites such as Salary.com and Glassdoor.com to look at salary levels both internally and externally for people in similar positions. This will provide a base idea on where the position stands overall for compensation compared to other companies. Additionally, compare job responsibilities not only job titles. Every employer will vary as to what title does each task so composure information accordingly.
  3. Other than a salary, your company may offer alternate incentives such as discounts at local merchants, free / reduced tickets to sporting games or concerts, or even access to a gym. Additionally, look at traditional benefits like the employer’s cost for providing health care, dental, vision, life, and / or retirement options. Often times employees overlook these costs, but they are very real from the employers standpoint.
  4. Any leadership contributions you have made to your team overall are assets of yours; utilize them as selling points.
  5. On the opposing side to tip #4, how are you growing your knowledge base of your company / position? Learn about your position deeply and about many alternate positions. Stay in tune with how the company is doing within its industry as well.
  6. Look at your own performance level and evaluate if you are meeting standards or going above. Ensure that you are viewing this from an outside perspective and not judging your work from only your perspective.
  7. Be prepared to listen to your boss during your meeting as well; they will probably have additional insight for you about your performance. They may ask you questions to see where you stand and determine your overall assets for additional projects etc.

Lastly, look at the company as a whole. Is the company able to invest more into your salary at this time or are there possible other factors at play for company expenses currently? Think about what you will do if your proposal is not met, and this may be for reasons out of your control. Additionally, be prepared to not be given an answer during the meeting you have with your boss; they may need to evaluate additional business requests and prioritize them or submit a request to a board / higher management.

Highest regards,

Stacia

 

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