workplace, 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 A Great Workspace

In looking at your company, are you creating a great workspace for your team to come to? Most people when asked say “of course” my team and I are.

Now that we have the immediate response out the way, I’ll ask again. Are you really creating a great place to work?

This isn’t about the paint on the walls or the carpet on the floor. Any building can look nice from an aesthetics point of view but what I am referring to is are you creating the right environment from the people point of view.

workplace, 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

The workplace that helps employees thrive is one that is respectful of every. People communicate openly, honestly and they function from a place on integrity. Everyone is just happier and more productive.

HALT. You are thinking that this doesn’t exist. It does. You must create it and get others to buy into it.

A good workplace starts at the top. If you want others to work as a team, you must be the leader that is a team player. Leading by example is the most effective way to transform a work environment.

Have some fun! Sometimes work can just be so serious. What if you chilled out a little bit more. Others might chill as well. Celebrate birthdays, dress up for the holidays, run an occasional competition.

The other thing that must be mentioned is be aware of bullying. 27% of workers have a current or past direct experience with abusive conduct at work. Everyone has something to contribute and people want to know they are valued and that their ideas and thoughts will be valued.

You should watch for bullying and your managers should watch for bullying. Take care of the situations at  hand immediately by following the proper chain of actions that your organization has outlined. If they haven’t outlined them, do this immediately.

Highest regards,

 

Stacia

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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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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

The True Cost of Turnover

If you are in business to stay in business then you must take care of and retain your best team members and continually attract new top performers.

 

So what do you need to do to look after your employees?

 

The simple answer is take care of the people in your employment fold. You want to attract them and keep them.

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

 

According to Colonial life, 65% of employers are experiencing problems attracting top performers and 54% are having difficulting retaining them. So it is clear employer are struggling with retention.

 

When an employee stays with your organization long term, there are some measurable benefits:

  1. You gain from their business experience
  2. You make more money
  3. You save money on recruiting
  4. You save money on training and development
  5. You keep employee morale intact as people are building relationships

 

This handy calculator can show you how much you save when you reduce employee turnover. Consider all that goes into finding your next best top performer. You have to write the ad, run the ad, sort through resumes, interview, check references, do background checks, welcome them on their first day, have other employees cover the work during the process, train them, mentor them and give them time to learn the ropes before they might even make a financial impact.

 

So how do you get employees to stay with you?

 

Maybe you can not give company cars, huge bonuses, etc. That is alright. Employees don’t just care about the money. What they want most is to fit in, feel valued and that they are part of a team. They want to enjoy going to work and they want to know that there is a plan for their future in regards to opportunity, benefits and financial stability.

 

If you are in a situation where you have high turnover, please watch our blogs over the next few months as I’ll be giving you some thoughts on how to make your workplace the place to be.

 

Highest regards,

 

Stacia

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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

Stop the Headache of Turnover

For myself and many other small businesses, employee turnover is a huge issue.  When you have a small team and on person leave, it leaves a gap in what others have to do to make up the difference or it just not get done at all.

 

This doesn’t even take in the amount of stress it puts on anyone or the cost of replacing them. This shift in responsibility can create productivity issues and lower moral.


So the more we can keep our talent, the better.  The number one thing at the top of the list for why employees leave is money. Pay a solid base pay. This is at the top of the list for both employee attraction and retention.

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

So what are the things we can do as employers to keep our top talent?

  1. Be A Good Boss. According to the Society for Human Resources (SHRM), “28% of employees say they would rather have a btetter boss than a $5,000 raise, it’s clear that having a good boss is something that is highly rated by your team.
  2. Provide clear developmental opportunities. Have you ever thought that you were going nowhere in a job? If you have thought that ever, then your team has too.  As an employer it is vital so show your team where they can go – what skills they can grow and contribute, opportunities to serve, and really dial into their heart’s desires.
  3. Create a great place to work.  Think about your idea workplace. Most people seek stimulating projects, organizational and personal well-being, and dedicated teammates. Allowing others to be toxic poisons the whole. Be an employer who is mindful of what is truly happening around you.
  4. Get creative with employee perks. If you don’t have a huge budget, that is is ok. YOu just have to think outside the box and even ask your team what they want. Perhaps they would like to have game consoles, pet to work days (people are gaga about their pets), or even just extra recognition. People will do more for recognition than money somet
  5. Pay attention to employee benefits. According to  SHRM, 63% of employee s say benefits are “very important” which was even ahead of compensation/pay at 61% and job security at 59%.  If you are a small employer that can not afford benefits at the level of a large organization, consider voluntary benefits to your team.


Our team would love to help you see the value in offering a solid employee benefit or voluntary benefit plan to your organization – no matter what the size.

 

Highest regards,

Stacia

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health, wellness, worksite wellness, 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

Live Wellness At Work

The #1 resolution for every new year is health and wellness related. Consider linking the considerable amount of hours employees spend at work with this.

health, wellness, worksite wellness, 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

Consider some of these options for your Employee Wellness Program:

1. Home cooking recipe club

Obesity, heart disease, diabetes… they’ve all been linked to diet in one way or another. Thinking about wellness and food made a few of us in the team review our cooking habits. We quickly discovered that there was a whole lot of healthy eating expertise right here in the office waiting to be shared.

Home cooking recipe club is an email trail that we add to when we’ve made something delicious and healthy at home. From baked sweet potato with yogurt slaw to a humdinger of a healthy hotdog recipe, we’ve had some eye-opening contributions. Sometimes if we get lucky, the meals make it to work for a lunchtime bring-a-dish party.

2. Standing desks

Sitting down for long periods of time isn’t great for your health – ask any long distance truck driver. So why not give your people the option to work standing up for a while? When I looked at a few sites the other day, you could pick one up a standing desk for under $200 – less than the price of many office chairs (which you’re hopefully going to use less of).

Standing desks first became popular in the tech industry, where workplace wellness was also pioneered in the early 2000s. But they’ve been around way longer – did you know Hemingway used one?3 They apparently reduce your risk of obesity, diabetes and even cancer. Sounds like a good investment to me.

3. Plants

Do plants really make a difference? Heck yes! According to this article on the CIPHR website, as well as making employees feel more relaxed they can also boost morale and improve air quality. Many varieties of plant can live happily alongside your staff without too much effort from you. Succulents and cacti are easy to care for, while tough specimens like the spider plant will grow enthusiastically with basic care (think once-a-week watering and the occasional drop of plant food). You could even invite staff to bring their own from home if they like.

Highest regards,

 

Stacia

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Yoga Can Help Restore Your Health

We all want to jump right back in after an injury but sometimes the body has other plans.

 

More health professionals would tell you this is simply your body telling you to slow down, take it easy or move into your new state of health slower.

 

Yoga might be an option and a great therapy to consider.

yoga, health, 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

 

There are many kinds of yoga from hot yoga, restorative yoga, senior yoga, etc.

 

I have a friend that swears by restorative yoga as a tool to slow down, relax, reduce cortisol, slow the heart rate and increase conditions for healing. Most yoga practioners will also tell you that yoga also improves your mental state of being.

 

You don’t even have to venture out in public with your yoga pants and yoga mat. You can easily do yoga at home. All you need are some towels, blanket and pillows. So far, I like the sound of this.

 

Start easy and warm up your body. If you can take a quick 10-30 minute walk, start with this. Say you are in a busy life where you don’t get to move much, your mind is probably always on the go regardless. The less anxious you are, the better you will feel. Unwinding with a quick walk can help.

 

Now it is time to strike a pose. Not for the camera though, we are now talking yoga. Try these:

 

Legs Up the Wall Pose

  • Sit with a hip about a foot from a wall. Pivot to face the wall, and lie back.
  • Lift your legs, so your heels rest on the wall. Scoot your buttocks far enough from the wall to feel a slight opening in the back of the legs. If you’re recovering from a leg injury, instead bend your knees and rest your lower legs on a bed, couch or chair.
  • Stay for 1 to 5 minutes.

Specific benefit: Opens the hamstrings (less so with bent knees and lowered legs) and relieves weary legs. Improves circulation because turning upside down helps return blood to the heart.

Supported Forward Bend

  • Sit with your back against a wall, legs ahead. Place pillows or folded blankets or towels under your knees (lots if you’ve had a hamstring or glute injury) – enough to allow the back of your thighs to relax. Place several more on your front thighs and shins.
  • Sit up straight and encourage the natural curve of your spine (back of hips, shoulders and head all against wall, with space to slide your hand between your lower back and wall).
  • Hinge forward from your hips without rounding your lower back, and then rest your belly and chest on the padding over your front thighs. Rest your forehead, and drop your arms down.
  • Stay for 1 to 5 minutes.

I hope you’ll love restoring your body with yoga.

 

Highest regards,

 

Stacia

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New Teacher Success Program Sponsored by Colonial Life

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

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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time, asset, distractions, cell, to do list, email, schedule, busy, The BeneChoice Companies, Stacia Robinson

4 Tips to Save Time and Yourself

Time. There never seems to be enough of it yet there is always the same amount available in every day. In business, time is one of the most valuable assets. Now more than ever before, there are distractions available to bombard us from every side. The important part is to steer yourself away from the time wasting distractions and to profit building assets.

1) Avoid your cell phone in the morning.

Temptation is lurking every morning to check your phone for anything you missed while sleeping. However, looking at your phone can set a bad tone for your day. You may think of it as “only five or ten minutes” but that easily can turn into thirty or more minutes of browsing your social media, reading pointless emails, and countless other meaningless tasks. Before you fully realize which, time has left your side and you have yet to even accomplish anything as you are still laying in bed. Instead, dedicate those first five to ten minutes to something productive like meditating, journaling, or another simple productive activity. Changing your routine to be something positive in the morning will give your mind a chance to start the day being positively centered.

2) Long to-do lists are daunting.

Not only are they intimidating to look at for a day, but they also give a sense of defeat when you look at the list at the end of the day to see only a few things accomplished. Follow this rule: list out three to five things that you must absolutely do for the day. This will help to narrow your focus by prioritizing the essentials. If you complete all of them before the day is complete, you can easily add to the list.

3) Long emails fall into a similar category of long to-do lists.

Make it a habit for yourself to keep your emails to less than five sentences; this includes your replies. Keeping to this will make you more efficient and your emails will be easy for other people to respond to as well. The reasoning? Replying to lengthy emails with a lengthy reply is a double time suck. Avoid the over explaining and get to the point, helping all parties involved.

4) Overscheduling your life is a hard thing to avoid.

If you are chronically late, you waste everyone’s time. When you arrive, you will be in a state of rushing still which means it will take you time to compose yourself, thus wasting more time which will make you rush to the next meeting as well; a vicious cycle. Tip? Give yourself at least 10 minutes between meetings and at least 20 minutes if you are in a chaotic/busy setting. It is better to miss a potential opportunity than to risk being considered sloppy by an overbooked schedule.

By adhering to these four tips, you will save yourself time, one of the best assets to running your business and personal life seemingly together.

Kind regards,

Stacia

goal, goals, aspirations, goal setting, Stacia Robinson, The BeneChoice Companies, 2017

Setting the Right Goals

Take a moment to flash back to January 1, 2017. What were you doing? Who were you with at the time? What were your life aspirations / goals for 2017?

Now jump to the present.

How have your goals for 2017 been achieved? Do you even remember what goals you put in place for the year?

A yearly resolution can take place at any time; it’s not reserved for only January. Now that three quarters of the year is complete, it’s time to reflect on what you have accomplished and work towards what you want to achieve before the year ends. A great amount of change can happen with three months left in the year!

Let’s begin by looking at HOW to know you’ve set the correct goal because yes, there are incorrect goals. Setting goals in your business should follow the SMART algorithm (Specific, Measurable, Achievable / Actionable, Results-focused, and Time- bound) and setting goals in your personal life are similar but with one added step:

Does your goal make you excited to attain? Take a brief moment to think about the word excited. A simple Google search will tell you that the adjective “excited” can be compared to meaning: very enthusiastic, eager, thrilled, exhilarated, animated, enlivened, electrified, enraptured, intoxicated, feverish, adrenalized, high as a kite, fired up, aflutter, and psyched. Does your goal make you feel THAT way?

If not, the answer is simple: change your goal to something that does make you excited, eager, and exhilarated.

Begin by visualizing the positive aspects of your dreams. Look at how your life would be different when that goal is achieved. For example, if your goal is weight loss, think about more than how you will look with clothes that are tight. Think about how
going up and down stairs would be easier. Think about how the weight loss would impact your energy levels, your time with your kids and spouse.

You need to clearly understand WHY you want to succeed in this area of your life for the goal to be right. Now that you have accomplished learning how a goal should make you feel, delve into your why and you will have a new perspective to give you hope for how to accomplish which.

Walking; benechoice companies, exercise, benefits

Walking versus Running

It may come as an initial shock, but walking for exercise comes with many health benefits despite the lack of intensity it has when compared to running.

For starters, walking puts less pressure on your joints; jogging and / or running instantly adds fast pressure with each step.  If you experience joint problems, waking will give you exercise without the joint pain/pressure.  However, if you don’t have any joint problems, try adding a few minutes of jogging to a walking routine and gradually add to it. By adding jogging to your routine – even small amounts – it will challenge your body. Minor changes to your exercise routine will allow your muscles not to get stagnant. When muscles get used to the same workout, you stop getting benefits of muscle toning, weight loss, and remaining fit.

For those of you that do experience joint pressure, even with walking, choose a surface that can absorb some of the impact. A concrete sidewall will not absorb the impact of pressure from walking/jogging thereby your joints will need to absorb the impact. If you walk / jog on a dirt path, the soft ground will absorb some of the impact thereby making each step less damaging to your joints.

Whether you choose to walk, jog, or run, you will reap benefits of improved sleep, a balanced mood, better energy, decreased blood pressure, burning Calories, and lower cholesterol.

However, if you run instead of walk, you will gain the same benefits with a shorter amount of time dedication. For example, a 200 pound man would burn 113 Calories walking 1 mile in 15 minutes. The same man would burn 151 Calories running 1 mile in 10 minutes. That means a five minute shorter workout time could burn an additional 38 Calories. You can check the numbers yourself at www.caloriesperhour.com.

To improve your cardiovascular abilities, running is a better choice. While running, you challenge your muscles and lungs at a higher intensity than walking would.

Walking on a dirt path offers less strenuous of an impact on joints within the body, however jogging / running offers the same health benefits of walking with less time dedication.

Kindest regards,

Stacia

 

 

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