facebook, business, professional, BeneChoice Companies, AL

Using Facebook Professionally

Facebook is more than a platform for sharing pictures and connecting with friends; it is a marketing platform of many business tools that allow a connection with customers and employees to you.

By using Facebook, employers can connect with previous co-workers and potential friends of the business. The big difference between Facebook and LinkedIn is that people are usually real friends or friends of friends. With LinkedIn, people are often a superficial connection that may not be a true connection. Facebook has a “realness” attached to it; it is genuine.

Look at the things shared on your Facebook timeline; choose posts that are appropriate for your profession to know. People will scroll through your Facebook page to develop their own perspective of you. These are potential connections for your business. Keep inner workings of your life private and the other parts of your life selective. This will only benefit you and your connections – both short term and long term.

By linking your Facebook to other platforms such as Instagram, blogs, or other social media, people can view portfolios of your work. Update all of your accounts and keep them connected to each other. This will give a full spectrum of your accomplishments easily. Be proud of the achievements in your life!

Likewise, post photos that best showcase who you are. Chose photos that display interactions with the people that you are close to: friends and family. Select photos of events that you are excited to attend or have attended. Use images to “decorate” your Facebook profile to present the best snapshot of yourself for others to see. People that are enticed by your page should not see your entire life; just portions that show your professional life and part of your identity.

Selectively “like” items on Facebook. Every post you like is viewable; this is an insight into the professional fields that spike your interest. By liking every page that is funny or every meme that made you laugh, you will give yourself too wide of net. Pick posts that align with your professional quests.

In all, Facebook is a platform for marketing yourself as a person that people should WANT to be connected to; be someone that SHOULD be connected with genuinely.

I hope this was  helpful to you.

Warmest regards,

Stacia

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Create A Culture of Health and Wellness

Most employees are working between 1040 and 2080 hours a year in an office setting, depending on if they are working part-time or full-time. That is a lot of time sitting being that there are 8760 hour in a year. That is 11.8% to 23.7% of the time. WOW! Almost 25% of a year sitting! This not taking into consideration overtime or project work those employees may do.

 

We wonder why American workers find it difficult to find time to squeeze in trips to the gym. With health-related expenses costing companies millions of dollars a year, employers should be doing everything in their power to keep their employees fit and healthy.

 

Let’s look to see what could be done to improve employee health overall:

 

Here are 4 simple ideas of things employers can do to keep their health care costs down.

 

  1. Decide what kind of culture your firm and employees want to have.

This can be done through collaboration of departments and make a fun spirit amongst peers.  Provide the space for healthy living.

    1. Investigate what you are promoting. What does your organization supply in your vending machines? Do you put our fruit or donuts for team meetings?
    2. Make sure your leaders are on board. When the management of a company promotes healthy living, it is easier for everyone else to jump on board.
    3. Make health easy. Encourage others by putting in a gym or walking path and praise employees for their healthy choices through words of affirmation.
  1. Find a buddy amongst the ranks.
    1. Put together fun workplace initiatives such as a walking or running group.
    2. Drum up a team weight maintenance or fat loss program during the holidays.
    3. Sign up a team for a recreation league and accept all players who want to be healthy.
    4. Invite local health and wellness professionals to host workshops and cooking demos.
  2. Get buy in.
    1. Ask your teams what they want to accomplish in living a healthy lifestyle through surveys or opinion boxes.
    2. Help them identify the hurdles that may come up and set up a collaborative time to help them over the hurdles
    3. Don’t push the unmotivated employee to change if they don’t want to. Work with the willing.
  3. Give free information.
    1. Set up a company intranet page that showcases healthy living articles, workouts, social media pages, ideas, success stories and even a chat area for others to collaborate on and off business hours.
  4. Make it worth their while.
    1. Employees will do a lot for a little recognition and praise.
    2. If you so feel inclined,make a contest with some layers of prizes or incentives they can win for doing what you want them to…being healthy.

 

You’ll have buy in, if everyone that supports your company initiative wants to truly live a healthy lifestyle. So be all in and get well and stay well. You are worth it.

 

Warmest regards,

 

Stacia

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Travis Guthman: Disability can happen to you

Life can change in an instant, and that life-changing moment may be as simple as sending a text message. That’s what happened to Travis Guthman.

Travis and his wife, Wendy, moved back to where he had grown up when they had the opportunity to buy his grandparents’ farmhouse. They felt it was an ideal place to raise their six kids. They also decided to put their prior experience to work and open up a pizzeria.

It was on a busy day—typical of one so many parents have— that Travis juggled driving and arranging a meet-up for his son. While he had pulled over to read the text, he decided to answer it while driving back home. That’s when, distracted by his phone, he hit a concrete footing on a narrow bridge—a route he had taken hundreds of times before.

The accident landed him in the hospital with a shattered pelvis and other injuries so severe that it has taken him almost two years and countless surgeries just to be able to walk with the help of a leg brace. During this time, he hasn’t been able to work, and admits the family would have lost the pizzeria if it hadn’t been for the disability insurance that his insurance professional Tom Bader helped him put in place.

The monthly payment from his disability insurance has allowed the Guthmans to pay their ongoing bills and expenses and keep food on the table. “I didn’t have to pull money out of the restaurant to live on; instead I could continue paying the employees and keep things running,” he says. “Without disability insurance we would have been in a world of hurt. You think it will never happen to you, until it does. Disability insurance has been a huge blessing for our family.”

Check out the video of the Gurthman’s here.

Warmest regards,
Stacia

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5 Things Millennials Look For From A Workplace

Millennials are flooding the job market and now make up one-third of the US workforce, making it imperative for employers to attract and retain young talent. But that can be tricky, since millennials often are looking for unconventional benefits.

Offering some of those benefits that will keep your employee engaged, motivated, and less stressed at work is key.  These are 5 things that the millennial generation consistently looks for from an employer.

 

  1. Flexible work schedules – It is no secret that the workforce is demanding more flexibility at work, and millennials are a big part of this push. Millennials say more flexibility will improve their happiness and productivity. Additionally, more than half of millennials report they work from home after the standard work day is done, compared to US office workers. With families, children, and home life, flexibility is becoming more and more important with the younger generation.
  2. An eco-friendly workplace – Eco-friendly practices aren’t just good for the environment, they are good for recruiting younger workers to your company. Half of all millennials say an eco-friendly workplace is an important factor when it comes to job consideration.
  3. A well stocked break room – A well supplied breakroom leads to happier employees, less stress, more productive workers, and a more social environment. It may encourage employees to take a break to refresh and recharge, which will improve productivity and lower stress.
  4. Job-site perks – Millennials place a great deal of value on job-site perks like free lunches or on-site gyms. A good working environment is a place that offers incentives and perks, which will improve their happiness.
  5. Strong leadership and consistent feedback – Millennials more than any other generation are looking for strong relationship with their bosses. One in five millennials report that it’s their direct boss who’s their motivator. A strong leadership defines a good work culture. Feedback is very important and is truly appreciated and contributes to employee loyalty. Being recognized in any way is what most employees like.

 

Highest Regards,

Stacia

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Small Business Guide to Creative Employee Benefits

When it comes to employee benefits, health insurance, retirement accounts and sick days, they are often standard at larger companies. To set your small business apart, you’ve got to think more creatively. Here are 10 great ideas I hope you can benefit from:

 

  1. Free food: Try keeping the break room stocked with free snacks, soda, and bottled water. You could even do something more significant, like providing a catered lunch on a weekly basis. The productivity is higher each day/week because they don’t have to leave for lunch.
  2. Four-day workweek: A three-day weekend once in awhile could make your employees not only happier but also more productive. A four-day workweek allows more time for employees to restore, if you will, their energy levels.
  3. Unlimited vacation: This policy speaks mostly about your company’s values. It sends a really clear message to employees that you care about them, that you want them to spend time with their families and that you want them have a high quality of life. When people feel cared for by their company or employer, they are much more likely to do great work.
  4. Professional development: Employees want to work for companies that help them advance their careers. Paying for classes, certifications and conferences is a major draw. Another idea, however, is establishing a mentoring program between employees.
  5. Personal development: Employees place a high value on work-life balance. Consider offering personal development benefits. One way to do so is by paying for the services of a life coach. Another is by offering lunch-and-learn events. You can have your bank come in, for instance, and help people learn how to get a mortgage, when the right time is to refinance or how to use their savings account.
  6. Massage therapy: Sometimes the greatest opportunities are the simplest things, like paying a massage therapist to come for two hours on Friday afternoons to give chair massages. This helps your employees relax and relieve stress.  
  7. Flexible working: Giving employees the option to work from home shows that you care about work-life balance. So does letting them come in late or leave early when they need to.
  8. Gym memberships: Fitness and keeping healthy is very important.  If you don’t have the space for weights and a treadmill, consider gifting employees a gym membership or negotiating discounted memberships at a nearby facility.
  9. Community service: Companies that offer time off for employees to volunteer or participate in community service projects earn points with their community and their workforce.
  10. Voluntary benefits: Employers who can’t afford to pay for dental insurance, life insurance or disability insurance can still offer them. You could give your employees—through payroll deductions—the option of accumulating a block of hours for an attorney to help them with the assembly of their will or the closing of a house.

 

Highest Regards,

Stacia

 

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Health and Wellness

Other than health insurance, how important is health and wellness benefits in which a company offers in your choice of employer?

 

Nearly 90 percent of employees say it is either “very important” or “somewhat important” in their choice of an employer. Positive outcomes to employees who participate in wellness programs include lower out-of-pocket healthcare expenses, and often incentives from employers for participating or completing desired outcomes.

 

Employees were asked to take the SHRM survey. We found out that rewards or bonuses for completing a wellness program rose from 23 percent in 2008 to 35 percent in 2012. Usually, the participants are those employees most in need of health improvement. Incentives are perceived as a key strategy for engaging all workers. Almost 58 percent of employees say incentives are a “very important” factor in their participation in employer sponsored wellness programs.

 

The successful use of incentives to keep employees engaged remains a combination of art and science, but a survey by Optum Health showed companies that offer incentives have a 30 percent or higher rate of participation than those that do not.

 

Even after accounting for generous incentives, employers with robust wellness programs report positive return on investment. For example: Johnson & Johnson’s well-documented worksite health promotion program began in 1979. A recent evaluation of the program’s effect on employee health risks and health care costs for the period from 2002 to 2008 measured the company’s rate of annual healthcare spend against similar large companies, and found it was 3.7 percentage points lower.

Data Source: Workforce Management 2012 Employer/Employee Survey, May 2012.

 

Johnson & Johnson shows strong return on investment According to a June 2012 article in Health Affairs, Johnson & Johnson’s employee population benefited from reduced rates of obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, tobacco use, physical inactivity and poor nutrition.

 


Highest regards,

Stacia

 

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10 Things You Must Know About Life Insurance

Life insurance is a crucial part of personal finance- one that deserves consideration by every household. However, despite the fact that life is insurance is almost universally applicable, there remains a great amount of confusion and even skepticism over this very important decision.

Here are 10 important things to consider when making a decision regarding life insurance.

  1. If anyone relies on you financially, you need life insurance.

Life insurance is basically obligatory if you have a spouse or dependent children. You may also require life insurance if you are someone’s ex-spouse, life partner, a child of dependent parents, the sibling of a dependent adult, an employee, an employer or a business partner. If you are retired, financially stable, and no one would be affected by your passing, then you may not need it.

  1. Life insurance does not simply add monetary value to a person’s life.

Instead, it helps to compensate for the inevitable circumstances that accompany the loss of life. It helps those left behind to cover final costs, mortgages, outstanding debts, and lost incomes. But most importantly, life insurance can help lessen the burden on family members who already grieving the loss of a loved one.  This is why life insurance is vital to the breadwinner of all single-income households.

  1. Life insurance is a contract.

A policy is a contract between a person and the insurance company. The insurance company pools the premiums of policyholders and pays out claims—called a death benefit—in the event of a death. The difference between the premiums taken in and the claims paid out is the insurance company’s profit.

  1. There are 4 roles in a life insurance policy.

These roles are the insurer, the owner, the insured and the beneficiary. The insurer is the company, responsible for paying out claims in the case of a death. The owner of the policy is responsible for paying the premium payments. The insured is the person whose life the policy is based on. The beneficiary is the person who receives the claim in the event of the insured person passing.

  1. Life insurance is a risk management tool, not an investment.

Although some policies can offer a tax incentive, it is not wise to view a policy as an investment. If you haven’t made an emergency cash reserve, paid off your mortgage, and maxed out your 401 K, then there are smarter places for you to making an investment and you should look into a policy that does not have an investment component.

  1. There are two types: term and permanent

Term life is least expensive, simplest, and most widely available. With this type, the insurance company bases the premium on the probability that the insured will die within a stated term, whether that’s 10, 20, or 30 years. They are guaranteed for the length of that  term. If you let this policy lapse, you can lose coverage and often be obligated to continue paying your premium.

Permanent life insurance is also based on probabilities, but has a “cash value” that is designed to keep the policy going in perpetuity. It has further options such as whole life, variable life, or universal life, each with specific tailored to different situations. These policies are often used to cover business planning or independent financial situations.

  1. Life insurance can be extremely expensive or extremely affordable.

If you apply for all of the bells and whistles of a life insurance policy, you will be looking at a hefty price tag. However, most people are pleasantly surprised with the premiums for a plain-vanilla policy. A healthy, non-smoking, 30-something male, for example, might pay less than $500 per year for a 20-year term policy with a million dollar death benefit.

  1. Determining the Best Option For You Doesn’t Have to Be Hard

Many people fall into a trap where they do not purchase life insurance because they are intimidated or they do not understand all of their options, so they push off the decision. In the vast majority of situations, most families would be fine if the policy paid out simply enough to replace the income of the person passing. The important thing is that you do not avoid life insurance because of its complexity.

  1. Consider Using A Live Person

A live insurance agent is your best option for custom-tailored policies and premiums. Our agents have considerable experience in this area, and are able to give you the coverage and price point that you feel confident in.

  1. Know Your Options When Cancelling

If you have a policy that isn’t appropriate for you, proceed with caution. Don’t cancel your existing policy before your new one is in place. If you have a term policy you no longer want, you can contact your company to cease coverage and cease payments. If you have a permanent policy, you will want to examine the tax consequences before you cash it in.
Life insurance is a very valuable tool for your long-term and comprehensive financial future plan. The BeneChoice Companies are proud to be a resource for all of your insurance needs.

Highest regards,

Stacia

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