Advertisements

How Companies Teach Their Employees First Aid for Mental Health

At Delta Air Lines’ Atlanta headquarters in late January, 24 employees are arguing over which of them has the worst disease. Half of them had been given cards naming a physical or mental health diagnosis and were told to line up, from the least debilitating to the most.

The woman holding “gingivitis” quickly takes a place at the far left of the line. But everyone further down to the right—low back pain, moderate depression, paraplegia, severe PTSD—keeps switching spots.

“Severe vision loss,” someone says to the man holding the corresponding card, “are you a pilot?” He doesn’t know. There is no further information: not what the person does for a living, whether their condition is well managed, or if they have health care coverage.

“We’re in a pickle down here,” a woman pleads to the instructor, Rochele Burnette, who’s standing by, silent and smiling. Burnette waits until someone finally suggests the right answer: they should be in a vertical line, not a horizontal one. “How we look at a mental disorder and how we look at a physical condition should be the same,” Burnette says. “One could be just as debilitating as the other.”

This is the first lesson of Mental Health First Aid at Work, a training that the National Council for Behavioral Health provides, for a cost, to a growing number of corporations. Of the people taking today’s class, some were there because they had seen firsthand how much a mental health crisis can impact the workplace. A Delta employee killed himself several months ago, and counselors were brought in to help the many people who were affected. Others wanted to improve their mental-health vocabulary, and their confidence in handling related issues. “When someone says, ‘Hi, do you have a minute?’ we never really know what’s going to follow,” one HR employee says in the class. “Sometimes it’s very easy, and sometimes we quickly find ourselves in uncomfortable situations.”

Over the next four hours, the Delta employees learn how to spot symptoms and warning signs of possible mental health concerns in a colleague, reach out and offer initial help, then guide them to professional help and the resources the company offers, like short-term counseling through the free employee assistance program (EAP) and a confidential app that lets you chat immediately with behavioral health coaches. Getting the words right can be tricky; much of the class is devoted to figuring out what to say to a coworker in distress. On everybody’s desk is a handout of helpful and harmful phrases. “One of the things you’ll see on your card is How are you doing, really?” says Burnette. “That ‘really’ really pulls out something extra.” In the potentially harmful category: putting off the conversation until later in the week, suggesting they simply work it out with their manager, or telling them to “just hang in there.”

The office may seem an unlikely place for such a class, but Burnette reminds her students that the historical norm to keep your personal life at home is unrealistic. “What affects you in your life affects you in your work,” she tells the group.

There are no requirements that U.S. employers provide mental health training. But as mental illness diagnoses and suicide rates rise in the U.S., while the stigma of talking about them drops, companies are finding that their employees want a bigger focus on mental health at work. “A little over a year ago, we really started to hear more and more from employees about the need for these kinds of services,” says Rob Kight, senior vice president of human resources at Delta. “It caused us to take a deep look at what we were providing. And we decided, you know, it’s not enough.”

Prioritizing employees’ mental health has become not just a moral issue, but also a tool to recruit and retain young talent. A 2019 poll by the American Psychiatric Association found that millennials—who now comprise the largest generation in the U.S. workforce—tend to be more comfortable than their older peers discussing their mental health at work. Investing in this area may also make financial sense, since untreated mental illness and substance abuse issues can be costly for employers. Untreated depression alone costs the average 1,000-person U.S. company more than $1.4 million per year due to missed days and lost productivity, according to the Center for Workplace Mental Health at the American Psychiatric Association Foundation.

Corporate trainings have emerged as popular solutions, and Mental Health First Aid at Work is among the most widely used. Mental Health First Aid started in 2000 in Australia as a way to educate people about what to do when they encounter someone experiencing mental health problems, which are much more common than the emergencies traditional first aid courses teach. It later spread to 27 countries, each with their own licensing organizations. In the U.S., the National Council for Behavioral Health runs the program, and in 2013 it launched a version tailored for the workplace. More than 200 companies—including Bank of America, Gillette, Starbucks and Unilever—have offered one or both of its four- and eight-hour training programs to employees, says Betsy Schwartz, vice president for public education and strategic initiatives at the National Council for Behavioral Health.

“We’ve seen a significant increase in corporate interest,” Schwartz says. “In companies that train a larger number of employees, we get feedback about a whole culture shift.” Though there hasn’t been much research on the work-specific training, some studies have found that Mental Health First Aid improves knowledge about mental health, and confidence in responding to related issues, for the people who take it. The benefits to the person receiving help from a person who’s gone through the training, however, are not clear.

The number of organizations that run this type of training is growing. The Center for Workplace Mental Health at the American Psychiatric Association Foundation is developing a digital training for managers called “Notice. Talk. Act. at Work,” which teaches the early warning signs of mental health issues and how to have empathetic, compassionate conversations. “We cannot talk about mental health enough in the workplace,” says Darcy Gruttadaro, director of the Center for Workplace Mental Health. “We have a long way to go—the more we can reinforce it, the better.” Some companies have developed their own programs. The consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton trained all employees in 2018 and 2019 to spot the five signs of emotional suffering—depression, in other words. The professional services firm EY (formerly Ernst & Young) offers digital training to help employees recognize the signs that a colleague is struggling and connect them to company resources.

Merely offering services and resources isn’t always enough. Employees have to know about and trust them. Most large companies have a free EAP, for example, which typically offers short-term counseling sessions and other wellbeing services for employees and their family members through outside providers. But even when people are aware that their company has an EAP, they often fear their HR department is monitoring who uses the programs, and that doing so could be a black mark on their employment record. As a result, many studies show that EAPs have historically been underused. “There shouldn’t be, but there is a stigma around this that exists in our country,” says Kight. “We have to help break that down and let people know that it’s okay to take advantage of these services.”

Soon, the two dozen Delta employees in today’s training will join the more than 600 who have completed Mental Health First Aid at Work since the airline started offering it in 2019. Though it’s not mandatory, the goal is for all 90,000 employees to take it, according to Delta’s HR team.

After Burnette gives the students a lesson in what to do if a coworker is having a panic attack, she ends on a hopeful note: proven ways a person can help themselves feel better. Exercise is one, and so are sleep, relaxation and 12-step programs. “But let me tell you something about this one right here,” she says, pointing to a slide on family, friends, faith and other social networks. “When you know you have people you can talk to that are nonjudgmental—I can go to you and have the conversation, and no matter what, you’ll listen—people have had better outcomes, because they have support.”

“I want to speak to that, because I’ve been thinking about how I can articulate this,” says a young man sitting in the front row. “Very early on in life, I found myself trying to remove stigma around mental health and talk about it, because I saw it in my family. It made me say to myself, I don’t want this to happen to me, so how can I make it normal? I started to talk to my friends and people that I’m close with. I say, hey guys, let’s get together and have drinks, and talk about what’s really going on.”

There’s no reason why conversations like these can’t happen in the workplace, too, the new thinking goes. “We’ve all grown up thinking certain conversations are professional and certain conversations are not professional,” Burnette says. “We bring our whole selves to work, so why can’t we talk about our whole self?”

By Mandy Oaklander February 12, 2020

Source: How Companies Teach Their Employees First Aid for Mental Health

Workplace wellness is important, and a key component is paying attention to employees’ mental health. In fact, 217 workdays are lost each year as a result of mental illness and substance use disorders. Learn how Mental Health First Aid can help start the conversation on mental health in your place of work.

Advertisements

Collaborative Tech: Must-Haves For Workplace Flexibility

Cubicles and 9-to-5 schedules are becoming relics of the past in today’s highly competitive labor market, where top talent demands a new paradigm.

The Capital One 2019 Work Environment Survey found that 61 percent of professionals expect their next employer to offer flexible hours, and 54 percent expect the ability to work remotely.

“Flexibility to work outside traditional business hours and the four walls of the office is no longer just a nice-to-have for today’s professionals–it’s an expectation,” says Stefanie Spurlin, vice president of workplace solutions at Capital One.

To meet those expectations, business leaders must make smart technology choices, especially in the area of collaboration. Employers must provide solutions that make it easy for employees to stay up-to-date with what’s happening in the office and to collaborate with their coworkers while they are traveling or working remotely.

https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSibTbzQ4YO2lFxmk1jBHkLJQH_ap7OJ0HuC9udcNbvP4a_rFZ9&sVideo meeting and conferencing solutions, real-time collaboration tools like chat services, and internal mobile apps are becoming the office products of the new workplace, as ubiquitous as fax machines in the pre-digital age.

“The goal is to find tools that build connectivity across geographies and locations, allowing teams and individuals to work as if they are sitting together,” Spurlin says.

While pursuing those objectives, business leaders must also keep in mind the type of work being done, especially the distinction between synchronous (people working at the same time) and asynchronous (people working at different times) work, says Anita Williams Woolley, associate professor of organizational behavior and theory at Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business.

“When you think about project-based work, there’s usually some combination of the two involved,” she says.

The Time Zone Challenge

Employees working in different time zones often have limited opportunity for real-time communications. This geographical divide drives a need for technology solutions that enable workers to clearly record what they’ve done and organize information so their coworkers can find it easily and pick up where they left off.

“Documents should allow threaded discussion in the text by enabling comments and allowing users to ask questions so colleagues can come in later, look at the document, and catch up easily,” Woolley says. Robust document storage and threaded conversations on chat platforms are also important.

Whether employees are separated by thousands of miles and multiple time zones or just a couple of floors in an office building, technology plays a critical role in helping them to maximize their job performance. When asked which technologies would improve job performance and success at work, 75 percent of respondents in the Capital One 2019 Work Environment Survey cited video meeting or conferencing capabilities and 74 percent mentioned real-time collaboration tools.

“Putting the proper technologies in place to help people connect just as easily with their colleagues when working remotely as if they were in the office together gives employees the freedom to work away from their desks without feeling like they are sacrificing interaction with their coworkers,” Spurlin says.

Helping Leaders Meet Management Challenges

Technology also helps business leaders meet the challenges of managing a multi-geography workforce. When employees are working in multiple locations, extra effort on the part of managers may be required to make sure those employees feel connected.

As Spurlin explains,“they should feel empowered to approach the manager digitally, perhaps via chat or a quick text, the same way an employee in the office may swing by a manager’s office to ask for a few minutes to check in.”

https://i0.wp.com/onlinemarketingscoops.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/lgo_ab_triton.png?resize=740%2C225&ssl=1

Making video rather than phone calls–the default means of connecting for check-ins or status meetings with employees working in different locations–is one way business leaders can leverage technology in this effort. Doing so ensures that valuable face-to-face meeting time is regularly scheduled.

“People management is one of the things that is really changing as the workforce becomes more and more distributed, but technology enables managers to bridge any gaps and facilitate different management styles or needs,” Spurlin says.

Flexibility is an increasingly important consideration for today’s employees when evaluating job opportunities and comparing prospective employers. Eighty-one percent of respondents in the 2019 Capital One 2019 Work Environment Survey cite flexible schedules as one of their top two reasons to stay with a company.

“With that in mind, companies can gain an edge by putting technology solutions in place that will help to foster a collaborative work environment and better work-life integration for employees,” Spurlin says.

By: Capital OneView

Source: Collaborative Tech: Must-Haves For Workplace Flexibility

https://i2.wp.com/onlinemarketingscoops.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/maxresdefault.jpg?resize=740%2C416&ssl=1

Want to Motivate Your Employees? Foster a Sense of Community With These 5 Tips

With what can be years of work ahead of you, it can be difficult to feel passionate about the job you’re doing, especially if you’ve been at it for a while. A lack of motivation among employees is a dangerous issue that every leader must tackle head on, otherwise it could lead to burnout, poor performance, dragging sales, and resignation letters.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could create an environment where your employees feel welcomed, inspired and useful at work, so that they actually look forward to Monday morning?

As the person in charge, you have the power to transform your company culture and make your business feel more like home to your employees. To develop a sense of community, use these tips so that your team feels valued, appreciated and rejuvenated in 2020.

1. Make time to get to know employees on a personal level.

While an employee’s personal life and values should never impact the way they are perceived at work, there are many benefits to getting to know your team members outside of what they do. By taking the time to understand your staff’s backgrounds, you never know what insight you might gain. Maybe they’re fluent in multiple languages, or have technical skills in what you’re currently lacking. You won’t know until you ask.

Paying attention to what your team members have learned through their unique experiences can help you find more ways to improve their quality of life and address their needs at work. Plus, you might just end up learning something that helps you better serve your customer base too.

2. Motivate your team by engaging them through new tasks that speak to their unique skills.

When filling a role in your company, you probably were mostly focused on the applicant’s skills that applied directly to their job description. However, chances are that they have more skills (and passions) than just the ones they’re using for their specific job.

If you make the effort to find additional tasks that speak to their other talents, your employee will feel like you’re really paying attention to who they are as a full person, not just how they contribute to your bottom line.

To combat boredom, you should also offer continuing education and professional development so that employees can improve on skills that they have a passion for. This way, even if they transition to a new type of work, they will be much more likely to want to do so in conjunction with your company, because you have supported them throughout and offered opportunities for them to grow alongside you.

3. Emphasize good mental health by providing regular opportunities for employees to express their needs.

Employees are people too, and that means that they might be struggling to find balance in their lives. Maybe a single parent is having trouble getting their kids to school while working a nine-to-five job? Another employee could be dealing with an illness that makes it difficult for them to participate in office events. The point is, you just won’t know what’s going on with your team members unless you provide an environment where they feel comfortable speaking openly with you.

There are many things that you can do to facilitate a workplace that is conducive to honest and frank discussions that bridge the gap between leader and team. Whether it means sitting down with employees individually to talk about their career path and how you can help them get where they want to go, or bringing in a certified counselor, providing your team with regular check-ins will vastly improve their overall morale.

4. Foster connections between employees with team bonding experiences.

When you make an effort to support a closer camaraderie between employees, work becomes more enjoyable and thus more productive. Office sports teams, special outings, and birthday parties are just some of the ways you can facilitate bonding in your company.

As well as creating friendships between team members, by participating in these activities yourself, you can help remove the perceived barriers between you as the boss and the people who work for your company.

5. Recognize employee accomplishments.

There’s nothing like the feeling of being congratulated for a job well done to encourage a renewed interest in producing results at work. Take the time to genuinely appreciate your employees for the work they do, so that they never feel that their hard work is going unnoticed.

Whether it’s a simple mention in your weekly team meeting or a personalized compliment in their holiday card, just letting them know that you see what they’re doing and value it can be a huge confidence boost for even the most seasoned employee. The added benefit when you acknowledge triumphs in public is that your others will see that hard work will result in recognition, resulting in renewed efforts throughout your team.

By Mandy GilbertFounder and chief executive, Creative Niche

Source: Want to Motivate Your Employees? Foster a Sense of Community With These 5 Tips

957K subscribers
Motivating your team can be more art than science, but here are my simple techniques that will increase your chances of finding the right fuel. Leaders must understand that in today’s new workplace, there does not exist a single recipe to encourage employees to perform better. Rather, it’s about how to maximize the ingredients to create hundreds of recipes that are customized and authentic; that provide long-term continuity and impact. To get you started, this video will teach you how to inspire teams to optimally perform. _____________ Learn more: Subscribe to my channel for free stuff, tips and more! FREE Report: http://www.briantracy.com/findclarity YouTube: http://budurl.com/zwvf Transcript here: http://www.briantracy.com/youtube Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/BrianTracyPage Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/BrianTracy Google+: +BrianTracyOfficialPage Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/BrianTracy Instagram: @TheBrianTracy Blog: http://www.briantracy.com/blog _____________

Investing In Your Team: Driving Professional Development

Professional development is one of those things that we all say we want from an employer, but few companies seem to actually deliver. For marketers, in particular, staying ahead of the curve by honing your professional skill set is critical, as the media and cultural landscapes are constantly evolving, and “best practices” are never static.

But even for the best managers, making the time for professional development can feel like a daunting challenge. At best, it feels amorphous and uncertain. And at worst, it can feel like you’re in over your head and forced to make promises you might not be able to keep.

Professional development shouldn’t just be about money and titles. Great professional development is all about understanding an employee’s ambitions and crafting a plan together that helps them work toward that goal. It’s also an essential step in ensuring wider success across the business and establishing a team that will succeed in the long term, as employees with professional development opportunities are 34% more likely to stay at their jobs than those without.

So how can you structure these conversations to be mutually beneficial for both you and your team?

Plan ahead, and get out of the office.

Trying to tackle professional development topics during a regularly scheduled one-to-one meeting seldom works because it’s all too easy to get sucked into day-to-day tasks instead of talking about the real meat of the conversation. That’s why it’s helpful to schedule separate times for professional development apart from your regular meetings. This dedicated time provides an opportunity for you and your employee to develop an open-door relationship around career-path conversations. I recommend doing this about once per quarter, depending on the size of your team.

It’s also useful to get out of the office for these discussions. If it’s a nice day out, take a walk outside or grab a seat in a nearby park. Or even grab a coffee somewhere in the neighborhood. It seems like a small thing, but conversation flows so much more openly when you’re not in a conference room in the office. The change of scenery can inspire candor and openness that’s not always easy to achieve elsewhere in order to continue to build trust in the working relationship.

Ask questions, and then really listen to the answers.

A good professional development conversation should involve managers listening more than speaking. This should really be the employee’s time to share with you what’s on their mind. Not all employees will immediately open up, so here are some questions you can use to get the ball rolling:

• What do you like most about your current role?

• What are some skills that you’d like to improve on?

• What do you see as the next career step for yourself?

• What’s most frustrating about your current role?

• What would make you better at your job?

Aim to deliver actionable feedback.

It’s only natural in these conversations for employees to ask about what it will take to move up to the next level and when they’ll get there. After all, everyone wants to know what the path forward looks like. Instead of driving toward specific dates, which tend to be arbitrary, it’s more effective to focus the conversation around the skills, competencies or behaviors that the employee needs to demonstrate in order to advance their position.

It’s best if you can come to the conversation prepared with some thoughts on this topic, but if you’re not prepared for that, just be honest about the fact that you need to give it more thought. It’s much better to follow up with specifics a week later than to make something up off the top of your head that the employee takes as gospel. Just remember: It’s OK if you don’t have answers on the spot, but you must follow up, or else you’ll risk seriously demotivating the employee.

Don’t miss the opportunity to ask for feedback, too.

While the bulk of the conversation should be focused on helping the employee achieve their goals, these candid conversations are also a great opportunity to ask for direct feedback about how you’re performing as a manager.

A good way to jump-start this conversation is by asking about what you should keep doing, what you should stop doing and what you should start doing. Be open, and listen — don’t be defensive — and you’re likely to uncover some important nuggets that can help you retain and motivate your team.

Practice makes the professional.

Professional development conversations may seem daunting at first, but they do get easier in time. And if you’re ever not sure how to proceed, just think about the conversations you wish your manager would have with you. After all, being recognized and knowing there is a path forward is something we all strive for.

Forbes Communications Council is an invitation-only community for executives in successful public relations, media strategy, creative and advertising agencies. Do I qualify?

Vice President of Marketing at AppNeta, and writes about leadership, marketing, and creating high-performing teams. Read Amanda Bohne’s full executive profile here

Source: Investing In Your Team: Driving Professional Development

6.65K subscribers
Get a free coaching session with Stephen Goldberg for leaders and managers https://mailchi.mp/4966f7407de6/freec… Sgn up to receive my bi-monthly newsletter http://eepurl.com/gChMb Download free worksheets, forms and templates from https://www.eloquens.com/channel/step… Get access to forms worksheets and templates from my website http://eepurl.com/ccGNlX Read articles on my blog http://www.optimusperformance.ca/blog/ Support the making of these videos by becoming a Patreon https://www.patreon.com/StephenGoldberg The old expression, “failing to plan is planning to fail” also applies to employee development. In my recent article (http://www.optimusperformance.ca/mana…) about a leaders’ struggle to deal with employees being resistant to change, I wrote that strategic planning for employee development is a practice that a leader must undertake to avoid this dilemma. Developing a human resource or employee development plan is often the responsibility of the human resource department if there is one. From my perspective, it’s the leader’s responsibility because the leader is accountable for the performance of the department and each employee. Here is my list of things for the leader or manager to do to develop a strategic plan for employee development….. Read full article here: A Leadership Job Description :http://www.forbes.com/sites/mikemyatt… How to set and achieve any goal using a goal planning worksheet: http://www.optimusperformance.ca/how-… Learn How to Write a Job Description including a downloadable template https://curious.com/stephengoldberg/j… Learn How to Set & Achieve Goals including Goal Setting Form for download https://curious.com/stephengoldberg/g… Take my lessons +20,000 more @Curious on anything from tennis, to test prep, to tango. As my student, get 20% OFF! http://curious.com?coupon=curiousteac

Employee Benefits Open Enrollment Secrets

It’s benefits season, and that means employees are making mistakes that will cost them in headaches and dollars. “You really have to sit down and pay attention to your benefits like you never had to before,” says Judith Wethall, an employee benefits lawyer with McDermott Will & Emery in Chicago. It’s complicated enough if you’re single. But if you’re married, or have kids who can get insurance on their own or on your plan, it’s even more so. “It’s a coordinated effort,” Wethall says.

Here are 5 insider tips for acing open enrollment. Forbes’ Kelly Anne Smith has more on open enrollment angles for single Millennials here.

Tip #1: Print your online enrollment confirmation page. More employers are moving benefits enrollment online. That has advantages. The online systems walk you through benefits enrollment like TurboTax walks you through filing your tax return. But online enrollment isn’t foolproof. “We started seeing mistakes this year—‘Oh, I know I logged on; I know I added my husband!’” Wethall says an employee insisted in February. Print out and double check your online enrollment submission. And then, check your first paystub in January.

Today In: Money

Secret: Made a mistake or had a change in circumstance? You probably clicked a button that says that your choices are set in stone once you submit your enrollment. But employers can let you change choices (how much money you put in your flexible healthcare spending account, for example) until before the second paystub of the first month of the new plan year. “That’s a little dirty secret,” Wethall says.

Tip #2: Pay attention to wellness programs. Employers are increasingly offering rewards for good behavior like getting an annual physical and penalties for bad behavior like smoking). Employers must be very clear on what it takes to get a cash reward, such as an employer payment into a health savings account. The rules are strict for penalties too. “People are duped into thinking, ‘Oh, I smoke; guess I have to pay the 50% [healthcare premium] surcharge,’” Wethall says.

Secret: DOL rules say that employers must remove smoking-related surcharges for an employee who attends and completes a free smoking cessation class. You don’t have to necessarily give up smoking, just try. Wethall says she helped one employer through a DOL audit that mandated the employer refund employees $2.5 million in surcharges.

Tip #3: Be a comparison shopper. If you have multiple adults eligible for multiple healthcare plans, it pays to compare them. That’s not always easy, as the open enrollment periods might overlap just a few days, but get a head start when the first plan’s enrollment period begins. Wethall says she plans to move her family off her husband’s health insurance plan onto her employer’s plan this year because her plan started offering new premium subsidies. Their 22-year-old daughter has a new job with coverage, so they’re deciding whether to add her to the new family plan—or to have her opt for cheap single coverage on her own. One factor to consider when you’re plan shopping: Do any of the plans offer tiered premiums that are lower for lower-paid employees and higher for higher-paid workers? Another thing to watch out for is high spousal surcharges—when companies increase your premium by up to $100 a month if your spouse is offered coverage at work.

Secret: Children can stay on their parents’ health insurance plan until they turn 26, even if they’re offered employer coverage of their own. But just because they can, that doesn’t mean it’s the best option.

Tip #4: Learn the alphabet soup of special tax-advantaged accounts. If you’re offered a health care savings account, sign up, and you get triple tax-advantaged savings. Use it today for immediate savings or invest the money and use it as a retirement healthcare kitty. (Check out the details, including the 2020 HSA limits: $7,100 for family coverage). Don’t confuse an HSA with a healthcare flexible spending arrangement. The FSA limit is $2,750 for 2020, and you must spend it or forfeit it during the plan year (some employers let you carry over $500).

If you have kids under 13, fund a dependent care FSA, which is used to help pay for child care expenses, including day camp. There’s a $5,000 limit per family (some employers have lower limits), and there’s no carry over provision. It’s safer to underestimate expenses for a dependent care FSA because you can always take the dependent care tax credit on your income tax return (note: the credit is generally less valuable than the dependent care account).

Secret: Watch out for picky rules that might cost you. For the dependent care FSA, day camp counts but overnight camp doesn’t. And it’s not the year your kid turns 13, but the day he turns 13, that he becomes ineligible. If you have an HSA, your FSA must be a limited purpose FSA for dental and vision expenses only, and if you have family coverage, your spouse can’t separately sign up for an FSA at their employer. If you’re 55 or older, you and your spouse can each make $1,000-a-year extra contributions to the HSA.

Tip #5: When in doubt, call HR. “Employees aren’t advocating enough for themselves,” Wethall says. In one case, a woman who was paying for family coverage tried to add her newborn third child through an online system by the 30-days-after-birth deadline but it wouldn’t take without a Social Security number which hadn’t been issued yet. The baby ended up in the hospital after a car accident without coverage. The employer did retroactively pay for the baby’s care, but it would have saved a good deal of stress and anxiety if the employee had spoken up, as HR would have overridden the system, Wethall says.

Secret: HR can send you the plan description for details beyond what’s in open enrollment materials. And remember HR can get their benefits lawyer on the line to help. Be persistent. It’s your family’s money after all.

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Send me a secure tip.

I’m an associate editor on the Money team at Forbes based in Fairfield County, Connecticut, leading Forbes’ retirement coverage. I manage contributors who cover retirement and wealth management. Since I joined Forbes in 1997, my favorite stories have been on how people fuel their passions (historic preservation, open space, art, for example) by exploiting the tax code. I also get into the nitty-gritty of retirement account rules, estate planning and strategic charitable giving. My favorite Forbes business trip: to Plano, Ill. to report on the restoration of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House, then owned by a British baron. Live well. Follow me on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/ashleaebeling Send me an email: aebeling@forbes.com

Source: Shhh! Employee Benefits Open Enrollment Secrets

25.5K subscribers
Most companies provide benefits to workers as part of a total rewards package that ideally enhances their satisfaction with work. A benefit is a tangible indirect reward provided to an employee or group of employees for organizational membership. Benefits can influence employees’ decisions about which employer to work for, whether to stay with or leave an organization, and when to retire. What benefits are offered, the competitive level of benefits, and how those benefits are viewed by individuals all affect employee attraction and retention efforts. A benefit is a tangible indirect reward provided to an employee or group of employees for organizational membership. Organizations design benefit plans with a goal of providing value for employees while remaining cost-effective for the company. Many key decisions must be made as part of benefits design. The Social Security Act of 1935 and its later amendments established a system to provide old-age, survivor’s, disability, and retirement benefits. Medicare is a government-operated health insurance program for older Americans (age 65 and above) and for some citizens with disabilities. Workers’ compensation are security benefits provided to workers who are injured on the job. Unemployment compensation is money that substitutes for wages or salary, paid to recently unemployed workers under a program administered by a government or labor union. Unemployment compensation is meant to provide a source of income for jobless workers until they can find employment. Offering retirement plans are a staple of the total rewards mix in any organization, critical to attracting, retaining and motivating talent. Employees often consider health plans to be one of the most important benefits that companies offer. Some companies have started to offer a variety of innovative health care programs that provide better services to employees. The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) is a United States labor law requiring covered employers to provide employees with job-protected and unpaid leave for qualified medical and family reasons. Since the enactment of the FMLA, a significant percentage of employees have taken family and medical leave. Many employers have found PTO plans to be more effective than other means of reducing absenteeism, scheduling time off, increasing employee understanding of leave policies, and assisting with recruiting and retention.

4 Hard Truths About Why Your Key Team Members Quit

A while back we talked about the real reasons why you weren’t hiring new employees, and shared the hard truths behind why you might be hesitant to find and hire new talent despite a need for help. Today, I wanted to share a little more hard truth- this time surrounding the reasons why your employees quit. As a business owner, you may have an idea of why you have turnover, but it generally boils down to four main categories.

1. Lack of Recognition

One of the main reasons that employees look for another position has to do with lack of recognition from management. They think “I have been busting my hump for these people for the last ten years and I haven’t had a raise in three and all they ever do is give praise to Julie and I have done twice as much as Julie….etc” Really taking the time to celebrate victories with your employees and recognize their hard work goes a long way to keeping them happy in their current position. And it’s important to think outside of the “employee of the month” box and really get to the heart of recognizing hard work and talent on your team.
Hiring Tip: If your job opening has growth opportunities make sure to list that in the listing. A lot of job seekers are looking for this specifically and will help you stand out amongst the crowd.

2. Lack of Growth

Does the position have the opportunity for promotion? Employees that have no promotion opportunities, are already at the top of their pay grade and have no coaching or mentorship opportunities available to them are the most likely to leave to look for something else. Depending on your company, you may not be able to offer up a promotion in the traditional sense but mentoring or coaching your key team members to grow in their field can go a long way to keeping them interested and engaged.

Hiring Tip: Instead of hiring for a project manager right out of the gate consider hiring for a project manager level 1 or level 2, allowing the candidate room to be promoted over time.

3. Lack of Management

We have all heard the phrase, “people don’t quit jobs, they quit managers.” And this is very true. If they aren’t getting recognition, training or advancement opportunities it’s usually because of a manager. You want to make sure that your managers know what they’re doing and value their team and are doing all those things that are important to be able to keep those people.

4.Money

Everyone has economic needs and it’s important to pay your employees fairly. This should be a given. But when we talk about money and compensation it really comes down to two things.

  1. Are you being fair? Are you paying the person what they are worth to the company?
  2. Are you being respectful? Are you paying them what the market values their skill set at?

We can’t all compete to pay the highest wage, but you can make sure that you are being fair and respectful of your employees and their economic needs.

Hiring Tip: It’s also important to note here that often times when an employee comes to you asking for more money, what they really mean is that they want more independence, autonomy or growth opportunities. Those things can often be achieved with a larger salary, but there are other ways to make an employee feel appreciated without offering up more money. So if you are paying a fair wage, it might be a good idea to look at other factors that are at play here.

David Finkel Author, ‘The Freedom Formula: How to Succeed in Business Without Sacrificing Your Family, Health, or Life’

Source: 4 Hard Truths About Why Your Key Team Members Quit

63.3K subscribers
What To do When Your Network Marketing Team Members Quit ***Download my Guide to Generating Business & Sales Online here: http://www.tanyaaliza.com/40download In this episode, I share my best network marketing training tips on how to get past the frustration and disappointment that can linger on when someone quits your network marketing team. What’s your initial reaction when someone in your team decides to quit your network marketing team? Do you turn around and say, “Have you gone mad?!”  Or do you wish them well and mean it? Despite your best efforts to coach and support team members, there will always be some that leave. Everyone has their own theory on why people quit network marketing, but generally, people quit things all the time. They quit their job, their marriage, college, their dreams and every industry imaginable. It’s a fact of life and it’s inevitable. However, for most people, this kind of event shakes them up and leaves them feeling frustrated and disappointed. It may have already happened to you, and it’ll most certainly happen to all network marketers. So, if you’re stuck on an emotional roller coaster every time someone in your network marketing team decides to take a hiatus, then this network marketing training is for you. In this episode, I’ll be sharing some tools and strategies I use that will help you prepare for this type of situation and not allow it to detract you or prevent you from growing your business ****Download the FREE Resource mentioned in this video – My Guide to Generating Business, Leads and Sales Online – http://www.tanyaaliza.com/40download ———Connect With Tanya———— Tanya Aliza on Social Media: http://www.tanyaaliza.com http://www.facebook.com/tanyaaliza http://instagram.com/tanyaaliza http://twitter.com/tanyaaliza Share this video – https://youtu.be/6yUaFH23DC0 About this video: In this episode I share with you some of my Network Marketing Team training tips so that you know what to do if you have a teammate quit or cancel. In this network marketing training I also share so network marketing tips so you can understand why people quit. I hope you find this one of your most best network marketing training.

8 Fears That Prevent Honest Employees From Telling Managers the Truth

Do you ever secretly feel like your team is withholding information? That you’re only getting half of the story? Or that employees are just telling you what you want to hear?

You’re not alone. According to a SimplyHired survey, more employees fib to their supervisors than to their co-workers or subordinates. Combine this stat with those employees who don’t say anything at all, and you’re looking at a wide-spread lack of reliable information.

So why do employees feel like they have to lie?

The truth? They’re afraid of repercussions. They’re scared of the exposure that comes from being open and honest, especially with managers.

Little white-lies about staying home sick are one thing, but when employees consistently withhold the truth from their managers and teams, engagement suffers, and productivity is stifled.

Root Inc., a management consulting firm that’s worked with many Fortune 50 companies, sees this issue surface most frequently during times of organizational change. As companies go through cultural, procedural, or structural shifts, employees are afraid of what telling the truth might do to the status of their jobs.

The issue is that as truth-telling declines, cost, bureaucracy, redundancies, and a lack of confidence in the future all rise, warns Root.

They specifically called out eight common fears that drive employees to guard their words.

  1. The fear of indictment for past performance
  2. The fear of being branded and punished for not being on board
  3. The fear of offending a teammate or colleague
  4. The fear of not being accepted by the team
  5. The fear that speaking the truth will zap valuable time and energy and never be resolved anyway (don’t open a can of worms)
  6. The fear of not being valued if I say what I really think
  7. The fear that it is just not safe to talk about the truth
  8. The fear of letting them know you don’t have it all figured out

Managers: Provide air cover and encourage employees to be authentic.

Regardless of how hard you try, organizational change cannot be morphed into an industrial process. It’s not a mechanical nor formulaic system where you’re guaranteed a positive outcome by sticking to a script. Change is a very human experience; it’s organic.

To encourage employees to open up and be honest, and to support change momentum, managers have to provide the right conditions. In the words of Sir Ken Robinson, British author, speaker, and advisor, managers have to shift their mindset from “command and control” to that of “climate control.”

Regarding honesty, we’ve all been in meetings and, due to the fear of seeming incompetent, have held back questions or ideas. It’s unnerving to feel like you’re in an environment where everything you do or say is under a microscope. Understandably, it keeps you from disclosing information and feelings.

But imagine a different setting. A situation in which everyone is safe to take risks, voice their opinions, and ask judgment-free questions; a culture where managers go first, provide air cover, and create safe zones so employees can let down their guard and speak up.

That’s the goal.

Michael Schneider Human capital specialist, Welltower

Source: 8 Fears That Prevent Honest Employees From Telling Managers the Truth

2.5K subscribers
** Please Like the Video and Subscribe, Thanks ** So what’s the right strategy to dramatically increase employee engagement in your organization? Well let’s first talk about the wrong strategy… Usually, someone from HR has to convince the CEO to spend money on an employee survey. And when the results come back, the data is hoarded by the senior leadership and a committee is formed to brainstorm ways to improve engagement. The committee implements things like an employee appreciation day, an awards program and perhaps even a tweak to the benefits. But the problem with this approach is that over seventy percent of the variance in engagement correlates to the manager. In other words, who your boss is. Front line leaders are the regulators of engagement. So all those top down ideas don’t matter if you’ve still got the same boss, and if your boss hasn’t changed his behaviors. The right employee engagement strategy instead of being top down, is from the bottom up. First, if you want to improve something, measure it. So you do need to conduct an employee engagement survey. Second, make sure each manager gets her own score report. What is the engagement score for her team, and how does it compare with the average score throughout the company. Finally, third step…have managers shares their results with their own teams. It’s not an HR meeting, nothing fancy or formal. Grab a pizza, get in a conference room and do it over a long lunch. The manager is the facilitator, not the problem solver. What areas did we do well in? What should we focus on for improvement? Because the front line workers are the ones who completed the survey, THEY are the only ones who can tell you what needs to change. The answers can’t come from above. -~-~~-~~~-~~-~- Most Recent Video: “How To Talk ANYONE Into ANYTHING | Negotiation Tips From Former FBI Negotiator Chris Voss ” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7jqj3…

There’s No Such Thing as a ‘Sometimes’ Flexible Schedule and ‘Occasional’ Remote Work Policy. Here’s Why

Note: Inc.’s Ask a 20-Something series offers sage advice for navigating all manner of workplace issues, from the perspective of a young employee.

My under-30 employees have recently been lobbying for flexible hours and work-from-home policies. I’m convinced they’re just going to abuse those perks, and our productivity will nosedive. Is there an easy way for me to meet them halfway?

Nope.

Before my editor chews me out for writing a one-word advice column, let me explain: Flexible hours and work-from-home policies are all-or-nothing propositions. If you institute half-measures–offering these policies only sometimes, or to some employees but not others–you’ll come across as inconsistent, or worse, as playing favorites. So, no, you’re not going to meet your employees halfway here.

These policies function on accountability and trust, and clearly, you don’t trust your young employees. I’ve gotta say, that seems pretty paranoid to me. Think about the last time you took a sick day. Did the entire office fall into shambles in your absence? If not, it sounds like you need to do some serious self-reflection here. Figure out where those trust issues come from.

And if your office did fall apart, I don’t think your under-30 employees are entirely to blame. Either you’ve made some serious hiring mistakes, you’re terrible at motivating your employees to buy into your mission, or you’re doing too much yourself and not delegating important work to others.

Let me dispel a myth for you: Young workers aren’t trying to game the system. Your average 20-something is well aware that it takes hard work and dedication to get ahead, especially because we constantly find ourselves fighting against the (very dumb) stigma that Millennials are inherently lazy and entitled.

That stigma colors everything you tell us. If anything, we work harder than usual to make our presence known to our bosses when we work remotely, because we believe we can’t rely on our work to speak for us. When you say, “I need you in the office,” here’s what we hear: “I don’t trust you to do your job unless I’m literally watching you work.”

I’m not going to lie. That’s hurtful.

Just for the sake of argument, let’s assume I’m right. It invites the question: Why do your under-30 workers want flexible hours and work-from-home policies? What a great question. You should ask them. Out loud. With words.

Maybe they work second jobs to help pay off their student loans. Maybe their commute sucks–a 2018 study from HR consulting firm Robert Half found that 23 percent of workers have quit a job because of their commute.

Or, maybe they’re just trying to get a little more sleep–which would make them more productive, not less. A 2018 study published in the journal Sleep, for example, found that sleeping five to six hours a night cuts your productivity the next day by 19 percent, compared with a baseline of seven to eight hours per night. Nineteen percent!

When you learn the reasons behind their request, you’ll have a much stronger idea of how the added flexibility might benefit them–and you. That’ll help you make an educated decision. And don’t forget: You can always implement these policies on a limited basis, especially as a way of testing the waters. Designate a single work-from-home day each week, or try it on a month-by-month basis. See what happens. You may be pleasantly surprised.

To submit a question for Ask a 20-Something, email calbertdeitch@inc.com. Your query could be featured in a future installment.

By:  Cameron Albert-Deitch Reporter, Inc.

Source: There’s No Such Thing as a ‘Sometimes’ Flexible Schedule and ‘Occasional’ Remote Work Policy. Here’s Why

79 subscribers
Visit our website for more info: http://www.doverecruitment.com.au/ Regardless of the size of your business, policies and procedures in the workplace have never been more important. Regulations, legislation and codes of practice are forever changing, so it’s important to ensure you remain compliant. In this episode, Michelle from Dove Recruitment explains the difference between policies and procedures. She explains that policies act as a guideline for all decisions made within the organisation, and ensure day to day operational tasks meet the legislation requirements that are relevant to your industry. Whereas, procedures explain how to perform day to day tasks and duties in line with company policies. Not only that, but Michelle outlines the numerous benefits having policies and procedures provide to your business. Some of these include: -Consistency with your company values and relevant legislation -Proof that your business is operating in a compliant, efficient and professional manner -Assisting with company and staff performance reviews and assessments -Providing framework for business structure, business planning and job descriptions If you don’t have current policies and procedures in place and have no idea where to start, why not get in touch with your relevant industrial relations body for assistance.

JPMorgan Chase Hired 2,100 People With Criminal Records In 2018 (And Will Hire More)

Topline: JPMorgan Chase announced an expansion of its efforts to hire people with criminal backgrounds Monday, continuing the trend of big companies “banning the box” and giving people second chances.

  • JPMorgan Chase hired 2,100 people with criminal records in 2018, which equals about 10% of their total hires last year.
  • The bank knows those people have records, because they conduct background checks on applicants after a job offer has been made.
  • Applicants with criminal records are being considered for entry-level jobs like account servicing and transaction processing, according to the bank’s press release.
  • The unemployment rate for formerly incarcerated people is 27%, while the nationwide unemployment rate is 3.5%, according to the bank.
  • But the tight labor market could be more beneficial to people with criminal records⁠—a July survey from staffing firm Adecco showed that 35% of respondents would consider those applicants, and 21% of respondents are no longer drug-testing them.
  • Koch Industries, Starbucks, McDonald’s, Target and Home Depot are among other corporations that have increased hiring efforts of the formerly incarcerated since at least 2013.

Surprising fact: The U.S. loses up to $87 billion annually in GDP by excluding people with criminal backgrounds from the workforce, said the bank.

Key background: “Banning the box” refers to removing questions about criminal backgrounds from job applications, a movement that’s been growing over the past two decades. According to the Pew Research Center, as of April black and Hispanic people make up 56% of the jailed population, leading experts to believe the groups are unfairly discriminated against in hiring. But “ban the box” legislation began to pass in the early 2000s, with laws on the books in 35 states and over 150 cities and counties as of July, according to the National Employment Law Project. And the 2018 First Step Act means thousands of people could be eligible for early release from prison, on top of the 700,000 already released annually⁠—signaling a shifting political attitude towards these workers, according to FastCompany.

Follow me on Twitter. Send me a secure tip.

I’m a New York-based journalist covering breaking news at Forbes. I hold a master’s degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. Previous bylines: Gotham Gazette, Bklyner, Thrillist, Task & Purpose, and xoJane.

Source: JPMorgan Chase Hired 2,100 People With Criminal Records In 2018 (And Will Hire More)

1.1M subscribers
From the railroad and steel consolidations brokered by John Pierpont Morgan on Wall Street more than a century ago, to banking consolidation, the financial crisis and Jamie Dimon’s leadership, J.P. Morgan Chase has been at the center of finance for more than a century. Here’s the story of how the country’s largest bank got to where it is today. Biographer of J.P. Morgan Jean Strouse, longtime bank analyst Mike Mayo and CNBC banking reporter Hugh Son help tell the story. You’ll learn about how Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton are part of the bank’s history, along with the first ATM, and the company’s position moving forward into the future of digital banking. Watch the video above to see how the country’s largest bank got to where it is today. ***Clarification*** Since 2004, investors in JPM stock have outperformed the bank stock index by an average of 6% return every year. That’s more than 6x the return of the index yearly (13:52) In February, J.P. Morgan Chase announced it was in growth mode, expanding its branch network to cover 93 percent of the U.S. population by the end of 2022. The aggressive growth plans will allow it to reach 80 million more consumers, or about one-quarter of the U.S. population, versus its footprint in 2018, the New York-based bank says. The expansion of physical branches comes amid a consumer shift to mobile and online banking. The average number of teller transactions per customer has plunged 41 percent since 2014, according to J.P. Morgan’s presentation at its investor day meeting. But convenient branch locations are a key consideration for people thinking about switching banks, and most of the firm’s growth in deposits has been fueled by people who use branches frequently, the bank said. The company made it clear it had flexibility in its growth plans: More than 75 percent of its branches could be shuttered within five years or kept open for more than a decade. » Subscribe to CNBC: http://cnb.cx/SubscribeCNBC About CNBC: From ‘Wall Street’ to ‘Main Street’ to award winning original documentaries and Reality TV series, CNBC has you covered. Experience special sneak peeks of your favorite shows, exclusive video and more. Connect with CNBC News Online Get the latest news: http://www.cnbc.com/ Follow CNBC on LinkedIn: https://cnb.cx/LinkedInCNBC Follow CNBC News on Facebook: http://cnb.cx/LikeCNBC Follow CNBC News on Twitter: http://cnb.cx/FollowCNBC Follow CNBC News on Google+: http://cnb.cx/PlusCNBC Follow CNBC News on Instagram: http://cnb.cx/InstagramCNBC #CNBC How JP Morgan Chase Became The Largest Bank In The US

Why Your Junior Employees Clam Up During Meetings–and How to Get Them to Participate

Note: Inc.’s Ask a 20-Something series offers sage advice for navigating all manner of workplace issues, from the perspective of a young employee.

Q: No one likes meetings, but some are necessary. What can I do to make them more tolerable to young staffers?

A: All right. There are a lot of different strategies out there for “fixing” meetings: do them standing (or walking, or even running), nix PowerPoints, institute hard time caps, make them optional, encourage employees to leave if they’re bored, and many more.

I think they’re all ridiculous.

Not because they’re bad suggestions. It’s just a silly premise, to begin with. “No one likes meetings” isn’t true. More accurate: No one likes boring meetings that don’t apply to them.

Call me crazy, but I actually enjoy the majority of meetings I’m in. Team meetings to discuss specific issues? Those affect my day-to-day work, and are worth my attention. All-staff meetings? Rare chances to make my face and voice known to senior leadership (which have directly led to career opportunities). One-on-one meetings with my boss? I’m definitely paying attention, even if my heart rate sometimes spikes.

The boring ones, for me, are the ones that have absolutely nothing to do with me. How egotistical, right? Imagine sitting through yet another meeting that won’t teach you anything new or let you share your thoughts and opinions. Or, the topic is so unrelated to your interests–whether professional or personal–that you can’t even form any relevant thoughts or opinions.

And inevitably, if it’s a two-hour meeting, I end up staying in the office two hours later than usual to get my normal work done. Now I’m feeling both annoyed–probably at you, the person who made me attend this meeting–and unproductive. That’s time I’m never getting back. Ugh.

That’s backed up by research. In a 2017 study published in the Harvard Business Review, more than half of senior managers surveyed said their meetings regularly wasted the time of both the group and each individual involved. Heck, 65 percent of them said meetings kept them from completing their own work.

Now, to be fair, I’m pretty talkative. I’ve been known to have some strong opinions on most topics. You may have employees who are a little more hesitant to speak up.

Your key to encouraging their participation: Regulate the number of participants. Speaking in front of a whole room full of people, especially when that room features your boss (and your boss’s boss), can be really intimidating. Having a candid conversation when there are only three or four other people present–even including your boss’s boss–is much easier.

If you need shy employees to speak up at larger meetings, speak with them about it in advance. Help them prepare. Few people enjoy being put on the spot.

So, to revisit your initial question, here’s a two-question litmus test for every meeting:

  1. Will this meeting help these employees do their jobs or grow their careers?

  2. Are these employees likely to actively participate?

If the answer to either question is yes, invite them. If both answers are no, don’t. Instead, consider a third question: Is this meeting worth holding at all?

To submit a question for Ask a 20-Something, email calbertdeitch@inc.com. Your query could be featured in a future installment.

By: Cameron Albert-Deitch

Source: Why Your Junior Employees Clam Up During Meetings–and How to Get Them to Participate | Inc.com

11.8K subscribers
“Meetings do take work and meetings are actually an a really important team building tool yet they are never treated as such and therefore they become in fact complete energy sucks ” – Claire Hughes Johnson, COO of Stripe, on Running an Effective Staff Meeting at our KV Summit.

%d bloggers like this:
Skip to toolbar