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Archive for month: June, 2015

A Healthy Perspective on Wellness Programs

A Healthy Perspective on Wellness Programs

Over the last 5 years, the Affordable Care Act has made Americans and their employers more aware of their position as health care consumers than ever before.  Prior to 2011, health care premiums were growing at shocking double-digit increases. Since that time, the average monthly health care premium growth has slowed to 9% as more companies are taking proactive steps to control their health care costs.  One contributing factor is implementation of corporate wellness programs.

On a conscious level, we all know that a major factor impacting health care premiums is the level of health risk of the members of an insured group – about 70% of us on a national scale. As more information has become available, as a group, we’ve extended our life expectancies and learned that lifestyle choices have a huge influence on our short and long-term health.

How can companies help start to sway our national health stats and costs toward the positive? Let’s look at an example.

Katlyn proudly lands her first “real” job after college. She has a job description, her title in the signature line of her company emails, and health insurance. Her benefits don’t stop there.

Along with being able to afford to order from something other than the $1 menu at a fast food place, Katlyn’s company has a cafeteria with healthy food options and a healthy recipes exchange board. A few times per year the company sponsors organized runs which Katlyn decides to participate in. She gets a health screen once per year that let’s Katlyn bench mark her relevant health stats, something she never even thought to pay attention to before. Katlyn gets a discount on her insurance premiums for participating. At each screen, she is reminded to wear her seat beat, limit her alcohol consumption, and to take advantage of preventive health care like teeth cleanings and annual physicals which she does.

In time, Katlyn decides to use some of her new income to buy a house. The experience is pretty stressful on top of her new job. She attends a company sponsored ‘Lunch and Learn’ on coping with the stress and makes a commitment to attend yoga classes offered at her office 3 times a week.  She likes yoga so much she joins a gym; after all she gets reimbursed a portion of the membership cost.

When Katlyn’s father passes away, she is devastated. Her manager encourages her to leverage the company’s Employee Assistance Program. Katlyn is able to process her feelings with a counselor in a healthy way, something she might never have done if she’d had to find a counselor on her own and pay out-of-pocket. In full, Katlyn’s overall health gets a major boost from these great resources readily available to her throughout her career with her company.

This all sounds great, right? Yet what would all these great benefits end up costing Katlyn’s company? Statistically, these benefits would save Katlyn’s company 20-25% more on their health care costs than companies that do not offer comprehensive wellness programs. The company will also save with lower absenteeism, lower workers’ compensation and disabilities claims, and they will reduce their recruiting costs, making a wellness program a pretty good business decision.  Katlyn will also experience lower premiums year-over-year than her friends who work for companies that don’t have wellness programs.

It might seem daunting to get a program like the hypothetic company in my example off the ground, especially if your business is just getting started. Even starting small with employee health education can begin to build momentum that will start to significantly improve the health of your employees.

BBD can help connect you with wellness experts who can work with you to develop a wellness program that suits your company’s needs; offering a step-by-step approach. Email Joy@BeyondBBD.com and let us know what you would like to see your company include in your wellness program that would make the greatest impact to a culture of wellness.

Happy Father’s Day

Happy Father’s Day

Our dads are important leaders in our families. Our culture has provided a number of support opportunities for moms to take a break, express pent up emotions in healthy ways, and openly seek coping mechanisms for stress, all deservedly so. Yet occasionally, our dads might be a bit of an afterthought. How do we honor dad’s role in our family in a way that works for him and gives him opportunities to healthily blow off steam?

Statically speaking, the majority of men will make a series of lifestyle changes that will positively impact their health after they’ve become a father. Creating a family schedule for simplicity often means dads partake in more balanced and regular meals. Fathers tend be more physically active; however, family households are also experiencing a greater balance in child-rearing tasks across moms and dads. This balancecan have many positive influences on the family unit and also put fathers in a position of having to juggle many tasks at once.

The good news for dads is that with increased parenting and other household tasks being added to his plate, the value of fathers has also increased.  Although parental tasks were not included in this list below, Insure.com’s annual Father’s Day Index values dad’s many other efforts at $25,709 per year. To get to this number, common household tasks are Index based on theBureau of Labor Statistics for specific tasks from plumbing, to coaching sport teams, to chauffeuring. This number is also based on working dads rather than stay-at-home fathers. Regardless, this number should help put dad’s contributions to the family into perspective.

The Father’s Day Index 2015

Dad’s job BLS occupation  Hours per week Weeks per year Mean hourly
wage
Annual value
Family finances Accountants and auditors 0.5 52 $30.90 $803
Plumber Pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters 2 3 $30.53 $183
Helping with homework Other teachers and instructors 10 40 $27.40 $10,960
Coaching a team Athletes, coaches, umpires, and related workers 4 10 $24.35 $974
Handyman Maintenance and repair workers, general 8 6 $20.30 $974
Car maintenance Automotive service technicians and mechanics 2 10 $18.43 $369
Assembly of toys, bookshelves, etc. Miscellaneous assemblers and fabricators 3 10 $15.83 $475
Pest removal (spiders, gross bugs) Pest control workers 1 4 $16.33 $65
Scout leader Recreation and fitness workers 5 10 $17.90 $895
Driving Taxi drivers and chauffeurs 9 52 $15.23 $7,125
Moving furniture Laborers and freight, stock, and material movers, hand 2 3 $13.65 $82
Barbecuing Cooks 3 52 $10.40 $1,622
Mowing the lawn, landscaping, snow removal Grounds Maintenance Workers 2 52 $11.35 $1,180

Dad’s 2015 value: $25,709

Wage source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

 

This Father’s Day we also wanted to know what makes dads feel valued. We asked three popular dad bloggers, and their answers pointed away from fancy gifts and exotic celebrations and toward everyday stuff:

“It’s just knowing I’m providing for them, everything from their physical to emotional needs,” says Lin, creator of The Busy Dad Blog.  it’s often as simple as seeing the household operate as it should or watching his 12-year-old son and 4-year-old daughter play happily outside.  On Father’s Day, Lin likes to eat and relax with his family and take the day off from worrying.

“I grew up without my father and so I wanted to do things differently for my family,” says Fred Goodall, founder of Mocha Dad, a website focused on fatherhood, and is passionate about parenting and encouraging men to become better dads and husbands.Goodall still carries in his wallet a laminated card his 6-year-old son made a few years ago in preschool. As for celebrating on Father’s Day, each year he and his wife and kids get their photo taken wearing matching T-shirts. He also makes up a questionnaire and asks his kids to fill it out. He saves their hand-written answers from year to year.

“What makes me feel valued is when they do the right thing when no one’s looking. It shows the things you drive home with them stick, they’re learning while they’re watching you.” Says blogger Trey Burley, founder of parenting website Daddy Mojo.  Burley says his favorite way to spend Father’s Day is to go out to breakfast with the family at a nice bagel place and stop by the farmer’s market for fresh fruit.

With dads putting forth so much important energy to do their part to keep households running smoothly, doesn’t dad deserve some special thanks for Father’s Day? You might be surprised to learn that the things that would make dad most happy this Father’s Day is time with his family over expensive gifts. It makes perfect sense that with schedules getting busier for everyone that our fathers crave a little quality with the families they work so hard for.  Make extra time this Father’s Day to let the dad in your life know the value you place on him is priceless.

The Leadership Gap – Building a Bridge

The Leadership Gap – Building a Bridge

Everyday more corporate leaders are retiring. In fact, the U.S. is facing the retirement of 33 million baby boomers by 2020, leaving a rather large and potentially threatening leadership gap for businesses to fill. The process of filling the leadership gap will not accommodate the time commitment needed for training the next generation of leaders.  Additional studies show that only 11% of employees are interested in pursuing C-level leadership positions critical to the success of an organization.

With these tough challenges, companies may need to take a “bamboo” approach to training. Bamboo is one of the fastest growing plants in the world but only after it takes time to develop a robust root system. This system protects and supports the plant’s longevity, heartiness, and strength.  The bamboo becomes tough to uproot and the plant’s growth becomes explosive.

Companies can be like bamboo and develop a root system that will support them well into the future.Start by considering who the future leaders could be in your company. Who would shoot to higher levels of leadership with the right mentoring and training? Next, gather input throughout your organization, sister companies and trusted partners on the type, style, and execution of the training most relevant. Getting feedback lays the ground work to give a leadership training program that extra boost it needs to be successful. Consider how you might leverage mobile tools, personalization, and the ability to be flexible to help meet the user experience preferred by Millennials to drive engagement and follow through.

Once you have areas of growth identified, consider leveraging subject matter experts from in and outside of the organization to develop and deliver training materials. Keep the lines of feedback flowing and adapt as needed. Through this and other exploratory training and continued learning, your company can begin to tend to its next generation of leaders and grow them to become wonderful assets.

Most importantly, start your transition planning now. On an individual basis, consider how you can stretch your own mentoring skills and seek to teach potential prodigies to lead your organization in its next pursuits. Support them in growing deep strong roots as leaders in your company. If you’re a Millennial and are inspired to lead, seek out a mentor to help you identify your areas of strength and opportunities for growth.

Is your company ready to start a training program targeted to the future leaders in your organization? BBD is here to support you in understanding and executing training and coaching to help your business bridge the leadership gap.

Making Training a Priority

Making Training a Priority

Between the many emails, meetings, and random tasks that have not yet made it on a “to do” list, continuing to enhance your skills as a leader can be a difficult area to give focus. Whether you are responsible for developing yourself, or yourself and leaders in your company, having a plan to stay fresh on your professional skills needs to be at the top of your “to do” list rather than an after-thought.

Leadership begins with a natural or adopted desire to serve others by taking responsibility for creating and delivering on a high level of quality.  Leaders share their quality vision throughout their teams and organizations to bring clarity to how quality will be achieved throughout the business’ operations. Taking time to develop a training program helps ensure you’ll accomplish the expression of quality and that you’ll do so consistently across all points of leadership.

With the motive for training firm, leadership development programs are most successful when they include the following simple elements.

1). Leadership requires adaptability and so should your training programs

Circumstances change every day and require leadership agility in order to assess the situation, evaluate options, and determine the best course of action. The most effective leadership training programs are not rigid rather they allow for the flexibility to change message as the company and leaders grow. One way to ensure your training is on point is to ask the receivers of the training about their biggest challenges.  Develop relationships with sister organizations and understand what their key challenges and training approaches are. Review the training and challenges consistent across your industry. Taking inspiration from these 3 sources will help you identify consistent themes that likely need training focus.

2). Make training a scheduled priority and it will get done

Develop and commit to a schedule for monthly, quarterly, bi-annual, and annual training as appropriate for your business. The content of the training will change with each session but scheduling the training ensures it’s on the calendar and time is set aside to accomplish it. Set aside 8-16 hour increments to minimize distractions and ensure your team blocks off full days for training.

3). Bring in experts to get the best results

Once you know the when and what of the training consider the best sources of information on the key topics. Involve team members knowledgeable on the subjects as well as outside consultants and teachers. This is one of the many areas where BBD can help. We develop customized and out-of-the box training on a variety of relevant leadership skills and practices.  Bringing in outside expects can help bring a fresh perspective to your training and helps increase information retention.

4). Evaluate, ask for feedback and incorporate the learnings

At the end of each training sessions, make sure you have a method of collecting feedback from the training participants. Be open to the information you receive and consider ways to further improve the subject and execution of your training.  Your team will enjoy feeling that you were open to hearing their opinion and will feel like they have more invested in the training. Monitor if the training is effective by establishing metrics for its impact. Metrics should be measurable and relevant to your team specifically. If you are training as an individual, perform your own review of the information you received and document your thoughts on the benefits. Is the training beneficial? Do you feel more prepared than you did prior to the training?

While you are working on training for yourself and your team, consider ways of getting outside of your norm to get new insights on a consistent basis. Look for training events, webinars and luncheons that fit with your needs and schedule. If you are in the Minnesota area, attend our next LIFT event. Visit to get the details and to register http://beyondbbd.com/lift-events/.  While you are at it, seek out additional reading and resources to further expand your knowledge of training techniques and approaches available to you as well. You might start by checking out 5 Ways to Train Yourself to be a great leader.