By Joshua Weinstein, Employee Benefits President
I’m no longer a member of the youngest and hippest generation. My daughters keep me apprised of the trending memes, hand gestures, and terms, but at heart, I know I’ve crossed into deep mid-life. With that ascension comes maturity and growth, right? While I still break into fits of childlike moments of wonder, I have thought about the HOW of my work process and systems. Benefiting from nearly 20 years in my profession, I’ve observed how my knowledge lake has grown both in breadth and depth. Still, I think my greatest contributions have come in the form of learning to trim the extraneous, the fat, and get to the root of my client’s needs.
In summary, the tectonic shift occurring as I round out 20 years in my profession, which happens to be employee benefits consulting, is that my path is now less of ascent and more of one of descent. In metaphorical terms, today I strive less to climb in my career. Rather, I’m here to mentor and lead the next generation as they ascend and reach for their goals. I’m invested more in sharing and surrendering any trade secrets I may possess than personal gain right now. Perhaps I’m just an old soul ahead of my time, but it’s where I am. In a spirit of sharing, here are a few life lessons that I’ve embodied after much trial and error.
- When I started as a newbie in my professional career, I read documents cover-to-cover, and now, with that framework in place, I scan for updates and relevant changes. I’m still a content-level expert in my field, but I can be more efficient since I’m adjusting what I already have learned.
- I had been accused long ago of micromanaging my work, and now I’ve learned to trust others to succeed and make their learning mistakes. Surrendering control is integral to efficiency and others’ prosperity.
- Take proper vacations. For each week out, I build in a “phantom day” upon my return while I’m working under the radar. I’m still out as far as others know, but I’m getting caught up.
- I have a better handle on the types of work I do best during certain parts of the day. For this blog, right after coffee at 9 AM is the spot. Social time and forming big ideas with co-workers is best had in the late afternoon.
- As a leader, I am less tolerant to mediocrity, both in myself and others. I’ve heard we’re shaped most by the five people we socialize with outside of immediate family, and so I’ve laid to rest friendships that were no longer mutually beneficial. Same goes in the workforce. If a colleague isn’t in the right role, our servant leaders attempt to help him or her adjust as needed. Failing success after a fair number of attempts to cultivate it, we part ways. Building an A-class team within our division at work has meant more letting go than holding on. Those that remain likely have careers for life.
How about you? What have you learned to surrender and let go of that’s made you and those around you more prosperous and empowered to lead?
By Tiffany Stock, Vice President, Marketing & Client Relations
Normally I try to share articles that are deep, insightful and nonetheless thought provoking, but sometimes we all need a little break from the norm as long as it provides some inspiration!
Based on the most recent data from the CDC, in Alaska, only 19% of adults and 41.6% of adolescents in grades 9-12 consume less than one vegetable per day. Nationally only 1 in 10 adults get enough fruits and vegetables, which means 90% of adults are not getting the recommended 2-3 cups of vegetables per day as part of a healthy eating pattern. I don’t know about you, but sometimes my vegetable repertoire has much to be desired and can we say, lacks some creativity and can seem a little boring. If you can relate to this, I encourage you to checkout a recent blog post I came across through one of our insurance partners, Premera, titled How to Break Out of Your Winter Vegetables Rut. This piece is sure to get those creative culinary ideas circulating with some very mouth-watering recipes!
By Joshua Weinstein, Employee Benefits President
I’m a minimalist by nature. I believe everything you own is a relationship you’re in that requires maintenance. That said, many things spark joy and should be kept around, even if they require TLC. When new “things” are needed, I try to maximize my purchasing power. Heck, we so often trade our most precious resource, time, for money, so we might as well earn something for doing what’s otherwise needed. Enter, Shopsmarter.com.
I found Shopsmarter.com on a UPS shipping label for a Best Buy purchase. The ad proposed receiving a $15 sign-up bonus and 10% cash back at over 1,000 stores, including my beloved Best Buy. So, I signed up, and the monthly checks started rolling in. Mind you, there’s a $1,000 cash back limit per membership year and a $9.95 monthly fee, but some simple arithmetic shows I can make sense of this.
New running shoes for my wife and me? ASICS had our favorites on sale, plus we got 10% back, to the tune of $11 per pair. A new refrigerator at Lowe’s? $172.40 cash back. It adds up, especially when stacking store discounts, coupons, and credit card rewards. My favorite stores participate, and perhaps yours do too!
Here are a few of mine:
By Alison Nelson, Sales and Marketing Coordinator
We’ve all heard of paid time off, but what about volunteer time off? Volunteer time off (VTO) is an increasingly popular employee benefit that businesses are offering as a way to demonstrate how seriously they take social responsibility. Offering VTO is also a way to recruit and retain employees. According to this Employee Benefits News article, “75% of millennials expect their employer to participate in social good, either with donations or through volunteering.” Additionally, 51% of employees expect that their employer allows workers to volunteer during work hours.
Encouraging employees to volunteer is a great way to create (or solidify) a caring company culture and represent your brand in a positive light. It’s also an excellent way to promote your business via word of mouth. Employees who have VTO are likely to boast about that benefit and, by extension, their employer.
You’re interested in offering VTO to your employees, now what?
Market it! After you establish your official VTO policy (click here for examples), begin by setting a goal of contributing a certain number of cumulative volunteer hours per year. Then, take to social media for community engagement and PR. Announce your new employee perk and ask the community who their favorite nonprofits are. An example of this could read, “The team at Awesome Company have set a goal of contributing 5,000 hours of community service this year! Comment below with your favorite nonprofit!”
The social media engagement on your post will help boost your company’s page, creating more exposure and brand awareness. Be sure to engage with those who comment on your post for an additional boost. As employees begin to use their VTO, share photos of them (ideally wearing your logo) on social media to keep your followers updated and engaged.
VTO is a great employee benefit to offer and it demonstrates your values as a company. Your employees will appreciate the opportunity and, most of all, you would be helping the community.
By Dena Lythgoe, Senior Account Executive & Partner
I can hardly believe it but 2020 has finally come to a very long awaited and welcomed close. With the new year upon us professionals of all industries are offering predictions, trends and opportunities for 2021 and the insurance industry is no different. All business owners need to keep an eye out for the anticipated workers compensation claims trends for this upcoming year and get ahead by implementing changes to their risk management programs to avoid certain types of losses.
Read the article Workers’ Compensation Trends to Watch in 2021 below!