THE VANTAGE POINT

Introducing RISQ Consulting’s new blog, The Vantage Point! Get ready to learn about more than “just insurance”. We have experts on our team that know so much more than premiums and paperwork! At RISQ Consulting, we are proud to say we focus on educating ourselves in many areas of the business world, not just insurance. This quest for knowledge has inspired many of our team members to dive deeply into fascinating areas such as business technology, organizational management, team psychology, employee engagement and more! The Vantage Point is our way of sharing simple tips and valuable insights with you. Please enjoy!

LATEST BLOG POSTS

Read more +13 June 2019 By RISQ Consulting in Blog

Remote Scope

By Teena Applegate I feel fortunate that my company has allowed employees the opportunity to work remote.  Sure, we didn’t go full steam when it initially rolled out a couple of years ago.  We had a real trickle effect with one to two set days allowing employees to work from home and depending on position;
Read more +10 June 2019 By RISQ Consulting in Blog

Workplace Wellness: What It Can Do for You

This article is from RISQ Consulting’s MyWave Connect portal, a resource available to all RISQ Consulting clients. Please contact your Benefits Consultant or Account Executive for more information or for help setting up your own login. Workplace wellness affects your company—and its finances—in several ways. Wellness programs have the potential to lower health care costs,
Read more +06 June 2019 By RISQ Consulting in Blog

5 Ways HR Can Support Employees’ Mental Health

This article is from RISQ Consulting’s MyWave Connect portal, a resource available to all RISQ Consulting clients. Please contact your Benefits Consultant or Account Executive for more information or for help setting up your own login. An employee’s mental health includes how they think, feel and act, and includes their emotional and social well-being. While
Read more +03 June 2019 By RISQ Consulting in Blog

Death by PowerPoint- We Have a Solution

By Alison Riggan Death by PowerPoint. This is the phrase that’s used to describe those presentations that are the same ugly overflowing slide again and again and again, often accompanied by a presenter whose charisma makes you want to A) take a nap or B) take a long walk off a short pier. In the
Read more +30 May 2019 By RISQ Consulting in Blog

Veterans at Work Certificate Program

By Bailey Penrose Loyalty, Respect, Selfless Service, Integrity, Courage, Excellence, Commitment – These are just some of the core values adopted and embraced by the US Military.  Do any of these sound familiar?  If they do, you might recognize that these values resonate closely with those espoused by companies like AT&T, General Motors, Chevron, and
Read more +28 May 2019 By RISQ Consulting in Blog

New Independent Contractor Definitions

By Jack Grieco The Alaska Legislature adopted a number of workers’ compensation reforms in 2018. One reform provides additional tests to determine if a person is an independent contractor or an employee. We are seeing a number of cases where the workers’ compensation auditors have determined a person is an employee because they did not
Read more +23 May 2019 By RISQ Consulting in Blog

I Drive a Spaceship!

By Jennifer Outcelt Obviously, I don’t actually drive a spaceship. If you thought I really did, then kudos to you for believing that I was capable of space travel and that I spent my life in constant cosmic adventure. In all Earth bound reality, what I mean when I say, “I drive a spaceship” is
Read more +20 May 2019 By RISQ Consulting in Blog

Speaking up in Meetings – Why is it so hard?

By Jessica Carlson As an individual in a professional career, I spend a lot of time in all kinds of meetings, whether they are internal, client, or business partner meetings.  Even though I have been in my industry for the majority of my adult life, I still have trouble speaking up in these meetings.  I
Read more +16 May 2019 By RISQ Consulting in Blog

Emotional Intelligence

By Jessica Carlson Something that has come up quite often over the last several months, while working through some professional development courses, is emotional intelligence.  But what exactly is it and how do I know if I’ve got it?  Check out the article linked below where they will explain what it is, what the benefits
Read more +13 May 2019 By RISQ Consulting in Blog

I Always Ask a Manager

By Ashley Snodgrass If you’ve ever had a work problem, where do you turn for help? Maybe you had a dispute with a coworker, or your boss isn’t giving you the feedback you need? My favorite resource for workplace advice is Ask a Manager, a work advice blog written by Alison Green. Ask a Manager
Read more +09 May 2019 By RISQ Consulting in Blog

Lyme Disease- The Great Imitator

By Tonya Mott Disclaimer:  Lyme Disease is extremely complicated, medically and politically.  I will do my best to share what I’ve learned and my references.  I am nowhere near an expert on the matter, I only wish to bring awareness in hopes of helping others.  Please feel free to reach out to me directly if
Read more +01 May 2019 By RISQ Consulting in Blog

Copper Theft

By Tim Maudsley Below is a KTVA article that highlights the spate of commercial copper thefts around Anchorage, fueled mostly by the lure of quick cash.  Despite the possibly of great bodily harm, thieves are stealing copper to then sell quickly at local scrap dealers.  From an insurance perspective, the theft of copper from a
Read more +29 April 2019 By RISQ Consulting in Blog

Locals for Locals

By Alesha Combs A recent study found that with 26% of Alaska’s businesses being female owned, Alaska now ranks #1 for largest percentage of female owned businesses in the country! Female empowerment has been an ongoing discussion across the nation, but as a woman in Alaska who loves my job, and loves shopping local, I
Read more +25 April 2019 By RISQ Consulting in Blog

Valuable Share: Achieving Email Zero

By Aimee Johnson I value myself on being organized and able to manage multiple projects, timelines, and execute to the needs of my clients – with the exception of my dreaded inbox. Email management is my arch nemesis and biggest time suck. I wish the solution was something as easy as asking my supervisor and
Read more +23 April 2019 By RISQ Consulting in Blog

Business Etiquette. What is it and does it still exist?

By Aimee Johnson Has an email ever rubbed you the wrong way? Do you have to confirm where to pin your name tag every time you head to a networking event? Have you ever listened to your conference line’s tinny music for over 10 minutes waiting for your forever-tardy team to call in? Why does
Read more +18 April 2019 By RISQ Consulting in Blog

How to Talk To Your Health Insurance Company

By Ashley Snodgrass What do you do when you get a bill from your doctor or an Explanation of Benefits from your insurance company that doesn’t look quite right? Maybe you have been asked to pay more because a service wasn’t covered, or the claim was processed out-of-network (even when you know your doctor is
Read more +15 April 2019 By RISQ Consulting in Blog

Mining and Insurance- A Guide to Insuring Alaska’s Mining Industry

By Dena Lythgoe Mining is one of the toughest industries in Alaska with some of the toughest Alaskans running and operating these endeavors. With over 4,500 direct mining jobs in Alaska and 9,000 total direct and indirect jobs attributed to the Alaska mining industry it is surprising to know the majority of the operating mines in
Read more +11 April 2019 By ariggan in Blog

My Dog Went Viral

By Joshua Weinstein Luka is our family’s Siberian Husky.  I have many adjectives to describe him, but in short, he’s a friendly dog who rarely barks.  He prefers dirty over clean and sheds to no end. He also has allergies that make his vocal chords reverberate as though he and Chewbacca are related.  Like most
Read more +08 April 2019 By ariggan in Blog

Voted Happiest App in the World

By Joshua Weinstein I don’t know about your headspace, but mine can race, get easily distracted, and go way too fast.  The world moves and changes so quickly, and quite frankly, unless I get a dose of mindfulness on a regular basis, I become a disservice to those around me.  The consequences of not slowing
Read more +25 March 2019 By RISQ Consulting in Blog

Finding the Perfect TED Talk for You

By Alison Riggan With over 3,000 TED Talks available, finding the right one may seem like a daunting task. You don’t want to make it through half a talk just to realize that particular episode doesn’t interest you. You can search by topic but with main 20 categories and even more sub categories, it can
Read more +22 March 2019 By RISQ Consulting in Blog

Is there a place for April Fool’s Day in the workplace?

By Ashley Snodgrass Spring – the season of more sunlight, March Madness, St. Patrick’s day, and glorious winter breakup. At the peak of Spring, there is a polarizing holiday that can cause a lot of drama and trauma in the workplace: April Fool’s Day. So, here’s a good debate for you: Is there a place
Read more +18 March 2019 By RISQ Consulting in Blog

Are you unmotivated at work? Take time to take this quiz and you definitely are!

By Jennifer Outcelt You’ve seen those click bait quizzes online while scrolling through Facebook, right? You know, the ones that will tell you what breed of dog you are based on your zodiac sign and what you ate for breakfast, or tell you what color underwear you are wearing based on your street name and
Read more +12 March 2019 By RISQ Consulting in Blog

A Roadmap to Choices

By Alesha Combs We are officially a quarter of the way through the year! So how are those new year resolutions going? I’m just kidding, I won’t put you on the spot like that. This year, along with many others, I decided to ditch the resolution and try something new. Instead of a resolution I
Read more +07 March 2019 By RISQ Consulting in Blog

Generational Differences in Your Workforce

By Tiffany Stock Our office recently presented to the Northwest Human Resource Management Association for about three hours, providing a comprehensive overview of employee benefits and the role of the HR professional in providing them – don’t be too bummed out you missed it, because I’m going to give you a little recap on my
Read more +05 March 2019 By RISQ Consulting in Blog

The Employee Experience Platform: A New Category Arrives

By Andrew Kupperman About 75% of business technology implementations fail to achieve the goals established before an organization decided to purchase technology. One of the main goals that is common across organizations is providing employees a better experience at work. This particular goal can tend to have a low success rate. I’ve discussed in other
Read more +27 February 2019 By RISQ Consulting in Blog

Alaska Employement Law- Drug and Alcohol Testing

For most private employers in Alaska, there is no state law that requires or prohibits workplace testing for drugs or alcohol. However, employers that choose to implement workplace testing programs in the state may gain protection against lawsuits if they voluntarily comply with requirements under the Alaska drug testing law. Alaska employers that conduct workplace
Read more +25 February 2019 By RISQ Consulting in Blog

Anchorage Septic Tank – Regulation Changes

By Tim Maudsley This article published in the ADN is important to all property owners here in Anchorage, as many are currently operating older septic systems that may not be in compliance with current regulations. These new 2019 regulations were not well distributed to the community as a whole previously, and, with the large financial as
Read more +19 February 2019 By RISQ Consulting in Blog

How do you rebel in a family full of rebels?

By Tonya Mott My house is full of Rebels! I may be obligated to post a warning sign on my front door: How do I know my house is full of Rebels? My colleague, Ashley Snodgrass, shared The Four Tendencies quiz with our office and it was all downhill from there. The Four Tendencies explain
Read more +14 February 2019 By RISQ Consulting in Blog

Are You Experienced?

By Andrew Kupperman Are there any Jimi fans reading this? Well, the experiences I want to talk about are a bit different (and work appropriate) from what he was probably talking about. It’s also a bit different from how we might talk about experiences within the scope of what we do at work on a
Read more +12 February 2019 By RISQ Consulting in Blog

Forget Your Ginko Supplements, and Keep on Forgetting Things: A Valuable Share “In Praise of Organizational Forgetting”

By Blanche Sheppard I had no idea who billionaire Barry Diller was until I read a recent article about his adoption of deliberate forgetfulness as a business concept. He mentioned that remembering all of your successes prevents you from future advancements, which seems so counterintuitive. Don’t past victories bolster your confidence so that you can
Read more +07 February 2019 By RISQ Consulting in Blog

A Valuable Share from Must Read Alaska: Earthquake Recovery Funds Approved by President Trump

By Tim Maudsley Many of our current and prospective clients have asked RISQ about how to apply for funding and loans to help with earthquake damage sustained in the November 30th event. The Federal Government had not approved Alaska’s request for a major disaster declaration until January 31st, when President Trump approved the earthquake as
Read more +04 February 2019 By RISQ Consulting in Blog

Valuable Share: A Positive Economic Forecast for Anchorage

By Tim Maudsley RISQ Consulting attended the 2019 Anchorage Economic Development Corp (AEDC) Luncheon, and I am happy to hear that the news was relatively positive about the 2019 economy as well as the business confidence index. Surveys showed a mostly positive outlook for business since 2014, real estate sales and prices were higher in
Read more +24 January 2019 By RISQ Consulting in Blog

Valuable Share: “How to Turn Small Talk into Smart Conversation”

By Alison Riggan We’ve all had them, those conversations that last 5 seconds and consist entirely of niceties and nothing of substance. We have been conditioned as a society to give auto-responses without a second thought, sacrificing quality conversation. But what happens if we throw a curveball into the conversation? I recently stumbled upon a
Read more +22 January 2019 By RISQ Consulting in Blog

New Dependents, Who Dis?

By Blanche Sheppard You know those silly AFLAC commercials, where someone looks super worried as they sort through their bills in anticipation of an upcoming procedure, but then the annoying duck pops up and reminds them that they are covered? This article isn’t about the duck, but it is about considering how a new child
Read more +18 January 2019 By RISQ Consulting in Blog

A Valuable Share: “Having Your Smartphone Nearby Takes a Toll on Your Thinking”

By Tiffany Stock “Put your phone down” has become a common request in my house with a teenager and pre-teen. Have you ever thought about the impact smartphones have on all of us, even when you aren’t “looking” at your phone? Check out this study published by the Harvard Business Review on how having your
Read more +15 January 2019 By RISQ Consulting in Blog

What Happens If I Miss Open Enrollment?

An open enrollment period is a short period of time when you can enroll in or make changes to your employee benefits elections. Possible changes include adding or dropping coverage, adding or removing dependents, or enrolling in benefits for the first time. Open enrollment is your opportunity to take advantage of important benefits, such as
Read more +09 January 2019 By RISQ Consulting in Blog

6 HR Trends to Monitor in 2019

A new year brings new issues for HR professionals to contend with. Some challenges are similar to previous years (overtime uncertainty), while others are more unique and complicated (legal marijuana and employment). Despite inherent difficulties, staying tuned in to these six trends can keep you ahead of the game in 2019. Ignoring them will only
Read more +03 January 2019 By RISQ Consulting in Blog

Cyber Risks & Liabilities

Top Cyber Predictions for 2019 The average global cost of a data breach has risen to $3.86 million, magnifying the need for companies to be aware of all potential threats. Here are just a few of the threats that cyber security experts have forecast for 2019. Artificial Intelligence (AI) as a Weapon With AI being
Read more +19 December 2018 By RISQ Consulting in Blog

The ACA Remains In Place After Being Struck Down By Federal Court

OVERVIEW On Dec. 14, 2018, a federal judge ruled in Texas v. United States that the entire Affordable Care Act (ACA) is invalid due to the elimination of the individual mandate penalty in 2019. The decision was not stayed, but the White House announced that the ACA will remain in place pending appeal. The Department
Read more +14 December 2018 By RISQ Consulting in Blog

The Busier You Are, the More You Need Quiet Time

By Natasha Kwachka Lately productivity has been a huge topic of discussion. Some would say productivity can be achieved by a few simple habits put into action. Although I agree with creating positive habits that can contribute to efficiencies, I wonder if there is more that goes into productivity. I recently read an article that discussed
Read more +07 December 2018 By ariggan in Blog

Earthquake Relief

The State of Alaska released a notice containing directions for Alaskans affected by last week’s earthquake to apply for grants and disaster relief, which can be found at http://ready.alaska.gov. This can be very valuable to those struggling to rebuild after damages incurred last week. Please direct inquiries for disaster assistance to this site and feel
Read more +04 December 2018 By ariggan in Blog

How To Save For Retirement

Once you have reduced your debt and created a workable spending plan, you’re ready to begin saving toward retirement. You may do this through a company retirement plan or on your own. Here are a few of the places where you might put your money for retirement: • Savings accounts, money market mutual funds, certificates
Read more +27 November 2018 By ariggan in Blog

Pet Insurance

Many American households have at least one pet. In any given year, one in three of these beloved family members will need costly veterinary care, even if it is for routine exam visits and vaccinations. Should a pet become severely ill and need emergency care, costs can sometimes be more than pet owners can bear.
Read more +20 November 2018 By ariggan in Blog

Marcus Buckingham Blog

By Andrew Kupperman   We all have something inside of us to share with the world. The work that we do 5 days a week hopefully leads us to unleash whatever that something is, in one way or another. I love reading, watching, and listening to Marcus Buckingham’s blog because he offers and explains the
Read more +13 November 2018 By ariggan in Blog

The Power of Positive Thinking

By Tiffany Stock “The power of positive thinking” seems a little cliché, but James Clear’s article “How Positive Thinking Builds Your Skills, Boosts Your Health, and Improves Your Work,” demonstrates that those words should be considered more important. Bringing positivity into your life has many benefits beyond the obvious. I encourage you all to check
Read more +01 November 2018 By ariggan in Blog

Team Building Ideas

By Tonya Mott Over the past couple of years, my colleagues and I participated in various types of team building activities, which resulted in creating true team synergy and building relationships and trust; all of which are necessary assets for a high performing team.  The different types of team building events range from, ‘just for
Read more +30 October 2018 By ariggan in Blog

theSkimm

By Ashley Snodgrass I start my morning with theSkimm – a short email newsletter designed to get you the day’s news in less time than it takes to brush your teeth.  I’ve always been a news junkie, but there are only so many hours in the day to read news stories from state, national, and
Read more +25 October 2018 By ariggan in Blog

Stress, There’s Not Room in This Moment for the Both of Us

By Alesha Combs You may have experienced the bittersweet nature of the holiday season. It’s a time for celebrating, socializing, parties and great food, but the stress that some of these events bring on can catch you off guard. Maybe you encounter a first holiday without a loved one, or feel overwhelmed with the thought
Read more +22 October 2018 By ariggan in Blog

Workers Compensation Rates in Alaska Coming Down in 2019

By Tim Maudsley Alaskan businesses will receive a welcome drop in workers’ compensation rates for 2019, based on the expected approval by the Alaska Division of Insurance, which will go into effect on January 1, 2019. If approved, this will be the largest single reduction of rates seen in Alaska in the past 40 years.
Read more +18 October 2018 By ariggan in Blog

Work – Life Balance: Are You Teetering or Succeeding? Tips to Achieve This Illusive Proposition.

By Aimee Johnson   The average American works on average 47 hours per week; with many people saying they work 50 hours per week, that’s almost a third of our time being spent with our work families! I sure hope you like yours! It’s easy to see why the discussion of work-life balance is increasingly
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