United Benefit Advisors Insight and Analysis Blog

Bill Olson

Senior VP, Operations at United Benefit Advisors

Recent Posts

To Identify the Best Candidate, Ask the Right Questions

Posted by: Bill Olson    Jul 3, 2018 1:01:48 PM

Are the questions you’re asking potential employees truly helping you identify the best candidate? Increasingly, employers are learning that questions don’t need to be interesting, just effective. Instead of asking a candidate about their favorite superhero, which is essentially another way of asking them what their super power would be, ask them what they like to do for fun. Ask about the good they care about in the world.

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Topics: Job Candidates, Job Interviews, Interview Questions

Let Data Deliver for You

Posted by: Bill Olson    Jun 26, 2018 1:04:41 PM

Using HR data can be legally and ethically complicated, but if analyzed with care, it can also be a team’s greatest asset. Because of these very real concerns, in the past information often went unused, but today, wise companies are turning facts into insight. When processed ethically, data can inform an office when employees will leave, where to recruit solid candidates, and most importantly, how to keep these candidates happy once they become employees. And this isn’t merely a suggestion: according to the Economist Intelligence Unit, 82% of surveyed organizations plan to either begin or increase their use of big data in HR before the end of 2018. The crucial point here isn’t simplicity but effectiveness: when HR data is braided effectively with a company’s strategic aims, wellbeing increases across the board.

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Topics: HR Data, Workforce Analytics, office productivity, employee satisfaction

Leadership, Now with More Humility

Posted by: Bill Olson    Jun 19, 2018 1:02:09 PM

More and more, we are learning that scientists, marketers, programmers, and other kinds of knowledge workers lead office lives very similar to famous innovators like Watson, Crick, and Franklin, who discovered the structure of DNA. How so? All of these people live work lives structured around progress in meaningful work. And when this progress occurs, it boosts emotions, perceptions, and productivity.

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Topics: leadership, workplace culture, employees, progress

The Future of the Office

Posted by: Bill Olson    Jun 12, 2018 1:15:29 PM

Earlier this spring, the quarterly Randstad Workmonitor survey revealed that while 82% of United States workers say the option to work remotely does help them maintain a healthy work-life balance, 62% of these same workers prefer to work in the office anyway. Perhaps most surprisingly, this preference is higher among millennial and Gen Z workers, despite the common perception that these groups prefer digital interactions over real-time ones.

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Topics: remote work, benefits, Benefit, workplace culture

Can You Handle the Truth?

Posted by: Bill Olson    Jun 5, 2018 12:57:11 PM

Direct feedback culture, according to “Mastering the Art of Negative Feedback,” from Society for Human Resource Management means simultaneously challenging someone while also showing you care. Many employees skew toward caring over candor, and that can lead to dissatisfaction.

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Topics: employee engagement, employee communication, Feedback, human resources

Perk Up Your Benefits Packages

Posted by: Bill Olson    May 29, 2018 3:44:29 PM

What people want in their benefits package is changing. Retirement and health care still rank high but soft perks and voluntary benefits factor into satisfaction more than any other benefits, so says “Employees Increasingly Excited About Soft Perks and Company-Culture Benefits,” in Employee Benefit News.

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Topics: benefits, retirement, health care coverage, office culture

Inclusive Workplaces Benefit Everyone

Posted by: Bill Olson    May 22, 2018 1:30:50 PM

While there’s plenty of talk about work/life balance, many employees want to feel human while at work, too. Being able to bring their whole selves, according to “3 Ways to Create a More Human Workplace,” from Workforce, is an essential piece of a welcoming, inclusive workplace environment.

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Topics: diversity, workplace culture, workplace wellness, workplace discrimination

Redefining Retirement

Posted by: Bill Olson    May 15, 2018 4:35:21 PM

Employees are working longer, whether because of increasing life expectancies or lowered confidence about their ability to retire. Longer work lives are tied to less engagement and more stress, among other negative impacts. For employers, this may mean taking time to consider shifting benefits or programming to better meet changing needs both to help employees retire when they want and stay healthier if they continue working.

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Topics: retirement planning, retirement security, family insurance benefits

Your Workplace May Want to Get Moving

Posted by: Bill Olson    May 8, 2018 12:00:00 PM

Rearranging workspaces may cause grumbling around the water cooler. The return on employee time and company money invested in reorganizing has long been difficult to prove. But, when Steve Jobs famously centralized bathrooms at Pixar for serendipitous interactions meant to spur innovation, it turns out he really was on to something.

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Topics: office environment, office productivity, office culture, empolyee engagement

U.S. Department of Labor Updates CHIP Notice

Posted by: Bill Olson    May 3, 2018 3:00:07 PM

In March, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) updated its model Premium Assistance Under Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program notice, otherwise known as the CHIP notice. (This update is standard process, and usually happens biannually.)

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Topics: Medicaid, Department of Labor, health care benefits, health care coverage, CHIP