United Benefit Advisors Insight and Analysis Blog

Bill Olson

Senior VP, Operations at United Benefit Advisors

Recent Posts

Remaining ADA-Compliant Under COVID-19

Posted by: Bill Olson    May 5, 2020 6:15:00 AM

The coronavirus crisis has forced human resources teams to juggle more challenges than ever before, from employee benefits and sick leave to new teleworking policies. On top of this, the drastic change in the American workplace has spawned new laws and protocols, while raising questions about how these new regulations affect standing legislation like the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). In order to remain fully compliant, HR departments need to keep abreast of the latest developments, especially regarding the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which officially went into effect April 2. Here’s some guidance on how to remain ADA-compliant while your company implements new policies in response to COVID-19. 

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Topics: ADA, HR Elements, COVID-19

How To Communicate Effectively In An Isolated Workplace

Posted by: Bill Olson    Apr 29, 2020 11:17:10 AM

With the world in isolation and social distancing in full effect, the coronavirus pandemic has suddenly transformed the workplace, maybe irreparably. Almost overnight, businesses across the globe, many of which had no preexisting work-from-home policy, shifted all operations to remote work. The drastic change presented a wave of new challenges for these companies, on top of the strain inherent in working during an international pandemic. Chief of these challenges has been effective communication between coworkers, upper management, and even to clients.

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Topics: employee communication, HR Elements, Social Distancing

4 Self-Care Tips For Working From Home

Posted by: Bill Olson    Apr 16, 2020 3:15:00 PM

The shift from traditional office environments to telework hasn’t just put a strain on businesses unaccustomed to remote work—it’s a major adjustment for employees as well. Current circumstances aside, working from home already presents new challenges that typical commuters may find themselves unprepared for. When combined with the stress and anxiety of the coronavirus pandemic, workers’ mental health and performance can seriously suffer.

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Topics: work-life balance, health, Work From Home

How To Support Your Employees During A Global Pandemic

Posted by: Bill Olson    Apr 3, 2020 6:05:00 AM

As companies frantically try to adapt to the coronavirus pandemic, many HR teams find themselves with an alarmingly jam-packed workload. Employee interviews need to be postponed, telework policies implemented or adjusted, health and wellness protocols changed. And when everyone is in crisis mode, it’s easy to let a simple, but crucial, aspect of the job fall to the wayside: being there for your employees. 

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Topics: Work From Home, Coronavirus, Social Distancing, Pandemic, COVID-19

What The Families First Coronavirus Response Act Means For HR Teams

Posted by: Bill Olson    Mar 24, 2020 6:30:00 AM

Last week, the House of Representatives ended ongoing negotiations and reached a finalized agreement on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, another legislative response to the COVID-19 pandemic (an emergency spending bill was already rushed through Congress during the first week of March). After garnering the votes required for approval from the House, the bill will go to the Senate, where it is likely to pass with bipartisan support, and finally President Trump, who is expected to sign.

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Topics: HR Elements, Pandemic, COVID-19

Everything HR Teams Need To Know About Coronavirus

Posted by: Bill Olson    Mar 19, 2020 6:45:00 AM

As the coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic continues to outbreak across the globe, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) has been regularly releasing new updates and developments, along with best practices and instructions for businesses to help prevent the further spread of the disease. Please note that these may change as international health groups like the World Health Organization (WHO) continue to monitor the virus’ progress.  Always refer to the CDC’s website for the latest developments.

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Topics: HR Elements, Work Remotely, Work From Home, Coronavirus, Social Distancing

How Businesses Are Helping Their Employees Stay Politically Active

Posted by: Bill Olson    Mar 17, 2020 6:11:00 AM

With Super Tuesday just in the rearview mirror and the 2020 general election looming ahead, we’re in the thick of election season. It can be a difficult time for human resources teams, as they try to navigate politics in the workplace while maintaining an open and supportive office culture. In the past, some businesses have approached this by enacting a simple company-wide “no politics” policy. But recently, HR teams have found more success taking the opposite route: encouraging their employees to stay politically engaged. 

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Topics: HR Elements, company policy, Election, Politics

Looking To Improve Your Company’s Training Program? Try Gamification

Posted by: Bill Olson    Mar 12, 2020 7:15:00 AM

Day one of a brand new job can be an exciting, invigorating experience, one that can rekindle your passion for your career and act as a re-energizing reminder of why you do what you do. At least, until the HR department drops a 50-pound training manual on your desk. 

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Topics: HR Elements, gamification, Employee Training, HR

Take Control Of Your Commute

Posted by: Bill Olson    Mar 5, 2020 7:30:00 AM

It’s a staple of office small talk, one of the first things we check when considering a new job, and a necessary evil for an overwhelming majority of American workers: the commute. While more and more companies are offering remote positions and flexible work-from-home options, the U.S. Census Bureau recently announced that the average commute is still hovering around 25 minutes. The fact that this hasn’t decreased significantly with the rise of telework tells us that while more Americans are working from home, more are also hunkering down for longer trips to and from the office.

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Topics: wellness, workplace culture, commute, flexibility in the workplace, Work Remotely, Work From Home

Why Some HR Teams Are Bringing In Health Coaches

Posted by: Bill Olson    Mar 3, 2020 10:54:21 AM

Despite most companies implementing corporate wellness programs, bringing in the standing desks, and swapping out the coffee and donuts for more nutritional office snacks, the American workplace still isn’t the healthiest environment for us. The modern employee still spends most of a stressful eight-hour day sitting in a chair and staring at a screen—not exactly an active lifestyle—and employers are paying for it. In fact, the Center for Disease Control estimates that companies pay more than $3 trillion in healthcare costs to combat chronic illnesses and conditions.

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Topics: productivity, HR Elements, Health Coaches, HR