United Benefit Advisors Insight and Analysis Blog

Bill Olson

Senior VP, Operations at United Benefit Advisors

Recent Posts

Culture Questions

Posted by: Bill Olson    Dec 4, 2018 12:59:30 PM

With unemployment continuing at historically low numbers, it’s up to employers to win sought-after candidates. During an interview, employers are likely ready for the culture question. When asked about culture directly, according to an article in Fast Company, interviewers are quick to offer pat or polished answers.

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Topics: company culture, corporate culture, recruitment, recruiting

Happier Holidays, the HR Way

Posted by: Bill Olson    Nov 27, 2018 12:49:58 PM

Most people, according to a new survey featured in HR Dive, have the greatest sense of belonging in their own homes. That may not be surprising news, but what is interesting is that one third of respondents felt the greatest sense of belonging in their workplace. A significant percentage, 40 percent, attribute that feeling to actions their colleagues and managers take to check in on them, both personally and professionally. Belonging improves employee retention and productivity, certainly, but it requires acknowledgement of diversity and efforts at inclusion.

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Topics: holidays, human resources, diversity, Inclusion

It’s Flu Season...Again

Posted by: Bill Olson    Nov 20, 2018 1:38:54 PM

When flu season hits, absenteeism skyrockets and productivity drops. In a recent article, Employee Benefit News points out that the first step is the "ounce of prevention,” the flu vaccine. Providing for vaccination can be a smart benefit to offer employees, and it requires navigating misinformation about the vaccine, motivating employees to act, and contending with supply issues. For employers who want to increase vaccination rates, experts suggest making the process more convenient or incentivizing getting a shot. On-site programs are more effective since they are not only more convenient but also allow employees to be motivated by seeing their coworkers getting the shot. Regardless of approach, careful planning – from scheduling to ordering to addressing employee concerns – can help an office place stay healthier.

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Topics: Flu season, vaccination, vaccination coverage, employee benefits, workplace wellness, productivity

Giving Thanks in the Office

Posted by: Bill Olson    Nov 13, 2018 1:05:32 PM

While our personal lives may offer plenty of opportunities to give thanks, it's also important to make a habit of it in our professional lives, according to an article in the Cobb Business Journal. Few people in a study cited expressed gratitude for their work, and that might be because a culture of gratitude needs to be cultivated in the office, and from the top. Business leaders worried that giving thanks will be seen as hinting at a promotion, showing weakness, or failing to inspire hard work should take note of leaders like Richard Branson and Oprah Winfrey. Both view gratitude as an essential element of success and built empires by cultivating a culture of thankfulness. The data supports that mindset, with the vast majority of employees reporting they'd work harder for a more grateful boss.

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Topics: company culture, corporate culture, leadership

8 Ways to Relate to Time as a Realist

Posted by: Bill Olson    Nov 6, 2018 1:11:26 PM

Productivity and time management expert Julie Morgenstern believes people can be grouped two ways when it comes to time management: Time realists and time optimists.

Time realists consider how long things take and what is going on in any given day. Time optimists are guided by what they hope to get done.

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Topics: time management, scheduling, personal time, personal management, avoiding burnout, employee burnout, productivity

Be the Boss You Want to See in the World

Posted by: Bill Olson    Oct 30, 2018 12:46:14 PM

An article in the Harvard Business Review suggests that the traits that make someone become a leader aren’t always the ones that make someone an effective leader. Instead, efficacy can be traced to ethicality. Here are a few tips to be an ethical leader.

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Topics: leadership, workplace culture, creating culture, work environment, Feedback

Making a Remote Team Work

Posted by: Bill Olson    Oct 24, 2018 10:55:46 AM

In a tight labor market, a candidate’s potential commute can make a job more or less attractive. HumanResources reports that a quarter of employees surveyed had left a job because of the commute. When looking at just Millennials, the number jumps to one third. Employees can be choosy, selecting a job that offers more of what they want, and that means less of a commute. Companies can work around this by offering transportation amenities, flexible scheduling or more remote working opportunities.

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Topics: remote work, Millennials in the Workforce, commute, flexibility in the workplace

Shrinking Talent Pools Mean Shifting Hiring Strategies

Posted by: Bill Olson    Oct 16, 2018 12:45:32 PM

The labor market is tighter than ever, so people in hiring capacities need to be ready to win potential workers from competitors.

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Topics: Job Candidates, Job Interviews, recruiting, company culture, attracting talent

Moments of Clarity: Being Transparent

Posted by: Bill Olson    Oct 9, 2018 1:47:01 PM

Aristotle was right when he said, “Nature abhors a vacuum.” Companies and politicians like to say that they’re transparent, when in fact, they’re often the opposite. And, as in nature, in the absence of facts, people will often fill their minds with what is perceived.

 

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Topics: Transparency, workplace culture, company policy

Use Caution When Operating a Car or Dangerous Machinery

Posted by: Bill Olson    Oct 4, 2018 12:55:52 PM

Everybody knows that you shouldn’t drink and drive. However, not everyone knows that prescription drugs can also impair a person’s ability to drive, or operate machinery. Even if they do know, they may not think that the impairment is significant enough to warrant avoiding the activity. Interestingly, while drunk driving has decreased, driving while on prescription or illegal drugs has increased.

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Topics: prescription drugs, Prescription Medication, Effects of Prescription Drugs