United Benefit Advisors Insight and Analysis Blog

Managing Employees in the Gig Economy

Posted by: Bill Olson    Aug 28, 2018 1:09:35 PM

Understandably, some employers (and employees) have mixed feelings about the gig economy. While many enjoy the freedom gained and overhead saved, others miss office camaraderie and routine. No matter your position, research shows that the trend isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. By 2021, 9.2 million Americans will work on-demand jobs, and so employers need to start asking themselves how they plan to keep employees of all stripes engaged in office work and culture.

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Topics: Gig Economy, employee engagement

Solving Problems - While Increasing Employee Satisfaction

Posted by: Bill Olson    Jul 31, 2018 1:12:04 PM

“Design thinking” is a fairly common term. Even if the phrase is new to you, it’s reasonably easy to intuit how it works: design thinking is a process for creative problem solving, utilizing creative tools like empathy and experimentation, often with a strong visual component. The term dates from 1968 and was first used in The Sciences of The Artificial, a text written by Nobel Laureate Herbert Simon.

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Topics: Design Thinking, Problem Solving, employee satisfaction, employee engagement

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

Why Work? For More than the Money

Posted by: Bill Olson    May 1, 2018 8:00:00 AM

Discovering the individualized reasons people work is key to helping employers understand what will motivate employees.

According to the article "What People Want from Work: Motivation" on the website The Balance, successful companies need to start with money. Paying employees fair compensation, or ideally more than fair, brings the talent in and reduces the risk of losing great employees. Money helps employees check off responsibilities ranging from taking care of the most basic necessities to enjoying hobbies to long-term planning for retirement.

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Topics: working conditions, motivation, workplace culture, employee burnout, employee participation, employee engagement, employee satisfaction, employee communication

Factor Emerging Trends, Generational Needs Into Wellness Programs

Posted by: Jennifer Jones    May 23, 2017 9:30:00 AM

Your wellness program seems to have it all – biometric screenings, lunch and learns, and weight loss challenges. So, why do you struggle with engagement, or to see any real results? While traditional wellness components are still a large part of plans today, emerging trends, coupled with generational differences, make for challenges when designing an impactful program.

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Topics: employee wellness, wellness programs, employee engagement, workplace culture

Strategic Benefits Communication: How Do You Measure Success?

Posted by: Kevin D. Seeker, GBA    Feb 21, 2017 9:30:00 AM

Last fall I had the pleasure of hosting a UBA WisdomWorkplace webinar called “Success in Voluntary through Strategic Benefits Communication.” I discussed recent Sun Life survey data regarding employee engagement and understanding of the value of voluntary benefits.

In the world of voluntary insurance carriers, success in voluntary benefits can be measured in various ways. A key metric is employee participation. For carriers, this is important because the greater the employee participation in a voluntary product, the better the spread of risk, which leads to appropriate margins and sustainable pricing.

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Topics: benefits communication, employee engagement, voluntary benefits, employee participation, Kevin D. Seeker, Sun Life Financial

Identify and Evaluate the Impact of Your Wellness Program

Posted by: Mary Delaney, MSPT, CWP    Jan 5, 2017 9:30:00 AM

Measuring program value, or return on investment, is critical and imperative in managing a healthy wellness program. Further, clearly identifying and objectively evaluating the impact helps keep the vendor focused on what is critical for the employer. If these programs are not having the impact intended, then the cost of those services is only adding to medical spending waste.

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Topics: wellness, employee wellness, employee engagement, health care cost containment, biometric risk assessment, population health strategy, Mary Delaney, Vital Incite, UBA Health Plan Survey, wellness programs

Wellness Wearables: Novelty or an Impact to the Health Care Industry?

Posted by: Travis Horne, MBA    Dec 19, 2016 4:40:45 PM

It’s no secret in the wellness industry today that wellness wearables are in high demand as one of the most employer-offered program incentives. Wearables are not only being distributed at a large quantity by medical carriers, they are also being utilized by employers as an incentive to drive employee engagement on wellness platforms, challenges, and programs. Is this increase in wearable distribution a fad, or are these products truly impacting employee wellness program engagement and health care spending? This question is one of the many that continually surfaces from employers who are focused on employee health and well-being and the business investment in wellness programs.

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Topics: wellness, wearable fitness devices, employee engagement, health care costs, UBA Health Plan Survey, wellness programs, Travis Horne

Engagement Key to the Future of Private Exchanges

Posted by: Michael A. Fleck    Sep 29, 2016 10:30:00 AM

In this final blog of a three-part series (you can read Part 1 and Part 2 if you missed them), I’d like to look to the future – not only the future of private exchanges, but the future of benefits and health in the United States.

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Topics: private exchanges, employee engagement, health care innovation, employee benefits technology, Michael Fleck, Hanna Global

Weeding Out Low Performers

Posted by: Bill Olson    Apr 5, 2016 3:34:43 PM

Every workplace has its fair share of slackers and goof-offs, but it’s what an employer does with those employees that solidifies its corporate culture as one of high or low performance.

Employers that ignore low-performing employees risk more than just productivity.

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Topics: employee engagement, Society for Human Resource Management, productivity