• The HR Specialist - Print Newsletter
  • HR Specialist: Employment Law
  • The HR LAW Weekly
  • The HR Weekly


5 keys to boosting participation in your health plan


Innovative employers are applying five new principles when they talk to employees about health and health insurance. As you look for ways to encourage employees to be active, informed consumers of the health benefits you offer, see how many you can incorporate into your own communication plans.

Hold shorter, more effective meetings

Cut down on meeting time by remembering the three purposes for having a meeting in the first place: to inform, to gather input or to ask for approval. Tell attendees which of those goals your meeting will achieve.

Once is not enough! Promote perks year-round


For too many employers, benefits communication consists of handing an annual statement to workers and saying, “See you next year.” However, a new survey says U.S. workers’ biggest complaint about their employee benefits isn’t cost or access—it’s that employees don’t really understand the benefits they already have. Here are inexpensive ways HR can educate employees year-round:

For savings & inspiration, meet in other boardrooms

Looking for a place to host your next off-site meeting? Some companies are hosting them at other companies’ offices, according to a recent Wall Street Journal Report.

Base health communication strategies on 5 behavioral quirks


When researchers at HR consulting giant Towers Watson were compiling new stats on 2010 employer health care costs, they uncovered some fascinating findings from the world of behavioral economics that innovative employers are applying to their health communication efforts. As you look for ways to encourage employees to be active, informed consumers of the health benefits you offer, see how many you can incorporate into your own communication plans.

Having ‘the talk’: Wise words for discipline discussions


Being an effective manager means confronting those “challenging” employees who, while typically good at their jobs, too often display unprofessional or downright obnoxious behavior. The best way to tackle such problems is to meet with employees right when you spot the problem behavior. Follow these guidelines, which have the side benefit of protecting the organization from employee claims that they weren’t treated fairly.

‘Unwonk’ your company mission statement; give employees a quantifiable goal


Do your employees truly understand your organization’s mission? Heck, do you even understand it? Sometimes, putting a one-sentence mission on paper for all to see can help focus and motivate a workforce. And while mission statements can be valuable, they must articulate real targets. Otherwise, they sound too much like a corporate Hallmark card.

Trim the fat from your business writing


In business writing, you don’t receive extra credit for slathering your sentences with fancy phrases, the way you did in college. Do that in a memo or e-mail, and you can expect eyes to glaze over. Here are five “less is more” tips for writing more effectively at work.

Fine-tune your perks with the help of a BUG


Balancing your annual benefits budget and setting benefits priorities are some of your most important tasks. Why go it alone? More employers are getting their employees involved in the process of deciding which benefits to keep and which to ditch. Your best bet for engaging employees: Convene a team of workers to serve as a benefits users group, or BUG.

Sheetz employees ‘connect’ with execs at ‘town halls’


Since the convenience store chain Sheetz started its “connect sessions” last year, 1,000 of its 13,000 employees in six states have met with store executives to ask questions, make suggestions and complain. The 57-year-old, family-owned organization has made changes as a result.