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Headed to SHRM's 2014 Annual Talent Management Conference & Exposition? Check out UrbanBound's custom guide for both the conference and Nashville!

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It is no surprise that trust in banks and the financial services sector has been trailing other industries for several years.  Ranked the third most trusted U.S. industry to do what is right in 2007, trust in banking and finance collapsed during the Great Recession and the sector has continued to be listed at the bottom of the Edelman communications firm’s annual Trust Barometer since 2010.

The trend endures as reported in the 

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Business Leadership : Business Leadership General, Communication Business Leadership  Ethics and Social Responsibility : Ethics General


Do you remember those days from your elementary school days? Or better yet do you remember that from your kid’s elementary school days? (Sorry, I do not mean to put the getting older trap on you)? Well we have show and tell days in the workplace too. The purpose of the assignment was to have each child come to class to tell his/her fellow students about something that was important to them. The presentation was made and that was the end of the process. On rare occasions, another students got excited about the presentation and began to investigate the topic, themselves. Other than that there was no seeing a problem and feeling the problem.  The student’s lives were not changed.

The business world is no different. We have our show and tell assignments. They are called process improvement teams. Consider this scenario for a moment. You have thrown together a cross-functional team and have begun the process of resolving a problem facing the organization. You do everything you are supposed to do. However when everything is said and done, the report ends up on a shelf somewhere and never visited again. The team then returns to their old responsibilities and nothing has changed. It becomes an adult version of show and tell. But why does this happen?

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How many times have I been told that one? Who is counting?... is a frequent response. 

Wellness programs have become an industry of their own and I would tend to agree that many of them are over designed or just ineffective, but as a concept it is sound practice and employers who ignore this tool are making a mistake.

Let's look at a story from AHIP today: "Chronic hypertension may increase risk of pregnancy complications".  There is the obvious human response that nobody wants to risk damage to somebody's child. But many business owners might respond that they provide a quality medical plan and it is the mothers responsibility to be healthy for her child's sake.

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Shifting health plan costs to employees is a continuing trend that's expected to continue increasing. In 2014, a quarter of all employer plans had high deductibles of at least $1,250 for individuals, and two-thirds had individual, in-network out-of-pocket maximums of $2,500 or more.

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Does anyone use a Safety Bucks or similar Safety Incentive Program that you wouldn't mind sharing the details of?  We are a manufacturing organization of just under 100 employees.


Thank you!

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How much do employers spend on learning and training?
According to the American Society of Training and Development’s 2013 State of the Industry Report, U.S. organizations spent more than $164 billion on employee learning in 2012. (In this case, “learning” encompasses a wide array of educational initiatives including training.)
Training magazine’s 2013 Training Industry Report, on the other hand, offers a narrower focus on training initiatives and the dollars spent. The report indicates that U.S. training expenditures, which totaled $55.4 billion in 2013:
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On April 14 the Wall Street Journal ran an article about companies eliminating their HR departments. If you poll large enough population of corporate executives about the role of HR, a majority will tell you that HR is an obstacle to getting things done. A couple of weeks ago Robin Schooling, fellow HR blogger at HR Schoolhouse, stated she had asked a group of HR ladies how to increase employee engagement and their unanimous response was to hold a picnic. When we went to school many of us were taught to learn by the rote method.
So taking these facts into consideration where did HR lose its way? Since its inception, in many cases we were like the school student. We performed practices the same way every time.  If we needed to help someone with a benefit question we followed the same plan for action each time we answered that question. We are considered an obstacle to the organization because we do so. We are considered an obstacle because we portray ourselves as this silo that can do no wrong because that is what we do.
But times have changed. We need a new model for HR that is centered around being a vital part of the equation, We need a new HR model that is centered around the culture of the organization, centered around the voice of the customer and centered around alignment between HR and the rest of the organization. So how do we achieve this new model?
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Administrative errors are the source of many denials, while others are based on disputed judgments of medical necessity, as this story reveals. For many, filing an appeal is the only way to get the treatment they need.

To help make sure health insurance claims aren't improperly denied, the Affordable Care Act creates national standards allowing appeals to the insurer and, if necessary, to a third-party reviewer.

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In the mail yesterday was a message from my homeowners insurance company about  what is referred to as the 80% to value ratio. The important question is "Do you know what that means?"

Just saying "Insurance" is usually enough to get you ignored all night at social events and just putting your insurance policy next to your bed might be better as a sleep aid than medication. But - this 80% to value thing is really important so listen up.

Your home owners policy requires that you insure your home for at least 80% of it's value. The idea here is that if you only insured your home for let's say 40% of it's value then why should your insurance company pay 100% of your homes value if it burns down?

That makes sense but here is the rub - how do you know if your policy is an 80% to value or not?

This is complicated more by what  "..80% to value.." is based on. You might think it is based on the appraisal or sale value and subject to real estate values.  That would make it really difficult to keep up with. Actually it is based on what the cost might be to replace your home so it is really 80% of replacement cost at the time of the claim.
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Benefits : homeowners insurance

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is developing guidance on pregnancy and pregnancy-related impairments.

Allen Smith
Manager, Workplace Law Content
Society for Human Resource Management
Alexandria VA
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A lawyer poses an interesting question for HR: Is the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) an "inadvertent" leave law, as an EEOC commissioner recently asserted, or "a non-leave law seeking legitimacy as a leave law, unintentionally, accidentally or otherwise," writes Michael J. Soltis of law firm Jackson Lewis.

He adds, "Thus far, numerous courts have recognized that the ADA provides some measure of leave as an accommodation, but few have grappled with that oxymoronic anomaly."

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I, along with my Co-Social Media Director, Susan Holland, have spent time recently working on a Social Media Toolkit for members of Mississippi SHRM. In doing this, what I found to be very interesting was the need to reprogram my mind and take myself back to 2009-2010 when my “social brain” wasn't quite so plugged-into the network.  I had to learn to not-speak social and it made me wonder about how we speak today compared to just a few years ago.  Could someone in the year 2000 understand 2014 social speak?

Socially Speaking:  2000 V. 2014

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It’s happened to us all at some point in our HR careers. We filter through a pile of endless applications until we find the one that we believe might be the next all-star employee. We call the number and the candidate answers with the most polite voice imaginable. We schedule the interview and then it happens. What happens, you ask?  IT happens. Trust me, you will know when good interviews go bad.

When Good Interviews Go BadKyle Jones, Mississippi HR, The Anti-It Moment

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Sometimes the best thing for a blogger is to be silent and let others speak.  Sometimes it is best to ask questions because you can learn so much about a person from the answers they give.  This is why I've started this interview series and I thank Rory C. Trotter, Jr. for being the first in this interview series.

The HR to Who Interview:  Rory C. Trotter, Jr.

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Capability audits is a great organization tool but it would be interesting to see how many upper management actually perform them and not delegate them to their staff to perform?  Isn't this more effective if upper management completes them?
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HR directors of Companies with Over the Road Truck Drivers, and probably any truck driver affected by DOT regulation, need to be paying attention to a deadline of May 21, 2014.  

I know, “What another deadline I wasn’t aware of?”  

Actually if you are the HR director for a company with these DOT regulated drivers you probably knew that the rules are changing for DOT medical examiners and physicals. But in the event that you had missed that somewhere along the line it is a big deadline on May 21. 2014.  

Here is a small section of the wording from a very big document:  “National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners DATES: Effective on May 21, 2012. Compliance required beginning on May 21, 2014"

SUMMARY: FMCSA establishes a National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners (National Registry) with requirements that all medical examiners who conduct physical examinations for interstate commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers meet the following criteria: complete certain training concerning FMCSA’s physical qualification standards, pass a test to verify an understanding of those standards, and maintain and demonstrate competence through periodic training and testing. Following establishment of the National Registry and a transition period, FMCSA will require that motor carriers and drivers use only those medical examiners on the Agency’s National Registry and will only accept as valid medical examiner’s certificates issued by medical examiners listed on the National Registry.” 
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Have you seen messages about "The Heart Bleed Virus"?   Our IT guy Dave Riddle sent us this.  Although this is outside the realm of our traditional posts, take a look - it is important.
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To close the deal with job candidates, employers are more likely to offer signing bonuses in boom times than during a recession. But the payoff in employee attitudes and effort was found to be considerably greater with a tepid economy -- when candidates far outnumber open positions and the bonus is viewed as having real meaning -- a new study suggests.
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To close the deal with job candidates, employers are more likely to offer signing bonuses in boom times than during a recession. But the payoff in employee attitudes and effort was found to be considerably greater with a tepid economy—when candidates far outnumber open positions and the bonus is viewed as having real meaning—a new study finds.
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