March/April 2019

March/April 2019

| From Our Editors

Browse through business books and you’ll see that workers are somehow less and more productive than ever; that our labors are building resilience but also killing us; that work fills us with more stress and yet fulfills us.

Breathless cover blurbs declare it’s a brave new world of work. Spurred by emerging technology and a hypercharged business cycle, a cottage industry of thinkers, consultants and conferences have sprung up. Their aim? To “rethink” work for the new era. Some have original ideas, others simply put a new package on the same old product.

There’s no doubt we’re living through a period of change. But it’s always that way. Stability isn’t the status quo. Change is.

That’s not to say HR can just sit tight. HR will have to evolve alongside every other business function. But it always has. There’s no such thing as new work. It’s work. And it’s never the same.

—Mike Prokopeak,
Editor in Chief

The workplace has changed a lot since 1922. That year The Journal of Personnel Research debuted, rebranded later as Personnel Journal and finally Workforce. Now in our 97th year, we take a look back at what was on the minds of past generations of people managers.

Rosie Returns Home, October 1945
World War II concluded just two months before the publication of the October 1945 Personnel Journal. Understandably, the issue was dominated with stories about returning war veterans.

Among stories titled “Veterans Placement” and “Veteran as Individual” was one simply titled after the iconic female factory worker. “Rosie the Riveter” was penned by the Staff of Women’s Personnel at Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corp. and assessed women’s role in the postwar workplace: “Will ‘Rosie the Riveter’ be content to return to the unsung tasks of the home, washing, mending, picking up toys and binding little Willie’s cuts? Or will she want to continue bringing home the bacon, leaving the frying of it to Grandma?” The piece was actually a survey of female workers, which made up one-fourth of the company’s personnel. The authors’ conclusion? “Rosie would prefer to go back to her traditional sphere; and should you throw ‘Cash, Careers, Clothes and Cavorting’ at her, you’re apt to hear a chorus from millions of feminine throats — ‘A fig for your fat paychecks, a pox on your independence and as for your so-called masculine prerogatives — now that we know what they cost — YOU CAN HAVE ‘EM BACK!’ ” (Their capitalization, not mine.)

Rick Bell

World War II concluded just two months before the publication of the October 1945 Personnel Journal. Understandably, the issue was dominated with stories about returning war veterans.

Among stories titled “Veterans Placement” and “Veteran as Individual” was one simply titled after the iconic female factory worker. “Rosie the Riveter” was penned by the Staff of Women’s Personnel at Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corp. and assessed women’s role in the postwar workplace: “Will ‘Rosie the Riveter’ be content to return to the unsung tasks of the home, washing, mending, picking up toys and binding little Willie’s cuts? Or will she want to continue bringing home the bacon, leaving the frying of it to Grandma?” The piece was actually a survey of female workers, which made up one-fourth of the company’s personnel. The authors’ conclusion? “Rosie would prefer to go back to her traditional sphere; and should you throw ‘Cash, Careers, Clothes and Cavorting’ at her, you’re apt to hear a chorus from millions of feminine throats — ‘A fig for your fat paychecks, a pox on your independence and as for your so-called masculine prerogatives — now that we know what they cost — YOU CAN HAVE ‘EM BACK!’ ” (Their capitalization, not mine.)

Rick Bell

HR and the Dot-Com Crash, May 2001

The phrase “dot-com company” is arguably dead in 2019. But in 2001, many companies were recovering from the dot-com crash of 2000. Dot-com companies at the time — with their lax policies, sex-discrimination issues and tendency to ignore HR — had left themselves open to countless sexual harassment charges.

Further, these companies had more HR problems, like “eschewing performance evaluations,” which left them unable to “document against employee lawsuits claiming they were underpaid and overworked, not promoted, or let go unfairly.”

According to one business columnist, “many dot-coms lack seasoned human-resources managers or even written human-resources policies.” The article continued that while there were other problems that led to the dot-com downfall, HR problems were a big one.

With similar complaints of rampant harassment and culture problems still relevant at today’s tech start-ups and more grounded tech companies alike, has the tech industry learned its lesson from the dot-com crash?

The issue also contained a Q&A in which employers asked such colorful questions as, “Can my employee be forced to have lunch with co-workers?” and, “If an employee is not intoxicated at work but has a distinctive odor of alcohol on her clothes, how can I legally address this smell issue?”

Andie Burjek

On The Cover

The Myths of Health Care Costs

Experts dispel a variety of myths surrounding soaring modern health care expenses.

Art By Theresa Stoodley

On The Cover

The Myths of Health Care Costs

Experts dispel a variety of myths surrounding soaring modern health care expenses.

Art By Theresa Stoodley

Sector Report

48

VISION INSURANCE PROVIDERS

Employers finally see vision care benefits as a true mainstay of their employee benefits package.

50

CORPORATE WELLNESS PROVIDERS

Wellness programs have evolved beyond screenings to embrace the physical, social and emotional needs of employees.

Features

24

The 4 Myths of Health Care Costs

Myth 1: Lower Prices! Save Money!
A misconception in cutting health care costs is that it often doesn’t rely on addressing employee benefits at all.

Myth 2: Wellness Works
Creating a successful workplace wellness program isn’t as simple as offering one and watching the ROI grow and grow.
Myth 3: The Consumer Rumor
Merging health and wealth benefits is changing the benefits industry and the workplace relationship.
Myth 4: We’re Doing All We Can
Employers are doing a lot to help employees with health care costs. But in actuality they demand much more.
34

Retirement Returns

Employers have no clear strategy for older workers phasing out of the workforce. That could cost them in many ways.

42

A Passion for Work

Stop obsessing over engagement and focus on creating a high-trust culture where workers will flourish.

On The Web

speak up!

The Workforce online community provides you with virtual meeting places to chat about issues and trends affecting you and your workplace.
 

Join the group:
workforce.com/linkedingroup

Columns

4

your force

HR’s Nature Is to Continually Evolve

14

WORK IN PROGRESS

Blowback Over SHRM-Koch Ties Misses the Point.

19

Benefits beat

Be Bold With Your Benefits.

22

THE PRACTICAL EMPLOYER

Spotting the Risk for Employee Violence.

54

THE LAST WORD

The Employee Caregiving Crisis.

For Your Benefit

16

QUALITY OF LIFE CARE

Some organizations are realizing that as family dynamics evolve, so do caregiving needs at home.

17

HORNING IN ON A Sabbatical

Scooping rhinoceros poop was just one chore for a PwC employee during a company-mandated sabbatical.

18

SECOND CHANCES

Amid the opioid epidemic, a company offers drug treatment with a promise of a job upon program completion.

Trending

10

RELEASE THE RAGE

Two HR practitioners operate a rage room nights and weekends.

11

PEOPLE MOVES AND BY THE NUMBERS

Corie Pauling is TIAA chief D&I officer; health care’s workforce.

12

Q&A

Kronos CEO Aron Ain talks about building a fun organization.

13

An Ultimate Deal

Ultimate Software sells for an astounding $11 billion.

Legal

20

We Are FAMILY

Paid family leave and its economic and social benefits.

21

LEGAL BRIEFINGS

Unfair competition; concerted activity.

Trending

Rage Rooms Offer a Chance to Vent … and Smash Stuff

Although their methods have detractors, two HR practitioners are taking a swing at employee catharsis.

By Carol Brzozowski

T

he woman from an IT firm frustrated by challenges in both life and work glided through the warehouse swinging a baseball bat, a golf club and alternately a sledgehammer attempting to destroy office equipment and glass bottles sitting on a table.

In most any other scenario, an HR professional may have called security or referred Jane Gardner to counseling.

Instead, an HR practitioner applauded the effort. Kathy Barrios, a human resources business partner for Polyconcept North America, and Massiel Reyes, a recruiter with staffing firm Westaff, offered Gardner water and a smile after she was done “raging.”

PEOPLE
Michelle Armer
CareerBuilder promoted Michelle Armer to chief people officer. Joining as an HR coordinator, Armer was instrumental in helping to cultivate a unified culture focused on diversity and inclusion. Armer has been with CareerBuilder for 15 years and is part of the executive leadership team. Previously, Armer held positions with ADP and Career Education Corp.
Carrie O’Dell
Group Health Cooperative of South Central Wisconsin named Carrie O’Dell as chief human resources officer. O’Dell has worked for GHC-SCW for over 10 years, first as an HR generalist and then as an HR manager. O’Dell has more than 17 years of experience as an HR professional and a bachelor’s degree in human resource administration, as well as additional human resources certifications.
Colon McLean
Technology company Alight Solutions named Colon McLean as chief human resources officer. McLean brings more than 30 years of human resources experience to Alight including experience leading and integrating acquisitions, major system implementations, global engagement and talent strategies. McLean served as CHRO at the Warranty Group. He holds a degree in business administration from Wingate University in North Carolina.
moves
Corie Pauling
Financial services provider TIAA named Corie Pauling as chief diversity and inclusion officer. Pauling will oversee the firm’s D&I strategy and lead an expanded D&I team. She will report to CHRO Sean N. Woodroffe. Pauling brings extensive experience and insight to the position. Previously she worked in TIAA’s Advocacy & Oversight department as associate general counsel.
Daniel Stauthamer
International engineering firm Thornton Tomasetti named Daniel Stauthamer chief human resources officer. He brings more than 15 years of HR experience in the engineering and construction industry. Stauthamer is responsible for talent acquisition and retention, employee experience, inclusion and diversity and organizational development.
Tanisa Williams
Amalgamated Bank named Tanisa Williams senior vice president, HR director to lead the bank’s human resources and employee management division. Williams previously worked for 18 years in various HR roles at American Express. Williams holds a JD from Syracuse University College of Law, is certified in executive coaching and is a member of the New York State Bar.
To be considered for People Moves, email a brief announcement and a high-resolution color photo to editors@workforce.com.
Include People Moves in the subject line.
PEOPLE moves
PEOPLE moves
Workforce March 2019 - People Moves Michelle Armer
Michelle Armer
CareerBuilder promoted Michelle Armer to chief people officer. Joining as an HR coordinator, Armer was instrumental in helping to cultivate a unified culture focused on diversity and inclusion. Armer has been with CareerBuilder for 15 years and is part of the executive leadership team. Previously, Armer held positions with ADP and Career Education Corp.
Workforce March 2019 - People Moves Carrie O'Dell
Carrie O’Dell
Group Health Cooperative of South Central Wisconsin named Carrie O’Dell as chief human resources officer. O’Dell has worked for GHC-SCW for over 10 years, first as an HR generalist and then as an HR manager. O’Dell has more than 17 years of experience as an HR professional and a bachelor’s degree in human resource administration, as well as additional human resources certifications.
Workforce March 2019 - People Moves Colon McLean
Colon McLean
Technology company Alight Solutions named Colon McLean as chief human resources officer. McLean brings more than 30 years of human resources experience to Alight including experience leading and integrating acquisitions, major system implementations, global engagement and talent strategies. McLean served as CHRO at the Warranty Group. He holds a degree in business administration from Wingate University in North Carolina.
Workforce March 2019 - People Moves Corie Pauling
Corie Pauling
Financial services provider TIAA named Corie Pauling as chief diversity and inclusion officer. Pauling will oversee the firm’s D&I strategy and lead an expanded D&I team. She will report to CHRO Sean N. Woodroffe. Pauling brings extensive experience and insight to the position. Previously she worked in TIAA’s Advocacy & Oversight department as associate general counsel.
Workforce March 2019 - People Moves Daniel Stauthamer
Daniel Stauthamer
International engineering firm Thornton Tomasetti named Daniel Stauthamer chief human resources officer. He brings more than 15 years of HR experience in the engineering and construction industry. Stauthamer is responsible for talent acquisition and retention, employee experience, inclusion and diversity and organizational development.
Workforce March 2019 - People Moves Tanisa Williams
Tanisa Williams
Amalgamated Bank named Tanisa Williams senior vice president, HR director to lead the bank’s human resources and employee management division. Williams previously worked for 18 years in various HR roles at American Express. Williams holds a JD from Syracuse University College of Law, is certified in executive coaching and is a member of the New York State Bar.
To be considered for People Moves, email a brief announcement and a high-resolution color photo to editors@workforce.com.
Include People Moves in the subject line.
Workforce March 2019 - By the Numbers

Trending

Aron Ain, Author
The Magic Formula

By David Chasanov

Kronos Inc. CEO Aron Ain released his book, “WorkInspired: How to Build an Organization Where Everyone Loves to Work,” in October. Ain discusses how prioritizing employees is beneficial for an entire company. Workforce Editorial Associate David Chasanov spoke with Ain and found out what workplace elements are most important to him as a leader.

Workforce: What’s your favorite element in making the workplace fun?

Aron Ain: Having a great place where great people can come to work and enjoy what they’re doing. A place where they can also have balance in their lives. I love when I tell people that if the most important thing in their life is working for Kronos, they have their priorities mixed up. People get uncomfortable at first when they hear that, but then they end up believing in it because I keep repeating it to them.

Trending

SHRM’s New Credit

By David Chasanov

T

he Society for Human Resource Management’s new professional development program has an analytical look.

Those who attain the new People Analytics Specialty Credential can demonstrate that they have the knowledge and analytics literacy to study business issues and effectively communicate data-supported recommendations to their organizations, according to a SHRM official.

SHRM Chief Global Development Officer Nick Schacht said people analytics has taken on greater organizational significance. From data on contacts a company has with an individual during the recruitment process to the hiring and ongoing processes, people analytics serves an increasingly important purpose.

Trending

Keeping Data Safe: The Next Wave of HR Tech Innovation

By Marc Coleman

Marc Coleman
A

s we get closer to 2020, it is an exciting time for the human resources profession. Workforce and HR technology is the enabler that will optimize talent and ensure HR becomes the most important function in an organization.

The next decade will unleash the potential of innovative HR technology, empowering functions to build smarter frameworks for workplaces. Led by HR, all functions of the business will evolve quicker, become agile and stronger, and be more cost efficient.

Artificial intelligence is the fuel. After the introduction of on-premise software and cloud-based technology systems for HR, AI is the third wave of HR technology.

On the vendor side, Microsoft, LinkedIn, Slack, Amazon, Facebook, Google and Salesforce are entering the space. We are seeing new names and investors coming into the HR industry each week, investing in blockchain, health and well-being, and AI. While it’s still not front and center, the “people first” approach of the HR industry is being pushed further to the side with these newer – and buzzier – innovations.

Trending

Ultimate Software Sells for $11 Billion

By Sarah Fister Gale

I

n one of the biggest deals in recent HR technology history, Ultimate Software agreed to be acquired by a private equity group for $11 billion. The move will allow the cloud-based human capital management vendor to leave the pressures of Wall Street behind — at least for a while.

The February announcement was a surprise considering Ultimate appears to be thriving and has delivered steady year over year growth, said Holger Mueller, principal analyst for Constellation Research. “Usually private equity investors acquire troubled companies or those in transition but Ultimate is doing really well.”

The 29-year-old human capital management company, which provides a suite of tools including payroll, benefits management and talent acquisition, has more than 5,000 customers in 160 countries, and delivered $1.1 billion in revenues in 2018, up from $940 million in 2017. It dominates the market among mid-sized companies, and it has been expanding its client base to support larger global companies, making it increasingly competitive with Workday, ADP, and other industry leaders. The question now is what effect this acquisition will have on the company’s long term business prospects.

Trending

Clamor Over SHRM Agenda Misses the Point

By Kris Dunn | Work in Progress

I

‘m sharing a ride with a colleague heading back to our hotel after work. As we pull in to the hotel parking lot, the topic of a struggling restaurant there with service issues comes up.

I offer the following: “If I owned that place, I’d solve all the service issues by hiring nothing but people with criminal backgrounds who were recently released.”

Some of you may think I’m enlightened making that statement, others will think I’m crazy. It’s neither. I’ve just been influenced by the recent agenda of the Society for Human Resource Management. SHRM recently announced a partnership called “Getting Talent Back to Work,” which includes the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Restaurant Association and Koch Industries. The singular goal of this initiative is to encourage companies to take a national pledge to hire workers with criminal backgrounds.

The average HR pro might think the controversy would be getting past America’s long-term tradition of refusing to hire those with criminal records. Instead, there was a small to moderate outcry related to presence of Koch Industries in the initiative. Owners Charles and David Koch — the Koch brothers — are active (some would say notorious) fundraisers and influencers in conservative politics.

For Your Benefit

Caregiving Perks Enter the 21st Century
As the traditional family becomes less common, so does the traditional caregiver.
By Andie Burjek
E

mployers should consider a more inclusive definition of “caregiver,” argues employee caregiving platform Torchlight, which released its annual report titled “Modern Caregiving Challenges Facing U.S. Employees” in January. While caregiving has traditionally been defined as “care for an aging loved one or child with a diagnosis or disability,” the report says, the “modern caregiver” may or may not fit in that limited box — but they may have similar problems regardless.

Torchlight analyzed its user data to see the top caregiving challenges people face whether caring for a child or an elder. Some of these relate to a specific disability, but others don’t.

For elder care, the most pressing problems include housing (tasks such as helping a loved one move or helping them create safe home environments) and cognitive impairment (managing Alzheimer’s or other causes of dementia). For child care, the most pressing problems are mental health (addressing anxiety or depression in one’s child with a concrete strategy) and executive functioning (teaching children organizational skills and basic skills like managing time and setting goals).

For Your Benefit

Horning in on a Sabbatical
Time away brings home the value of re-energized workers.
By Rita Pyrillis
PwC’s Beata Zagona on sabbatical in South Africa alongside a rhinoceros.
PwC’s Beata Zagona on sabbatical in South Africa alongside a rhinoceros.
W

hen executive recruiter Beata Zagona, a self-described city girl, decided to take a fully paid sabbatical from her job, her choice of destination came as a surprise to some. Last summer, she spent a month scooping rhinoceros poop, among other chores, at a rhino sanctuary in South Africa.

“I had worked for the firm for two weeks in South Africa and fell in love with the country,” said Zagona, a manager at PwC in New York. “I had gone on safari in Kenya and became more aware of wildlife poaching and saw the atrocities being committed against these animals. I thought the sabbatical was a great opportunity to do something adventurous and meaningful.”

Many employers would agree that a rested and recharged employee is more engaged and productive and that sabbaticals are a good idea, but PwC requires it for all newly promoted senior managers. The firm offers four weeks off — it pays for three — to give employees a chance to pursue a lifelong goal, volunteer or do nothing at all.

For Your Benefit

Recovering Employment
Employers in opioid-riddled states are offering second chances to workers facing addiction.

By Rita Pyrillis

W

hen a job seeker fails a pre-employment drug test, often the company rescinds the offer and both parties move on.

That scenario wasn’t working for the Belden wire and cable factory in Richmond, Indiana, which in 2016 faced a labor shortage due to a spike in retirements and a dearth in qualified applicants. So they tried something dramatically different.

Belden’s factory, which sits near the Ohio state line and employs more than 400 people, began offering drug treatment to those who failed their drug screening with a promise of a job if they successfully complete the program — all on the company’s dime. The pilot program, called Pathways to Employment, was launched in February 2018 and is believed to be the first of its kind.

“We had many people who were retiring and we needed to fill dozens of positions, but it was getting harder to find candidates because so many were failing their drug test — around 10 percent,” said Dean McKenna, Belden’s senior vice president of human resources. “There was no mechanism to deal with this except to say, ‘Sorry, you can’t work here.’ The CEO and others talked about what would happen if we hired these people. They said, ‘How bad would it be to give them the opportunity to get back in the workplace?’ ”

For Your Benefit

Jennifer Benz leads Segal Benz, a national leader in HR and employee benefits communications.
Be Bold With Your Benefits

By Jennifer Benz | Benefits Beat

I

t is an exciting time for employee benefit professionals.

Just a few years ago, we were consumed with legislative challenges and daunting health and retirement issues. Those issues haven’t gone away, of course, but there’s a newfound optimism around the strategic and creative opportunities benefits bring. Several factors are pushing benefits to the forefront of talent strategies and the employee experience.

First, we have an incredibly diverse workforce that needs benefits to solve real problems. It’s marked by a vast range in age — employees from Gen Z (those in their early 20s) to baby boomers (some working well into their 70s) and everyone in between. It also encompasses every definition of family and lifestyle. And it challenges the very definition of “work,” which is evolving as more and more people build careers around part-time and contract roles or take long breaks from full-time employment.

Second, we’re seeing an exciting shift in how we’re designing and talking about benefits. The focus is moving away from traditional benefits like health insurance and retirement plans and toward a more holistic approach to taking care of employees and their families. This change is driven by the understanding that benefits and HR programs can drive greater business results when they’re considered more broadly, with attention to their impact on the mind, body, finances and even sense of purpose.

Legal

Raising the Topic of Paid Parental Leave
The US lags behind other countries when it comes to family time for workers.
By Michelle W. Johnson
A

ccording to a 2014 study by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, the United States is one of eight countries — and the only industrialized country — that does not guarantee paid parental leave for employees. In contrast, nearly every member of the European Union provides at least 14 weeks of job-guaranteed maternity leave and 81 countries extend paid paternity leave.

In the U.S., New York, Rhode Island, California and New Jersey currently require paid family leave programs. Additionally, the District of Columbia, Washington state and Massachusetts have enacted legislation for leave programs to begin in 2020 and 2021.

On the federal level, the Family and Medical Leave Act provides up to 12 weeks of unpaid job-protected leave for several covered circumstances, including the birth or adoption of a child. However, only 60 percent of American workers qualify for FMLA leave, and because FMLA leave is unpaid, many workers who qualify cannot afford to take it.

Legal Briefings

AN UNFAIR COMPETITION CLAIM
DTC Energy Group Inc. is a Colorado staffing company. Adam Hirschfield was DTC’s business development manager and signed an employment agreement with a non-solicitation clause. DTC and another staffing entity, Ally Consulting LLC, began working together on a limited basis regarding staffing projects. DTC discovered that Hirschfield was sending DTC’s business and contacts to Ally. DTC confronted Hirschfield about this behavior but allowed him to continue working for a few more months until he resigned and began working for Ally. As an employee for Ally, Hirschfield continued to solicit DTC’s business and customers. Months later, DTC filed a lawsuit against Hirschfield and sought a preliminary injunction to prevent him from continuing to solicit DTC’s customers. DTC alleged that Hirschfield breached his employment agreement, stole trade secrets and engaged in unfair competition. The U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado denied DTC’s motion for a preliminary injunction, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit affirmed this decision. The 10th Circuit held that DTC could not show how it was being irreparably harmed by Hirschfield’s conduct so as to require a preliminary order preventing Hirschfield from soliciting DTC customers. Rather, Hirschfield had already diverted 12 contracts from DTC to Ally. The court held that this restrictive covenant had lapsed and there was no further basis to enjoin Hirschfield. DTC Energy Group Inc. v. Hirschfield, No. 18-1113, 2018 WL 6816903 (10th Cir. Dec. 28, 2018).

IMPACT: It’s important that companies plan in advance for unfair competition scenarios.

Legal

Spotting the Risk for Violence

Jon Hyman | The Practical Employer

Spotting the Risk for Violence

By Jon Hyman | The Practical Employer

I

t was like most any other Friday afternoon at Henry Pratt Co., and then all of a sudden it wasn’t.

The Aurora, Illinois, company informed one of its employees, Gary Martin, of his termination. Shortly thereafter, he opened fire with a .40-caliber Smith & Wesson, killing five of his co-workers — including the HR manager and an HR intern who was in his first day on the job — and wounding five police officers. Martin himself was the sixth casualty, killed in a shootout with police.

After the news of this tragedy broke, reports surfaced of Martin’s history of violence — six prior arrests by the local police department for domestic violence, and a decades-old felony conviction for aggravated assault.

It begs the question, should this employer have known that Martin was prone to violence, and, if so, should it have taken added measures in connection with his termination?

Stories By Andie Burjek, Art By Theresa Stoodley
E

mployers are doing everything they can to curb health care costs.

Sure, and if you believe that you may also believe in unicorns, the Loch Ness monster and Bigfoot roaming the Pacific Northwest.

Cutting health care costs is the elusive white whale for many businesses. Employers indeed may be putting forth a good faith effort to cut their health spend but oftentimes the results just aren’t there. It’s like the arcade game of whack-a-mole — try one new fad and miss, and another pops up followed by the same result.

In the meantime, health care costs have soared. In 1999, the average annual premium (both employer and employee contributions included) was $2,196 for an individual and $5,791 for a family, compared to $6,896 and $19,616, respectively, in 2018, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation 2018 “Employer Health Benefits Survey.”

Among the myriad solutions employers try, there are overriding myths about cutting costs that don’t save money, provide a nonexistent ROI or are just plain ineffective.

We’ve asked several leading health care experts to offer their thoughts on what we’ve determined are four prevailing myths to cutting employer health expenses. There are others, but this is a good start at peeking behind the wizard’s curtain.

Stories By Andie Burjek, Art By Theresa Stoodley
E

mployers are doing everything they can to curb health care costs.

Sure, and if you believe that you may also believe in unicorns, the Loch Ness monster and Bigfoot roaming the Pacific Northwest.

Cutting health care costs is the elusive white whale for many businesses. Employers indeed may be putting forth a good faith effort to cut their health spend but oftentimes the results just aren’t there. It’s like the arcade game of whack-a-mole — try one new fad and miss, and another pops up followed by the same result.

In the meantime, health care costs have soared. In 1999, the average annual premium (both employer and employee contributions included) was $2,196 for an individual and $5,791 for a family, compared to $6,896 and $19,616, respectively, in 2018, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation 2018 “Employer Health Benefits Survey.”

Among the myriad solutions employers try, there are overriding myths about cutting costs that don’t save money, provide a nonexistent ROI or are just plain ineffective.

We’ve asked several leading health care experts to offer their thoughts on what we’ve determined are four prevailing myths to cutting employer health expenses. There are others, but this is a good start at peeking behind the wizard’s curtain.

Retirement
Returns

Retirement
Returns

Employers have no clear strategy for older workers phasing out of the workforce. That could cost them in both the short and long term.

By Patty Kujawa

A

fter 37 years of teaching high school English, Martha Taylor-Nobile wanted to wake up just a little later in the morning. So at 60, she retired earlier than she had planned.

“I could’ve kept going, but it just felt right,” she said. “My energy level was down, so I questioned whether I was doing the best job possible.”

Taylor-Nobile said her employer, the Greenwich, Connecticut, Public Schools District, allowed her to transition out of full-time work by becoming a mentor to new teachers. She had fewer classes to teach and spent time observing and coaching other less-experienced instructors.

“It was invigorating,” said Taylor-Nobile, now 66. “I got to share my experiences, and they showed me new ways of doing things too.”

Transitioning from full-time work to full-time retirement isn’t always as flawless as Taylor-Nobile’s experience. Often, baby boomers — those born between 1946 through 1964 — need to retire earlier than they expect, have to take a job that requires a lower skill set or must work longer at their current job to save more for retirement.

Retirement
Returns

Employers have no clear strategy for older workers phasing out of the workforce. That could cost them in both the short and long term.

By Patty Kujawa

A

fter 37 years of teaching high school English, Martha Taylor-Nobile wanted to wake up just a little later in the morning. So at 60, she retired earlier than she had planned.

“I could’ve kept going, but it just felt right,” she said. “My energy level was down, so I questioned whether I was doing the best job possible.”

Taylor-Nobile said her employer, the Greenwich, Connecticut, Public Schools District, allowed her to transition out of full-time work by becoming a mentor to new teachers. She had fewer classes to teach and spent time observing and coaching other less-experienced instructors.

“It was invigorating,” said Taylor-Nobile, now 66. “I got to share my experiences, and they showed me new ways of doing things too.”

Transitioning from full-time work to full-time retirement isn’t always as flawless as Taylor-Nobile’s experience. Often, baby boomers — those born between 1946 through 1964 — need to retire earlier than they expect, have to take a job that requires a lower skill set or must work longer at their current job to save more for retirement.

Sponsored Content
Sponsored Content
How to Build a Best-in-Class Education Benefits Program
Join the talent-forward companies offering the education benefits employees want.
By Tim Harnett
Lessons from America’s biggest companies

Education benefits are hot. There are two good reasons for that:

  • There is a shortage of motivated, talented workers — especially in occupations like retail sales, food service, IT, health care and data analytics. Companies seeking these workers are looking for compelling benefits that will attract and keep the people they need.
  • Talented, motivated workers expect education benefits. Millennials rate development as the most important non-cash benefit. Importantly for corporations, people who crave development are those who are motivated to move up.
Sponsored Content
Sponsored Content
The Millennial Mindset
Increasing retirement program participation through student loan debt relief
By Tim Harnett
The amount of student loan debt shows no sign of abating. The numbers are sobering: 1 in 4 Americans carries an average of more than $37,000 in student loan debt, adding up to 44.7 million people and $1.53 trillion in debt.1 With student loan payments averaging nearly $400 a month, workers may often defer putting money into retirement accounts, using the money to pay down their immediate debts.

When it comes to well-being, many organizations consider employees’ physical and mental health, offering health insurance and other benefit programs. Financial well-being is less often considered, but it can make a big impact for both employees and employers.

More than any other kind of debt, student loan debt causes workers to have less favorable views of their own financial well-being, according to William Elliot, director of the School of Social Welfare for the University of Kansas. 2 How can organizations improve their employees’ financial well-being? Student loan repayment plans that integrate into an existing 401(k) program offer one solution. Retirement packages like a 401(k) can be an attractive benefit option that many employers offer to their workforce.

Producing a
Passion Play
Stop obsessing over engagement; instead focus on employee work passion and creating a high-trust culture where workers flourish.
By Randy Conley and Drea Zigarmi
E

very day the spirits of millions of people die at the front door of their workplace.

There is an epidemic of workers who are uninterested and disengaged from the work they do, and the cost to the U.S. economy has been pegged at more than $300 billion annually. According to a recent survey from Deloitte, only 20 percent of people say they are truly passionate about their work. Gallup surveys show that nearly 70 percent of the workforce is not engaged, with an estimated 23 million “actively disengaged.” These employees have quit and stayed — they show up for work but do the bare minimum to get by, don’t put in any extra effort to care for customers and are a drain on organizational resources and productivity.

On the trust front, the findings are just as stark. Studies show that 50 percent of employees who distrust their senior leaders are considering leaving the organization, with 62 percent reporting that low trust causes unreasonable levels of stress. According to workplace consultancy Tolero Solutions, 45 percent of employees say lack of trust in leadership is the biggest issue impacting work performance.

Building and sustaining high levels of engagement is a critical competency for today’s leaders. In our technology-fueled, digitally connected world where new products, competitors and business models seem to emerge overnight, one of the few competitive advantages an organization possesses is its people. The level of skill, talent, creativity, innovation and passion in the workforce of an organization can mean the difference between mediocre and exceptional results.

Producing a
Passion Play
Passion Play
Stop obsessing over engagement; instead focus on employee work passion and creating a high-trust culture where workers flourish.
By Randy Conley and Drea Zigarmi
E

very day the spirits of millions of people die at the front door of their workplace.

There is an epidemic of workers who are uninterested and disengaged from the work they do, and the cost to the U.S. economy has been pegged at more than $300 billion annually. According to a recent survey from Deloitte, only 20 percent of people say they are truly passionate about their work. Gallup surveys show that nearly 70 percent of the workforce is not engaged, with an estimated 23 million “actively disengaged.” These employees have quit and stayed — they show up for work but do the bare minimum to get by, don’t put in any extra effort to care for customers and are a drain on organizational resources and productivity.

On the trust front, the findings are just as stark. Studies show that 50 percent of employees who distrust their senior leaders are considering leaving the organization, with 62 percent reporting that low trust causes unreasonable levels of stress. According to workplace consultancy Tolero Solutions, 45 percent of employees say lack of trust in leadership is the biggest issue impacting work performance.

Building and sustaining high levels of engagement is a critical competency for today’s leaders. In our technology-fueled, digitally connected world where new products, competitors and business models seem to emerge overnight, one of the few competitive advantages an organization possesses is its people. The level of skill, talent, creativity, innovation and passion in the workforce of an organization can mean the difference between mediocre and exceptional results.

Vision Benefits Providers

Vision: The Must-Have Benefit for 2019
Before 2020 comes around, employers want to ensure employees see a vision plan in action.

By Sarah Fister Gale

V

ision care benefits have become a mainstay of the employer benefits package.

“Virtually all companies now offer vision,” said Peter DeBellis, head of the total rewards practice for Bersin by Deloitte in Washington, D.C. “It is table stakes, especially for companies of a certain scale.”

Vision care is listed as one of the 10 essential benefits included in the Affordable Care Act, and employees have come to expect it as part of the core employee benefits package. “Health, dental and vision are the benefits triad,” DeBellis said. These programs have a very high rate of participation, which further reinforces the value they bring to employees.

This category of benefits has evolved in recent years in the care options offered and the way these treatments are accessed and paid for. Telemedicine, for example, is a new trend in the vision benefits space, noted Paul Piechnik, senior vice president of group benefits for MetLife. A growing number of organizations now offer basic examinations to check visual acuity and the need for eyewear via do-it-yourself applications or through a physician-led online virtual exam.

Corporate Wellness Providers

Hello, Talent Management

Wellness programs have evolved beyond screenings to embrace the physical, social and emotional needs of employees.

By Sarah Fister Gale

W

ellness benefits have officially changed teams. These health-inspired programs and resources are no longer viewed as health care initiatives, but rather as a “new talent value proposition,” said Mike Maniccia, specialist leader for Deloitte in Los Angeles.

“The origins of wellness programs were about saving money by creating a healthier workforce,” he says. But the financial returns on wellness investments have been notoriously difficult to measure, which diminished their value and caused them to lose the backing by cost-conscious execs.

However, in a low unemployment economy where millennials dominate the talent pool, wellness has gained new life as a powerful recruiting tool. Offering on-site yoga classes, healthy food options in the cafeteria, and a suite of physical and emotional wellness apps can help win over hard-to-land new hires. “Appealing to millennials is dominating the wellness conversation,” he said.

Last Word

Rick Bell

Caring about the Caregiving Crisis

Caring about the Caregiving Crisis

A

friend from overseas recently messaged me about a work-related event at her employer’s innovation center. College students utilize technology as they tackle social causes, and then senior-level executives from her company provide guidance and coaching for their projects.

She described several ventures, including early identification of autism through digital gamified screenings, handling crowd management at a massive religious pilgrimage, and road safety through Internet of Things. “My god, it was inspiring to be there,” she told me.

Caregiving is not the exclusive territory of early age boomers or generation X

I can only imagine. Considering that her company hosts and sponsors an incubator-like operation rather than merely scratching out a check to a nonprofit organization for young entrepreneurs is worthy of recognition. But more importantly — to me, anyway — is the incubator’s cause: solving social issues.

Advertisers’ index

Advertisers/URLs

Page


40-41
3rd Cover
Advertising Sales
Clifford Capone
Vice President,
Group Publisher

312-967-3538
ccapone@CLOmedia.com


Derek Graham
Regional Sales Manager
312-967-3591
dgraham@CLOmedia.com
AL, AR, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MD, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, ND, NE, OH, OK, SC, SD, TN, TX, VA, WI, WV, District of Columbia, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan Newfoundland, Europe

Daniella Weinberg
Regional Sales Manager
917-627-1125
dweinberg@CLOmedia.com
CT, MA, MD, ME, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, VT, Quebec, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Europe


Kevin M. Fields
Director, Business Development
312-967-3565
kfields@CLOmedia.com

Melanie Lee
Business Administration Manager
510-834-0100, ext. 231
mlee@CLOmedia.com

Advertising:
For advertising information, write to sales@workforce.com.


Back Issues:
For all requests, including bulk issue orders, please visit our website at Workforce.com/products or email hcmalerts@e-circ.net.


Editorial:
To submit an article for publication, go to Workforce.com/contribute/submission-guidelines. Letters to the editor may be sent to editors@workforce.com.

List Rental:
Contact Mike Rovello at (402) 836-5639 or Mike.Rovello@infogroup.com.


Permissions and Article Reprints:
No part of Workforce can be reproduced without written permission. All permissions to republish or distribute content from Workforce can be obtained through PARS International. For single article reprints in quantities of 250 and above and e-prints for Web posting, please contact PARS International at MediaTecReprints@parsintl.com.

Subscription Services:All orders, inquiries and address changes should be addressed toWorkforce
P.O. Box 8712
Lowell, MA 01853or call customer service at (800) 422-2681, email us at hcmalerts@e-circ.net or visit Workforce.com/subscribe.
Please provide both the old and new address as printed on the last label at least six weeks before the change. The first copy of a new subscription will be mailed within eight weeks of receipt of order. Missing issues must be claimed within six months after publication.


Subscriptions are free to qualified individuals within the U.S. and Canada. Nonqualified paid subscriptions are available for $199 annually for 6 issues. All countries outside the U.S. and Canada must be prepaid in U.S. funds with an additional $33 postage surcharge. Single copy price is $29.99.

March/April 2019 | Volume 98, Issue 2

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
John R. Taggart
jrtag@workforce.com

PRESIDENT
Kevin A. Simpson
ksimpson@workforce.com

Vice President, GROUP PUBLISHER
Clifford Capone
ccapone@workforce.com

VICE PRESIDENT, EDITOR IN CHIEF
Mike Prokopeak
mikep@workforce.com

Editorial Director
Rick Bell
rbell@workforce.com

Managing Editor
Ashley St. John
astjohn@workforce.com

ASSOCIATE EDITORS
Andie Burjek
aburjek@workforce.com

Ave Rio
ario@workforce.com

Assistant Managing EditoR
Christopher Magnus
cmagnus@workforce.com

EDITORIAL ART DIRECTOR
Theresa Stoodley
tstoodley@workforce.com

EDITORIAL Associates
Eva Mick
emick@workforce.com

Bethany Tomasian
btomasian@workforce.com

Vice President, RESEARCH & Advisory Services
Sarah Kimmel
skimmel@workforce.com

RESEARCH MANAGER
Tim Harnett
tharnett@workforce.com

Data Scientist
Grey Litaker
glitaker@workforce.com

VIDEO AND MULTIMEDIA PRODUCER
Andrew Kennedy Lewis
alewis@workforce.com

Media & Production Manager
Ashley Flora
aflora@workforce.com

VICE PRESIDENT, EVENTS
Trey Smith
tsmith@workforce.com

Events Content editor
Malaz Elsheikh
melsheikh@workforce.com

Webcast Manager
Alec O’Dell
aodell@workforce.com

Events Graphic Designer
Latonya Hampton
lhampton@workforce.com

BUSINESS MANAGER
Vince Czarnowski
vince@workforce.com

MARKETING DIRECTOR
Greg Miller
gmiller@workforce.com

Marketing Specialist
Kristen Britt
kbritt@workforce.com

Regional Sales ManagerS
Derek Graham
dgraham@workforce.com

Daniella Weinberg
dweinberg@workforce.com

Director, Business Development 
Kevin Fields
kfields@workforce.com

Digital & Audience Insights Manager
Lauren Wilbur
lwilbur@CLOmedia.com

Digital Coordinator
Steven Diemand
sdiemand@CLOmedia.com

Audience Insights Coordinator
Micaela Martinez
mmartinez@workforce.com

LIST MANAGER
Mike Rovello
hcmlistrentals@infogroup.com

Business Administration Manager
Melanie Lee
mlee@workforce.com

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS
Jennifer Benz
Carol Brzozowski
David Chasanov
Marc Coleman
Randy Conley
Kris Dunn
Sarah Fister Gale
Jon Hyman
Michelle W. Johnson
Patty Kujawa
Rita Pyrillis
Daniel Saeedi
Rachel L. Schaller
Drea Zigarmi

WORKFORCE EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD

Arie Ball, Vice President, Sourcing and Talent Acquisition, Sodexo
Angela Bailey, Associate Director and Chief Human Capital Officer, U.S. Office of Personnel Management
Kris Dunn, Chief Human Resources Officer, Kinetix, and Founder, Fistful of Talent and HR Capitalist
Curtis Gray, Senior Vice President, Human Resources and Administration, BAE Systems
Jil Greene, Vice President, Human Resources and Community Relations, Harrah’s New Orleans
Ted Hoff, Human Resources Vice President, Global Sales and Sales Incentives, IBM
Tracy Kofski, Vice President, Compensation and Benefits, General Mills
Jon Hyman, Partner, Meyers, Roman, Friedberg & Lewis
Jim McDermid, Vice President, Human Resources, Cardiac and Vascular Group, Medtronic
Randall Moon, Vice President, International HR, Benefits and HRIS, Lowe’s Cos.
Dan Satterthwaite, Head of Human Resources, DreamWorks
Dave Ulrich, Professor, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan

Workforce (ISSN 2331-2793) is published bi-monthly by MediaTec Publishing Inc., 111 E. Wacker Dr., Suite 1200, Chicago IL 60601. Periodicals postage paid at Chicago, IL and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Workforce, P.O. Box 8712 Lowell, MA 01853. Subscriptions are free to qualified professionals within the US and Canada. Digital free subscriptions are available worldwide. Nonqualified paid subscriptions are available at the subscription price of $199 for 6 issues. All countries outside the US and Canada must be prepaid in US funds with an additional $33 postage surcharge. Single price copy is $29.99

Workforce and Workforce.com are the trademarks of MediaTec Publishing Inc. Copyright © 2017, MediaTec Publishing Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Reproduction of material published in Workforce is forbidden without permission.

Printed by: Quad/Graphics, Sussex, WI

Check out what you’ve missed!

February 13

Forget About Engagement, It’s All About Productivity

February 20

Building a Culture of Meditation in your Organization

Available live on the air date and on-demand for one year after unless otherwise specified. Check them out today and keep the education going!

www.workforce.com/wf-events/

Thanks for reading our March/April 2019 issue!