We may be wrapping up Annual Enrollment this month, but we are already looking to 2018 and what’s in store for the year ahead. A New Year brings renewed resolutions and updated calendars, but it’s also an opportunity to strategize for success in the coming year.
It wouldn’t be the holidays without the annual company holiday party, right? This year, maybe not so much.
There’s no denying that this time of year is magical – holiday lights and music, the first snowfall, and children’s unrestrained glee all make this season so special. What’s not magic, though, is that all of our merrymaking during the holidays doesn’t change basic math: Calories in = Calories out is still the equation for maintaining weight … even during the holidays.
While no one likes a good sale more than I do, the buying focus of Black Friday and Cyber Monday has never appealed to me very much. Instead, the philosophy behind Giving Tuesday is much closer to my heart. Started in 2012, #GivingTuesday extends the season and spirit of Thanksgiving into the Tuesday following the holiday by encouraging people to donate to a charitable cause.
Yesterday, we feasted on turkey, gathered with our loved ones, and spent time counting our blessings. The relaxing time together laughing and reminiscing are always some of my favorite moments of the year.
It’s Thanksgiving week, and like many of you, I’m thankful that another Annual Enrollment season is coming to a close. Even after an entire career in the HR/benefits industry, I learn something new every year during AE – new technology innovations, new employer concerns and perspectives, new employee needs and priorities. I’m especially thankful that I can take these lessons and channel them into helping our teams refine the Benefitsolver® platform, as well as inform Businessolver’s own benefits strategy into the future.
I’m fired up today, and ready to kick butt – literally. I recently was shocked to learn that even in 2017 – with all that we now know about the dire health risks associated with cigarette smoking – 36.5 million Americans smoke! As a career-long wellness professional, and now the Onsite Wellness and Fitness Administrator at Businessolver, seeing that statistic made me sad – especially considering that smoking kills almost half a million Americans each year.
The rumors are true. Data scientists – particularly ones that work in tech-dominant Seattle, like I do – are pretty left-brained: logical, analytical, objective. We generally think in numbers and figures, and yes, we drink a lot of coffee. But that doesn’t mean we can’t create technology that is empathetic.
The Senate GOP recently unveiled its ideas for reforming the nation’s tax system, including proposals to change income tax rates and the pretax amount employees’ could contribute to 401(k)s, reduce and make taxable 401(k) catch-up contributions, and eliminate or limit homeowners’ ability to write off state property taxes. Lawmakers currently are pushing toward a self-imposed Christmas deadline to send a bill to the president.
As we look ahead to Veterans Day this weekend, I can’t help but take time to reflect with gratitude on the service and sacrifice of our nation’s finest. I personally stand on the shoulders of giants, as over the last 15 years, it’s been my tremendous honor and privilege to serve our great nation in the U.S. Army. Serving in the military has afforded me incomparable opportunities to work with cross-functional teams to accomplish missions at home and abroad that required intensive planning, proactive communication, and collective teamwork to achieve common goals. This instilled a personal belief at an early age of the importance of teamwork and why every team member needs to value their contributions to quality, and role in the team’s accomplishment of a common purpose or mission.