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.
Happy National STEAM Day! Today is meant to inspire children to explore and pursue their interests in science, technology, engineering, art and math.
Walk around Businessolver’s offices today and you may run into a monster, witch, or even one of your favorite TV characters. We encourage employees to get in the Halloween spirit each year by inviting them to wear a costume to work – we even hold a costume contest!
This week, we hosted a panel of experts to discuss how empathy can transform workplace culture. The conversation was full of valuable insights that prompted me to revisit my own thoughts about empathy.
The blitz of coverage earlier this year about ride-share giant Uber provides a cautionary tale of the effect “bro culture” can have on the workplace. Uber wasn’t the only company making headlines, however. This past year delivered far too many alarming stories about companies with a culture of exclusivity and lack of diversity. The reality is, however, that these headline-making companies aren’t alone – workplaces across the U.S. are in a state of turmoil.
Millennials are now the largest age demographic in the workforce, and we’re already seeing them make their presence known through shifts in HR policy and programs. The “Millennial effect” is particularly apparent in benefits, with Millennials showing unprecedented benefits preferences compared to previous generations.
HR/benefits pros are behind the 8 ball. Most U.S. employees spend 15 minutes or less selecting their benefits, many would rather have a root canal than go through Annual Enrollment, and a fair amount also say navigating benefits is worse than losing their cell phone. All of those statistics are real.
Even during the hectic run-up to Annual Enrollment, HR/benefits pros were able to find calm amid the chaos with Businessolver. We kicked off the 2017 HR Technology Conference & Expo, inviting pros to find their #happyplace at our booth with a relaxing virtual reality meditation experience that takes them to a soothing waterfall, gently rolling river, or oceanfront beach.
Hi, HR/benefits pros! I’m SofiaSM, and I’m excited to meet you – and hopefully, your employees as well! I’m a personalized benefits assistant, the latest product innovation by my colleagues at Businessolver. They’re trusting me to add greater personalization and real-time benefits support for members that use their benefits administration technology platform. Today is my big debut, and I’m ready to take the benefits industry by storm!
Did you receive IRS LTR 1865C? Don’t panic!
One of our partners recently received such a letter, which stated that the organization’s 1094C and 1095C Forms hadn’t been submitted in the IRS-approved format, and the organization had until Oct. 18, 2017 to remedy the issue. The organization called IRS customer service, and received a recorded message: