September Member News
IECRM MEMBER NEWS SEPTEMBER 2016
Don’t Get Burned – Fire prevention week is October 9-15 READ MORE
Your Federated Insurance team is excited to share a new resource: a customizable, fire prevention checklist
Could Your Employment Practices Cause You Trouble?
All businesses have a lot to consider with regard to human resources (HR) and risk management issues. On an average work day, a business may encounter dozens of HR-related issues. How the employer approaches those situations could put the business at risk for employment lawsuits and claims. Employers may approach personnel matters with the best intentions, but their efforts may be derailed by outdated policies or lack of best practices.
The implications for human resource-related errors can be considerable. Average judgments associated with poor READ MORE
HR Question of the Month:
Is voluntary attendance during FMLA allowed?
Question: We have an employee on FMLA who is required to have an updated CPR certification for licensure purposes. As an employer, we outsource CPR vendors who come into our clinics to recertify employees. This employee is on maternity leave and fully released to return to work with no restrictions, however the employee is on her last weeks of child bonding. The employee wishes to come in to one of our clinics to recertify CPR. Should we allow the employee to take the CPR course even though the employee is on FMLA? Would we be violating the employee rights even though it’s the employee who wishes to attend the CPR course? READ MORE
Don’t Get Tricked by These Common Estate Planning Mistakes
Trying to Take it With You One way to ensure your assets go to the people you want is to make gifts during your lifetime. These gifts can be specific assets or interests in your business. In 2016, you can use the Annual Gift Tax Exclusion to make gifts of up to $14,000 per person ($28,000 per person for married couples) without incurring any gift or estate tax liability.
Understandably, it can be difficult to give up control of your possessions, especially when you don’t know what the future holds or what your own needs might be during retirement. If you’re not comfortable giving away belongings during your lifetime, at a minimum you should have READ MORE
Welcome New IECRM Members!
6 steps to reduce workplace stress…that are actually doable
Yes, stress is a problem for your business
No question, modern life is stressful. Most of us live in a pressure cooker of worries about work, money, health, family responsibilities like caring for children or aging parents, and the technology that keeps us in touch with everyone, all the time.
What do those other elements have to do with the workplace? A lot. Surveys find that 80 percent of workers feel stress on the job. Almost half need help learning to deal with stress — or want their coworkers to get help.
Highly stressed employees put your business at risk in several ways. Ongoing high stress levels are associated with greater risk of heart attacks and stroke. Under stress, people are more likely to engage in unhealthy behaviors, from overeating to alcohol consumption to drug abuse. Any of these can raise the danger of on-the-job accidents. In extreme cases, stress can magnify workplace bullying or violence.
Red flags! Signs and symptoms of workplace stress
You might not know if your employees are stressed. In fact, just 40 percent of employees suffering from stress at work talk to their employer about it.
Still, managers can watch for symptoms of stress on the job. Signs of a stressful workplace include:
- Increased absenteeism.
- More interpersonal problems.
- More frequent accidents and injuries.
- Employees working overtime.
- Employees skipping breaks and vacations.
- Missed deadlines or poorly completed jobs.
- More customer complaints or dissatisfaction.
- Difficulty attracting new employees.
- 6 steps to reduce workplace stress
A NIOSH report revealed that work is the No. 1 stressor for 25 percent of workers. To help workers cope with stress and to reduce its long-term effects, try these techniques:
1. Communicate clearly. Uncertainty and lack of control create stress. Build an organization that lets workers know what to expect. Provide advance notice about changing schedules, changing responsibilities or other challenges. Set up systems for employees to provide feedback and get questions answered.
2. Build social support. Having social support is a great way to reduce stress and, as an added bonus, minimize turnover. Create a zero-tolerance policy for harassment and bullying.
3. Teach healthy ways of coping. Consider offering a worksite wellness program that helps employees learn to manage stress. Pinnacol offers one to all policyholders at no cost. Offer healthy snacks in vending machines, encourage stress-busting meditation techniques, and make exercise available to everyone — whether with midday walks, an on-site gym or child care that reduces the stress of commuting.
4. Recognize hard work. Show that you see and value workers’ efforts. You might name an employee of the month, recognize leaders in a meeting, or offer special rewards, outings or workplace-wide celebrations.
5. Destigmatize stress. Share information about the risks of stress via the intranet, newsletters, posters or events, and train managers to have an open-door policy about stress. Listen and respond to employees’ needs. It can be difficult to rearrange schedules or add workers to help with workload — but it is downright dangerous to maintain an unhealthy workplace for the long term.
6. Understand PTSD. Some workers may have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a behavioral condition that occurs in up to 10 percent of people. It occurs among military veterans, as well as police and fire professionals, health workers and others.
Whatever you do, don’t ignore stress on the job. Simply acknowledging stress can bring relief to your workforce — and help your organization become happier and more productive.
For more information about our worksite wellness program, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
REMINDER: We must complete 2 Pinnacol approved safety trainings per policy period to maintain our 4% credit. If you have any questions about how to do those trainings or if you still need to do them please contact your agent.
Simple Steps Toward Safe Lifting in the Workplace
The two most common injured areas of the body when manually handling materials are the low back and shoulders, and the average claims cost of a back injury from lifting exceeds $10,000. The following controls can help curb back and shoulder injuries at your workplace: READ MORE