Ashleigh Galligan's Universal Cheesy Potatoes

For this month’s Dish, Ashleigh Galligan has given us her Dine In and Dine Out choices. Check them out below!

Dine In

Ashleigh’s favorite Dine In recipe to enjoy with her family is Cheesy Potatoes. It’s great for any occasion and can be paired with any meal!

You can get the full recipe and directions here.

Dine Out

Ashleigh’s favorite place to eat out is Ala Roma Pizzeria & Pub in Fond du Lac. Her favorite dish is…everything! “You can’t go wrong with italian food!”

You can visit their website here.

171 N Pioneer Rd, Fond du Lac, WI 54935

Thanks for joining us for this month’s Dish! If you try a recipe or restaurant, be sure to let us know. Don’t forget to come back next month for more yummy favorites!

Could These 3 Reasons Be Behind Your Failing Employee Engagement?


Encouraging employee engagement with health benefits

In a competitive economy, a robust package of employee health benefits is one of the key elements that employers need to attract and to retain a skilled, experienced workforce. In fact, according to statistics gathered by Collective Health and Harris Poll, 78% of adults in the U.S. say healthcare benefits strongly factor into their decision on where to accept a job. However, once employees have these benefits, most do not take full advantage of the complete range of services and support available. Only 25% of employees questioned in one survey said they have used all the preventive care benefits offered by their employer.

Another survey, conducted by the American Psychological Association, found that only 33% of employees report participating in employer-provided health promotion programs. The failure to engage with and use the benefits available can have an especially significant impact when employees or their family members face serious or complex medical issues, such as a cancer diagnosis or recommendation for surgery. When employees don’t use the full spectrum of benefits available to them, such as second opinions and case management, the risk of poorer health outcomes and higher employer and employee healthcare costs increases, with more than $210 billion a year spent on inappropriate and unnecessary treatment according to an Institute of Medicine report. Several factors contribute to employees’ failure to use all the health benefits available to them:

Problems with the benefits selection process: Although the choice of benefits can have wide ranging effects on both physical and financial health, 77% of employees spend 60 minutes or less choosing benefits, while 46% spend 30 minutes or less on this important decision, according to an Aflac poll. Another survey noted the high stress levels associated with making benefit decisions, finding that 49% of employees say making benefits decisions is always stressful.

Not understanding the options: A survey by the International Foundation of Employee Benefits Plans found that approximately 80% of organizations reported that employees do not have a high level of understanding of their benefits. This lack of understanding comes at a financial cost. According to 42% of employees in the Aflac survey, the estimated cost of errors employees make understanding and choosing benefits can cost them up to $750 per year.

Complexity of benefits: When faced with multiple benefit providers and contact points, employees often do not know where to find the information they need to understand the benefits available to them and how to access them. As a result, employees fail to access the information, resources and support that can help them make informed medical decisions. This can have a negative impact on health outcomes and healthcare costs.


CenterStage: Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Distraction is Deadly: April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

In 2015 alone, 3,477 people have died and another 391,000 have been injured due to distracted driving.

Not only is distracted driving hazardous to your life, but it can negatively impact the drivers’ lives that surround you. Distracted Driving Awareness Month is an effort by the National Safety Council to help recognize and eliminate preventable deaths from distracted driving. In honor of Distracted Driving Awareness Month, this month’s CenterStage features Cathleen Christensen, Vice President of Property & Casualty at Hierl Insurance, who will provide safe driving practices and how companies can ensure their employees are using them.

What is Distracted Driving?

Distracted driving is a public health issue that affects us all. According to the National Safety Council, distracted driving is any activity that diverts attention from driving, including talking or texting, eating and drinking, talking to people in your vehicle, adjusting stereo, entertainment or navigation systems. You cannot drive safely unless your attention is fully focused on the road ahead of you, any activity that you partake in simultaneously provides a distraction and increases the risk of a crash.

Awareness for Awareness

Bringing awareness to distracted driving is essentially bringing awareness to awareness. There are three main types of distraction:

  1. Visual – taking your eyes off the road
  2. Cognitive – taking your mind off driving
  3. Manual – taking your hands off the wheel

These days, it’s so easy to be a distracted driver – from texting, to talking on the phone, or even using a navigation system. The biggest one, texting, is especially dangerous because it involves committing all three types of distraction. Some studies even say texting and driving is worse than driving under the influence. So, how can you keep your employees aware while driving?

“Several studies believe, as well as myself, that employers should prohibit any work policy or practice that requires or encourages
workers to text and drive.”

– Cathleen Christensen, VP of Property & Casualty at Hierl

But how can you really get your employees to commit to your ‘No Distracted Driving’ policy? It’s as easy as providing education and solutions. Sometimes, it’s especially effective to have your employees sign a contract stating if they need to use any form of a hand-held device, they must pull over to the side of the road. Remind your employees to drive with their devices off or on silent to keep the urge under control. Plus, several cellular devices have come out with ways to set phones to driving mode, leaving a custom voicemail to anyone who calls while an employee/employer is driving, letting the caller know they will call the caller back later.

Companies suffer from great financial loss yearly due to distracted driving. By putting these safe driving practices in place, you will save lives AND money. If you’d like to get more help on implementing a safe driving policy within your workplace, please contact Cathleen at 920.921.5921.

Stress-free approach to reach business goals

It is not uncommon to struggle with setting and reaching your business goals. This article discusses a goal-setting strategy based upon three levels: small, medium, and large-sized goals.

Settling goals is an act in contradiction: Make standards too high and you’ll get frustrated on the climb, yet make standards too low and you’ll be disappointed with your long-term results. As more than one productivity guru has put it, the problem with low expectations is that you’ll actually reach them.

One solid approach to take, though, is to actually do both: Create high expectations while still making reachable milestones. To do that, plan out three levels of increasing goals.

The lowest goals are the ones you can reach based on your current momentum. These intentions don’t require a major strategy shift. The main point is to give yourself credit for your level of progress and to give you milestones to celebrate – and you should be celebrating every victory, no matter how small.

The medium-sized goals are the milestones that require some higher effort on your part. Working harder may get you there, but you may need to reconsider your current approach to your work to meet them. These goals give you a higher ambition that, with a bit of effort, can be reached.

The large goals are the big vision you see for yourself. Don’t hold back here: The goals should make you equally nervous and excited. It also should be big enough to require a major change in your strategy. In other words, working harder isn’t going to cut it – you’ll have to work smarter to get there.

The beauty here is that each set of goals builds on the previous one: Reaching the lowest goal sets you up to think bigger for the medium-sized goal and gives you the momentum necessary to even fathom the large goal. And you are a winner no matter how far you reach.

Read the article.

Brown D. (22 February 2018). "Stress-free approach to reach business goals"[Web Blog Post]. Retrieved from address

Facing Turbulence with Resilience

Amid increasing turbulence in business and the world around us, the future of organizations lies with Type Rs—people and entities that individually and collectively turn challenges into opportunity, progress and innovation. These are the types of leaders, businesses and communities we write about in our new book, Type R: Transformative Resilience for Thriving in a Turbulent World (PublicAffairs, 2018). A Type R culture can be described as one in which shock absorbers enable people and organizations to cope with day-to-day stresses as well as seismic events. This equips them to thrive in an increasingly volatile world by providing a vehicle for navigating the demanding times in which we live and work.

A shift toward a Type R culture can be as simple as having one person introduce a new, compelling idea for addressing adversity that others—whether they're leaders, followers, agnostics or supporters of the shared will of the group—can build on.

We recommend several steps that organizations can take to boost their collective resilience, including the following:

--Assess your existing culture. One of the most significant factors in creating a Type R culture is understanding where you are today. Do you collectively buckle when there's a challenge, or do you feel confident that you will be able to overcome it? Often, analyzing your organization's response to past events can help identify your defaults or collective mindset.

Creating transformative resilience in your culture is about employing key Type R characteristics, such as adaptability, continual learning, purpose and healthy relationships, to leverage support and active engagement. What changes do you need to make to create a more Type R culture? Can these changes be included in your organization's planning and review processes so that you can track tangible progress in each of these areas?

--Hire for resilience. Research continues to show that many of the best leaders have developed their skills as a result of adversity. We know that exposure to some adversity, whether from mounting pressures or earth-shattering events, is needed to cultivate the resilience and growth that allows us to take those skills into future challenges. But a lot of it comes down to finding meaning in the midst of difficulties. Rather than asking generic interview questions, ask potential leaders or employees about the insights or meaning that they drew from difficult events and how those experiences have informed their subsequent thinking on managing stress.

--Create a collective mindset. Have senior leaders open a dialogue with employees about how they cope with stress, challenges and setbacks. Present concrete examples of how this has been done successfully in the past, and encourage open communication. As a leader, consider the unspoken standards about how things should be handled during challenging times. Do these norms reflect a common mindset and culture about how setbacks and difficult situations are addressed?

--Cultivate purpose and social impact. Recent research from EY (formerly Ernst & Young) shows that 75 percent of CEOs believe that purpose—not organizational mission, but a larger social purpose—is one of the keys to navigating disruptive change. A sense of purpose gives us a reason to aim for something and is especially important when we're confronted with adversity. Purpose also stretches us beyond our limited perspective and isolation and urges us to channel our energy in a focused and productive way.

Work with organizational leaders to shape job descriptions around each role's purpose and to create an overall sense of alignment within your organization. This is an opportunity for staff to have an impact beyond their own success or the work they undertake daily.

When senior leaders encourage a mindset and culture that embraces change as a basis for growth, an organization can more readily adapt, innovate and prosper. This begins with creating a safe space in which to identify the current mindset and then introducing a process, along with desired behaviors, to break down barriers and shift old ways of thinking about failure, adversity and stress. Doing so can be a catalyst for growth—the kind that will see your organization springing forward, rather than merely bouncing back, during turbulent times.

Ama Marston is an internationally recognized strategy and leadership expert. Stephanie Marston is a veteran psychotherapist, stress and work/life expert, and corporate consultant.

View article.

Marston A., Marston S. (5 March 2018). "Facing Turbulence with Resilience" [Web Blog Post]. Retrieved from address

Eligibility, lack of plans keep millennials from retirement saving

As millennials reach the age to save for retirement, there is a clear lack-of-knowledge in the arena of what plans they need and how to save for them with the continuing costs of their lifestyles. In this article, we take a look at why this is.

Millennials are way behind on retirement savings, but it has nothing to do with self-indulgence or feasts on avocado toast.

Instead, what they actually need are retirement plans, and earlier eligibility to save in them.

A new report from the National Institute of Retirement Security highlights millennials’ precarious retirement futures with the news that only a third are saving for retirement. It’s not because they don’t want to, or are being extravagant, because when the numbers are crunched they actually save at rates equal to or higher than those of their elders—even if not as many of them can do so.

Millennials are getting a raw deal. Not only are traditional defined benefit plans disappearing, with the likelihood that a millennial might actually be able to participate in one, they’re worried that Social Security—which runs way behind the cost of living anyway—will be of even less help to them in the future as an income replacement than it already is for current retirees. Add to that the fact that more than half of millennials are expected to live to age 89 or even older, and they have the added worry of outliving whatever savings they might have managed to stash.

In fact, millennials need to save way more than their elders to stand a chance of having a retirement that honors the meaning of the word. Says the report, “[S]ome experts estimate that millennials will need to make pretax retirement plan contributions of between 15 percent to 22 percent of their pretax salary, which at 22 percent, is more than double the recommendation of previous generations.”

They’re viewed as irresponsible, but 21 percent are already worried about their retirement security, says the report, and while 51 percent of GenXers and boomers contribute to their own retirement plans, just 34.3 percent of millennials participate in an employer’s plan, although 66 percent work for bosses that offer such plans.

In fact, 66.2 percent of millennials have no retirement savings at all. Zip, zilch, zero. And millennial Latinos? A whopping 83 percent have a goose egg, not a nest egg. Latinos have it much worse, incidentally, than any other millennials group, with just 19.1 percent of millennial Latinos and 22.5 percent of Latinas participating in an employer-sponsored plan, compared with 41.4 percent of Asian men and 40.3 percent of millennial white women—who have the highest rates of participation in a retirement plan.

Despite working for an employer who provides workers with a retirement plan, millennials don’t always have a way to save, since said employer may have set barriers in place to prevent participation until an employee has been with the company for at least a year. And millennials are, of course, known as the job-hopping generation—so if they don’t stay in one place they never qualify. Close to half of millennials—40.2 percent—say they’re shut out of retirement plans because of employers’ eligibility requirements, including working a minimum number of hours or having a minimum tenure on the job.

But don’t accuse them of having no desire to participate: when they’re eligible, more than 90 percent do so.

Read the article.

Satter M. (2 March 2018). "Eligibility, lack of plans keep millennials from retirement saving" [Web Blog Post]. Retrieved from address

Beyond wellness: Workplace health initiatives that work

We’ve heard a lot about workplace wellness or lifestyle programs lately – namely that they’re ineffective, according to a recent study. While results showed wellness programs had some positive effects, that was largely because the employees who participated in them tended to have lower medical expenditures even before enrolling, debunking the claims that such programs meaningfully improve the health of employees who need it most.

But it would be a mistake if anyone took this study as their cue to dismiss workplace-wide health initiatives altogether. Done properly, employee health programs can indeed be a powerful tool in reducing health care costs – a necessity for employers struggling to keep up with the rising medical trend, as all benefits managers and brokers know. The key is choosing the right type of program.

Wellness vs. disease management

It’s not that wellness programs are necessarily of poor quality. Rather, they aren’t very effective because they don’t target anyone’s specific needs, operating from a position that the same set of beneficial but broad health initiatives will equally benefit workers of all ages and physical conditions.

Everyone knows this isn’t the case: according to a 2016 report from the Department of Health and Human Services, five percent of the U.S. population accounts for over half of health care spending. The individuals who make up this five percent likely have one or more of the costliest chronic conditions, like heart disease, diabetes, obesity or asthma.

Enter disease management programs, which are specifically designed around these high-risk employees and feature workplace health initiatives targeting the cost drivers. That’s why they have significantly higher ROI than wellness programs, with a $3.80 return per dollar spent on disease management versus only $0.50 for lifestyle programs. You can see how employers can recoup millions that they would otherwise be spending on healthcare through population health management – and, in the process, help their employees lead measurably healthier lives. That far exceeds what traditional wellness programs, which are most often used by those who are already healthy, can accomplish.


Explaining the ROI gap

One reason behind that low ROI for wellness programs is that they’re a long-term strategy play: you’re simply not going to see a single or three-year ROI with a wellness program because they are about keeping low-risk members on a healthy path so that they don’t advance to a moderate or high-risk group in the future – a noble endeavor, but hard to quantify. To accurately prove the success of a program keeping someone low-risk for an extended time, you’d probably have to track a population for 5 to 10 years, or even longer.

Conversely, with disease management programs, data shows that increasing preventive care and medication adherence for chronic members can reduce hospital and ER visits. This is especially true in the behavioral health space.


Developing a program tailored to your workforce

The first step in developing an effective population health management program is to start with data. Employers – possibly with their broker and/or benefits management partner – must analyze an organization’s claims (in full compliance with HIPAA) to identify what claims employers pay most often. This reveals trends related to which health conditions are most common among employees, which claims are the most expensive and which could reasonably be reduced. This is the data around which employers can design actionable, specific workplace health programs.

The components of such a program could include things like workplace health screenings, medication monitoring, renting or providing medical equipment for use at home or in the workplace, nicotine cessation programs, weight loss counseling, on-site mental health resources, etc. This goes far beyond the scope of what traditional wellness programs provide – and the results prove it.


Increased voluntary benefit adoption

Often, the information employers glean from examining claims data also reveals trends that are helpful beyond designing workplace-wide health initiatives, driving smarter decisions about which voluntary benefits to offer and increasing enrollment rates. For example, organizations seeing a large number of employees getting treatment for stress-related conditions could consider offering financial wellness benefits (which might include anything from student loan repayment perks to financial counseling tools). Coupled with a comprehensive benefits package, this can also make a significant impact on employee health and quality of life.

That’s why employers began implementing wellness programs in the first place: investing in the people who make your organization succeed is beneficial for everyone. Taking excellent care of your workforce by providing competitive benefits not only means happier employees, but better productivity for the organization and lower healthcare spend for employers as well. And in an era where medical trends continue to rise at an unsustainable rate, keeping healthcare costs as low as possible is a necessity. A data-driven approach to workplace health initiatives can help them achieve this.

View article.

Piazza R. (2 March 2018). "Beyond wellness: Workplace health initiatives that work" [Web Blog Post]. Retrieved from address

3 simple ways to get motivated

Getting and staying motivated can be tough, whether you are coming back from vacation, dealing with something you’d rather avoid or getting focused on a Monday. Not every day will be super productive, and there is no sense in punishing yourself because of it, but there are three great ways to get back on track.

One way is to take the simplest task and make it even simpler. For example, if you have to write an email, then focus on doing the first sentence. Make writing the first sentence your goal. It may feel ridiculously easy, which is the point: Once you write that first sentence, then you will likely have the confidence to begin on the second sentence, and so on.

Another approach is to think about being in bed, tonight, right before you go to sleep. What did you accomplish today? Did you feel good about what got done? What do you wish you had gotten done so you wouldn’t be worried about doing it tomorrow? Now you can stop imagining: It’s wonderful that you still have the day ahead of you and you can get things done now.

Lastly, work on your next task for only five minutes. It will be a focused five minutes, which means no multitasking. Set an alarm as necessary. Chances are that the five minutes will go by quickly and, if you like, you can set the alarm for another five minutes.

Our motivation is usually hampered by either inertia, like when we have taken a break, or by timidity, like when we are intimidated by a major goal. By using these three methods, you can move towards success and focus on the next small step towards your big successful goal.

Read the article.

Brown D. (21 February 2018). "3 simple ways to get motivated" [Web Blog Post]. Retrieved from address

6 Steps to a More Effective Performance Management Program



Traditional methods of managing performance aren’t working anymore. Companies are moving away from traditional performance management tools, like annual reviews, to new techniques that emphasize real-time feedback. You know the drill: managers and employees sit down once a year to review performance. These performance reviews assess an employee’s performance on a scale, or give it a numerical rating. And then, in some cases, employees are given a ranking compared to other employees.

A performance system used in figure skating or competitive cooking shows may not be the best way of evaluating employees in the workplace. When it comes to the traditional performance review process, consider: Traditional performance management approaches aren’t effective because they weren’t designed for the current workforce. Today, with a tight labor supply and the nature of work very different from the industrial past, organizations must focus on developing people, rather than rating them. This requires a shift to performance development. Here’s how you as an HR professional can help your management team create a thoughtful performance development plan.

This is important for two reasons: to make the case to management that there is room for improvement in your current performance management system and, later, to provide baseline metrics to which you can compare your system after the shift to performance development. Your audit should ask the following questions: As part of your evaluation, also assess current organizational performance. A shift to performance development will see organizational performance metrics improve, and you want to be able to quantify this improvement.

Let your senior management team know that performance management may no longer be meeting your company’s needs. Two-thirds of companies are shifting from traditional performance management to an emphasis on developing talent and providing continuous feedback. Then present the results of your audit to senior management. What are the areas that need to be improved? Provide examples of how performance development will help improve these areas. For instance, if your employees rarely receive feedback outside of their annual performance review, show how alternatives to the review, such as consistent coaching or monthly or weekly , can provide your employees with regular feedback.


Competing for talent in a Gen Z world

As 2018 progresses, HR managers are well advised to start stepping out of their comfort zones. Because Generation Z is beginning to surge into the workplace, forcing the reinvention of everything from benefits to recruiting. Your relevance in the war for talentmay hang in the balance.

You’ve been hearing for some time now about the challenge of engaging a multi-generational workforce. But it’s time to think beyond the Millennials, and take a good look at the Gen Zs (born after 1995). They have a whole new set of expectations and values that are forcing employers to re-evaluate how they recruit, retain and, especially, engage their people. Start working on your battle plan in 2018 (and beyond) to avoid losing the talent battles.

They have decided views on how they expect to be treated and managed and how they respond if they don’t think their employer is measuring up. It’s a function of their upbringing in a hyper-connected world. According to Pew Research, only 14 percent of U.S. adults had Internet access in 1995, but that exploded to 87 percent by 2014. Small wonder that for the Zs, it’s the always-on and available tech-enabled connections to networks of people and information that rule. It’s how Zs learn and solve problems and it influences their expectations.

Here’s what it all means for your workplace and how you will need to compete for talent moving forward.


Legacy benefits and old attitudes need replacing now

The Zs aren’t merely connected. They share aggressively. Studies show that if their experiences – with a brand or a product or an employer – are negative, this generation will happily tell everybody about it online, including on Glass Door, a fast growing site that reviews millions of employers. That makes it important to foster a positive culture and work environment, and provide the types of benefits that will attract the Zs, keep them happy and ideally inspire them to spread the word.

To that end, take a long, hard look at your employee benefits: Too many employers still offer legacy employee packages that have changed little in the last two decades. Will they be good enough to woo the Zs and keep them satisfied? In fact, the Zs are motivated by the total deal, not just financial compensation. They want unique benefits that are personalized for them right down to the individual level.

Think about the 22-year-old who’s working in an urban setting, maybe with a pet at home, doesn’t have a lot of time to shop and is saddled with student loans. What are the priorities? A plan offering vision, life or disability insurance? Or a benefits package that provides a personal concierge and maybe dog walker, student loan repayment and an identity theft program, too? Best-of-class employers will offer up a robust mix of traditional and non-traditional benefits that cater to the individual employee’s lifestyle needs.


VR and gamification: Critical tools in winning Gen Z talent

Even as the Zs mature, there’s a trend toward a blending of personal and work lives as outside influences bleed into the workplace. When it comes to virtual reality, this generation of digital natives is enthusiastic over its potential use in the workplace.

There’s been a 250 percent jump in VR companies since 2012 and the technology’s significance is for more than just promoting productivity by connecting people in different locations for virtual meetings. It’s also a good recruiting tool, a way of letting prospective hires “experience” your environment so they are better able to tell before they take a job if it’s right for them.

Gamification is another Z activity that’s bleeding into business and affecting recruitment and hiring. Picture Silicon Valley’s “code-offs,” where prospective developers compete during a set time period to find the best solution to a specific design challenge. The winner gets the job. It certainly makes resume screening seem obsolete by comparison.

This incoming generation has a lot to offer employers who value the kind of fresh perspective it represents. The next big challenge will be reflecting that appreciation in creative approaches to winning and keeping their hearts and minds.

Read the article.

Barone M. (1 March 2018). "Competing for talent in a Gen Z world" [Web Blog Post]. Retrieved from address