Our April Dish is brought to you by our very own Cindy Contreras!
Cindy joins Hierl as our Administrative Assistant. With her degree in Management/Human Resources and Finance, she’s a perfect fit for our office and our clients.
At home, Cindy enjoys spending time with her husband and 3 children. She thoroughly enjoys watching her children grow and experience the wonders of life. Together, they enjoy outdoor activities like bicycling and camping, as well as indoor activities such as visiting the library and cozying up for a nice movie.
When it comes to eating out, Cindy enjoys a local favorite that features authentic Mexican food that’s truly made with love.
“Mi Casa is small little restaurant owned by people who really care about making good food. My favorite meal is the camaron suizos. Shrimp sautéed with bacon, onions and mushrooms in a cheese sauce. So delicious!”
At home, Cindy enjoys making Mexican comfort foods and one of her favorites is Arroz Con Leche (Mexican Rice Pudding). Be sure to check out the delicious recipe below!
Arroz Con Leche (Mexican Rice Pudding)
“It’s a dessert that can be served after lunch or dinner, but will also make a great treat for your children during breakfast time. Give it a try! I guarantee you won’t be disappointed!”
Here’s what you’ll need:
Let’s get started:
A dessert that can be served at any time of the day is a MUST! Can’t wait to try it out Cindy!
With many companies taking employee education and training into their own hands employers must be properly prepared for the changing future. Check out this great article from SHRM about what employers must do to keep pace in the ever evolving workplace by Ross Smith and Madhukar Yarra
We live in a world where phenomena such as the internet, globalization, social media, and mobility are accelerating change faster than ever before. Today’s digital age fed by big data is manifested in new businesses disrupting existing business models, which are remnants of the industrial era. These new models, typified by the Ubers, Amazons, Teslas, Airbnb’s and Facebooks of the world, are fossilizing the older generation of companies.
It is difficult for the education system to keep pace with this kind of change. The education system is a behemoth whose design is evolving to address the need for agility and speed. They change after the fact and therefore almost always take refuge in ‘best practices’. The MBA as we know it, has also fallen prey to this.
The MBA has been designed to provide a pool of mid-level managers for large corporations and questions arise about the future. Armed with an MBA, new hires walk into a large corporation with a desire to prove their worth through a strong knowledge of historical best practices. They may miss the value of ‘first principles’ thinking, and more often than not, face challenges to make an impact. Over time, this can create a disconnected or disillusioned workforce.
The question then becomes – if emerging and disruptive business models no longer subscribe to historical best practices, and by extension, to business schools, as their source for leadership, where should they look? What is that institution or model that allows individuals to build decision making capabilities in today’s world?
The reliance on irrelevant frameworks, outdated textbooks, and a historical belief in “best practices” all run counter to how a leader needs to be thinking in today’s fast paced digital world. There are no established best practices for marketing in a sharing economy or creating a brand in a digital world. The best practices might have been established last week. The world is moving fast, and leaders need to be more agile. Today, Millennials are leading teams, calling the shots in many corporations, which means that the energy created is one that leaves little time for rules and structures to effectuate and/or create impact. Making good decisions in today’s business world requires a new and different kind of thinking, and there are tactics that can help grow these new types of leaders.
Importance of questions: most leadership and business programs today evaluate and assess students based on answers, not the ability to ask good questions. Thoughtful and incisive questions lead to innovation and as business problems become more granular and interconnected, this skill will help leaders arrive at better decisions.
Experimentation over experts: Students are encouraged to seek “expert advice” rather than formulating their own hypotheses that can be tested as low cost experiments. While consulting with those who have walked the same path has its benefits, relying on the experiences of others may hinder growth, particularly when change is accelerating. The shift to globalization, digitization, social, and agile are changing rapidly, there is no “right answer”, so experimentation is a crucial skill.
Interdisciplinary perspective: Disciplines and industry sector models are glorified at a time when discipline barriers are being broken to create new ideas. A conscious intermingling of disciplines creates more fertile minds for innovative thoughts to occur.
In today’s management programs, outdated content and old-school delivery mechanisms are limiting students and businesses alike. There is a dire need to help business and young talent alike embrace a new art of problem solving, essential for the realities of today.
Many companies are starting to take education and employee training into their own hands. The advent of online courses, MOOCs, and other innovative programs in employee education are supplementing traditional education.
HR professionals can learn from companies who have set up their own deep technical training programs. With the work they do to augment decision science skills, Mu Sigma University is a great example of a modern day tech company, building skills across technology, business, analytics, and design. The workforce is changing. Many traditional jobs are being replaced with automation, robots, cloud-based machine learning services, and artificial intelligence – while at the same time, the demand for high end engineering, analytics, business intelligence, data and decision science is booming. Many companies, such as Mu Sigma, are spinning up advanced technical training investments to ensure their employees are equipped for a rapidly evolving future.
See the original article Here.
Smith R. & Yarra M. (2017 March 15). What it takes to make good decisions in the new world of work [Web blog post]. Retrieved from address https://blog.shrm.org/blog/what-it-takes-to-make-good-decisions-in-the-new-world-of-work
Our March Dish is brought to you by our very own Patty McBride!
Patty works as our Employee Benefits Service Agent. Her passion for her work shines through in her attention to detail and organizational skill throughout the quoting process!
When it comes to eating out, Patty enjoys the authentic Mexican cuisine found at Casa del Tequila. “Their Chicken Tinga or the Chicken Fajitas are [my] favorite with a margarita! They have salsa and guacamole prepared tableside!” Need Directions?
For home cooking, Patty enjoys a family recipe passed down from her great grandmother. “We always look forward to this when the garden green beans are in abundance. From my mother, her grandmother.”
Grandma’s Fresh Green Bean Dish
“Grandma was one of those natural cooks who never measured, knew just what to add and when things were right. If you can cook without specific measurements treat yourself to this family favorite of many generations.”
Regardless of which recipe you decide to cook, it’s bound to taste delicious and it times perfectly with Saint Patrick’s Day! Thanks Patty!
Are you putting enough priority into your employees’ well-being? Take a look at this article from Employee Benefits Advisor about the importance of employee well-being by Nick Otto
Benefits managers and HR pros alike know the two-fold benefits well-being programs provide: a healthier, more engaged workforce and increased productivity. So it’s no wonder more companies are prioritizing such programs.
A large majority of employers (78%) call employee well-being a key component of company strategy, according to Virgin Pulse’s 2017 State of the Industry report. In addition, 87% say they have already invested, or plan to invest, in some type of employee well-being initiative, and 97% agree with the decidedly uncontroversial statement that worker well-being positively influences engagement.
“Until recently, employee well-being has been viewed as a ‘nice to have,’ but with more and more research directly connecting employee well-being to business productivity and performance, business leaders are recognizing it as a ‘must have’ from a business perspective,” says Chris Boyce, CEO of Virgin Pulse, a wellness technology provider. “The proof is in the data that emerging-companies that invest in employee well-being see lower turnover, less absenteeism, stronger stock performance and higher business productivity. That’s a compelling business case.”
But what programs do employers say are advancing wellness and engagement? Opinions seem to differ. Forty-one percent of the organizations surveyed by Virgin Pulse are still in the process of defining employee engagement or developing a plan to enhance it.
Further, a little less than a third (29%) of respondents have established engagement programs to fit specific needs or offer an integrated solution that links to organizational strategy, the report notes.
One of the more striking differences between the older, or more “mature” organizations, accounting for 29% of those surveyed, and the rest of the employers is that the great majority of the former group conducts annual employee engagement surveys, compared to less than half of other employers.
By completing these surveys, some roadblocks employers say they are encountering in engaging more employees in well-being programs include issues such as organization culture (48%), budgets (47%) and communications (30%), the study notes.
For benefits managers, making sure that all employees have access to benefits and programs that address their full well-being — and having the ability to communicate those programs and measure usage and impact — is critical in proving the value of wellness programs, Boyce notes.
“Today, businesses can and should be looking beyond wellness and health cost savings and evaluating employee well-being programs in the context of the larger cultural and business value they deliver, such as increased employee engagement and retention, reduced safety incidents, decreased absenteeism and higher business productivity,” he adds.
In fact, a large majority of HR leaders view workplace culture as an important part of furthering employee well-being. Eighty percent have programs in place or plan to implement programs aimed at improving culture at the office.
Beginner organizations can jump-start their well-being initiatives by offering well-being programs, experiences and activities that engage all employees, not just a few, Boyce suggests. Social connections and team support are critical in building — and sustaining — cultures of well-being, so the more actively involved employees are in the program, the more successful it will be in driving the changes and outcomes that matter for individuals and organizations.
“As organizations continue to focus on individual well-being as a positive driver of company culture, they are going to see happier, healthier, more engaged employees and better business results, across the board,” he says. “That’s just good business sense.”
The best way to implement a robust program that meets the individual needs of employees —while simplifying management and communication for employers — is to find a well-being vendor that has a hub embedded with their solution, Boyce says.
A hub that provides a one-stop-shop experience by connecting all relevant programs into a single space allows employees to access all their resources in one interface while driving participation and usage. With the right well-being and benefits hub, employers will be able to integrate a broad range of HR and benefits programs and promote them to relevant employees and populations.
“Imagine being able to suggest your financial planning program to employees that are new to the workforce, physical activity programs to those who are most sedentary, and mindfulness programs to departments in the throes of their busy season,” Boyce says. “Simplification, employee engagement and personalization are key to building a robust well-being program.”
Otto N. (2017 January 27). Employers prioritizing employee well-being [Web blog post]. Retrieved from address http://www.employeebenefitadviser.com/news/employers-prioritizing-employee-well-being?brief=00000152-1443-d1cc-a5fa-7cfba3c60000
Helpful tips from Employee Benefit Adviser about attracting new talent by Aldor Delp
Unemployment is hovering around 5%, November marked 73 continuous months of job gains and wage growth is picking up. All indications seem to suggest that employers have positions to fill, which may also mean that workers now have leverage, confidence and options. This is good news for job candidates. But for employers vying for fresh talent, it means the attributes of a company need to be that much more enticing. It also makes me think that a comprehensive benefits package may tip the scales for a candidate who’s considering multiple offers. To put it simply: Benefits can be the game changer.
It’s true that a traditional comprehensive benefit package has always been a successful recruitment element for companies. But given the wider array of benefits employers now can offer, today’s companies can use those elements to differentiate themselves from the competition.
From an employer’s perspective, competitive benefits don’t just help with recruitment but can also bolster retention. While strong benefit packages can potentially become expensive depending on the options they include, replacing an employee can be potentially even more costly and time consuming if a company experiences regular churn. With an investment in more appealing benefits packages, an employer may be able to mitigate the cost, time and effort of turnover and recruitment.
While healthy, stocked kitchens, nap areas and ping pong tables are perks that now reach far beyond the tech industry, many companies are building up three additional benefits areas that can truly change the game.
1) Financial wellness programs. Given the recent recession, retirement still is a growing concern for many American workers. A recent study showed that over the past 12 months, 38% of workers considered delaying retirement beyond the original age they intended and 52% said they will delay retirement because they “need to save more.” When these financial worries make their way into the workplace, employers should take notice. Consider a study from PricewaterhouseCoopers that showed that employees spend an average of three hours a week at work dealing with their finances. That’s fairly significant.
By offering financial wellness programs, employers can combat this anxiety and increase efficiency, while providing a sought-after benefit that many companies aren’t yet offering. Ninety-two percent of employer-respondents in another ADP study confirmed interest in providing their workforce with information about retirement planning basics, and 84% said the same of retirement income planning. Even if employers would like to provide these programs, few offer them, citing several existing challenges that stand in the way, such as a need to focus on other aspects of their business (27%) or not enough resources (15%). Providing financial wellness programs can be an added reward that may help a potential employee lean in your favor.
2) Strong internal training. Providing employees with training and development opportunities can promote retention and commitment. Regardless of the number of opportunities for career development, you can still help employees refine skills and increase knowledge that will serve them in the future. American workers want to learn to hone their skills. In fact, 84% of Americans are excited to use technology to learn in real-time, according to ADP’s Evolution of Work study. This is a benefit that not only can provide employee enrichment, it can also strengthen the talent pipeline to management positions.
However, internal training programs are not what they used to be. According to ADP’s recent report, Strategic Drift: How HR Plans for Change, corporate training budgets fell by 20% between 2000 and 2008. Seventy-six percent of executives see the market for skilled employees tightening and 75% expect high turnover among millennials. Reduced corporate training budgets have perpetuated a cycle of high employee turnover. So, if your organization has strong training programs, it’s likely to stand out from competitors. It may be worth considering internal and external training opportunities, mentoring, job shadowing, cross-training and professional development classes.
3) Workplace flexibility. Be open to the idea that it may be more feasible for some workers to telecommute and work from home for a portion of the week. Workplace flexibility is attractive for many employees and it can help reduce the number of unscheduled absences. Flexible work arrangements — such as the option to work from home, alternative start and stop times, compressed work weeks, or Summer Fridays — can help encourage workers to use their time more efficiently, and underscore a corporate culture that stresses balance, mindfulness and trust.
As job candidates and existing employees take a more holistic view of their benefits, relevant, supportive and flexible programs can be the game changer for them. The right mix of direct compensation and indirect benefits may be the difference between onboarding that “dream” candidate, retaining a top performer, or elongating the search for that precious needle in the talent haystack.
Delp A. (2016 December 12). 3 reasons benefits are a game-changer for attracting talent[Web blog post]. Retrieved from address http://www.employeebenefitadviser.com/opinion/3-reasons-benefits-are-a-game-changer-for-attracting-talent
Here are some fun tips for your next office party from Society Insurance
Your organization’s holiday party is right around the corner, and it’s time to eat, drink and be merry! In moderation, that is.
Letting loose and partying with your fellow coworkers may sound necessary after a long year, but let’s remember the fact that you do have a professional reputation to maintain. Believe me, it’s still going to be about business, no matter how festive the occasion is. Here is some advice to help the evening go as smoothly as possible.
Happy Holidays, and we hope you have fun during your festivities!
Society Insurance. (2016 December 7). Workplace holiday party etiquette [Web blog post]. Retrieved from address http://blog.societyinsurance.com/workplace-holiday-party-etiquette/
SAFETY ON THE JOB
Success depends on you
Safety in the workplace is something all employees should take seriously—your well-being is at stake. An on-the-job accident could very easily disable you, leaving security and future plans up in the air. A safety program isn’t only designed to keep you safe—taking responsibility on the job in keep your co-workers away from harm is important, too.
Together, you and your co-workers can support our company’s safety program by giving supervisors or safety leaders ideas on how things can be made safer. Any safety idea, no matter how small it may seem to you, could prevent a serious accident.
If you are a seasoned employee, you can use your years of valuable experience to spot potential safety hazards. Or, if you are a new employee, you may be able to spot something right away that an old pro may have overlooked. Never be afraid to speak up if you notice a safety hazard on the job.
In short, safety takes teamwork. Whatever your job is or whatever your duties include, keep your eyes open for hazards and report them. Help keep our safety program on solid ground!
BEGIN YOUR DAY SAFELY
Preparing your work area for the day
When you arrive at your work area, take a moment to prepare yourself to work safely.
Does your task require some type of personal protective equipment (PPE)? If you are on the shop floor, standard personal protective equipment is safety glasses with side shields and safety shoes with steel toes. Do you need to wear gloves? Face shields? Respirators? If any of these types of PPE are necessary, inspect them before putting them on to make sure they will provide the right protection throughout the job.
Look at the machine(s) you will be operating and look for some specific safety features. Are all machines safeguarded and are they working properly? Physical safeguards should be attached to the machine. Electric eyes should be tested to make sure they stop machine functions. Two-hand trip devices at the point of operation should be tested to make sure they work properly. Supplies should be in close proximity to the point of operation so you don’t have to do a lot of twisting or bending.
Think safe—work safe. It is a way to remember that you need to keep your head in the game. If you are thinking about safety, then you will work safely all day and will go home safe and sound.
Our September Dish is brought to you by our very own Janet Bender!
Janet’s warm, welcoming attitude will be there to greet you when you call. She provides specialized service to employers throughout the quoting and application process of their employee benefits coverage as well as individuals with inquiries about Medicare products and options. Experience the reliable, pleasant client service with each call you make.
When it comes to eating out, Janet enjoys visiting Gino’s Italian Restaurant in Fond du Lac. “The service is excellent and I love the atmosphere. My favorite thing to order is their Broiled Haddock. It is the best I have ever had. I also like their bread sticks.” Need directions?
Eating in? Janet has a lovely Crockpot Beef Stew recipe that’s perfect for those cold, snowy Sunday afternoons. She pairs her stew with a loaf of hot homemade bread.
Easy Crockpot Beef Stew
Here’s what you need:
What to do:
Our August Dish is brought to you by our very own CEO, Mike Hierl!
Mike is the 3rd generation owner of Hierl Insurance, Inc. with a strong insurance background and a desire to help others. When he isn’t in the office, you can find him on the golf course perfecting his swing or pheasant hunting with his 2 labs.
When it comes to eating out, Mike enjoys the classic combo of pizza and caesar salad and Gino’s Italian Restaurant in Fond du Lac is the place to get it. Need directions?
Eating in? Mike enjoys ribeyes and cocktails! His cocktail of choice would be a Brandy Old Fashioned Sour with olives and mushrooms. Now he wouldn’t part with his ribeye recipe which we’re sure is amazing, but have no fear! We do have one for you courtesy of Certified Angus Beef and it’s sure to make your mouth water.
Classic Pan-Seared Ribeye Steak