My Toughest Leave of Absence Situations, A Lesson In Action

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My following piece, originally posted on ALEX by JellyVision, is part two in a three part series titled:  My Toughest Leave Of Absence Situations.

DB –

I’m so glad to be writing my second post for ALEX’s “My Toughest Leave Of Absence Situations” series. As I stated in part one of the series (My Toughest Leave Of Absence Situations: A Lesson In Generosity), there are some exceptional benefits-related experiences we aren’t quite prepared for. However, these situations usually teach us the biggest lessons about patience, empathy and grace.

Here is another one of my toughest LoA situations and the lessons I learned from it.

A Lesson In Action

During a particularly busy day, an employee dropped by and told me he needed to talk with me right away. I asked if it was possible to meet later in the afternoon, but the pause in his response gave me the clue he needed help now. After I found a private room he let me know his child had tried to commit suicide the day before. Naturally this statement sucked the air out of the room…

Hey Gang:  Read the rest of my post (and lots of other great stuff) at MEET Alex by Jellyvision

My Toughest Leave of Absence Situations: A Lesson In Generosity

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My following piece, originally posted on ALEX by JellyVision, is part one in a three part series titled:  My Toughest Leave Of Absence Situations.

–DHB

There are some experiences that simply fall into your lap. Experiences you don’t see coming and many times aren’t quite prepared for. However, these situations usually teach us the biggest lessons: lessons about patience, empathy and grace. This certainly has been the case during my 17 years as an HR pro, especially when dealing with employee leaves of absence (LoA).

I’m happy to share with you one of my toughest LoA situations and the lesson I learned from it.

A Lesson In Generosity

Early in my HR career I dealt with what was the most trying of all my LoA experiences…

Hey Gang:  Read the rest of my post (and lots of other great stuff) at MEET Alex by Jellyvision

 

10 Songs To Survive Open Enrollment

Screen Shot 2016-08-22 at 2.47.23 PMAs the great Bob Marley said, “One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain”.

Well that’s GREAT because one thing that can be pain-inducing for everyone is open enrollment. And just like marathoners need a little music mojo to get them to mile 26, we need some music mojo to get us through all the planning for our busiest month of the year…and to help us celebrate when it’s done. So if you’re looking to get off the Crazy Train, Kicks

tart Your Heart, or just feel like one of the Shiny Happy People (it gets worse, folks), here are my recommended open enrollment jams.

#1. Stronger (Kelly Clarkson). I promise you, open enrollment will not kill you. Shhh..shh..shhh…. take a deep breath, breath into a paper bag, think happy thoughts. You may feel like death warmed over when your broker tells you your account manager just quit. But when you hear Ms. Clarkson preach, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”, you’ll be out of the woods.

#2. Shake Your Rump (Beastie Boys). HR Ladieeeeez (and gents)! Bring sexy back to enrollment with this funky classic. Any song with “Rump”, “Most Mackinest” and that sticky, super-low bass will make folks universally love you. Trust me.

#3. Changes (David Bowie). If you didn’t see this one coming, you need to get thee to Spotify, pronto! No, you didn’t expect a 28% year-over-year cost increase change to your benefits. Yes, your employees will want to throw a tomato at your head when you tell them changes included their doc being dropped from coverage. But you’ve gotta “turn and face the strange/strain” head on.

#4. Gin and Juice (Snoop Dogg). “With my mind on my money and my money on my mind”.   Not all benefit changes are bad. Some will save your home slices real money. Can you say higher corporate 401K match!? Can you say new health savings account!? Can you say flex-spending account!? Your employees will be “laid back”.

Read the rest of my post (and the other 6 great open enrollment songs) on the ALEX Blog.  

Worst Open Enrollment Ever: 10 Sure-Fire Steps To Disaster

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Life is full of hot messes.

Honey Boo-Boo.

Orange “circus peanuts.”

Shia LaBouf.

Black licorice.

Gary Busey.

The list goes on and on….

But when you’re in HR, just about nothing feels more disastrous than a bad benefits open enrollment. So jump aboard the “Hot Mess Express” with me, and let’s look at the 10 open enrollment practices you should always, always avoid.

  1. Wait until the middle of December to decide on your next years benefits plan. Nothing says “I love you” like giving your employees 1 week to enroll. And watch your benefits administrator do back flips when they have to cram 2 months of admin prep into one week. Well, they may not do back flips, but they certainly will be flipping decision-makers something else.…

  2. Try to succinctly explain the math on how your plan deductibles and premiums work when you’re not 100% sure yourself. (Ever experienced flopsweat? You will!!) Seriously, don’t feel bad about passing the buck and letting your broker do this for you.

 

Read the rest of my post (and the other 8 great open enrollment disasters) on the ALEX Blog.