Why HR Needs to Care About Employee Engagement

Employee engagement has joined the pantheon of human resources buzzwords of late. Attend any conference and it will be thrown around to and fro, guaranteed. But what’s the big deal? If employees show up and get their work done, does it really matter how “engaged” they are? Yes, it matters. Engagement is everything. Here’s why. Creating a Virtuous Cycle Engaged employees, those who have good relationships with their supervisors and feel valued and heard by their employers, have lower rates of turnover than disengaged employees, says Meredith Falb, marketing manager for CorporateRewards.com, an engagement tool combining software and consultation. Not only do they stay with employers longer, but engaged employees are also more productive, “which manifests itself in superior financial performance and reputation. As the company becomes more profitable and better known, it creates a virtuous cycle: attractive company = better recruits = better results,” says Falb. As their engagement …

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Mandatory Retirement: What You Need to Know

Retirement means different things to different people. For some it might mean a complete release from any work responsibilities or requirements and the start of a life of leisure. For others it may be more of a side-step into work they’ve always wanted to do, or the chance to start a business. But retirement comes when the worker wants to stop working, with exceptions made for pilots, air traffic controllers and, in some states, judges. Other employees aren’t told when to stop. “All U.S. employers with at least 20 employees are prohibited from taking adverse employment action based on age against most employees 40 years older or older,” says labor and employment lawyer Scott Horton. “In many states, age discrimination laws cover even more employers and employees. These laws essentially make it illegal to have a mandatory retirement age, even if someone could make a good business case.” Here’s what …

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How to Understand Your Health Insurance Coverage

Understanding ins and outs of your health insurance plan may be difficult, but it’s an important step in protecting your physical, mental and financial health. To help you out, we’ve assembled some health insurance basics that apply to almost any plan. To begin with, there are so many insurance-specific terms that it’s easy to get tripped up and confuse them. Here are four you need to understand: Deductible: This is the amount you must pay out-of-pocket before the insurance company will contribute to any of your health-related expenses. Coinsurance: This is the amount, usually a percentage, that you pay for any health care costs after you’ve met your deductible. For example, if your deductible is $1,000 and you require a service that costs $2,000 and have 25 percent coinsurance, then you pay $1,000 to meet the deductible and 25 percent of the rest ($250), for a total of $1,250. Copay …

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Don’t Miss These Year-End Retirement-Planning Deadlines

It’s not too late to ensure that your retirement planning is on track to maximize tax savings before the end of 2017. Understanding end-of-year deadlines can help you maximize your tax savings as well as prepare for another year of saving. “Tax planning should really start in January, not in November or December,” says Randall Luebke, a financial planner at Lifetime Paradigm. “That said, if you do wait, be sure to do everything you can to reduce the taxes you pay.” Now is the time to accelerate your tax-deductible expenses and put off receiving taxable income. Here are some tips. Consider Roth Accounts If you’ve been thinking about converting a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA, it’s a good time to make a decision and act because you must file forms by the end of the year. With Dec. 31 falling on a Sunday in 2017, experts recommend aiming for …

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