Should Wearable Fitness Devices Have a Role in Your Wellness Plan?

The appeal is obvious: wearable devices that track a user’s movements or exertion throughout the day can provide the level of data necessary to help make the habitual changes necessary to improve fitness. And wearable fitness devices are growing in popularity, according to ABI Research, which found revenues in the wearable-connected-device market will grow to more than $6 billion in 2018 — and HR departments are paying attention. Should wearable fitness devices have a role in your wellness plan? Wellness consultants say yes. “There is a definite role for wearable technology in corporate wellness programs,” says Fran Melmed of Context Communication, which focuses on wellness communication. “Today, the majority of employers are particularly interested in the trackers that analyze steps, nutrition and sleep.” These devices represent a valuable source of data for employers and employees, Melmed says. Employers can use the information to get a larger picture about the state …

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Which Employee Benefits Do Workers Value Most?

An improving economy has made the talent market heat up, and organizations are finding they need to look for new ways to recruit and retain high-performing employees. One of the tools many organizations use to attract high-talent candidates and hold onto their top performers is a strong benefits package. While different employees have different preferences and needs, there are some trends worth noting when it comes to the benefits employees value. This white paper will look at benefits employees tend to value most, and examine how organizations can use benefits to improve their recruiting and retention efforts. Health Insurance One of the most valued employee benefits is health insurance. “Employees value health insurance, dental and vision the most,” says Nicole Wright of Entrepreneurs Loft. Research backs that up. According to a Towers Watson survey, 46 percent of respondents said health care benefits are an important reason for deciding to work …

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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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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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