Gulfshore Insurance > Gulfshore Blog > Employee Benefits

After hard-fought campaigns by both candidates, Republican candidate Donald Trump hasaca-compliance been elected the 45th president of the United States. Trump’s victory in the election, along with Republican majorities retained in both the Senate and House of Representatives, will likely have a significant impact on a number of compliance issues over the next four years. You can rely on the team at Gulfshore Insurance to be a trusted source for information, education, insight and support as we navigate this new landscape together.

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Our team will continue to research and closely monitor legislative changes to provide you with thoughtful direction on how any changes may impact your organization. Our commitment has always been, and will continue to be, client-focused. Look for additional updates in the future.

It is imperative to offer safety training to help workers practice good work site habits and prepare for hazards and potential emergencies. Safety training is also necessary to meet federal, state, and industry guidelines. But lack of interest and boredom in regards to training can oftentimes cause workers to have difficulty retaining the information they really need to know. Making safety training fun can help increase worker engagement and improve overall workplace safety.

Ideas for More Effective and Engaging Safety Training

Here are a few ideas to help make safety training fun for everyone. Your employees will not mind learning if they are stimulated and a little entertained. This is the best way to make sure everyone is paying attention and retaining the information.

  • Use a guest speaker. If you are generally the only person speaking during meetings, then bringing in a guest may renew interest.
  • Try lightening the mood by telling safety related jokes during any training courses. Jokes are a great way to get people to listen.
  • Instead of just standing in front of everyone and talking, try using different media. Incorporate training videos that are related to the course. You can also use pictures or comics as a great way to show what you are explaining. By mixing it up and not constantly talking, people will be less likely to tune out the information.
  • Consider offering snacks and drinks to the trainees. If employees are hungry they will be less likely to pay attention.
  • Play games. Use fun workplace safety training games to help keep things light yet informative at the same time. For example, make a list of top safety concerns then play a Family Feud style game where employees have to guess the top safety answers. The team that gets the most right will win the game and a prize.
  • What if’s. Before training write down a series of injuries on pieces of paper. Put all of the injuries in a bowl and have each person pick one out. Then, go around the room and ask what injury the employee has, how it may have occurred, and what they could have done to prevent it.
  • Use music. Songs about safety are a great way to teach people. A catchy tune is sure to be remembered long after the training is over.
  • Take the training outside. By going outdoors, fresh air and sunshine may invigorate your employees while boosting mood and energy at the same time. Happier and more energetic employees will listen and learn better.
  • Set up a fake accident scene. Then, have the employees tell you what went wrong and how it could have been prevented. Tell them to use details when describing the safety precautions that should have been followed.

Employee Benefits The importance of training and developmentTraining is an important component of running an effective business. In order for employees to know how to operate technology, adhere to processes, and expand their knowledge on products or services – training is the primary driver in building these functional competencies for colleagues to succeed in his or her role. By providing formal learning opportunities you invest in the success of your business and show you are committed to developing your staff. Many employers think that offering training or development opportunities will be too expensive. They often turn a blind eye to the organizational and workplace deficiencies that can often be fixed through training solutions. But the reality is they end up spending more money through turnover costs, decreased productivity, and low efficiency rates simply because they refuse to see training’s return on investment potential. Despite the common excuses business leaders like to use as potential drawbacks (time away from work, budgetary restrictions, etc.), training and development provides both the company as a whole and the individual employee with benefits that make the cost and time a worthwhile investment. Here are just a few ways that implementing training and development for your organization can impact your bottom line:

Closing the Gaps

Most employees have opportunities for improvement when it comes to their skill set or competency level. Implementing a specific training program or targeted learning solution allows the employee the chance to strengthen those skills and help close the knowledge gap. Training can bring each employee to a higher level of productivity, pushing their skills and knowledge to equal ground with one another. This helps reduce any weak links and deficiencies within the company, especially when you have to heavily rely on others to complete basic work tasks. Providing necessary training creates an overall knowledgeable staff with employees who can take over for one another as needed, fill in the gap, work on teams or work independently without constant help and supervision.

Continuous Business Improvement

When an employee, who receives the necessary training, is better able to perform her job it builds the employee’s confidence because he or she has a stronger understanding of the industry they are working in and the responsibilities needed to be successful. This confidence ends up driving discretionary performance, which is the willingness to do more because they want to, not because they have to. When we are given the tools to excel, performing harder and faster, we also try and think of ways to do things smarter or better. Continuous training can keep your employees on the cutting edge of industry, technology, and operational developments. Employees who are competent and empowered to help change the status quo, help your company hold a position as a leader and strong competitor within the industry.

Consistency

Structured training and development programs ensure employees have a consistent experience when it comes to learning about company expectations, services, products, processes, policies, and procedures. This ultimately impacts the consistent experience you most likely are trying to provide your customers. Putting all employees through regular training ensures that all staff members at least have exposure to the information that is critical for your organization’s success. Establishing consistent business and operating norms only strengthens your business’s chances for long term success.

Employee Engagement

Employees who regularly have onsite access to training and development opportunities have an increased advantage over employees who are left to seek training opportunities outside of their business. The investment in training that a company makes shows the employees they are valued and that they believe in his or her success within the organization. Offered training can create a supportive and highly engaged workplace for employees. Research shows that employees who feel appreciated and challenged through training opportunities feel more satisfaction in their jobs. By creating an environment where employees feel appreciated and nurtured, employers reduce the risk of high turnover and typically see higher levels of individual and team productivity.

Ryan Laude is a Client Advisor at Gulfshore Insurance specializing in employee benefits. Ryan works with a wide range of businesses to create the best funding options that fit their needs. Comments and questions are welcome at rlaude@gulfshoreinsurance.com

Client Alert: Castellanos vs. Next Door Company

 

 

On April 28, 2016, the Florida Supreme Court issued its long awaited ruling on the Castellanos vs. Next Door Company case. This case addressed attorney fees involving Workers’ Compensation insurance, challenging the current “limitation” of attorney fees for attorneys involved with Workers’ Compensation cases. Essentially, the court has ruled that the current mandatory fee schedule is unconstitutional and should return to the pre-2009 ‘reasonable standard’ as addressed by the Judge of Compensation Claims (JCC). The full ruling can be accessed here.

Castellanos vs. Next Door Company Ruling

How will this affect you as an employer?
Most everyone believes this decision will likely increase litigation, result in prolonged litigation, add substantially higher cost of attorney fees to many more Workers’ Compensation claims, and lead to increased settlement values and reserves. Increased claims costs will simply drive up Workers’ Compensation premiums.

Because Section 440.34 as enacted is unconstitutional, the JCC can adjust a fee up or down depending on factors such as time, labor, difficulty, customary fees, amount of benefits, etc. This may result in prolonged litigation, substantially higher attorney fees, and increased settlement values. This affects all “open” claims and/or claims where the statute of limitations has not run. Bottom line, we’re back to where we started in 2003 when the Florida legislature specifically sought cost-cutting measures by enacting the attorney fee schedule in the first place.

Based on this ruling, while the full impact is unknown, the NCCI (the entity that recommends premium rates to the state) has advised they are evaluating the financial impact of this decision on Florida’s Workers’ Compensation costs and subsequently, workers’ compensation premiums. They are expected to recommend a special rate increase which, if approved, would take effect this summer.

What can employers do?
It will be critical that employers report accidents timely, fill out wage statements completely and accurately, and provide complete information to the carrier. Even seemingly small oversights or delays could generate fee entitlement and have significant financial impact. Our commitment to our partnership, and the experience , dedication, and expertise from our Claims Advocate team will be instrumental in monitoring and assisting you in managing your Workers’ Compensation claims process.

Insurance carriers and defense attorneys continue to assess the impact of this decision and will provide us additional information as available. We will, of course, continue to keep you informed of any further implications or developments and how you might get involved in efforts to craft a curative solution. It is probably premature to contact legislators until the business community and the insurance industry can frame the problem and the solution in a compelling message.

When it comes to your company benefits program, we believe it’s important to measure the risks and manage the results and costs to your business. We help our clients accomplish this with expert advice, resources, and tools to identify and target the cost drivers and your exposure to risks.

In 2015, the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research & Educational Trust (HRET) conducted their annual survey examining employer-sponsored health benefits trends such as annual deductibles, plan enrollment, health and wellness programs, and more.

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