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September 28, 2010

Health care reform explained, animation style

As a follow-up to our last post, we found this great 9 minute animated video - Health Reform Hits Main Street - which was written and produced by the Kaiser Family Foundation to help explain the basics of healthcare reform. (Video transcript)


September 25, 2010

Healthcare reform provisions kick in

While many of the major changes to healthcare insurance coverage won't begin until 2014, there are several provisions that will kick in on September 23. Changes apply to both employer-sponsored plans as well as individual health plans. We are offering several summary resources to help you and your employees understand the changes and the new benefits that are available.

Healthcare.gov offers a summary of the health care changes for most policies issued after March 23, 2010:

  • Coverage for children with pre-existing conditions can no longer be denied
  • Lifetime limits or caps on health coverage can no longer be imposed
  • Policies cannot be canceled over mistakes on the application unless fraud can be proven
  • Decisions about denial of coverage can be appealed to an independent reviewer
  • Preventative services for certain services like screenings, vaccinations and checkups will be provided at no charge
  • Children can remain on a parent's health plan until age 26
  • Ability to choose a primary care doctor and pediatrician from your provider's network
  • Use of an emergency room outside your plan's network will not require additional payments

Additional resources
Los Angeles Times: Several health care reform provisions begin Thursday
USNews & World Report: 8 immediate cost benefits of healthcare reform
Palm Beach Post: Health Reform is here: More coverage for kids, free physicals among changes that take effect this week
Kaiser Health News: A Consumer's Guide To The Health Law, Six Months In
Houston Chronicle: Health care reform's first wave approaching
Kaiser Health News: New Law Brings Changes To Health Insurance Rules This Week

September 18, 2010

Add these smart blogs to your reading list

It's time to update our blogroll with some of the resources we've been turning to of late. Most of these blogs aren't new, but they are relatively new to us.

Sloan Work & Family Research Blog - This blog has input from diverse, multi-disciplinary user groups of academics, workplace practitioners and state policy makers, and helps readers stay up-to-date on the latest information available from the Network. Noteworthy recent post: Change the Game: Add Aging to the Parent-Centric Work+Life Debate

Connecticut Employment Law Blog - this is a blog by Connecticut employment attorney Daniel A. Schwartz, who focuses on "new and noteworthy developments in the labor and employment law field." Recent noteworthy post: The "Public" vs. "Private" Facebook Page: Thorny Issues for Employers

Daily Diversion - an HR blog brought to you by Employee Benefit News and Employee Benefit Adviser curated by Editor-in-Chief Kelley M. Butler, with help from other staffers. Recent noteworthy post: Workplace bias claims by Muslims grow.

HR bartender - Enough with the Coffee themed blogs, HR consultant Sharlyn Lauby is serving cocktails. She focuses on workplace issues, but also brings the particular perspective of "a foodie" to the mix. Recent notable post: The Transparency Test.

Compensation Cafe - a multi-author blog that serves up "straight talk, original thinking and caffeinated discussion on everything compensation." It was founded by Ann Bares, author and consultant in areas of compensation and performance management.Recent noteworthy post: Hybrid, Shmybrid (Jobs) -- Another Dose of Reality

Ohio Employer's Law Blog - Ohio employment law attorney Jon Hyman authors this blog, which focuses on "practical employment law information for businesses in Ohio and beyond." Noteworthy recent post: Do you know? Discrimination against Muslims

HR Fishbowl - this blog by HR advisor Charlie Judy "was developed primarily as a platform for debate and springs from the rapidly evolving role of social media in HR practice development." Recent noteworthy post: If I could change one thing about HR.

Fistful of Talent - We've been reading this blog for awhile, so we don't know how it has escaped our sidebar. This is multi-author blog which is featured at Workplace. Recent notable post: Delivering Disappointment: Want Some Cold Fries With That?

September 12, 2010

News briefs: Tough talks, social recruiting, decorating tips, cruise from hell & more

Tough Talks - You could land in hot water if your supervisors and managers are avoiding an important part of setting the right work climate: having a difficult conversation with an employee about unacceptable behavior. If your supervisors are tongue-tied or uncomfortable, you may be able to help them by providing some scripts. Maybe even a little role playing? Time Warner Cable's VP of Employee Relations Paul Falcone can help you get started with his post about scripting difficult conversations at HR Daily Advisor. He also talks about how to handle "requests" for resignation. More Falcone "difficult conversation" tips in prior posts: inappropriate off-the-record comments, body odor, and attitude problems and handling excessive absenteeism and FMLA abuse.

Going graphic -In other communication news, if you are looking for a way to give your new hire orientation presentation a little pizazz or to overhaul your employee benefits communication program, Steve Boese has a few ideas for you: Consider
going graphic or adding interactivity.

Recruiting: How the cool kids do it - Amybeth Hale gives a window into how Twitter recruits and hires in a great post at ERE.net. She goes right to the source, interviewing Oliver Ryan, Twitter's People Wrangler (that's "Director of Recruiting" for you old school types). Good post, and the short takeaway: "Twitter practices what it preaches. It uses its own product effectively to recruit, but focuses on what’s most important: the people and the relationships."

Catching up with labor - For his Labor Day posting, John Hyman of Ohio Employer's Law Blog asked if organized labor is making its resurgence with a roundup of links to recent news blog postings on the matter.

Grace under pressure - Executive coach Scott Eblin has a posting about what we can learn about leadership from the Chilean miners that is well worth a read.

Law of Unintended Consequences? - At Human Resource Executive, David Shadovitz asks if smoking bans are hazardous? He reports on a recent study that finds reduced smoking in the workplace may lead to higher rates of obesity. This points to a need for employers to do a better job approaching things in a holistic fashion, including issues such as stress and weight gain as a part of smoking cessation initiatives.

Pop Quiz: Are You Hiring and Breeding Greedy and Selfish Employees?

Executive decorating tips - The current decor is a tad drab for our taste, but you have to admit that it has a certain authority. Vote for your favorite.

In case you missed it... - Life gets busy so you might have missed the terrifying cruise from hell video that was making the rounds this past week - take your anti nausea medication first. Related: the follow-on investigation report.


September 6, 2010

Social media for CEOs (and other business managers)

The ways that businesses communicate with their employees and their customers and the channels that they use for communicating have undergone a seismic shift in the last decade. In the past, businesses could go to the top of the mountain and broadcast their messages by harnessing a variety of one-to-many communication channels: speeches, memos newsletters, PA systems, bulletin boards, management meetings, policy manuals, advertising, brochures, sales staff, etc. With the Internet and mobile technologies, all that has changed. Business are communicating on a new and dynamic playing field, one that is characterized by interactivity and collaboration...and - most disconcertingly for many - a loss of control.

Mashable has an excellent feature on How CEOs Will Use Social Media in the Future. The operative word here is apparently "future" since recent research by Forrester shows that none of the CEOs in Fortune 500's top 100 global corporations has a social media profile. In fact, according to Forrester Research’s CEO George Colony, this trend encompasses CEOs of tech companies, too: "Eric Schmidt of Google is an infrequent Twitterer and is not a blogger; Steve Ballmer at Microsoft has no blog and no Twitter account; Michael Dell is on Twitter but is not an external blogger … Steve Jobs of Apple, and Larry Ellison of Oracle have no Twitter, Facebook (Facebook), LinkedIn (LinkedIn), or blog presences that we could find."

That last bit of information is pretty startling. But as the widespread adoption of social networking continues apace, businesses are inevitably following (alas, not leading) their employees and customers and trying to engage them. How successfully they navigate these shifting sands is another matter.

In addition to the futuristic tone of the article linked above, Mashable also recently featured the article How CEOs Are Using Social Media for Real Results, which offer some success stories. Also see Anne Freedman's article on Leveraging Social Media in Human Resource Executive, which discusses how some HR managers are thinking of and using social media in their companies.

We recommend Mashable as a good resource to keep up to date on social media trends and news - particularly their business section. Plus, there are lots of "how to" articles, as well as tools and resources throughout the site - it has something for everyone from the veteran to the novice. Here are a few other business-oriented social media resources worth bookmarking:

Sharlyn Lauby on Mashable - HR pro turned consultant, her articles discuss strategies for businesses and HR professionals towork successfully with social media

5 Insightful TED Talks on Social Media

Social Media Glossary

Small business trends - social media category

15 Excellent Corporate Blogs to Learn From

Alltop HR News - an RSS headline news aggregator with feeds from many publications and blogs.

HR people and lists on Rwitter Listerious and from Twibe

Social Media Marketing Resources from MarketingProfs

Finally, this clip is now dated by about 8 months, but it's an engaging look at how social media is changing the landscape:

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