Monthly Archives

October 2019

Promoting Stress Management

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As a leading contributor to a number of health problems, stress and the workplace is not a great combination. Lowering stress can, in turn, reduce the risk of major medical conditions and improve employee health and productivity day-to-day. Here are our tips for promoting stress management within your workplace. To learn more about reducing employee stress and improving morale, contact Harbor America.

Take steps to ensure the workplace is not contributing to employee stress.  Address negative actions immediately.  Do not tolerate bullying, discrimination, or similar behaviors.  Proper training can help to ensure employees are not overwhelmed with tasks or workloads.  Regularly recognize Employee contributions and successes to positively affect company culture. Contact Harbor America to reduce employee stress and improve morale.

Partner Post: Helping Small Businesses Understand Workers Comp

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Workers’ compensation, the insurance that safeguards employers from liability if employees are injured in the workplace, includes coverage for medical bills, lost wages, and ensures the employer will not be sued for injuries or illnesses related to the workplace. A great additional level of coverage for any employer, workers’ compensation underlines an employer’s role in taking responsibility for the safety of employees in the workplace.

Small business owners are not exempt from employee injuries or workplace safety, however, many states require businesses to carry workers’ compensation insurance for their employees. (Check your state’s workers’ compensation laws or contact us at Harbor America.) Regardless of the severity of the employee injury, workers’ compensation will ensure the injured employee, the employer, or a customer receives the care that is necessary to address their medical needs.

However, not all small businesses understand the basics of workers’ compensation. Here is what small business employers need to know:

1. Workers’ compensation coverage is purchased separately from business insurance. We recommend choosing an insurer who is not only familiar with workers’ compensation claims in your state, but that is also well versed in the coverage you need for your specific business.

2. If your business requires employees to work with or around occupational hazards or illnesses related to your industry, it is a good idea to obtain coverage.

3. Employee health insurance isn’t the same as workers’ compensation insurance. These are two separate and, in fact, very different policies.

4. Physical injuries or illnesses obtained while on the job qualify for workers’ compensation coverage. However, if an employee was using a piece of equipment against manufacturer instructions or were acting dangerously even after receiving proper training, the claim could be denied.

5. Independent contractors are typically ineligible for workers’ compensation coverage.

6. Workers’ compensation typically does not cover injuries or illnesses obtained while not on the job, injuries that occurred while the employee was committing a crime or as a result of violating company policy, or self-inflicted injuries.”

Protecting your employees, yourself, and your customers is an important aspect of making sure your business runs smoothly—especially for a small business owner. Workers’ compensation, in addition to employer liability, can help pay for legal fees, court costs, and settlements the employer may be required to pay in the event of a lawsuit. Learn how to best protect your business by contacting Harbor America.

 

As seen originally on insured Solutions Blog: August 13, 2019.

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How Millennials Can Inspire the Workplace

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Employers around the country are noticing an influx in roles once held by baby boomers now being filled by the next generation: millennials. Recruiting millennials can bring a new and refreshed outlook on the idea of hardworking employees who are eager to learn and engage in new opportunities.

Millennials are often encouraged by the standards and vision of their employer. Typically, this group of individuals cares very deeply about what the organization stands for and is cautious when engaging in a new employment opportunity, making sure the mission and values of the employer match their own.

Retaining millennial employees can require a different mindset than with other employee generations. Here are our tips for keeping millennials engaged and using that energy to inspire and motivate other aspects of your workplace:

Diversity and Flexibility

Millennial employees are generally not looking for long-term commitments. Rather they are concerned with being able to grow and learn as much as they can in their current role at their employer before moving on to improved opportunities. Companies that boast a diverse management team spanning age, race, ethnicity, religion, and gender in addition to a flexible work environment will be more compelling than an organization without these aspects.

Consider Telecommuting or Rewarding Public Transit

Millennials are likely to choose employment opportunities that are close to their home where they can choose to walk or ride a bike vs. a longer commute. Consider adding an option for telecommuting for some employees who may not live close to the office. If this ideology does not fit in your workplace culture, consider adding a public transit stipend where employees who regularly engage in public carpools, ride the bus, or rideshare will be given anywhere from $20-$50 per month to celebrate their contribution to improving their local environment.

Work-Life Balance

Millennials are not usually willing to trade their quality of life for career advancement if it means taking work home on the weekends. Use this as a catalyst to introduce refined employee benefits including flex hours, telecommuting options, and a generous PTO plan.

In-office benefits like a pool table and margarita Fridays are great, but what matters more is a positive and encouraging culture where people share a sense of camaraderie and help each other succeed.

Embrace Collaboration

If your workplace doesn’t already do so, encourage employees to embrace collaboration by grouping into teams to help solve problems, have thoughtful discussions and brainstorming sessions to share ideas and come to explore other perspectives and come to a unique conclusion. Working as a team is a great resource and outlet for incoming millennials.

Creating an ideal fit for an incoming generation of employees is no easy task. However, the energy and excitement brought to your existing team and is only going to be seen as a benefit for everyone within the organization. Contact Harbor America to take the first step in updating your current practices, improving diversity, and implementing a well-defined handbook that supports a healthy work-life balance for all employees.

cyberriskmanagment

Basic Components of Cyber Risk Management

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Most organizations are moving to cloud-based or digital storage when it comes to data and client information. Implementing a cyber risk management program to address prevention, crisis management, and insurance coverage becomes even more important when the threat of a cyber data breach may influence your business. , While you may think you’re immune from risk or that these threats would never directly impact your organization, the reality is that most of those businesses who share that same mentality wish that they had put a framework in place beforehand to guard against those exact dangers.

From sensitive financial information to patient data or simple payroll processing, your business is ripe for hackers or viruses to steal your sensitive and valuable data. To help safeguard against cyber threats like these, all employers, including small businesses, are encouraged to establish a cyber risk management program to aid in situational awareness, setting clear expectations, and communicating effectively.

Develop a Response Plan

When developing a response plan, be sure to reiterate the significance of a timely and accurate response. The response plan should include:

  • How the breach occurred
  • The type of information obtained
  • The number of affected individuals
  • Potential resulting risks

Constant communication with clients or customers is imperative to properly manage the crisis. Use these opportunities to let clients know what actions have already been taken, what you are doing now, and what will be done, without disclosing too many details. Focus on making improvements for the future so there is not a repeat situation.

Collaborate as much as possible with your in-house team of risk management subject matter experts, IT department, and general counsel. In the event of a cyber threat or breach, it is crucial everyone knows when to jump into action and is aware of the specific items of which they are fully responsible.

Plan Considerations

Business both large and small may have varying budgets, which may not allow for all aspects of a full cyber breach crisis response plan to be fulfilled. Prioritize risks and responses by evaluating trends, potential impact, and likeliness in terms of a time frame.

Additionally, organizations should work to improve their internal intelligence, including security software and breach prevention. Take this a step further to ensure the right leaders and stakeholders are aware bought in, properly trained/prepared, and ready to engage cross-departmentally to limit the potential business impact.

At the end of the day, being as prepared as possible and ready to act quickly in the event of a cyber crisis, will help to minimize the overall impact to the business. Review these plans regularly and enact drills or dry runs to test reaction time and close any necessary gaps.

Protect Your Data

Your cyber risk management program should include cyber liability insurance (CLI) coverage that fits the needs of the business. CLI is designed to address the risks associated that are not covered by more general business liability coverage. Business coverage levels are dependent upon the type of coverage you require and range of exposure.

To learn more about preparing a cyber risk management program for your business or enabling cyber liability insurance coverage, contact Harbor America. Human resource management can be one of the most time-consuming aspects of running a business. Leave the heavy lifting to us.