These Unpredictable Markets

While the past seven years have been a relatively smooth ride for the markets, the past couple of months have been more like riding on a roller coaster. Market volatility such as this can present challenges for investors. Without a clear direction up or down, investors have trouble deciding how and where to invest their money. Some are looking for security and moving their money back into cash and bonds while others are using the down days as opportunities to buy into stocks. Sage Advice – The average investor will find that the old advice could still ring true. Most […]

Long-Term Care Options

Whether you are single or in a committed relationship, it is hard enough to take care of the challenges of day-to-day living without having to worry about planning for the future. Despite your hectic life, you may have already taken the time necessary to plan for retirement and for your life insurance needs. However, not enough people have taken the time to evaluate the need for long-term care. What is long-term care? Long-term care is the service provided by someone helping you manage your day-to-day routine. Typically, this would occur if you could not perform several activities of daily living […]

Consider The Weekend

Human Resource management must carefully monitor the labor relations and regulations in all of the geographic regions where they hire. A trade union or labor union is an organization dedicated to promoting employee rights and improving employee welfare in a given organization or industry; it’s the fulcrum of labor relations. It is imperative to closely monitor changes in labor relations, both to understand the most recent hiring practices and to ensure compliance with union rules and regulations. The prevalence of unions, both from a geographic and industry standpoint, often significantly impacts the welfare and wage positions of a substantial number […]

Employee Benefit Options

It’s getting to be that time of year. If you haven’t already, you should soon receive your 2019 employee benefit options from your employer. These options typically include selecting a health insurance plan, dental, and vision coverage. Your employer may also provide for things such as life insurance, disability insurance, and/or a flexible spending account (FSA). Because you have to wait a full year before you can change your mind, it’s important to take care with your elections. Life insurance – Employers often provide some sort of basic insurance coverage. This could be $50,000 or some multiple of your salary. […]

The Ethical Workplace

What makes a workplace an ethical workplace? “Ethics” invokes thoughts of someone knowing and acting on what is right or fair. This is true even when thinking about an organization. The concept of ethics sits on a basis of common understandings of four areas: Transparency, Honesty, Confidentiality, and Protection of Rights. Transparency deals with the level of trust in the stakeholder / organization relationship. Being transparent means a company is committed to releasing detailed information about their processes and transactions to stakeholders: those individuals who have an interest in the company’s performance. A natural progression of transparent actions and communications […]

The Importance of Work-Life Balance

Managers are increasingly aware of the importance of promoting a healthy work-life balance for employees, which in turn, increases job satisfaction. However, with so many advances in technology over the past several decades, achieving this balance has been much more difficult. The advantages in the way people access information, communicate with one another, and complete tasks have allowed for flexibility in the workplace, but they have also diminished the distinction between work and family. I recall while working in the Netherlands, my immediate manager was based in Bangkok, Thailand, and the company headquarters was based in Glenview, Illinois. Back then, […]

Workplace lnvestigations How to handle the ‘He Said / She Said’ situation

Nothing halts an investigation like the he said/she said situation. So what happens when a line of questioning hits this wall? How do you make sure that you get the whole picture? How do you know where the truth ends and personal perception begins? Most notably, how do you make sure you don’t get wrapped up in the stories? It’s important to remember that an employee should not face disciplinary action unless there is concrete evidence to support the need. Likewise, if an investigation is deemed inconclusive and no action is taken the employer runs the risk of liability for […]

How to Select the Investments in your 401(k)

Whether they have a 401(k), 403(b), 457, or other employer sponsored retirement plan, one of the first questions people typically ask me is, “How should I invest the money in my retirement plan?” Your investment options are typically limited and often come with little or no advice from a professional. Consult your 401k representative: If you contact your human resources department, they’re likely to provide some fact sheets on the investments in your plan but little beyond that. If you contact the 401k company, they’ll likely do the same. I suggest contacting the plan representative. This is the person who […]

Talking to Your Heirs About Money

One issue for people as they age is communicating with their heirs about the inheritance they could receive. Some people are uncomfortable talking to their heirs about money while others are concerned that their heirs could become lazy while they wait on a windfall. Talking with your children early about money in general and later about the money they might inherit can help your heirs become more responsible with the money they’ll receive. Here are some resources to get you started: This article from Kiplinger’s (Bit.ly/2wYIHJo) does a good job of outlining the importance of these conversations and some steps […]

Conlicts? Try Alternative Dispute Resolution

Nearly all disputes between employees and their managers (or the company for which they work) can be resolved through forthright, honest communications. But in a fast-moving, complex business environment, conflicts and differences can arise which need the intervention of someone who is not directly involved. For those occasions, some organizations provide a formal process of resolution that can involve up to five steps. Alternative Resolution is an internal process that allows employees to resolve employment disputes with the company in confidence and without fear of reprisal. What kinds of disputes are covered? In general, any dispute that arises from a […]