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How to Craft Your Benefits Package to Appeal to Millennials

Posted by Alan Ikeya, Principal on May 7, 2018 at 10:00 AM
How to Craft Your Benefits Package to Appeal to Millennials

This article was first published in San Francisco Business Times.

Millennials are reshaping the workforce, so is it any surprise their priorities are also redefining employee benefit programs?

Unlike employees in years past, highly-motivated, highly-educated millennials are looking for more than just a 401(k) contribution, medical and dental insurance, and paid-time off.

They’re actually looking for employee benefits that help them with challenges previous generations never encountered, like the crushing burden of student debt. And, they want their employers to offer a broader range of health and wellness benefits to support their active lifestyles.

Why millennials matter so much

For employers, satisfying the changing priorities of millennials is critical. In 2016, millennials – those between those ages 21 to 36 last year – became the largest generation in the workforce, according to Pew Research. Today, one in three workers is a millennial. By 2025, 75 percent of the workforce will be millennials.

In today’s increasingly tight labor market, particularly in urban centers like the San Francisco Bay Area where technology firms have set a very high bar, benefit programs that address millennial concerns can make all the difference in successful recruiting.

In our work with large and small firms across every industry segment, we have partnered with employee benefits program managers to suggest innovative benefits that align with millennial lifestyles.

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Topics: Employee Benefits, Wellness, Technology, Market Trends

The Evolution of Worksite Wellness Programs

Posted by Frank Jakka, CWP, CPT, Director, Health & Productivity on February 12, 2018 at 10:00 AM

What we have learned and where we are going next

Worksite wellness programs are not a new concept. After all, Hershey Foods built a rec center with a swimming pool for employees in the 1930s. But the goal of these programs and the coinciding way of measuring their value has changed over the years. With each generation of employees, employers have reassessed and refined their programs. Looking back on the evolution gives us a better idea of what works and what doesn’t and suggests best practices for moving into the future.

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The Early 1900s – The Beginnings of the Wellness Industry

Before the information age, work was much more physical in nature. Stronger, more physically fit employees could work faster, more efficiently, and longer. Employers realized this and in the early 1900’s, the National Cash Register built an employee gym and instituted twice-daily exercise breaks. In 1911, they added a 325-acre recreation park for its workers.  The goal was clear. Keep the employees physically strong to match the demands of often physical work.

1950 to 1990 – Focus on Overall Health & Safety

Employers in the 50s continued to recognize the value of physically fit employees. Progressive firms like Texas Instruments and Xerox instituted fitness programs. Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) were also established during this time. First created to help employees with alcohol addiction, EAP grew to address other work-life issues. In 1970, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) was established with an emphasis on preventing accidents and illness. Both EAP and OSHA were aimed at improving productivity and reducing costs.

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Topics: Wellness

Healthy Snacking at the Office

Posted by Kari Crow, Health & Productivity Representative on January 16, 2017 at 10:00 AM
Healthy Snacking at the Office

Ever notice your energy tanking at about 3 pm?  It’s pretty easy—especially in an office setting—to reach for a sugary snack to get through the end of the work day.  Between the vending machine, the goodies in the breakroom, and the monthly office birthday celebrations, it’s all too easy to find a quick snack.  The problem, of course, is that quick snacks are usually not particularly healthy. 

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Topics: Wellness

Exercise in the Office: Brilliant Idea or Accident Waiting to Happen?

Posted by Nicholas Tait, Principal, Property + Casualty Division on January 9, 2017 at 10:00 AM
Exercise in the Office: Brilliant Idea or Accident Waiting to Happen?

Each new generation of workers brings their own values to the workplace. Millennials are no different. Travelers Insurance explored the changing face of the workplace in their recent report titled Workplace 2.0. The report identified a common theme among Millennials: an emphasis on work/life balance, including a focus on health and fitness.

Employers are taking note. It’s not uncommon in the workplace to find yoga classes, game rooms, sports courts, and gyms with all the amenities like free weights, treadmills and stair climbing machines.

These onsite exercise opportunities are great for attracting new talent, improving morale, and increasing productivity. But, they are also introducing a new set of risks.

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Topics: Wellness, Property + Casualty

Boost Your Wellness Program with MMA MarketLink

Posted by Miki Kobane, Wellness Director on October 3, 2016 at 10:01 AM
Boost Your Wellness Program with MMA MarketLink

Employers are increasingly recognizing the value of offering a wellness program. Studies show that there’s a correlation between healthy employees and employee productivity, among other benefits. (1)  

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Topics: Wellness

Workplace Wellness: Heat-Related Illnesses

Posted by Kari Crow, Health & Productivity Representative on July 25, 2016 at 10:00 AM
Workplace Wellness: Heat-Related Illnesses

With summer in full swing, high temperatures and humidity are prevalent. While this means more time at the beach and the pool, it can also quickly end a fun day in the sun. When it’s over ninety degrees, the risk of heat-related illnesses increases dramatically[1].

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Topics: Wellness

Spice Up Your Wellness Program

Posted by Kari Crow, Health & Productivity Representative on June 6, 2016 at 10:00 AM
Spice Up Your Wellness Program

Many companies are discovering the benefits of encouraging a healthy lifestyle. According to Aflac’s 2015 Workforces Report, wellness programs contribute to overall job satisfaction and employees are less likely to look for new jobs when their company has a wellness program in place.  However, just like with personal health habits, it is one thing to know that something is good for the company and quite another to know exactly what to do and how to sustain it.

Any organization, regardless of size or budget, can create a corporate culture that nourishes the development of Total Health for every employee.  It’s a matter of recognizing that your company is unique and what works for your company may or may not work for others and visa versa.  Whether you are just getting your wellness program off the ground or looking for ways to reinvigorate your current program,  we recommend surveying employees to find out what they are looking for in a wellness program.  You can design your own free survey using a free online survey provider like Survey Monkey. 

We also encourage our clients to have fun with their programs and come up with unique ideas that are suited for their culture and budget. Here are just a few ideas:

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Topics: Wellness

Company Wellness 101: Encouraging Employees to Eat Healthy

Posted by Kari Crow, Health & Productivity Representative on March 7, 2016 at 10:00 AM
Company Wellness 101: Encouraging Employees to Eat Healthy

According to Work Well's "Promoting Healthy Eating at Work," healthier employees are more motivated, innovative, creative, and productive. Encouraging healthy eating habits and exercise are the foundations of a solid employee wellness program. How can employers promote healthy eating? First things first: help your employees understand the basics.

Healthy eating starts with reading and understanding labels. Food labels tell you the types of vitamins and minerals that are in foods, as well as whether something is non-GMO, organic, or natural.

Here’s what your employees should be aware of when it comes to a few popular food labels:

Certified Organic

According to the USDA, for a product to qualify as organic, farmers, ranchers, and food processors must abide by certain standards to “preserve the environment and avoid most synthetic materials, such as pesticides and antibiotics. Animals that produce meat, eggs, and dairy, must have access to the outdoors and cannot be given growth hormones or antibiotics. Produce must be grown without genetically modified organisms (GMOs), pesticides, or synthetic fertilizers. Here are 10 reasons people choose organic foods.

Not sure if something’s organic? Look for a USDA Organic seal.

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Topics: Wellness

Eating Healthy at Work During the Holidays

Posted by Kari Crow, Health & Productivity Representative on November 30, 2015 at 10:00 AM
Eating Healthy at Work During the Holidays

What's the harm of one more cookie or another glass of eggnog? As much as we look forward to holiday office parties and department celebrations, many of us end up packing on the pounds because we indulge a little too much.

The average American gains 1-2 pounds over the six-week holiday season. While this might not seem like a lot, those unwanted pounds don’t tend to come off. This additional weight adds up over the years and can lead to weight and health issues in the future.

With a little planning and vigilance, you can maintain your normal weight without sacrificing all the fun of the holidays. Here are a few tips to remember:

  • Bring something healthy. Check the sign-up sheet for your holiday office potluck. Volunteer to bring a healthy dish, giving you at least one good option to enjoy. Once you’re there, survey the buffet table before you grab a plate and be sure to take small portions, since it’s easy to fill up your plate to the brim. It’s okay to have a little bit of everything, so you don’t feel deprived.
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Topics: Wellness

How to Implement a Successful Company Wellness Challenge

Posted by Happy Chan, Client Manager II, CWWPM on August 24, 2015 at 10:00 AM
How to Implement a Successful Company Wellness Challenge

On Your Mark, Get Set, Motivate!  

Savvy employers recognize the benefit of a healthy workforce. Study after study has demonstrated the increased productivity, improved morale and the health insurance savings that come with a healthy and physically active group of employees. As John F. Kennedy said, “Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.”

Yet knowing that something is important to the wellbeing of an organization is not the same as knowing how to implement an effective employee wellness program. The question remains: What can employers do to introduce healthy habits and keep employees motivated to stay active?

Marsh & McLennan Agency decided to test the effectiveness of our own wellness program Total Health by challenging our associates.  In June, the MMA West San Francisco and Walnut Creek offices took part in the Get Up and Go Challenge, modeled after one of the basic challenge events from our Total Health wellness program. Using this model, we measured the number of steps people took, with the goal of 10,000 per day. This might sound like a lot, but using a conversion sheet, our associates were able to log steps taken doing everyday activities such as gardening, grocery shopping, and even housework.

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Topics: Employee Benefits, Wellness, Human Resources

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