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Tailoring Employee Benefits Packages is the Future of Retention

Posted By Laurie A. Pehar Borsh, Thursday, June 1, 2017
Updated: Thursday, June 1, 2017

Contributed by Joe Flanagan, Senior Career Advisor at Velvet Jobs – Outplacement Services

With a number of different individuals working within one organization, it makes sense to tailor your benefits packages to suit your employee’s needs.  And according to recent studies, it makes even more sense if you want to retain your staff long term. 

Today’s organizations are made up of numerous types of people, from different generations, backgrounds and lifestyles which all have a critical impact on the benefits packages they are searching for from their employer.

Read more on the New HR West Blog.


Tags:  employee benefits  employee retention  healthcare expenditures 

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All the Way to Wellness: Filling in the Gaps

Posted By Editor, Laurie, Thursday, January 26, 2017
Updated: Thursday, January 26, 2017
Contributed by Janice Litvinaward-winning keynote and motivational speaker, fitness expert, wellness speaker and workshop leader and writer.  
 All the Way to Wellness: Filling in the Gaps


March, 6  2017 10:45a.m.


As the corporate wellness industry comes of age several innovations are taking place.

Workplace wellness no longer simply means offering generic fitness challenges and nutrition classes, with some mindful meditation mixed in.

These programs are garnering an engagement rate of about 40%.

Workplace wellness has morphed into its own niche called Well-Being, with the notion that each and every
who works for a company has a variety of wellness needs, not simply nutrition and fitness:

  1. Maybe they are stressed about finances.
  2. Maybe they are having trouble with a co-worker or boss.
  3. Maybe they've lost their passion for the job they've been doing for five years. 
  4. Maybe they have a new manger who isn't really savvy about handling difficult situations. 
  5. Maybe they are overweight and are pre-diabetic, causing them to miss work.

Whatever the case may be, in order for a person to be productive, they have to be healthy and happy. And in order for them to be healthy and happy, they have to be "well."

And in order to get them well, they have to be engaged in wellness. Their boss has to be engaged in wellness, and upper management has to be engaged in wellness too.

So wellness has taken on a whole new meaning, a whole new shape and a whole new purpose: the whole person.  Hence, the cultural shift from wellness to well-being.

Step 1.  Create a culture of wellness.  Creating a culture of wellness takes patience, planning and support from the top. 

Note: The C-suite must also be on board for this culture shift to happen!

Step 2.  Customize the offering. It is not enough to offer generic nutrition education with a one-size-fits-all weight loss program. 
When people are trying to make major life changes, like the way they eat, they need support, especially at the beginning. 
Furthermore, the programs have to be innovative and fun.

Step 3. The inspiration for change does not come about from a simple rewards program! That is not to say that rewards programs don't have a place in the puzzle.
Rewards programs do work, but these programs simply get people in the door. Motivation has to become intrinsic for the changes to stick. 

I will be discussing the latest wellness trends at HR West 17, March 6th - 8th at the Oakland Convention Center!
Learn how to get buy-in from the top and then how to strategize an engaging well-being program on Monday, March 6th at 10:45 am at my breakout entitled, "All the Way to Wellness: Filling in the Gaps." 

Tags:  employee health and wellness  Employee retention  employee wellness  healthcare expenditures  HR West 2017  Janice Litvin  workplace wellness 

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Legalizing Marijuana: What's an Employer to do?

Posted By Editor, Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Contributed by Becky Barton

These days it’s difficult to avoid the election mania covered by the various media outlets. Given the major spotlight on the presidential race, you may not know that the potential decriminalization of marijuana will be on the ballot in several states.

California, Arizona, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada will all weigh in on legalized marijuana for recreational use (also known as “adult use” and “non-medical use”) where it is currently approved for medical use only. Another 3 states (Arkansas, Florida, and North Dakota) will decide on the future of cannabis for medical use in their states.

Supporters of the ballot measures see this as a boon to the states’ economies via increased taxes and job growth for cannabusiness people. We have seen 25 states and the District of Columbia legalize marijuana in some fashion, making a continued trend of legalization highly likely.

So what does this mean for business owners and employers? Marijuana remains illegal under federal law and the state-by-state variations make this particularly confusing. For example, within the subset of those states approved for recreational use, the amount an individual can personally carry varies.  As an employer, particularly a multi-state employer, these variations can be an administrative and enforcement nightmare.

Or do they? After all, alcohol is a mind and behavior altering substance that’s been legal for over 80 years and we seem to manage that in the workplace, right? Wouldn’t this be treated similarly? Well, it depends. Many laws clearly state that employers don't have to accommodate medical marijuana use during work hours or on company property while other states require reasonable accommodations for workers with disabilities (specifically as it relates to drug testing and adverse action).

The key is to know what is required by the states in which you operate, create an employment policy that complies with state law and enforce it consistently amongst employees of similar work groups.

The Bottom Line: Work with an HR consultant or an employment law attorney to navigate these unchartered waters. They should be watching how these new laws are interpreted by the courts and have your back should your policy need updating.


Becky Barton is the founder of People415, a San Francisco-based Human Resource Consultancy Firm helping companies navigate every stage of their growth.

Tags:  behavior  company culture  employee  employee communication  employee health and wellness  employee relations  Employee Training  employee wellness  healthcare expenditures  hr  HR Communication  HR law  HR Legislation  Human resources management. HR Leadership  law  leadership  management  marijuana  Policies  workforce 

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How to Stay Healthy at Work: A Breakdown of All 9 Hacks [Infographic]

Posted By Laurie A. Pehar Borsh, Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Contributed by
Daniel Pawlak
Marketing Coordinator, SnackNation

Human resources experts play an important role in ensuring employee health and safety, as they understand their workplace, their employees and the demands that different jobs require. Although human resources professionals aren’t necessarily expected to know the technical aspects of workplace health and safety, they should ensure that employees are looking after their health at work on a basic level. When it comes to staying healthy at work, we’re sure you’ve read enough about ideas like a standing or treadmill desk to combat these issues, so we won’t be talking about that here.

This infographic from SnackNation outlines some very simple and practical tips HR professionals can implement today to help employees stay healthy at work.




SnackNation is a one-of-a-kind monthly healthy snack delivery service that helps employees be happier, healthier, and highly productiveIt’s also a way to give your employees convenient “grab and go” access to healthy foods so they can stay on site, stay properly fueled, and save themselves time and energy. 

Tags:  employee wellness  healthcare expenditures  healthy workplace  HR  Human Resources  human resources management  NCHRA  SnackNation 

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What’s Causing Private Exchange Enrollments to Double?

Posted By Laurie A. Pehar Borsh, Friday, November 20, 2015
Updated: Thursday, November 19, 2015


If you work in your company’s HR department, you’ve likely been hearing a lot about private health insurance exchanges as alternatives to traditional group health insurance plans. With their increasing popularity, you can expect to hear even more: According to Accenture, private exchange enrollments have annually grown more than 100 percent since 2013. In 2015, nearly 6 million people received their health insurance benefits through a private exchange; Accenture forecasts that number will grow to 12 million enrollees in 2016, skyrocketing to 40 million enrollees by 2018. Leading the private exchange trend are mid-sized companies employing between 100 and 2,500 people.


Yet what are the main factors driving the popularity of the private exchange health insurance model? Let’s take a closer look.

More Choice For Less Money

Simply put, private exchanges offer employers and their employees a greater number of plans from which to choose, at a cost lower than many group health insurance offerings. In a group health insurance situation, employers may be able to offer one or two distinct plans; private exchanges are often able to offer many more than that, with a variety of add-on insurance options available, as well. Employees are able to choose a plan that best meets their needs and their budget, and employers aren’t stuck paying for one-size-fits-some plans, including benefits that will go unused.

Fewer Administrative Headaches

There are numerous compliance-related regulations associated with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that require companies to file detailed reports. In a traditional group health insurance model, much of the reporting falls on the shoulders of the human resources department. Private exchanges reduce the paperwork burden for HR teams by handling most, if not all, of the compliance-related reporting. This means HR staff can focus on other pressing issues rather than get stuck in increasingly complicated benefits administration and compliance-focused tasks.

Avoiding Cadillac Tax Concerns

Starting in 2018, employers who provide employees with high-cost health coverage — annually, over $10,200 for individuals and $27,500 for families — will be subject to a 40 percent excise tax on any amount that exceeds the maximums. As the time for the Cadillac tax to take effect gets closer, many employers are looking for strategies to help them avoid running into tax issues. Private exchanges allow employers to reduce costs and sidestep Cadillac tax issues, while still offering their employees a robust benefits package.

Fulfilling the Employer Mandate

Also known as the Employer Shared Responsibility Provision, the ACA’s employer mandate states that companies employing 50 or more full-time employees must provide health insurance to at least 95 percent of their employees and employees’ dependents, or face a fine. With this provision going into effect in 2016, many employers are looking for a fast, cost-effective way to ensure they’re in compliance. Private health insurance exchanges allow employers to quickly deploy comprehensive health insurance solutions for their employees that meet those federal guidelines.

Private Exchange Popularity Continues to Grow

The popularity of private exchanges is growing, and experts predict the trend will continue. Because they offer a greater variety of plans at a lower cost, they’re attractive to both employers and employees. Additionally, they reduce the administrative burden on HR teams while fulfilling the ACA’s employer mandate and helping businesses avoid getting hit with the Cadillac tax. 


About the Author:

Lauren Mandel is the Content Marketing Manager of GoHealth Insurance.  GoHealth powers one of the nation’s leading private health insurance exchanges for individuals and families.

Tags:  affordable care act  culture  EMPL  employee  enrollment  final four  GoHealth Insurance  H WEST  HEALTH  healthcare expenditures  HR  human resources  INSURANCE  Lauren Mandel  management  NCHRA  PRIVATE  workplace 

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