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Mom’s Masterpiece – 163,658 Days (and counting)

Clare-Lind---DPLindBenchmarIt’s not easy being a mother. If it were easy, fathers would do it.
Author unknown (used in the TV sitcom The Golden Girls)

I think it is appropriate to take a break from the rigors of business activity and spend a few moments to celebrate a special person in my life – my mother, Clare Lind. With Mother’s Day fast approaching, it seems only fitting to give a shout out to my Mom, who, along with Dad, raised nine children, spanning a combined 163,658 days of motherhood (and counting).*

As a son, it is much too easy to wait until Mother’s Day to celebrate how extraordinary Mom has been throughout my life. Mom has always put her children (and Dad!) before her own self-interests – regardless of how old we have become. I don’t ever recall Mom taking a ‘day off’ from her ‘duties’ (and worries) even though I’m sure there were times she may have wanted to abdicate her parental/maternal position. Who could blame her?

Clare-Lind-Recipe-Book-DPLBThis Easter, Mom presented a heartfelt gift to each of her children and grandchildren – a recipe book that includes all of her classic family recipes along with some of her favorite paintings sprinkled throughout. I cannot wait to become reacquainted with some of my favorite childhood dishes! 

Mom has many artistic talents that seem to come so naturally. Her ability to capture just the right light, shadow, texture and color in her artwork will be enjoyed for many years to come. A special thanks to my niece, Amanda, for working with Mom on making this book possible!

Metaphorically, Mom’s best ‘painting’ has not yet been completed – but it sure is a beauty! You see, I have ALWAYS believed that I was Mom’s favorite child – I just knew it. End of discussion, right? Yet, many years ago after leaving home and throughout my adult life, each sibling would eventually share with me that he/she felt certain they were Mom’s chosen one – not me! What an exceptional gift she continues to share with each of us!

Mom, you continue to create the most beautiful masterpiece a son/daughter could ever ask for. I am so very proud to be part of your canvas and greatly cherish your dedication to leaving a legacy for future generations to enjoy.  Thank you!

I love you, Mom. Happy Mother’s Day!

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*This count begins at each birthdate for all siblings to May 11, 2014 (Mother’s Day). Two deceased siblings are included in this number.

Employee Loyalty – A Huge ‘Benefit’

David P. Lind BenchmarkAccording to MetLife’s 10th Annual Study of Employee Benefits Trends report (released in March 2012), only 42 percent of employees indicated they felt a strong sense of loyalty toward their employer – a seven-year low. Interestingly within this same report, 59 percent of employers felt a strong sense of loyalty toward their employees…a seven-year high!

Another part of this study caught my attention, yet I’m not all that surprised.

About 61 percent of employees (generations included – Boomers, X, and Y) who were very satisfied with their benefits said they felt a strong sense of loyalty to their employer versus only 24 percent of employees who were very dissatisfied with their benefits. If offering strong benefits provides greater loyalty from employees is more causation (rather than a correlation), employers have hope on developing a long-lasting sense of loyalty to their employees.

Not a bad thing!

A few other interesting tidbits from this study include:

  • More than half of surveyed employees (58 percent) said that benefits were an important reason to stay with their employer, and this was highest among Generation Y (born 1981 – 1994) at 63 percent and with Generation X (born 1965 – 1980) who followed at 62 percent.
  • While 66 percent of employees said that health benefits were an important driver of their loyalty, only 57 percent of EMPLOYERS believed this to be the case.  Hmmm…
  • 59 percent of employees indicated that retirement benefits were “very important” when influencing loyalty to their employer, while only 42 percent of employers recognize this. Another Hmmm…
  • A large majority of employers see opportunities to leverage their benefits programs to engage their employees. Leveraging benefits can retain employees more effectively, increase employee productivity, and attract employees.

How loyal are your employees? If loyalty is high, maybe your benefits package is a bigger contributor than you might think. If it is low, there is hope, according to this study! Offering quality employee benefits can be very expensive, but it might be more costly to NOT offer such benefits.

Smart Phones – Smart Future!

David P. Lind BenchmarkIn March, on behalf of Humana, Inc., Forrester Research released their report, “Mobile Application Adoption Trends and Strategies To Engage The Workforce”. According to this report, the trend appears to be that more employers embrace the idea of interacting with their employees for personal and work-related activities using new technologies offered through smart phones, tablets and other mobile devices.

Three key conclusions come from this report:

  1. An emerging demand for health and wellness mobile applications. Such applications enable employees to locate healthcare provider sites, track exercise activities, or monitor various biological conditions such as heart rates, glucose levels, and other health-related.
  2.  Mobile recruitment applications are emerging. Capturing candidate information during job fairs, interviews, or sharing video clips to candidates about specific jobs available within the organization.
  3. HR and benefits professionals implement awareness campaigns to promote employee adoption of mobile applications.  Purposes may include rolling out a new wellness campaign, incentive programs, and other new initiatives that are central to employment.

This report allows human resource executives and benefits administrators to look into the future when attempting to engage their workforce…using existing and new technologies.

Consider this:

  • About 17,000 health-related mobile applications are on the market*
  • By 2015, the number of mobile health service users are expected to reach 500 million*

Sprint launched a 12-week “Get Fit” challenge during the summer of 2011 and found big success using social media tools to engage employees to participate in wellness activities, such as weight loss, exercise minutes and pedometer steps. The estimated savings from this challenge, according to Sprint, was approximately $1.1 million. Partnering with ShapeUp, a wellness software company, Sprint used social networking tools that allowed employees to log their progress online through a website portal in addition to using mobile devices. Employees interacted with other employees throughout the country with friendly competitions – holding each other accountable. Sprint attributes a big part of the programs’ success to social networking. Social media tools can be a good thing when used appropriately!

Hmm, maybe it is time to learn more about what Iowa employers plan to do in the future regarding this new technology! Stay tuned.

*Stetler, Mark, “Trends in Healthcare and Medical Apps