Archive for category The MINES Team
Recently, I have had an influx of questions related to finances from our employees at MINES. This makes sense as it is January: Employees are re-evaluating their W-4s, discussing concerns about paying into taxes, and determining their 401k deductions. Though January is typically a heavy-hitter for financial questions, these concerns are present in our employees’ lives throughout the year, whether they are related to a life changing event (buying a house or getting married) or an untimely garnishment.
Financial problems don’t just affect the employees, but also the employer. It is estimated that about one-quarter of the workforce are affected by financial problems and financial stress is often cited as the biggest stressor in employees’ lives. This is big news for employers as it costs companies approximately $15,000 per affected employee per year![i]
So, how exactly does financial stress negatively affect the company’s bottom line? Decreased productivity is certainly a concern; employees with financial issues are more likely to be distracted either through arranging deals with creditors or just thinking about their financial woes. These distractions can also lead to an increase in workplace accidents and an increase in worker’s compensation claims. Employees battling financial insecurities also face numerous health and wellness issues. They tend to get sick more often, abuse substances, have insomnia and digestion issues, and are plagued by mental health concerns including anxiety and depression. For employers, these issues pile up into sick days or lack of productivity even when the employee is present. It may be surprising to some that an employee who is facing financial hardships is more likely to turnover than one who is not. Employees in financial distress are always looking for better financial opportunities, therefore, they seek out positions that pay better. Overall, the costs of employee financial stress affect the bottom line in many ways.
As an organizational leader, how can you help your employees manage their financial stress?
- Implement a robust Employee Assistance Program (EAP) with built-in financial resources including a financial advisor for your employees to work with and a website full of resources.
- Always be available as a resource but don’t overstep. You may feel that you can help your employees figure out their finances but ask yourself if it’s appropriate. Typically, it’s best to send them to an outside resource such as a financial seminar, advisor, budget calculator, 401k planning tool, etc.
- Always be kind and gentle when discussing sensitive financial concerns such as a garnishment. Typically, when a company is served with a garnishment, the employee is unaware and it may be very difficult and embarrassing for the employee. It’s also important to note that it is illegal to discharge an employee for a garnishment.[ii]
- If you notice a common theme in financial concerns among your employees, consider holding optional financial training on-site or online. Some common ones include boosting your credit score and budgeting.
You can’t fix your employee’s financial problems but you can certainly support them!
Dani Kimlinger, MHA
Human Resources Specialist
[i] Lenhart, Ned. (n.d.) Employee Financial Stress is Costing Your Company a Bundle – And How You Can Stop It Now. Retrieved from Financial Literacy Partners website: https://www.takefinancialaction.com/upload/Is_Employee_Financial_Stress_Costing_Your_Company_A_Bundle.pdf
[ii] United States Department of Labor. (n.d.). Garnishment. Retrieved from http://www.dol.gov/dol/topic/wages/garnishments.htm
It’s that time of the year again; time to plan the company holiday party! What are your company’s plans? Company holiday parties are important because they allow for team building, employee appreciation, and interaction in a social atmosphere. But with publicity about lawsuits and keeping budget constraints in mind, planning the company holiday party can be a stressful endeavor. Don’t worry, balancing employee expectations and morale with the realities of finances and liabilities can happen!
The holiday party here at MINES was held last week. To start, the party planning was opened up to everyone throughout the company and ended up consisting of four party planners. We made the decision to hold the party on site in a conference room to save on funds and utilize open space. In order to dress up the conference room a bit, the party planning committee met off site one afternoon and purchased inexpensive decorations from stores such as Safeway and King Soopers. Employees from all over the company made suggestions for activities and food, and we ended up with the famous White Elephant gift exchange and ordering Chinese food from Yen King with a potluck dessert table. The party was a success, complete with a thankful speech from our CEO, visits from previous employees, holiday songs thanks to a musically-inclined employee, and hilarious gifts passed around including a “grow your own therapist” and a funky metal pig that was a hot item and stolen many times.
Here are some tips to make your holiday party inexpensive, fun, and non-alcoholic:
- Invite everyone to join in your party planning and encourage ideas for food and activities from everyone – you will be amazed at the creativity!
- Consider supporting local charities by holding a toy or coat drive or perhaps even voluntary monetary donations. MINES’ employees always enjoy participating and it’s a great way to give back during the holiday season.
- Spread out the seating area and include activities that encourage everyone to move around and mingle with coworkers they don’t know very well.
- Hold the party during the workday. Not only will this save money, but will lower the expectations for alcohol. Plus, employees appreciate the long break!
- Encourage the President/Owner/CEO to give a thankful speech. Likely they will plan on it, but ask anyway. Hearing thanks for a busy year really means a lot to everyone!
- Don’t hang mistletoe! Yes, when I read and heard this before, I thought it was silly…but consider what mistletoe might bring and which policies could be violated.
- Be sure to insist that the holiday party is voluntary.
If you are considering serving alcohol at your company party, click on the following link for helpful information from the U.S. Department of Labor: http://www.dol.gov/asp/programs/drugs/workingpartners/sp_iss/send.asp
Dani Kimlinger, MHA
Human Resources Specialist
How to make 2011 a successful year for you and your employees
Dr. David Javitch wrote a wonderful article published at Entrepreneur.com that I would like to share. As resolutions/goals are a popular topic at years end, his highlights can give a a great foundation for setting goals relative to your employees.
For example, he mentions that cross training employees can help motivate them and allow them to assist collegues in completing new tasks. Their value and and responsibility will naturally increase while motivating them.
You can find the entire article and the other tips here.
Posted by Ian Holtz, Manager at MINES and Associates.
All of us realize that stress is just a natural part of our lives. But some of the effects that ongoing stress can have on us can be debilitating to our health and thus only causing further chaos. One of the big ones is that there are just not enough hours in our day. But if we could each find a few minutes in our days or even make that adjustment to make time for the things that relax us, all of us would be a lot more efficient in what we attempt to accomplish. It could be just taking a few minutes in the morning after you wake up to stretch and breath or rearranging your normal schedule to fit in a yoga class here and there.
The first step is coming to terms with our stresses and then making the conscious decision to adjust and transform them to something beneficial. Here is an article on Stress Management from the Mayo Clinic to help you discover your reactions to stress and learn how to manage it.
~The HealthPsych Team
On October 10th this year, MINES sponsored a team for the annual Run the ‘Rocks 5k located at Red Rocks Amphitheater and benefiting the American Lung Association.
MINES’ Messengers came in with the fastest time at an average (top 5) finish time of 23:52. Additionally, MINES’ Messengers teammates Jordan Mayer and Jess Ryan came in first in their age groups. Congratulations to all that joined the team this year!
We also achieved our team goal of raising over $1,000 to benefit the American Lung Association in Colorado, coming in 7th among all teams for fundraising. Thanks to all of the donors who helped make our team’s success possible!
As the snow falls on the Colorado Rockies, my wife and I get excited for the upcoming ski season. MINES and Associates is headquartered in the foothills of Denver, Colorado which provides those of us who are skiers and snowboarders a 60-90 minute drive to some of the best skiing in the world. We are heading up for opening day and look forward to a fun and exciting season.
For many people the coming of winter is very depressing. It is cold, gloomy, and snowy, which creates hardship for many people. Heating costs go up and many people can’t afford to keep the house temperature as comfortable as they’d like. Driving to work is challenging and practically impossible on heavy snow days, leading to anxiety and frustration.
Winter comes down to whether you are mentally prepared for the change from warm to cold. If winter typically gets you down, try something new this year. Talk to your Human Resources Department at work and ask about your EAP (Employee Assistance Program). Assuming your company has such a program for employees, make the confidential call to one of the counselors and ask for some advice and ideas on how to make it through the winter with more ease than in the past.
Best wishes for a good winter and happy holiday season!
Senior Sales Executive
Posted by minesblog in Anxiety, BizPsych, business psychology, C Level, Centering, CEO, education, Employee Assistance Programs (EAP), Leadership, Managed Behavioral Health Care, Management, Meditation, Mines and Associates, Parenting, Psychology of Performance, Stress management, substance abuse, Supervisor, The MINES Team, Tips, Work Performance on October 21, 2010
Gina Kolata wrote an outstanding article in the New York Times on the psychological and behavioral aspects of the psychology of performance that I want to pass on to you. She has a number of points that are useful in business as well as personally.
Have a day filled with equanimity
Robert A. Mines, Ph.D.
CEO and Psychologist
A Denver police detective, who also heads up the wellness and employee assistance program for the officers, was visiting with a fellow officer when he learned that the officer’s kidneys were failing. He started a drive to search for a donor for his fellow officer and the search lead to himself. What an incredible story of selflessness and compassion. Thanks to the Denver Post you can read the entire story here:
Posted By Ian Holtz, Manager BizDev at MINES and Associates