Six Tips To Smooth the Employee Relocation Process

In today’s hot economy, many companies
find it challenging to attract the talent they need to fill certain specific
roles. Often that can mean calling on potential employees from other cities who
relocate for a new position. In fact, one study
found that more
than half of those surveyed said they had moved for a job in the past, with 80
percent saying they had considered it. They cited factors such as better career
opportunities, desire for a change or fresh start or a lower cost of living as
some of their reasons.

If you have employees relocating to your company—whether they
are coming from a different branch or a different firm altogether—there are
steps you can take to help them feel welcome.

Find out who they are—and what they need.

The needs of a young single will be vastly different from a
married couple with kids. One strategy is to create a questionnaire to find out
what the new employee wants or needs in terms of a living situation, whether
it’s the best school district in your area, or proximity to shopping and other
cultural amenities. Finding out their interests can help you point them in the
right direction to hunt for housing, and also can help you pair them with a
similar employee, if possible, to help show them around the city.

Be a city ambassador.

Is your region known for outdoor adventures or nightlife? Are
there art walks during the summer or fall festivals that everyone attends? Put
together a little packet of interesting information on your town so the new employee
is able to find the best pizza place or be in the know about the exhibits
coming to the local art museum.

Connect them with local specialists.

Whether your new employee will be buying
or renting
, you’ll want to connect them with a local real estate agent
who knows the lay of the land. If you have frequent relocations, consider
finding a firm that will informally “partner” with you to help your new people
find the right neighborhood and situation for them; many real estate firms have
agents who specialize in relocations or are experts in specific neighborhoods.

You also can help connect them with local services from cable
TV and utilities to the nearest DMV to make their move as smooth as possible.
You might consider putting together a separate packet that helps them locate
all these essential services. And don’t forget their family members—including
their furry ones. Having the whole family on board for the move is going to
make it smoother for the employee, which is good for the entire company.

Establish and clearly communicate your policies.

Some companies that regularly help employees relocate might
have a robust roster of services, from moving to temporary housing available
for their team, while others who relocate employees less frequently might let
workers handle the details (and expenses) themselves. Make sure you clearly
communicate to the new employees exactly what is covered so there are no
misunderstandings down the line.

Give a special onboarding.

While every new employee feels a certain amount of “culture shock”
and needs to be acclimated, the feeling can be more acute in one who is new to
the area, in addition to your company. That’s why your regular onboarding
should also include plenty of interpersonal information—to make them feel
welcome in a place where they might not know a soul. Make sure that their
manager works with the team to go out of their way to welcome them, and pair
them with someone who has agreed to be their “go-to” person, ideally someone who
is a good match based on some of the demographic information you collected
earlier. 

Pay extra attention to local benefits information.

Some of the programs you offer might be the same no matter
where an employee is, but many might have some local flavor; for example, if
you offer gym memberships or public transportation reimbursement. Also plan to
take extra time to discuss the company’s medical benefits, since a new-to-town
employee might have specific questions about which hospitals are closest or
where to find an orthodontist. This is also a great time to talk with them
about what they need to know about disability insurance, specifically Social Security Disability
Insurance (SSDI) or SSI (Supplemental Security Income) benefits
, if applicable.

An employee who has relocated to your company can add a
special layer with fresh ideas and perspective. The goal is to make them feel
welcome so that your town feels like “home” in no time.  




Ten Ways To Show Your Employees You “Love” Having Them Work For You

Want to keep your employees happy? The answer might be
easier than you think—in fact, a surprising 81
percent of employees say they would work harder for an employer who made them
feel appreciated
. With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, it’s the
perfect time to let your employees know how much you appreciate their hard
work. Here are 10 ideas to get you started.

Say it with food.

This one’s a no-brainer; everyone loves unexpected food. Surprise
the team with donuts in the breakroom or a full-on pasta lunch at noon. Another
fun idea that doubles as a team activity is to create a sundae bar and let
employees make their own sweet treat.

Order each person
their own coffee mug.

Spend some time browsing online and buy a coffee mug for
each member of the team that reflects something that reminds you of
them—whether it’s a hobby they enjoy or a motivational saying that reminds you
of them. They’ll appreciate the thought you put into it, as well as the fact
that you have recognized them individually. And as a bonus side benefit, no one
will ever wonder which mug is theirs again. 

Volunteer together.

Show your heart by going out in the community and doing a
good deed together. You might bring sandwiches and mittens to the homeless or
help at a local food bank. Everyone will feel a warm glow when they know
they’ve brightened someone else’s day.

Start a mutual
admiration chain.

Everyone likes to hear they do a great job; this is the
perfect time for everyone on the team to say something nice about each other.
Make a book for everyone and invite team members to write a little note of appreciation
about something they do that makes the work day smoother for everyone.

Ask what they need.          

Sometimes the best way to show appreciation to employees is
to let them voice their concerns or issues. Create a suggestion box that you actually
use to find out what’s on their mind. Kick off the program with a special team
meeting where you explain the goals and ask employees if they’d like to voice any
thoughts right away. Keep the meeting positive with a light tone—and provide
food, of course.

Host dinner on you.

They probably don’t want to eat dinner with you on Valentine’s Day, but you can still spring for dinner. Find out a favorite
restaurant of each employee and give a gift certificate or just tuck a $50 bill
in a card where you have expressed your appreciation.

Host a team-building
activity (that’s actually fun).

A lot of these so-called activities can be quite awkward.
That’s why we put together a list of
six really cool ideas for group activities
that they wouldn’t hate—no trust
falls included.

Buy a group gift.

Is your dishwasher on its last legs or coffee maker a relic?
Consider buying something special for the kitchen or break room that everyone
can enjoy in the days ahead. Or, if your appliances are all up to par, spring
for a gourmet coffee or snack service—a little something extra to show you’re
thinking of your employees and appreciate their hard work.

Remind them of all
the ways you take care of them.

Sometimes HR can struggle with a creative way to remind employees
of their benefits, and Valentine’s Day provides the perfect opportunity to send
an email summarizing your programs—such as healthcare, disability
insurance
, gym memberships, etc., and highlight how you take care of your
employees all year long.

Give them the
afternoon off.

It’s hard to beat the offer for more time with their loved
ones. Surprise the team with a “free” afternoon off—that they can take on an impromptu
basis or save for a time that they can plan ahead and make the most of it.   

Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to show everyone in your
life how special they are—even employees. With a little creativity, you can
send them home for the day feeling a little more appreciated. You’ll be glad
you did, as gratitude gives a boost to both the giver and the recipient.




Keeping Your Office Healthy: Five Ways to Keep Germs at Bay

It used to be that one sign of a good worker was just powering through the day, even if you felt crummy. Now, the opposite is true, as workplaces get wise to the fact that a sick employee isn’t likely to get much done—except potentially spreading their germs to the rest of the team.

In fact, those coughing, sneezing coworkers can be a health hazard to everyone around them—just by breathing. One study estimates that more than 60 percent of people with flu symptoms admitted to leaving their house—presumably many of them to head to work—while they were sick. And that’s a lot of germs being passed around, infecting even healthy people.

Here are some ways that the HR team can contribute to a healthier workplace.

 

  1. Offer sick days

 

Many employees come to work sick because they think it’s expected. But creating a relatively lenient sick day policy might actually save you money in the long run, if workers stay home and keep their germs to themselves. One study found that “presenteeism,” the lack of productivity in workers experiencing health problems, can cost U.S. companies up to $150 billion annually.

 

Sick days can help stem the tide of germ-sharing in the workplace, according to a study by the National Bureau of Economic Research. Researchers found that flu cases dropped in cities that adopted paid sick-leave mandates.

The key is to make sure employees know the policy and the protocol for calling out sick (see below for more on helping them telecommute.) And be aware of the duration of the illness; you might need to touch base with an employee if a spate of sick days is stretching into a case for when short-term disability insurance should potentially kick in.

 

  1. Create work-at-home protocols.

 

When deadlines loom, many employees might feel that taking a sick day will just make things worse when they return. According to one study, more than 40 percent of employees said that was the reason they came to the office while sick—to avoid future work overload.

 

But the truth is that many employees can do key parts of their job remotely—even if it isn’t feasible all the time. However, that can raise the question of whether the employee has actually taken a “sick day” or not, which can impact their compensation. That’s why you might want to consider implementing a policy that covers some of those issues, such as how their time will be tracked and how many “work-at-home-while-sick” days each employee can take.

 

Having a clear policy can protect your company so you can verify that work is actually being done, while avoiding the risk of having employees spreading germs to others.

 

  1. Encourage your team to get flu shots.

 

Of course it’s best to get the flu shot earlier in the season, but it’s never too late to help prevent an office epidemic. In fact, the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) says, “Getting vaccinated later, however, can still be beneficial and vaccination should continue to be offered throughout flu season.” And since flu outbreaks happen at different times in different communities, you may still have time. If yours hasn’t hit yet, getting vaccinated pronto could help keep people safe from it.

 

  1. Kill workplace germs as fast as you can.

 

It’s amazing how fast a virus can move in an office,” says Charles Gerba, a microbiologist and coauthor of The Germ Freak’s Guide to Outwitting Colds and Flu. “If one person comes in with the cold or flu, he can infect as many as one-third of his fellow office mates within a day.”

 

Pay special attention to wiping down objects in community areas like the printer, copier, refrigerator handles, and door handles—and don’t forget the coffee pot. And encourage employees to wipe down their stations frequently also.

 

  1. Encourage healthy habits.

 

One of the best ways to build immunities that help stave off illness is to adopt healthy behaviors, such as getting adequate sleep, eating well and exercising regularly.

You can play a role by sharing articles with healthy tips (such as those found on this site) or by encouraging employees to sip water and munch on healthier choices, if your workplace offers snacks at meetings.

 

With these tips, a healthy office can be within reach.




5 Tips for Snow Day Survival

As any third grader will tell you, there’s really nothing better than a snow day. You’re up early and dressed, because you weren’t sure if the bus was coming. And though it usually requires 45 minutes of parental nagging to get you to put on your boots and coat, once you confirm classes or cancelled, you can be fully bundled up and ready for action in 3.5 seconds. And you feel certain that just because the roads are too dangerous for buses, that’s no excuse for mom and dad not to drive you to your best friend’s house or the nearest sledding hill.

For working grown-ups, however, a snow day can mean falling behind, sacrificing a vacation day, or in some cases not getting paid. If you’re an exempt worker and your office closes due to inclement weather, your employer is legally required to pay you, unless you had already scheduled the day off. But even if you’re not going to loose out on pay or time off, you may be facing the anxiety that comes with missed work.

If you work in snow country, you know snow days are going to happen. You may not know when, but you know they’re coming. Here are five tips to help you survive them:

  1. Plan for the (un)expected. Snow days are going to happen, so talk with your employer about having the equipment and access you need to work from home. For many employees, just keeping up with email can eliminate stress and make it easier to return to the office when the storm passes.

 

  1. Watch the forecast. We usually get a few days warning before a snowstorm. If you know it’s coming, you can adjust your schedule. Move meetings, change travel plans, or look for ways to connect with colleagues online of over the phone.

 

  1. Look for back-up. If you’re home with kids on a snow day, it can be hard to concentrate on work. Coordinate with other parents in the neighborhood. You watch their kids for a couple of hours, and they return the favor later on, giving you both a little quiet time to get things done. If this isn’t an option, toss out your screen-time restrictions and let the kids enjoy a movie while you work.

 

  1. Find a quiet workspace at home. It may be tempting to hunker down on the couch with a laptop and a bag of chips, while the TV plays in the background. But a quiet, dedicated workspace will allow you to be more productive.

 

  1. Have some fun. It’s a snow day, after all, and there’s no reason you can’t let your inner third grader enjoy it. Have a snowball fight or go sledding with the kids. It’ll help wear them out, and give you a well deserved break from work.

 

Just for fun, here are the Top 10 U.S. locations with the most snow days per year.




Attention employers: The top 5 regulatory changes to know in 2019

With a week into the New Year, Paychex, a provider of management solutions for payroll, benefits, human resources and more, announced the top regulatory issues of 2019 that employers should be aware of.

The list includes the most current and impactful laws and regulations that could affect employers as 2019 continues. “This new year brings with it a new class of legislators and a set of issues – both new and old – that these legislators will focus on at the federal, state, and local levels,” said Martin Mucci, president and CEO of Paychex.

“It can be challenging for business owners and HR managers to keep up with the constantly evolving legislative and regulatory landscape. Our annual summary of the year’s most important developments is designed to give an overview of the items expected to be most impactful in 2019.”

Here are the first of Paychex’s top regulatory changes to know in 2019. For the full list, visit the Paychex site.

  1. Sexual harassment awareness and prevention. The #MeToo movement resulted in an increase in workplace sexual harassment prevention enforcement and legislation across the country in 2018, and is expected to continue in 2019. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reported significantly increased activity around sexual discrimination during the past fiscal year, launching 50 percent more sexual harassment lawsuits than the previous year.
  2. Paid leave. More than 40 state and local jurisdictions have implemented paid leave laws and several more are scheduled to implement leave policies in early 2019. Although paid sick leave laws are more prevalent, paid family leave laws are generally more onerous for employers.
  3. Federal support for retirement savings. In August 2018, President Trump issued an executive order directing the Departments of Labor and Treasury to propose regulations that ease the burdens small businesses face in offering retirement savings plans. Some key legislation that was not passed before the end of the year despite bipartisan support, includes the Retirement Enhancement and Savings Act (RESA), the Family Savings Act, the Retirement, Savings and Other Tax Relief Act of 2018, and the Taxpayer First Act of 2018
  4. Faster payments and the gig economy. Faster payments, including immediate payments for gig workers, will continue to dominate the payments landscape in 2019. As business owners make decisions on how and when their company will participate in the faster payments arena, fraud prevention should be top of mind to ensure payments are safe and secure in a 24/7/365 environment.
  5. Privacy and security There’s news of breach attempts as well as successful breaches almost daily. With cyberattacks being so pervasive, it is important to understand that security and privacy is everyone’s responsibility.



The basics of the Social Security Disability Income Program

By Ted Norwood, General Counsel and Director of Representation, Integrated Benefits, Inc.

The United States Social Security Administration offers two programs—confusingly named Social Security Disability Income and Supplemental Security Income—aimed at providing or supplementing the income of people who are unable to work.

SSDI (also called Title II benefits) provides disability coverage for individuals who have paid enough Social Security taxes. The second program, SSI or Title XVI, provides a smaller benefit for people who haven’t worked long enough to qualify for Title II benefits and established a financial need.

SSDI and SSI require the same medical requirements to receive benefits. However, SSI also requires claimants to pass a stringent means, or income, test that establishes the applicant’s need.

For the purposes of this post, I’m going to focus on the SSDI program. This benefit has greater relevance than SSI to the majority of employers and workers. In addition, this program frequently interacts with employee benefits, especially long-term disability policies.

But before I proceed, it’s important to remind you that I’m presenting basic information. If you have specific legal questions about SSDI, you should reach out to a lawyer. SSDI is a huge program with many regulations and significant administrative entities. My goal in this article is to focus on a few key elements that are important to employers and employees.

I find that most people know something about the SSDI program and many hold opinions on it already, but there is an abundance of misinformation. Before you can understand SSDI’s role in workplace absences, you must understand the program’s basics.

In many ways SSDI is like a private long-term disability policy that you have through the government. Like any insurance policy, the terms are important.

You must have worked to qualify

To receive SSDI benefits, you must have worked and paid the SSA’s taxes. If you are an independent contractor and don’t pay FICA taxes, you may not be covered. There are boring rules that you can access here if you want more information.

If you want to know if you are covered, you can simply contact SSA and they can tell you if you are insured and when your insured status would end if you stopped working.

You must qualify medically and vocationally

If you are covered, you may qualify medically for SSDI if you are:

  1. Not working
  2. Have limitations caused by medical conditions expected to last at least a year, and
  3. You are unable to sustain substantial gainful activity due to your limitations.

The SSA will deny benefits if they believe you can still perform a significant number of jobs that exist in the national economy or if you can perform past work (from the last 15 years).

Many Issues are surprisingly irrelevant to the SSA

Social Security does not consider income in its evaluation of disability. If a person who made a high salary can still perform lower income work, they are not disabled under SSDI. Likewise, a person who worked in labor, such as construction or manufacturing, may not be disabled if they are still capable of performing less demanding jobs.

SSDI also does not consider whether jobs are available or if an individual may or may not be hired for a job. The SSA only evaluates whether an individual could perform the functions of a job that exists.

The SSA considers problems finding employment to be addressed by unemployment insurance. But, to that end, applying for both unemployment and SSDI will usually have detrimental effects on the SSDI application. The SSA sees the receipt of both benefits as generally incompatible (with exceptions).

The SSDI Application Process

Individuals may apply for SSDI on the SSA’s website or at a Social Security office. A state agency will evaluate the application, review medical records and determine if the claimant is disabled under SSA’s rules. This usually takes three to six months with a 34 percent award rate.

If denied, a claimant can request reconsideration by the state agency. This essentially repeats the process, with a 13 percent approval rate.

If denied again, the claimant may request a hearing before an administrative law judge. There is a nine- to 27-month wait from hearing request to hearing with a national average wait of 17.3 months. The ALJ’s decision takes about another 60-90 days and ALJs awarded 47 percent of cases last year.

There is one more level of appeal within SSA – the Appeals Council – but the success rate is only 10 percent. After that, a claimant must file a civil case in federal court.

Obviously, it is a long process. This wait has a huge impact on the claimants. Waiting 30 months to get a payment is not uncommon. The SSA makes retroactive payments in a lump sum, but that is often cold comfort for claimants. The average wait time for all claimants is about 15 months before they receive a payment.

When Awarded SSDI

Disabled claimants receive an average monthly benefit of about $1300. There is a five-to-six month elimination period at the beginning of the period of disability.[The SSA provides annul adjustments for cost of living.

Two years after the end of the claimant’s elimination period, they will begin receiving Medicare.

There are some programs in place to support attempts to return to work, with mixed results. The SSA generally schedules continuing disability reviews (CDRs) every three to five years.

SSDI certainly has some warts, but overall American workers benefit tremendously from this program.

 




How to upgrade your workplace on-boarding for Gen Z employees

A smooth on-boarding process is a must for today’s employees; after all, you want their first days to be inviting, and you want them to understand the ins and outs of your workplace. That’s because you have to make sure your employees are engaged right from the start, given today’s often fickle workforce.

Although most on-boarding best practices work for all generations, there are some specific actions you might want to take to reach your newest Gen Z employees that will capture their attention and underscore the importance of your programs, from benefits to corporate best practices.

Start wooing them from the day you extend the offer.

There’s an unfortunate new trend going on in workplaces, and that’s candidates “ghosting” their new employer. In other words, they’ve gone through all the trouble of interviewing and being hired, and then they just don’t show up on the first day…leaving you with a void and that sinking feeling you have to go back to the drawing board. One way to avoid this is to stay in close touch from the minute you extend the offer, even if there’s a brief lag until their start day. Send them emails with some details on the company culture or to introduce them to team members – anything that will help ensure they feel the love right up until they show up for the first day.

Create “snackable content.”

Gen Z is much maligned for their short attention span, but it’s not entirely their fault. After all the world has sped up, and they have always been used to a quicker pace – their TV shows have even been faster-paced. But the truth is, they are less likely to read through lengthy, fact-packed documents. If you truly want to retain their interest, make the content short and sweet so that they can digest it in short sessions as their time allows.

Focus on culture and transparency.

Gen Z cares about the culture of the workplace they are joining; but it’s not just about Ping-Pong tables and the other trappings that many “cool” workplaces try to assume. They want to be sure that their employer is walking the talk in regards to corporate social responsibility. Companies can help cultivate their loyalty through letting Gen Z employees know from the start what your company does to embrace a culture that is good for the environment, both the working environment they encounter every day and the larger global environment that they care about.

As consulting firm Deloitte explains in its report “Generation Z Enters the Workforce,” “Major consumer brands have found they are better able to build customer loyalty through transparency. For example, Patagonia, an outdoor clothing company, has made its supply chain more transparent via the Footprint Chronicles to demonstrate alignment with its core values of sustainability and environmental stewardship. As employees begin to expect similar norms for their employment brands, the need for transparency will likely only increase.”

Cater to their information on-demand expectation.

Remember that this is the generation that has always had a “computer” in their pocket where they can immediately get the answer to any question. Make sure your intranet is intuitive so that new employees can easily find the answers to questions they have about benefits like disability insurance or retirement plans via a simple search that they can access from any device.

Use images to explain more involved concepts.

Gen Z is very visually oriented, so a picture can be worth even more than 1,000 words. Redeploy your employee training manuals into more visual options, from short videos to infographics that Gen Z workers can understand at a glance. If there is a more involved step in a process, such as how to sign up for benefits, create a short video tutorial. This is the YouTube generation after all.

Try gamification as a strategy.

Turning employee onboarding into a game isn’t just a smart strategy to keep them entertained – it helps with retention, too. And while it works for every generation – most of us tend to zone out when faced with too many words on a page — it’s especially important for Gen Z, who were raised on video games and appreciate being rewarded when they master something. Create quizzes that unlock fun secret games or allow them to level up by answering questions correctly.

As you incorporate multiple generations into the workplace, it’s smart to consider how all your communications strategies can be upgraded. Reaching Gen Z through engaging onboarding is one of the best ways to start off on the right foot.

 




What makes a millennial-friendly workplace?

Move over, foosball table and bean bag chairs. If your organization’s goal is to attract the next generation of workers – and it better be, given the fact that millennials are the largest generation in the workforce today, reports the Pew Research Center – you want to make sure you’ve designed a workplace that features the attributes they covet.

Of course, the good news is that the elements that make a workplace friendly to millennials actually will attract all generations; after all at our core most of us want the same things.

But the millennial generation isn’t shy about expressing their preferences, so here are some research-backed suggestions for creating the ultimate millennial-friendly workplace.

Millennials want: Training and development

The skills shortage is real, and millennials want to make sure that their abilities are keeping pace with today’s new workplace and its focus on ever-evolving expectations. In fact, nearly 90 percent of millennials say that “professional or career growth and development opportunities” is a key factor in their job satisfaction, finds a Gallup poll – and that’s surely one reason why more than three-quarters of companies are offering professional development opportunities as a way to retain employees, finds a survey by Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

Millennials want: Feedback

Forget the annual review. “Why look in the rear-view mirror when you can be looking toward the future?” millennials wonder. In fact, nearly three-quarters of those under age 30 said they that would prefer feedback either weekly or monthly, finds a PwC survey. And that’s a bonus for everyone because it allows employees to make small tweaks to their performance on an ongoing basis, rather than waiting for a deluge of information, many of which refers to incidents or behaviors that may have happened a long time ago.

Millennials want: Top-notch technology

You better ditch those balky workstations and outdated pagers: Close to half (42 percent) of millennials say they would quit a job if they had to work with substandard tech, and an overwhelming 81 percent said that the available workplace technology was a consideration when contemplating a job offer, finds “The Future Workforce” study.

Millennial want: A workplace that lives its values

In one study reported by Glassdoor, employees named “culture and values” as the No. 1 workplace factor that matters to them most. Today’s younger generations are finely tuned into corporate social responsibility (CSR), and how companies behave, but the important thing to remember anymore is that they won’t just take your word for it: They are going to rely on their own research to find the facts. In fact, the Cone Communications CSR study finds that more than three-quarters of millennials do research to make sure a company is authentic in what it claims about environmental or social issues. While the study primarily pertained to consumers’ purchasing behavior, it stands to reason they will be equally diligent about sussing out the facts before taking a job.

Millennials want: Work/life balance

It’s almost become a cliché, but millennials crave their free time. In fact, flexibility is incredibly important to them as they create a balance that works for them. And while that mean ducking out for a spin class at noon or leaving early to take advantage of great weather for a hike, it also probably means they are answering emails on the weekend. Offering them the flexibility to make their own hours (within reason, of course, if it fits with your industry) can make a huge difference in their happiness in the workplace: An environment of flexibility encourages a positive impact on overall wellbeing, health and happiness, say 82 percent, and 81 percent also said it made them more productive, finds the 2017 Deloitte Millennial Survey.

Millennials want: A cool workplace

Ah, yes, back to those foosball tables and beanbags. Because, as it happens, millennials do care about their work environment. Turns out that 70 percent of millennials choose their jobs based on the office space, finds the Capital One’s Work Environment Survey. The good news? The most-desired workplace design element is natural light. So let the sunshine in.




Study shows LGBTQ Americans in need of retirement strategy guidance

A recent study from Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. (MassMutual) revealed lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning (LGBTQ) Americans say they want to preserve their retirement savings but tend to take bigger risks when it comes to investing.

Forty-two percent of LGBTQ retirees and pre-retirees said the should become more conservative with their money as they come closer to retirement, as opposed to 28 percent who said they prefer a more aggressive investment approach.

However, 65 percent of those respondents say their investment strategy is actually more mixed, rather than conservative, compared to 52 percent of the general population — 31 percent of respondents admitted they could be taking more risks than they should be, compared to 22 percent of other retirees and pre-retirees.

“MassMutual’s study shows that many LGBTQ retirees and pre-retirees may benefit from consulting a financial advisor about their retirement investment goals, something less than half currently do, and may benefit from help leading into retirement and securing their finances through retirement,” said Catherine Cannon, Head of Personal Markets at MassMutual.

“Of those respondents in our study who do work with a financial advisor, six in 10 say their advisor has encouraged them to change their investment mix and 87 percent of those folks were advised to become more conservative as they enter retirement.”

Both the general population and LGBTQ retirees expect their retirement savings to last 25 years, however overall, LGBTQ retirees plan to retire later than the general population. In addition, the same respondents said they expect their retirement income will last as long as they need, which is two years fewer than the general population.

LGBTQ retirees also expressed more confidence than the general population that they will be financially prepared for retirement. However, despite this confidence, stock market volatility and downturn in the stick market are worrisome for the community as they approach retirement. About 75 percent of respondents expressed this concern, with 27 percent say they are “very concerned.”

72 percent of the general population expressed concern with regard to market volatility, while 21 percent said they are “very concerned.”

According to the study, LGBTQ respondents show greater comfort in taking investment risk, with just 20 percent willing to accept “below average” or “low investment returns” in exchange for greater safety. Overall, respondents seem to seek a balance between growth and preservation.

“One strategy that may help some LGBTQ retirement savers balance investment goals such as growth and safety is the use of target date funds (TDFs) when available through their employer’s 401(k) or other retirement savings plan,” Cannon said.

“TDFs automatically reallocate retirement savings between equities and fixed-income, gradually growing more conservative as the investor approaches and enters retirement. Some newer TDFs also are more personalized to investor’s individual needs, including a greater focus on managing assets in accordance with an investor’s individual risk tolerance.”




Want to hire Gen Z? Here’s how to find them…and impress them

Just when you thought you finally had this millennial thing down, a new generation is joining the workplace. Yes, welcome to Gen Z, soon coming to a workplace near you, if they’re not already there.

Gen Z (typically described as those born in 1995 and later) is the first generation to grow up as “digital natives,” that is, they don’t remember a time when they couldn’t access everything they need to know on their computer or device. Therefore the way you recruit Gen Z might be very different from other generations.

That’s why companies today are finding success with new modes of communication, reaching out to Gen Z in the language they speak. For example:

  • McDonald’s takes “Snaplications”: Gen Z spends a lot of time on social media, so why not reach them there? in 2017 McDonald’s launched a program that allowed teens to apply via Snapchat. According to Fortune magazine, “Snapchat users may see a 10-second video ad from McDonald’s employees discussing their experience working there. Then users can then swipe up on the app to be redirected to McDonald’s career webpage in the app to apply for openings.”
  • Advertising agency Havas asked intern candidates to text: Corralling Gen Z’s interest in texting and social justice, a global advertising firm asked prospective interns to text ideas about how to change the world for the better.
  • Investment bank Goldman Sachs uses Snapchat geo-filters: Using a feature called “Campus Story,” Goldman Sachs promoted careers at the investment bank with sponsored segments that would show only to users whose phone had been on a specific campus in the past 24 hours.

If you’re still recruiting the “old-fashioned” way, don’t worry: You’re hardly in the minority. But to appeal to Gen Z, you’ll have to make sure that you are communicating the right messages.

  1. Showcase your creative side.

Whereas employers used to implore employees to spend less time on social media, savvy companies realize that it can actually be a recruiting tool. That’s why some companies design their offices with “Instagrammability” in mind.” For example, a Wall Street Journal article reported that several new hires at LinkedIn were impressed with the pictures they saw on Google Images and Instagram, many of which featured interactive wall art as they sought to learn more about the company’s culture.

One of the images is a “Wheel of Dream Jobs” where employees can spin a huge wheel; another is a mural that has a nearby jacket employees can wear that makes them blend in with the wall. “The art the company has installed…is a major help as far as talent retention and getting people excited,” says Cherish Rosas, an environmental graphic design project manager at LinkedIn.

  1. Offer them variety.

You may have heard that fewer teens are taking summer jobs (or, depending on your business may have struggled to hire them yourself). That’s because today, about 70 percent of teens are self-employed, reports Harvard Business Review.

Because of that, Gen Z are used to autonomy and variety and will be attracted to a workplace that offers diversity in job functions. Consider hiring Gen Z with the promise of a job rotation or cross-training opportunities so they feel confident that they will get the mix of activities that will keep the job fresh.

  1. Never forget they are doing their own research.

Employers have to remember the power of social sharing sites like Glassdoor and LinkedIn, where Gen Z employees are going to find out more about the vibe of the company. Whereas companies used to be able to control their online presence through a sparkling website, now they need to do far more to guard their reputation and ensure that the message they are saying about themselves matches what employees believe.

The only way to create that positive image that will attract Gen Z? You have to practice what you preach. The new transparency means that companies have to make sure their actions match their words, in order to gain the best talent.