Truth be told, most of us take the easy way whenever possible. There are those among us that choose to look beyond what is easy and take alternate paths. This hit home for me with my oldest daughter, Megan. She recently participated in the Basic Airborne Course at Ft. Benning, Georgia as part of her training through the United States Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC).
Only about two percent of ROTC cadets participate in the Basic Airborne Course. It is physically demanding (and there is the whole height thing as well). When she first mentioned it, I thought this too shall pass. After all, she is majoring in dietetics in college. I don’t expect that there is a big demand for dietitian paratroopers. But, Megan has never taken the easy way (too boring for her). Read more
Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works. - Steve Jobs
It’s doubtful that Steve Jobs was thinking about employee benefit programs when he made this statement. Yet, it’s as applicable to employee benefits as it is to technology. Good design is critical to achieving good outcomes.
A useful framework for benefit designs that produce good outcomes consists of the four B’s:
The tendency of many companies is to first and foremost look at budget. However, that is the one objective that is probably easiest to achieve (note that easy does not necessarily translate into pleasant). Companies can change employee contributions, retirement plan match rates or benefit levels to achieve their budget goal. Read more
In February, I posted a blog about T.C., my new kitten. It may be just me, but since then every time Bear, our Wheaten Terrier, looks at me, I feel guilty. It is as if the dog is saying, “I have been your loyal companion for 10 years and you write about the cat?”
Today, I am going to rectify this situation in the hopes of keeping some pet harmony in my house. But, what would Bear want to know about Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs)? I can only imagine that she would want to know how benefits were going to accrue—given that she has been around almost ten times as long as T.C. Read more
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
-Charles Caleb Colton
The New York Times recently ran an op-ed about Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs). Authored by Gar Alperovitz, a professor of policy economy at the University of Maryland, it explores the legacy of the boomer boss; specifically, what happens when the business owner decides to sell and why ESOPs are often one of the best routes to take. Read more
You have to play the entire game. This was very evident in game six of the recent Stanley Cup Championship. I missed most of the game, but tuned in with six minutes left and Boston leading 2 to 1. With just over a minute remaining, Chicago scored two goals in seventeen seconds to take a 3 to 2 lead. The Blackhawks took home the Stanley Cup trophy and bragging rights for the next year.
Countless athletes, coaches and fans have watched events such as this unfold. This is not limited to sports. Business owners also understand that you have to play the entire game if you are to be successful. Read more