Back To Terms Beginning With c
A cafeteria plan is defined in
Section 125 as a written plan maintained by an employer under which all
participants are employees, and the participants may choose among two or more
benefits consisting of cash and qualified benefits on a pre-tax basis. This results in a tax savings for both employee and employer.
Allowable benefits include dependent- care assistance programs (day care), uninsured medical expenses not covered by the typical group medical plan, group life and disability premiums otherwise paid by the employee, and contributions to 401(k) plans.
Insurance Industry News from ProgramBusiness.comGreat Business Requires Great People
Great corporate leaders such as Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric, Lou Gerstner, Chairman of the Board of IBM, and Microsoft’s Bill Gates all credit the success of their companies to one major factor – its people. Undoubtedly they are right. It’s the people on the front line who make the business happen. But credit for developing the people and creating the environment and culture falls squarely on the shoulders of the day-to-day leaders and managers of the organization. Regardless of a firm’s size or location, every organization can develop people who will take the business to higher levels of success. Here are five strategies to get you where you want to be.
Be sure you have the right kind of people. It may take eliminating some staff who do not meet your best employee criteria. Building the right staff takes hard work and willingness to look outside the insurance industry. Your recruiting success depends on knowing what qualities and skills are needed for each position. Consider the following three areas:
Attitude and personality. Observe closely the spirit of the individual. Is his or her nature upbeat, positive, and outgoing? Do voice and body language exhibit interest and enthusiasm for the job?
Education and intelligence. A person without insurance experience needs to have skills that can be transferred to the position. Attention to detail, organizational skills, and the ability to solve complex problems are needed to succeed in our business.
Communication skills. Verbal and written communication skills are critical for success. Conduct the proper pre-offer testing in order to determine at what level your candidate performs.
So where can you find potential hires? Check out other professional advisory businesses such as banking and finance, teachers, and people in the hospitality and restaurant industry. Generally people with these career backgrounds are customer focused and have above-average communication skills.
As always, follow the proper legal interview guidelines during the recruiting and hiring process.
Create a learning environment. In 1984, Fortune magazine named Jack Welch the "Toughest Boss in America." In the prior five-year period, he cut 118,000 people from GE’s payroll and pared additional costs by closing uncompetitive factories and selling unprofitable businesses. At the same time Jack Welch was investing millions of dollars renovating the corporate headquarters and upgrading its Crotonville management development center. These moves generated some harsh criticism.
But Jack Welch knew what he was doing. Finding and developing good people were needed to turn GE around. It was a long-term commitment that would pay off.
Today you don’t need to build an entire management training or learning center. People can learn on-line, with CD’s or videos, through instructor-led sessions and on-the-job cross training. What’s important is that education offerings are broad. Include product and coverage, insurance operations and workflow, customer service, and technology. Create a curriculum. Find outside experts or willing experienced staff who can bring knowledge and interest to the subject. Involve as many as possible in the teaching and require everyone to participate in the learning.
Encourage people helping people. Mike Krzyzewski, long-time winning basketball coach of the Duke Blue Devils, is a master of this concept. In his book, Leading with the Heart, Coach K talks about his team development strategies. One of his techniques is simply to put a talented freshman player’s locker next to one of his star senior’s lockers. Then, in casual conversation with the Duke senior, he’ll something like "You’ll make sure this new player fits in, won’t you?" The die is cast and before long the seasoned player has taken the new recruit under his wing, not onlClick for the whole story...