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Author Archives: Michelle Hicks

Dependent eligibility audits can cut excess costs

With the rising cost of health care, more organizations are looking for ways to reduce benefit costs. One important option to find hidden savings is to audit health care plans to look for family members (dependents) of your employees who ...

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Communication is key to organizational success

Increasing business is the top priority of companies, whether large or small. Just as important, but often overlooked, is preparing a workforce for that growth. As smaller companies increase in workforce size, they face issues aligning their teams to their ...

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Universities in the hot seat over health care

Across the country, university administrators are feeling the heat about a health care reform requirement that goes into effect Jan. 1, 2014. On that day, or the next plan year after the deadline, any employee who works 30 hours or ...

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HR needs a seat at the merger table

A Society for Human Resources study shows the greatest obstacles for success following a merger and acquisition are HR-related. They include a loss of productivity, a loss of key talent and aligning incompatible cultures. Despite this fact, dealmakers continue to ...

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Talent management is a critical strategy

Talent management continues to be a top concern for organizational success. In previous columns I’ve explained why retiring baby boomers and an unskilled workforce are putting pressures on businesses to become more sophisticated in how they not only attract, but ...

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What will employers do with the insurance exchange?

When President Barack Obama laid out his agenda for the next four years during his State of the Union address, he barely mentioned the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, his legacy legislation from his first term. But it is ...

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Disclosing the cost of health care

Many American employees are in for an eye opener when they get their W-2 forms this year. For the first time, as a part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly known as the health care reform law, ...

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Health care spending increases slowing

It is one of the most confusing topics to talk about in business: Controlling the rising cost of health care. Ordinarily in business, the objective is to stop cost increases altogether. But that hasn’t been the case when it comes ...

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Show employees what their total rewards entail

A number of human resources executives are struggling to make their pay-for-performance systems relevant to employees – especially when budgets for merit pay are still struggling to be fully funded. In lieu of meaningful performance pay, organizations are seeking new ...

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Warnings can precede workplace violence

The tragic school shooting in Connecticut has left all of us shocked. Many, like my 11-year-old, are experiencing feelings of insecurity. Over breakfast the other morning he asked, “Is it just me, or are there more of these shootings than ...

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