A roundup of recent news items and articles that have come to our attention. We hope you’ll find them useful, actionable, thought-provoking or interesting.
Wellness – A new study in the American Heart Association journal Stroke demonstrates that small lifestyle changes may have big impact on reducing stroke risk. Researchers assessed stroke risk using the American Heart Association’s Life’s Simple 7 health factors: be active, control cholesterol, eat a healthy diet, manage blood pressure, maintain a healthy weight, control blood sugar and don’t smoke. Among other things, researchers found that every one-point increase toward a better score was associated with an 8 percent lower stroke risk.
Profile of excellence – Can the rest of corporate America become more like Costco or will Costco be forced to become more like everyone else? “Despite the sagging economy and challenges to the industry, Costco pays its hourly workers an average of $20.89 an hour, not including overtime (vs. the minimum wage of $7.25 an hour). By comparison, Walmart said its average wage for full-time employees in the U.S. is $12.67 an hour, according to a letter it sent in April to activist Ralph Nader. Eighty-eight percent of Costco employees have company-sponsored health insurance; Walmart says that “more than half” of its do. Costco workers with coverage pay premiums that amount to less than 10 percent of the overall cost of their plans. It treats its employees well in the belief that a happier work environment will result in a more profitable company. “I just think people need to make a living wage with health benefits,” says Jelinek. “It also puts more money back into the economy and creates a healthier country. It’s really that simple.” Costco CEO Craig Jelinek Leads the Cheapest, Happiest Company in the World
Having it “All”Can you have it “all”? – “It’s one of the questions that women in business get asked a lot but men are never asked.” Andrew G. Simpson of Insurance Journal reports on a panel of women insurance industry executives who discussed thier views on what women and the insurance industry can do to improve gender diversity in the industry’s executive ranks.
AutismThinking differently: Autism finds space in the workplace – An interesting article talking about how people diagnosed as “on the spectrum” are suddenly in demand by tech companies seeking a competitive advantage. “SAP says its global autism recruitment drive, which aims to employ 650 autistic people – around 1 percent of its workforce – by 2020, comes after successful pilot projects in India and Ireland. It is a collaborative project with Specialisterne, a Danish consultancy that gets people with autism into jobs where they can shine.” See our related piece on Temple Grandin Thinking differently – why the world needs visual thinkers and a follow-up post, A Hidden Talent Pool: Employees with Autism
Banishment Rooms – In Japan, where the concept of lifetime employment remains a strong value, some large companies are reported to be trying to make life less comfortable for “redundant” employees, hoping they will leave on thier own. Takuro Chiba and Hisashi Naito write about so-called “banishment rooms” in which employees are stripped of privileges and relegated to menial tasks
Cool Tools
ACA Compliance Timeline for Employers – Track Affordable Care Act guidance, deadlines, changes and updates as they happen. Understand the impact of key requirements on your business.
Farmers’ Market Search – help your employees find healthy local foods.
Free Wellness Handout – What is the Glycemic Index?
Verify U.S. Federal Government Social Media Accounts – enter a URL to see if a social media account is managed by the U.S. federal government.
From our bookmark file

esi.JPG Want to ensure a winning team in your organization? In addition to help for your employees, ESI EAP offers a full suite of tools for supervisors and managers, including our ESI Management Academy. Trainings cover compliance issues, management skills and more. If you want to learn more about how ESI can provide more employee EAP benefits and more employer services, call us at 800-535-4841.


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