Saturday, September 1, 2012
Defined Contribution Health Plans: What are They?,
Congratulations to this Month's Winner,
Is it Really a Good Time to Buy a Home?,
Connect with Orion
Orion President Mike Starich interviewed about Orion's participation in Joining Forces
Military.com recently interviewed Orion International President and former Marine veteran Mike Starich about Orion’s involvement in Joining Forces, the White House initiative led by First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden challenging America’s private sector to train and hire 100,000 veterans and their spouses.
Joining Forces has recently succeeded this goal, reaching a milestone of over 125,000 veterans and spouses hired, with pledges from companies to hire even more. Hear the First Lady and Orion placement Paul Andrews speak about this achievement here.
In his interview, Mike Starich praised the initiative for providing a positive hiring atmosphere for veterans. He highlighted Orion International’s involvement with Joining Forces, including many hiring events held at major military commands, such as Fort Hood and Fort Bragg. Starich also highlighted Orion’s achievement of placing the 50,000th and 100,000th veteran that was hired through the Joining Forces campaign.
Starich also gave advice for veterans who are seeking civilian work, specifically to translate military skill sets into civilian-friendly jargon for hiring managers, and become familiar with the rules and laws of the private sector work environment.
Read the full interview here.
Defined Contribution Health Plans: What are They?
Employers are continually looking for ways to cut costs and save money while balancing the benefits that they offer to their employees. Over the next decade, US companies will shift towards use of the defined contribution health plan from today’s standard defined benefit plan, in which companies predetermine health insurance benefits that are provided for their employees. Under defined contribution health plans, companies pay a fixed amount and employees use the money to buy or help pay for insurance plans that they select and manage individually.
Companies are obviously making this shift to prevent over-exposure to rising health care costs. The Affordable Care Act is making the defined health contribution plans even more popular as the health care reform law requires individuals to have health care insurance and makes plans more accessible to those with economic hardships and pre-existing conditions. Many companies are also considering dropping health benefits altogether.
The question for employees is, “What’s in it for me?” The defined contribution health plans have the potential to be good for both employers and employees alike. Employers will have less administrative burdens and more predictable costs. Employees will have more control over their healthcare plans and the flexibility of choosing what is best for them.
Much of the success of this type of healthcare plan depends on the Affordable Care Act and its ability to establish competitively priced insurance policies that are attainable to all. Another aspect to the success of defined contribution health models will depend on the amount that is contributed by employers, and whether or not the defined contribution health benefit plans help contain overall health care costs.
Being a perfectionist is a good thing, right? At first glance, being a perfectionist can sound like a good thing. A perfectionist makes sure all of their ducks are in a row; they do everything with utmost consideration; and they take the time to make it right. All of these qualities can be wonderful, but beware - perfectionism has a dark side. It can be an obstacle to success. Perfectionism limits what a person wants to accomplish and what they are willing to try. It can contribute to procrastination, indecisiveness, and can literally cause a person to lose their job. Keep these things in mind:
1. Perfectionism can set an unrealistic level of achievement and make a person feel like a failure when the goal is not achieved.
2. Perfection limits what a person is willing to try because they don’t want to fail.
3. Perfection limits what a person can accomplish because instead of enjoying the task and making mistakes along the way, they get stuck and can’t move on from tasks they are struggling with.
So what can a perfectionist do to avoid losing their job? First, they should set clear time frames with reasonable expectations. If they are stuck on one task for too long, then they should move on even if their work is not done with 100% perfection.
Next, a perfectionist can achieve more at work by refocusing on what is good and not what is bad. Instead of listening to the 2% bad, they can listen to the 98% good and remind themselves what has been done correctly. Good managers are excellent at redirecting perfectionist employees so they accomplish more.
Another thing that a perfectionist can do is become more self-aware. If a perfectionist knows they have a tendency to get stuck and not see past the grimy details, then they are more likely to be able to move on. Again, a good manager will help a perfectionist with gentle reminders.
Some basic do’s and don’ts are:
Do recognize the good and the bad in being a perfectionist or having an employee that is a perfectionist.
Do use or encourage self-awareness.
Don’t choose a job or place a perfectionist in a job that requires overly complex tasks or management that requires delegation.
Overall, perfectionists have the right idea. They are committed to the institution and want to succeed for themselves and for the company. It takes a lot of effort on their part and the part of their manager to make them successful. But, when all is said and done, they can be wonderful employees with multiple attributes that contribute to the bottom line.
Congratulations to this Month's Winner
Is it Really a Good Time to Buy a Home?
You’ve been renting for a while, and most of your friends are telling you that now is the perfect time to buy. Interest rates are low, and home prices are rock bottom. Since the mortgage bubble burst of 2008, along with a wavering economy, fears over owning have lingered. That said, most people still believe in the concept of home ownership and want to attain the “American Dream." But what if your credit isn’t perfect? What if you aren’t one hundred percent sure the economy is going to recover fully? Should you buy?
Here are some reasons it may be smart NOT to buy:
1. We don’t know where home prices are going. In fact, they may still go down. While housing prices have stabilized in recent months, there remains a huge excess inventory of unsold houses. This excess inventory will likely keep prices low and, in many cases, falling. Experts say it will take four or more years to sell off this excess inventory.
2. If your credit isn’t perfect, your interest rates will be higher. Those with good credit will be able to take advantage of the current low interest rates, which are averaging 3.5%. Those with poor credit, if able to obtain a mortgage at all, will have much higher interest rates, which can double if not triple interest paid over the life of the loan.
3. There are many “starter” style homes that underwater owners are refusing to sell. This is creating a shortage of homes for first-time homebuyers.
4. Many houses are in need of repair because sellers have been unable to keep up with maintenance and/or renovation efforts due to the economy. Buyers need to beware of the pitfalls of purchasing a “money pit” home.
Don’t let the idea of home ownership overshadow financial intelligence. Sometimes it makes sense to wait a year or two, so you will be more financially secure in the long run. The “American Dream” can be alive and well for those who are patient enough to wait.
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