Do You Lose Your Life Insurance When You Leave Your Job?

StrategyDriven Managing Your People Article |Life Insurance|Do You Lose Your Life Insurance When You Leave Your Job?In a job where an employer offers life insurance to employees, signing up may be a no-brainer. But the truth is that a sponsored group life insurance has its limitations as much as it has great benefits. As long as you keep the job, the insurer will guarantee a basic amount as cover. But if you decide to quit, take a momentary break, or get laid off, you can’t take the cover with you.

In this article, we discuss everything to know about the employer group policy including how leaving your job affects it.

What is Group Life Insurance?

Group life insurance exists as an employer perk that employees can enjoy while their work contract is still valid. It falls under the type of life insurance that’s known as term life insurance, which means it exists for a fixed period. Normally, your employer pays the necessary premiums in full as a business expense or a portion of it then draws the balance from your paycheck.

The coverage that you get from group life insurance in most cases is equivalent to a multiple of your full year’s salary. In case you pass on in your job, the death benefits go to your chosen beneficiary tax-free. The amount of coverage offered by the employer group policy may not be sufficient for most people’s needs. Therefore, there’s a tendency to purchase supplemental group life insurance that guarantees up to four times the annual salary. In this case, you might have to provide evidence of insurability to your employer to submit it to the group insurer.

Benefits of Group Life Insurance

Group life insurance is a good deal, especially where the coverage assured offers sufficient financial security to your nominees. Below are some of its top benefits:

  • The employer takes care of the premiums by either drawing them directly from your paycheck or financing them. You don’t have to budget for the monthly payments yourself.
  • Your employer may allow supplemental life insurance to increase the assured coverage to your beneficiaries
  • Enrolling in the employer group policy is better than having no cover at all. If you pass on suddenly, your loved ones will get some financial help from your insurance death benefits.

Shortcomings of Group Life Insurance

  • The coverage amount assured may not be sufficient for every employee’s needs. Where the cover is equivalent to your annual salary and you have non-working dependents, it might not offer enough financial security
  • The coverage terminates when you leave your current job or employer.
  • The group life insurance offers limited policy options that are available to just your employer. With this, you might not be able to shop for a policy that’s adequate for you as an individual.
  • It might lock out your spouse as a primary beneficiary.

How long does it take to lose group life insurance coverage?

As aforementioned, the main shortcoming of group life insurance is that you lose coverage when you leave your job. But how soon does this happen? Perhaps, you might be contemplating to quit but you’re unsure how long the cover remains valid.

Typically, the employer group policy guarantees coverage as long as the premiums are still being paid. However, it’s less likely that your employer will continue to finance it if you decide to quit. For this, the only way to be assured of the cover is to take over the payment of the premiums. And since you no longer have a salary from the employer that you leave, it’s upon you to decide how to finance the policy and keep it valid.

Consider switching the group life insurance policy to the individual term options available in your previous employer’s insurer. Although your premium rates will change and the amount of coverage assured, that will be a safer solution.

Do you have more questions concerning group life insurance? Feel free to reach us and we’d be happy to help.

How to Manage Newly Remote Workers in Your Business

StrategyDriven Managing Your People Article | How to Manage Newly Remote Workers in Your BusinessIn these uncertain times, more and more of your employees will become remote workers. In many cases, this will be a straightforward transition in terms of technology and logistics. However, there can be some other underlying challenges along the way. It’s not just businesses that face difficulties when it comes to working from home; it’s the employees themselves. So how do you mitigate these to get the right balance for both the business and workers?

Take a look at some of the common challenges of remote working and how you can resolve them to create a harmonious balance.

Challenges of remote working

To understand how to make remote working a successful practice for your business, you need to understand the challenges it presents. The main areas to focus on include:

Lack of face-to-face interaction and supervision

While research indicates that many people are productive in a remote setting, supervisors often worry that employees won’t be without supervision. On the flip-side, employees may also lack confidence when there is not someone available to offer support and guidance.

Issues accessing information

In the workplace, we just chat to someone or pick up the phone to get the information we need. This immediacy of information is something that is not always available when you’re working remotely. While it should be just as simple, there can be interpersonal challenges to overcome.

Home environment distractions

Naturally, at home, there are a lot more distractions to deal with, especially if children are also at home. At this time, managers should expect a different remote working environment to normal as many people are in sub-optimal conditions as they transition to this type of work. Supervisors may also need to compromise with more flexible working arrangements while employees are juggling home and work life.

Increased loneliness

This is one of the most understated challenges of remote working, but it is one of the most common complaints. Workers may struggle to deal with the lack of connection that comes from being in the workplace, and the longer remote working ensues, the more this can impact someone’s life.

How employers can support employees with remote working

There are several ways to face the challenges mentioned above to ensure your employees feel happy in this new working environment. By making small adjustments and inexpensive alterations, you will also see an increase in productivity.

Take a look at some of the primary ways you can support your remote employees:

Create structure in the working day

Much like if they were in the office, create a structure such as check-ins and catch-ups to ensure everyone is happy with their workload and daily tasks. However, this shouldn’t feel like you’re checking up on them. You could also make this time a collaborative effort by involving everyone on the team. This time could include a morning brief or team meeting to help sort out issues anyone is facing. Plus, it gives everyone a chance to catch up without it feeling too formal.

Monitor their working conditions and encourage healthy habits

While it might be ok in the meantime for employees to be camped out on the kitchen table with a laptop, after a while, their health may be affected. Happy and healthy employees are more productive, and although they are not in the workplace, it is still a good idea to care about their working environment and wellbeing. Help them make a better choice about where they work in their home, such as dedicated space. Allow them to take an office chair home to encourage better seating. If they spend a lot of time on the phone, supply a specialized case with EMF protection to minimize harmful radiation to the body. Other things to consider is whether they have a break during the day, as getting away from screens can be more challenging at home.

Create boundaries for everyone

One of the most significant frustrations for remote employees is it can feel like they need to be constantly on-call. To avoid this, think about when they are working in the office. If they have an important task, they are usually given ample time and space with limited interruptions to complete it. The same should be done in a remote setting. If employees feel they are getting urgent requests and even messages to their phones every five minutes, this will affect their overall productivity and willingness. Boundaries should be set on in regards to messaging services used by your company. It’s great to have functionality such as Slack or Zoom available. Still, it is not viable to expect an immediate response from someone every second of the day.

Encourage vigilance surrounding company information

Your remote employees will have access to everything they need at home, so security is an important area to think about. If you handle sensitive data, establishing secure connections and remote access to company data is vital, but this isn’t all you need. You also need to ensure that a risk assessment is in place should information be compromised in any way. To encourage better data and security management, suggesting a dedicated space to work is an excellent idea. This helps to keep work information away from home life.

Provide emotional support when needed

The mental well-being of your employees is paramount. They’ve had to deal with a lot in the past few months, and the ‘new normal’ is unlikely to change much going forward. Stress will be natural alongside frustrations with other remote working aspects. To assist with this, be sure to provide emotional support when it is required. It could be a case of merely asking questions to help employees talk about their experiences, or providing information on where they can get specialized assistance.

Everyone should be aiming to get the best out of remote working as possible, but times are hard, and stress is high. By working with your employees to create a balanced and respectful environment, you can all learn and grow together during this period.

How to Manage People in Your Small Business

StrategyDriven Managing Your People Article | How to Manage People in Your Small BusinessPeople are your business’s most valuable assets. However, they also represent assets that may be difficult to manage. Because owners frequently overlook employee management when launching a business, it is important to acquire this skill and cultivate it. Doing so will help you realize a faster earnings stream and will give you the incentives needed to grow and expand.

Find the Right Talent

In order to be successful in business, you need, first, to hire the right talent. Otherwise, how can your business reach its full potential? Doing do will not only create an inspiring culture, it will step up productivity.

Selecting a Candidate: What You Should Ask

When making hiring decisions then, you need to ask the following questions about the candidates you wish to hire:

  • Does this person share my vision for the business?
  • Does he or she love working in this field?
  • Does the candidate possess the right skills for the job?
  • What do the reference checks say about this person?
  • How does the person get along with others on social media sites?

Make Training a Priority

By training your staff, you are also investing in their business development. In turn, they will perform better on the job, which will help your fledgling business to grow.

Affordable Training Methods and Practices

If you cannot afford to spend money on external seminars or courses, you might try these more affordable training methods and practices:

  • Arrange to give monthly educational sessions at lunch.
  • Ask your employees to train new employees. For instance, if an employee possesses strong skills in a specific subject, he or she can use these skills to educate new recruits.
  • You can also cross-train employees so they can cover sick or vacation leave or can be used on staggered shifts.

You don’t have to spend a large amount of money on training when you hire people who have good skills and who are well-versed on certain topics. You can use their knowledge to increase the competence of newer and more inexperienced members on your staff.

Design Training Courses for Online Learning

One idea you might consider is to have a professional writer design and write courses for your company that your employees can follow. For example, courses can be developed using software programs that can be added as plug-ins to WordPress. You could award employees who complete the courses with certificates that can be inserted into their human resource (HR) file.

Keep Communications Open and Productive

To ensure better employee performance and prevent misunderstandings, communicate your expectations with your employees and allow them to make decisions. Make sure all your employees are working collectively toward your company’s goals.

If you keep communications open, you are more likely to receive valuable information about improving your business. Everyone on your team should know what you expect of them. It also helps to involve your employees in making decisions while giving them ownership of the tasks that you delegate.

Support Your Employees

If you want your employees to perform well in their jobs, they need to know you support their efforts. Therefore, you need to foster a good relationship with your staff. You can do this by recognizing what they do and providing them with certain incentives. You can also garner their support when you do the following:

  • Create employee growth initiatives – Give your employees something to work towards in their jobs, allowing them to learn new skills and assessing what they already know.
  • Give regular feedback – Don’t wait until a performance review to provide feedback. By communicating regularly, on a one-on-one basis, you can discuss current projects and review any challenges an employee may be facing. In turn, your employees will feel less worried about annual reviews of their performance. When you lessen this type of anxiety among workers, you will also realize a higher level of production.
  • Assign mentors – Everyone on your team will have specific weaknesses and strengths. Play on the strengths and develop what is weak by assigning mentors to employees. For example, if you have a customer service employee who would like to work in sales, assign a salesperson to mentor them so they can eventually transition into the role.
  • Promote a work-life balance – To make work more of a joy, you need to make sure employees are also happy away from work. That means setting certain boundaries. Encourage employees to check emails at work, not at home, and host programs, such a yoga, to lessen worker stress.
  • Show your employees you trust them – Show you employees you trust them in their jobs by not micromanaging them. In turn, they will be happier and therefore more productive.
  • Make sure employees are taking time off to regroup – A rested employee is a more productive employee. Make sure staff members are taking vacation days.

Choose Creative Ways to Reward Your Staff

You don’t necessarily have to reward your employees with a raise, although it does not hurt from time to time. You can also consider providing the following incentives:

  • More flexible working hours
  • Public acknowledgement in industry journals or on social media
  • Casual dress days

Provide Good Benefits

Show you appreciation by offering retirement benefits and insurance perks. Talk to a financial advisor or insurance professional so you can provide benefits and enjoy savings on a benefit packages.

When you give employees what you, yourself, would like, you will find that your business will grow, your employees will try harder, and your operations will be easier to manage and maintain.

What Are Your Thoughts?

So, what do you think? Do you have some ideas about motivating employees? What have you tried that worked? Do you think it is better to use outsourcing instead? While outsourcing is more affordable, will it give you the same results as hiring an employee? Whatever you choose to do, you need to make sure to instill the type of principles that will lend to a more productive and motivational environment.

About the Author

StrategyDriven Expert Contributor |Sam Mollaei, Esq. Sam Mollaei, Esq. is a Business Lawyer for Entrepreneurs With 4,000+ Clients Served and 1,500+ 5-Star Google Reviews. As a business lawyer, I help entrepreneurs start their U.S. business with peace of mind without dealing with complicated government forms.

What Are the Organizational Benefits of Professional Development?

StrategyDriven Managing Your People Article | What Are the Organizational Benefits of Professional Development?Hearing the phrase “professional development” makes some people squirm, others roll their eyes, and a few actually listen candidly. There’s often a misconception that managers who suggest some type of professional development to their employees actually suggest it because of poor performance, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Professional development is a great way for people at all levels of an organization to hone in on what exactly they want their career path to look like and gives them the opportunity to experiment with new tools that might help them to get there. There are many different avenues of professional development, but some common types include seminars, workshops, conferences, career conversations, job shadowing, and online courses.

The Benefits of Professional Development

If you’re reading this and thinking, “as much as I’d like to offer these types of programs at my organization, it just sounds a bit time consuming and expensive,” then consider the many benefits:

Long-Term Money Savings

As the tried-and-true sales saying goes, it costs more money to acquire new customers than it does to retain existing ones. The same goes for people within an organization.

It is important to note, however, that poor employee development (unorganized structure, prioritizing high performers over the whole, etc.) will cost more time and money than no development at all. So if you’re going to go in, go ALL in.

There’s No “I” In Success

Some people enjoy the monotony of knowing exactly what their tasks are for the day, how long it will take to complete them, getting them done successfully, and doing it all again tomorrow. Others like a challenge—setting higher goals and aiming for the moon. By understanding the unique motivations of your employees you can tailor a different professional development plan for each individual. Skilled managers should strive to foster their employees’ development because when your employees are successful, then everyone is successful. By creating professional development plans, you can combat complacency and build teams from simply competent to excelling in no time.

Improve Company Culture

Company culture may seem like a cliche buzzword, but it still holds a lot of value to today’s labor force. As of 2019, 46% of job seekers say company culture is very important when applying for a specific role.

Now more than ever, employees are worried about crafting a sustainable career with a company that has values closely aligned with their own.

Initiate Professional Development Conversations With Employees

“But how do I go about starting the conversation on employee development,” you ask? It’s simple, talk to your team and discuss your motivation for wanting to start a development program. If you’re in a hybrid or remote work environment, you can easily set up a video conference call and begin asking questions to get the team thinking about how they would like to see their role expand.

One great question to ask your team is: “How can being an employee here help you become the person you want to be?” It shifts the perspective from “what” you would be (your duties in a role) to “who” you would be (emphasizing you as an individual.) Unlocking your team’s core values will help you further understand their goals as well as new ways you can help support their success. After all, contributing to meaningful work is the number one reason employees choose to stay in their current positions.

Foster Professional Development During COVID-19

It might be daunting to talk to your employees about their careers in the midst of a pandemic, but, nonetheless, these are still important conversations to have. It’s vital to utilize a secure network option to ensure your line of communication is private and confidential. Other tools like learning management systems make it easier to track employees progress with special e-learning courses unique to the company.

You can test the waters of your development plan by checking in on your remote employees often, and making sure they know that you’re accessible, even if it’s only over Zoom. You can also encourage their success by highlighting them in larger team meetings.

After getting a feel for the areas your employees have expressed interest in, try introducing them to other people in the company that have experience in those areas. Professional development doesn’t have to be only hard skills—it can also include soft skills such as networking or public speaking.

Are You Liable if Your Employee is in a Car Accident with the Company Car?

StrategyDriven Managing Your People Articles |Auto Insurance|Are You Liable if Your Employee is in a Car Accident with the Company Car?Perhaps. It depends on what the employee was doing at the time of the accident and where your business is located. This information is from the office of a car accident lawyer in Norristown, PA.

No-Fault Auto Insurance

If your business is located in Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, and Utah, you have no-fault auto insurance. Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and New Jersey give drivers a choice between no-fault and at-fault.

No-fault auto insurance was created to reduce the auto accident lawsuit overload on the court system and to eliminate the need for those injured in auto accidents to prove they were not at fault or were not at fault as much as the other driver.

In no-fault states, each driver’s insurance pays that driver’s minor injuries regardless of fault. In many no-fault states, one driver may still sue the other if they suffered damages in excess of a threshold set by state law.

If you are located in a no-fault state and your driver gets into an accident, your insurance will cover the minor injuries of the other driver. Your workers’ compensation insurance may well cover your driver. But if the accident is serious and injuries exceed the threshold in your state, you may be sued and have to establish that your driver was not at fault.

At-Fault Auto Insurance

If you do business in any state except the states listed above, in an accident involving your company vehicle, each drivers’ insurance company will pay for the damages sustained according to the degree of fault of each driver.

The driver who caused the accident will be responsible for the damages to other parties involved. That driver’s insurance company will pay the victims up to the policy limits on the policy. If there are damages in excess of those limits, the victims can sue.

If your business is located in Arkansas, Delaware, or Maryland, you have the option of purchasing add-on insurance that provides the same type of protection that would be available in no-fault states. If you have this additional coverage, your insurance will pay injured parties without determining who was or was not at fault. However, those injured parties can still sue or be sued for injuries and pain and suffering.

Workers’ Compensation

Workers’ compensation will cover the medical expense and lost wages of the driver of a company vehicle in a car accident if:

  • The driver is an employee of your company;
  • The driver was driving the company vehicle in the course of their regular work duties;
  • The driver was driving the company vehicle in your direction.

Your workers’ compensation insurance may not cover the driver if:

  • The driver is not an employee, but is an independent contractor;
  • The driver took the vehicle without your permission;
  • The driver was doing something illegal when the accident occurred (speeding, running a red light, etc);
  • The driver was using the vehicle as part of regular work duties, but ran a personal errand without your knowledge or permission;
  • The driver was impaired due to drugs or alcohol.

Keep in mind that victims of an accident with your company vehicle, when they have the right to sue, can sue the driver, you, your company, your vehicle mechanic, and the vehicle manufacturers and retailers under various theories of legal liability. Do not skimp on your commercial auto insurance coverage, and be sure to retain the service records of all company vehicles in case they are needed to prove that you maintained your vehicles responsibly.

About the Author

StrategyDriven Expert Contributor |Veronica BaxterVeronica Baxter is a blogger and legal assistant living and working in the great city of Philadelphia, she frequently works with Craig Altman, Esq., a car accident lawyer in Media, PA.