Your Number 1 job this month

Once again, it’s that time of the year when it is important to reflect on all that is going on around us and take a breath. At times, I’m sure it probably feels overwhelming and that is to be expected with all the uncertainty that lies ahead. But, it is also why this month’s blog entry has nothing to do with employee benefits and everything to do with saying thank you to your clients and employees and giving back to the community at the same time by living an attitude of gratitude.

As an employee benefits adviser with a major share of your business in health insurance, the problematic implementation of the Affordable Care Act is unsettling to your clients, your employees and your business.  Advisers all over this country are working overtime to stay on top of the ever-changing regulatory landscape so they can properly advise their clients – it’s a daunting challenge to say the least.

Challenges are opportunities in disguise – and chasing them can be exhausting.  What can you do to take time out of all the busyness and express your gratitude? The Random Act of Kindness is our agency’s holiday tradition for giving back and every year we mix it up a little bit … here is what we did this year.

This year’s Random Act of Kindness was a community service day followed by our agency holiday event. It was designed to help our clients save time and money and in exchange, give all of us the gift of living our passion to make a difference in the lives of our clients.

We are honored to be the strategic adviser to quite a few non-profit clients and we reached out to them to see if we could help – the response was overwhelming. We picked 6 clients to work with and then assigned our employees to a service team to volunteer their paid work time to travel to/from our client’s worksite. For three hours in each location, our staff completed various tasks such as painting classrooms and bathrooms, decorating Christmas trees, putting up holiday decorations and running errands. One of the many benefits of this year’s event was the opportunity for us to pair up employees who normally don’t get the chance to spend time together, and as it turned out, this event was a great team building opportunity as well.

The feedback from our clients and employees was heart-warming – and to us, what life is really all about. A nursing home client we helped said, “…our deepest gratitude and appreciation for the service your team provided to us last Wednesday…the health center looks beautiful with all the Christmas trees and decorations.  Our residents and team leaders had fun making the button bracelets we will sell to raise money for charity at our fair on Friday.  It was such a fun and energetic group to work with. That was definitely a random act of kindness.”  One of our employees said, “…wanted to take a minute to thank you for the wonderful day yesterday.  What a great experience and a nice way to end the day with our holiday celebration and the day of service sharing.  I am truly grateful to work with such a caring group of people.”

So, with all the challenges that lie in front of us and the degree of difficulty exponentially rising along with the pressure on a daily basis, it’s easy to lose sight of what’s truly important – it’s the people we serve and the difference we make.  Maybe our holiday tradition can become your tradition – and living an attitude of gratitude will have the ripple effect in your life that it’s having on our lives.