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Manufacturing TIME TO WALK OUT ON STRESS Combating the Silent Killer April 2020 Staffing Transportation Health Care Energy Construction Financial
A pril is National Stress Awareness Month. It’s no surprise we have a whole month dedicated to raising awareness about it — everybody deals with stress. A recent Gallup poll found that 55% of Americans report feeling stressed every day, which is 20% higher than the average in the rest of the world! The trouble is that because stress is so common, we often mistake it for being “normal.” However, stress creates a whole host of health problems. Many experts believe stress is actually the source of a lot of issues we mistakenly diagnose as something else. Stress manifests itself in many different ways and affects everyone differently. Some people are impacted by emotional symptoms, like worry, restlessness, or irritability. Other people suffer from physical symptoms, like headaches, digestive issues, and muscle tension. Stress has been called the silent killer and has been linked to six leading causes of death: heart disease, cancer, lung ailments, accidents, cirrhosis of the liver, and suicide. While good stress can help motivate us, chronic stress is a very unhealthy situation. As I was thinking about the negative implications of stress, I’m grateful I don’t often feel too stressed out. That’s not to say I don’t have stressful things in my life, but I really try not to internalize them. There are a few reasons. First, I credit my faith. I believe in God; I believe God is sovereign, that He has a plan, and His plan is best for me. Things are ultimately going to work out the way He intends them to, so I have no reason to stress even though events often don’t go the way I want them to. When I do feel stress creeping in, I generally turn to the healthy habits I’ve tried to develop in my life. I try to exercise once a day. When I have the time, I also like to ride my motorcycle or play golf. I’m grateful it’s spring again because I don’t play golf or ride my motorcycle when the weather is bad. Fortunately, since stress isn’t reserved for nice weather days only, I can always go to the gym to run on the treadmill or to do some resistance training.
Exercise is really a great way to combat stress. It really clears the mind. My wife’s go-to stress relief is power walking, which she does on a regular basis on the trails in our neighborhood. Something else we like to do together is hiking. We love to take walks on the trails here around Little Rock, and Arkansas has some really great hiking trails throughout the state. Taking a walk in nature is probably one of the best forms of stress relief. When you’re in nature, you get to appreciate all the absolute beauty of God’s creation: the flowers, the birds, the trees, and how we fit into this whole system. It’s very meditative and helps me put things in perspective. When I see a tree that’s hundreds of years old and will likely grow for hundreds more, it really puts life in perspective for me. Nature is so big, and there’s so much going on. A lot of times, we get our priorities upside down, and that causes stress. When we get a little perspective and put our priorities in the right order, it’s like a pressure-release valve that lets out the bad stress. With a little perspective, we realize our problems aren’t as impossible as they might seem. No matter how bad things appear today, things can always get better tomorrow. If stress has been getting you down, I recommend getting more exercise. Even just taking a walk outside in nature can help relieve that stress. If you don’t find stress relief outside in nature, there’s always the gym!
“Taking a walk in nature is probably one of the best forms of stress relief. When you’re in nature, you get to appreciate all the absolute beauty of God’s creation.”
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Most people love to travel, but few people enjoy business trips. While that can partially be chalked up to the extra rest and relaxation you might have on a nonwork-related trip, unhealthy habits can make business trips even more draining. If business trips leave you feeling like you need a vacation, you might be making the following mistakes. Skipping Breakfast On hectic mornings with early meetings, it’s tempting to skip breakfast and just grab some coffee. But if you usually eat breakfast at home, skipping your morning meal can cause you to be a lot hungrier later, which can lead to excess snacking or overeating at lunch. When traveling, stick to your regular eating habits. Eating Restaurant Serving Sizes If you’re eating three restaurant-sized meals a day, you’re going to get more calories than if you were cooking at home. Don’t be afraid to order half-portions or stick to the appetizer menu. You can also ask about ordering meals à la carte — no one needs all those fries with their burger, anyway. These strategies will help you save money and stick to a healthy calorie count. Not Packing Workout Gear Research from the travel risk management company On Call International found that 54% of people say they’re less likely to exercise while on a work trip, but you shouldn’t let fitness take a back seat. Packing workout clothes can serve as a reminder to get some exercise. Get in a good workout by taking advantage of the hotel gym, walking to nearby destinations, or doing some yoga in the hotel room before bed. Not Taking Sleep Seriously Early morning meetings, late-night networking events, and unfamiliar hotel rooms are a recipe for lost sleep. Lack of sleep puts your body on the fast-track to poor health, so you need to make good sleep a priority. Do your best to maintain your sleep schedule and bedtime routine while traveling. Better yet, check the guest reviews before booking your hotel. Heed complaints about thin walls or uncomfortable beds and find accommodations that support a good sleep environment. You shouldn’t have to dread business trips. Build better travel habits to feel healthier and enjoy every kind of trip you take this year. BUSINESS TRIPS DON’T HAVE TO BE TERRIBLE 4 Travel Mistakes You Keep Making
MEET JEFF NICKLES, VP of Innovation
Are you going to be bored here?
This isn’t a question most people expect to be asked during a job interview, but it was a question Jeff Nickles was asked 15 years ago when he first applied to work for INSURICA. Today, Jeff is our Vice President of Innovation, but back then, he was an Information Technology (IT) consultant coming in to help a growing company with their new IT needs. “INSURICA, which was then North American Group, had several projects they were trying to accomplish from an IT standpoint. We talked a lot about those during the interview,” Jeff recalls. “Finally someone asked ‘Once all those things are done, are you going to be bored here? Will you still find this an interesting job?’” It was a fair question. As an IT consultant, Jeff was used to working with many different companies and handling many different projects. Would the needs of an insurance broker make him feel stagnant? “I wasn’t worried about being bored,” Jeff says. “I told them, ‘Based on what little I’ve learned about the organization already, I don’t see any boredom in my future.’ And 15 years later, that’s still true. We’ve been involved in a lot of acquisitions and experienced much growth. As an IT guy, I was heavily involved in all of that stuff and pulled it all together. It’s been a phenomenal ride, and I keep coming to work every day to see what’s next!” Until the end of last year, Jeff led the INSURICA IT team. Then, as INSURICA started to focus on digital transformation, we launched our innovation initiative. It became clear that someone needed to oversee all the initiatives under that innovation umbrella. Jeff was the man for the job. At the start of 2020, he took on the new title of VP of Innovation. “This career has been full of new things to do, just like this new role,” Jeff says. “I’m excited to look at and talk to what we call ‘Insurtech Startups’ — new, early stage companies that are trying to build a business that could help us do something better in insurance. That’s a lot of fun. I get to talk to interesting people from all over about what they’re passionate about. Then I get to bring these things into INSURICA so we can better help our clients and grow our company. That’s what’s most exciting to me. I’m part of moving the business forward and building something for the next generation to move into the future.” Creating something new that will last into the future is the definition of innovation. It’s good to know that the man leading the innovation charge at INSURICA is also someone who looks forward to the new challenges each day will bring.
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Beware a Bad Reputation WHY BUSINESSES MUST ASSESS FOR REPUTATION RISK
H istorically, the purpose of insurance was to protect the physical assets of your business: your building, your merchandise, and even your financial assets from employee liability. Whether you realize it or not, a great deal of your company is built on intangible assets. Two of the most valuable intangible assets upon which every business relies are reputation and brand. Jennifer Livingstone, chief marketing officer at CNA Insurance, defines reputation and brand as follows: “Your reputation is the public’s current perception, while branding is the sum of all perceptions — past, present, and future.” Though reputation and brand are two different things, they are tightly interconnected. Damage to one will undoubtedly harm the other. That’s why the risk to reputation and brand fall under the umbrella term “reputation risk.” Reputation risk is any action that harms your company’s reputation and brand. A recent Global Risk & Confidence Survey from CNA found that reputation risk is a growing intangible threat. Globally, this risk is up 29% from 2018. This threat will continue to grow thanks to the internet and social media. Today’s customers can share negative reviews, experiences, or opinions with the whole world. It takes just one bad review to go viral for a company to feel the results. One of the most publicized examples of reputational risk in recent history involved Wells Fargo. In 2016, the bank was exposed for opening millions of unauthorized bank accounts. Supervisors encouraged and even coerced their retail bankers to open these accounts. Wells Fargo CEO, John Stumpf, was dismissed along with several other company executives, and regulators made the bank pay many fines and penalties. Meanwhile, thousands of customers reduced, suspended, or stopped doing business with Wells Fargo entirely. Years later, Wells Fargo is still struggling to repair their damaged reputation.
In Wells Fargo’s case, their reputational risk was the result of years of unethical practices, but many cases of reputational risk don’t take years to erupt. They’re often
the result of one bad choice or poor comment shared with the public. For example, if the CEO of a tech company makes a flippant comment during an interview about women not being “capable” of working in tech, the customer backlash could damage the whole company’s reputation. It’s also possible that a complete accident can damage a company’s reputation. For example, if hackers gain access to a company’s billing data and get ahold of client payment data, the ensuing fallout and loss of trust can cost the business a great deal. Intangible risks like reputation risk can be hard to measure, but that doesn’t mean businesses don’t feel the cost. A study from Aon and the Ponemon Institute estimated that intangible risks have an average potential loss of over $1 billion. This is even greater than the loss due to tangible risks, valued at $795 million. Despite the clear dangers, many insurance companies are way behind on protecting their clients from these risks. That same Aon/Ponemon study found that only 16% of intangible assets are currently insured. Much like fraud risk, the true cost of reputation risk is hard to calculate. Losses are often greater than initially estimated, and businesses can take years to fully recover, if they ever do. For this reason, when assessing your company’s risk management, take care to include intangible risks in that assessment. Work with your team to develop a plan so you are prepared to overcome any reputation risks. This should include creating a system for quickly and appropriately responding to negative comments about your business on social media.
Have a Laugh!
Easy way out on pg. 4
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INSIDE This Issue
Take a Walk page 1
Are Business Trips Bad for Your Health? A Fair Question page 2 How Reputation Risk Can Ruin a Company Sudoku page 3
The Most Important Question You Can Ask page 4
‘START WITH WHY’ And Better Business Will Follow
“There are only two ways to influence human behavior: You can manipulate it, or you can inspire it.” –Simon Sinek It can often be hard to clearly articulate what you do for a living. That means it can be difficult to explain your vision to potential clients and customers, which then makes it harder to convince them to purchase your product or services. In “Start With Why,” author Simon Sinek illustrates the importance of explaining to others why you do the business you do rather than explaining what you do or how you do it. Sinek argues that when people start figuring out the “why” in what they do, it inspires action from others in a way that discussing the “what” can’t. Talking about the “why” engages emotions; analyzing the “what” is purely logical. When you try to sell something to people based on “what,” you rely on specific manipulations like price and product details. But if you help people understand why you do what you do by revealing the real purpose and intention behind your reasons, you build a sense of trust. This trust leads to loyalty, and loyalty means that person comes back to do business with you and also refers your business to others. This is how businesses grow!
Figuring out your “why” is a process of discovery, not invention. In order to discover it, you can turn to three key strategies.
Look backward at the original motivation for starting your
business. What specific problem were you trying to solve, and why was it important to you to solve it? • Look outward by asking those around you why they spend time with you or why a customer buys from you. You can learn why people are drawn to you and your business this way. • Look inward by identifying a bigger vision that you wish to contribute to. What do you believe in? What really matters to you? “Start With Why” teaches readers how to go about discovering their “why,” then instructs them on how to effectively use that information to help their business. It also helps them unleash their business’s vast potential that has remained untapped until now.
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