SPECIALIZING IN YOU Agriculture Ministries Education Environmental Hospitality
Manufacturing Celebrating Underappreciated Professions OVERLOOKED May 2020 Staffing Transportation Health Care Energy Construction Financial
W hat makes a job “important”? The importance or value that we place on an occupation tends to rely on how much it benefits us in a given moment. There are a lot of important, respectable professionals out there who do great work but don’t often get the full recognition they deserve. There are a number of occasions in May that honor a few of these individuals. May 6–12 is National Nurses Week, May 10–16 is National Police Week, and May 17–23 is National Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Week. Due to the recent COVID-19 outbreak, many of the events to honor individuals in these fields have been canceled. This month, I would like to express my gratitude for these professionals. It may sound strange for me to say that police officers don’t get enough kudos, and it is a highly respected job, but consider this: Unless we need them, we never really want to have a police officer around. If we need the police, we’re certainly grateful when they arrive, but at every other time, we usually wish they were somewhere else. That’s not nearly the level of courtesy someone in such a dangerous position deserves. Speaking of danger, let’s talk about nurses and EMS workers. If you’re experiencing a medical emergency, the skill of the person in the ambulance can really determine whether or not you reach the hospital. Once you’re at the hospital, the skill of your nurses can define your overall experience. However, both occupations often play second fiddle to doctors. This isn’t to undermine doctors or diminish the importance of the work they’ve put into their training, but it is to say that these other professions provide equally important services. Nurses, in particular, deserve so much more recognition than they receive. Doctors can only spend a few minutes with their patients. It’s up to nurses
to provide all the care in between those visits, monitor the patients, and keep things in order. What’s more, they have to do it all with a good bedside manner. And I haven’t even mentioned the risks nurses take in order to take care of sick people. Doctors get all the acclaim, but nurses are the ones who make sure the doctors are able to do their jobs well. Individuals in underappreciated occupations like this remind me of our account managers. They work so hard, but the public rarely recognizes it. Our account managers handle all the daily details so I can do my job. In the insurance field, account managers are the nurses for guys like me. Nurses and account managers play invaluable support roles in their respective industries, but they just don’t get the kudos that doctors or the salespeople get. That leaves it to the rest of us in the industry to make sure their work doesn’t go unappreciated. This month, I encourage you to give thanks to the people in these support roles: police officers, nurses, EMS workers, account managers, and the folks at your company who help make doing your job a little easier.
“Doctors get all the acclaim, but nurses are the ones who make sure the doctors are able to do their jobs well.”
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Are You Using This ‘Secret’ Recruitment Tool?
A good bar owner must know how to mix up good drinks, listen to your problems, and call a cab when someone’s had one too many. But for Jimmy Gilleece, owner of Jimmy’s at Red Dogs in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, a good bar owner must also be compassionate. In March 2018, when a bar patron lost her wallet outside his bar, Gilleece helped both the woman who lost the wallet and the thief who stole it. The story started with a frantic phone call. A woman had lost her wallet at the pub and was desperate to find it. She wasn’t worried about the money, but about her wedding ring, valued at $10,000, that had been left inside. Gilleece spent three hours combing through security camera footage before he spotted the wallet sitting on a bench outside right as a young man approached and took it. With a little detective work, Gilleece tracked down the thief, 17-year-old Rivers Prather. At the time, Prather was homeless and living alone in the woods just outside of town. Prather admitted to taking the wallet to buy a sandwich with the money inside before throwing the wallet in an ocean channel. He claimed he didn’t know a ring was in the wallet, but due to the cost of the wedding band, the teenager was suddenly facing a felony conviction for theft. Instead of declaring the ring lost at sea, Gilleece hired divers to search the channel. Miraculously, they found the wallet with the ring still safely inside. Once her ring was returned, the owner dropped the charges against Prather. Meanwhile, Gilleece continued his mission of compassion. “I could tell he wasn’t a criminal,” Gilleece said about Prather during an interview. “He was just somebody who needed a little help.” Gilleece invited the teen to come live at his house with Gilleece’s fiance and their two children. He also helped Prather find two jobs and set him on the path to a brighter future. “I couldn’t be luckier,” Prathers said in an interview with CBS. “He could have given the footage to the police, and [instead] he chose to help me. He’s made me part of his family … I say thank you to him every day. I’d do anything for him.” Gilleece reminds us all that no matter the situation, a little bit of compassion can go a long way.
How Paid Family Leave Attracts Top Talent
In the United States, new mothers aren’t entitled to any paid family leave. This makes the U.S. the only major economy in the world without a federal family leave program. Despite this, a 2016 study by Pew Research Center showed that 82% of Americans say mothers should receive paid parental leave and 69% say fathers should receive paid leave as well. According to Time magazine, paid family leave is gaining bipartisan support, and large human resources consulting firms, like Mercer, argue that offering this benefit will actually help companies attract and retain desirable employees. Paid family leave encourages parents, usually mothers, to return to work after a brief absence instead of completely exiting the workforce. With the average cost of hiring and training a new employee being $4,000, offering paid family leave may be as cost-effective for your business as bringing on a new hire. Indeed, many companies are already rolling out generous family leave policies. At Microsoft, new mothers enjoy a whopping five months of paid leave, and new fathers, adoptive parents, and foster parents get three months of paid leave. Furthermore, Microsoft only works with suppliers and vendors who offer a minimum of 12 weeks of parental leave. Microsoft is not the only technology giant using their leave policies as an employee recruitment tool. At Netflix, workers get an entire year of paid time off with full benefits. Plus, other companies in myriad industries now offer plentiful family leave as part of their employee recruitment strategies. Professional services conglomerate Deloitte doesn’t stop there. According to its website, “It’s not just having programs in place that is important. There needs to be a workplace culture to support it, too.” Of course, not everyone agrees about the best way to provide paid family leave, but one thing is certain: As competition in the labor market grows, paid family leave will continue to be an increasingly valuable recruitment tool.
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Too Many Tort Cases? HOW ‘JUDICIAL HELLHOLES’ MAY CAUSE INSURANCE RATES TO RISE
I nsurance rates are on the rise. There’s no doubt about this. Joseph Peiser, global head of broking at Willis Towers Watson in the United Kingdom, reported that the average insurance budget for a large corporation in 2020 will increase by 20% from just last year. Though the rates can differ by lines, we’re seeing increases across the board. Umbrella insurance has grown from 30–35%, property risk with high catastrophic exposures looks to increase by at least 25%, and directors and officers (D&O) liability insurance will likely increase as much at 30%. What’s causing these massive increases? It could have something to do with what the American Tort Reform Foundation (ATRF) calls “judicial hellholes.” Judicial hellholes are places “filled with widespread civil lawsuits, legislative loopholes that create more ways for lawyers to sue, and judges who allow junk science into evidence in trials,” says the ATRF. These are places where large numbers of massive tort cases overwhelm the court system and high-dollar judgements and settlements tend to occur more frequently. The magazine Leader’s Edge ran a survey to find out why insurance rates were rising so dramatically. Responses cited “litigation trends and nuclear verdicts” among the proposed causes.
7. Illinois’ Cook, Madison, and St. Clair Counties 6. Georgia 5. St. Louis, Missouri 4. Louisiana 3. New York City, New York 2. California 1. Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas
It was surprising to see California come in second. The ATRF typically ranks the state No. 1 in this category. Philadelphia beat out California this year as the top hellhole thanks in part to the court’s handling of a Johnson & Johnson case. In October 2019, the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas hit Johnson & Johnson with an $8 billion verdict in a case involving the medication Risperdal. This was the largest verdict from the court in 25 years. Though another judge has since reduced that verdict to $6.5 million, it’s important to note that the ATRF report claimed that trial lawyers “spend millions of dollars on the Philadelphia media market to drive up the number of claimants.” Additionally, because the court allows plaintiffs from all over the country, 86% of new pharmaceutical suits in Philadelphia are from out-of-state plaintiffs. How can these places cause insurance rates to rise for everyone? When tort cases increase and the cost of these cases rise, insurance companies must raise their rates in order to offset these costs. This is part of the reason the ATRF advocates for civil justice reforms like limiting the award for noneconomic damages and limiting the contingent fees paid to attorneys.
Each year, the ATRF names the Top 10 Judicial Hellholes. The top judicial hellholes for 2019–2020 are:
10. New Jersey Legislature 9. Minnesota Supreme Court and the Twin Cities 8. Oklahoma
Have a Laugh!
Easy way out on pg. 4
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INSIDE This Issue
AThank-You to Nurses, Police Officers, and EMTs page 1
Use Paid Family Leave to Attract Top Talent
A Little Good News page 2
What’s Causing Insurance Rates to Rise? Sudoku page 3
How Crazy Ideas Become Innovations page 4
ACHIEVE INNOVATIONAL SUCCESS With ‘Loonshots’
change and lose momentum. Bahcall puts Pan American World Airways (Pan Am), Polaroid, and other titans that let the lightning out of the bottle under the microscope to show readers where the companies’ organizational structures went wrong. To Bahcall, the way
Many entrepreneurs dream of catching lightning in a bottle — of harnessing new, powerful ideas that will propel their business to the cutting edge. Whether they call it disruption, innovation, or genius, many business books focus on the “lightning” side of the equation. But those flashes of brilliance mean nothing without a bottle to capture them in. According to author and physicist Safi Bahcall, if you want to turn momentary inspiration into tangible success, you need structure. Bahcall explores this idea in his book, “Loonshots: How to Nurture the Crazy Ideas That Win Wars, Cure Diseases, and Transform Industries.” He examines many successful innovations that were originally deemed “crazy” or “doomed to fail,” including the breakout success of the James Bond movies and how Lipitor became a pharmaceutical blockbuster. What these phenomena have in common is that they were supported and made possible by a positive work environment structured to nurture ideas that were “just crazy enough to work.”
business owners organize their team is the same as how temperature shapes water. You can be cold toward new ideas, which freezes
progress and makes your company too brittle in the face of change, or you can be warm and let your team’s ideas flow in exciting new directions. Drawing on his experience as both a physicist and the co-founder of a biotechnology company, Bahcall is able to make his case in entertaining, down-to-earth prose. Beyond being a good read, “Loonshots” addresses an often overlooked factor in the ways innovative companies succeed at redefining their industry, making it a great addition to any entrepreneur’s library.
However, success stories aren’t the only focus of “Loonshots.” The book also examines companies that paved the way as innovators, only to stifle
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