2017 Health Insurance Enrollment:
There’s a new plan in town
By David Notari, CEO of Innovation Health
If you are a business owner in Northern Virginia you are most likely renewing your health insurance this fall. With all of the options available for your business, it is important to know what is available to you. Here’s what you need to know before you shop this year.
There’s a new plan with big savings
As the CEO of a small business and health plan I understand that navigating the health plan selection process can be complex and confusing. That’s why this year we are offering a completely new kind of health plan for your local business – the Innovation Health Funding Advantage Plan. This easy to understand, quality, affordable coverage plan for local businesses and residents is available to all Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce members between 10 to 50 enrolled employees. Designed to deliver dramatic savings for small businesses, the Innovation Health Funding Advantage plans will go one step further in addressing your health needs at an affordable price. With this arrangement, Northern Virginia Chamber members will receive an extra two percent reduction on health plan premiums.
What’s more? Since the movement of small groups to December renewals in 2013, many groups have wanted to move to a 1/1 renewal cycle. And now they can. We’re offering a 13 month contract for December 2016 new sales. That means your employers can experience the savings of a self-funded plan in addition to 13 months of benefits.
To learn more about these plans watch the Innovation Health Funding Advantage video here or visit our company website.
Your plan choice should be flexible and affordable
Two years ago the Affordable Care Act (ACA) changed the way rates are generated for people on small group insurance plans. Similar to last year, heading into this year’s open enrollment you will find that there are different rates for everyone in your company, depending on their age. For example, recent college graduates will have a different rate than the executive with 30 years of experience.
As a reaction to this ACA change, some plans now offer something called composite rating for small businesses, where the rates for all employees are blended into a single rate. This is an attractive option for Northern Virginia business leaders because it brings predictability to health costs. Without a composite rate, business owners may be forced to evaluate coverage expenses as part of their hiring strategies, which is never ideal. Composite rates free owners to focus on bringing the right people into their business, and accurately planning for the future. If you are not a chamber member, but are still interesting in saving on your health insurance this year visit the Innovation Health website and see our plan choices for 2017.
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all health plan option for all your employees. With different ages, salaries and family needs, what might be ideal for one employee is often different from what is ideal for another.
To learn more about our flexible, affordable coverage plans for business of all sizes visit
www.innovation-health.com or call our toll-free number at 1-855-228-0510.
Why You Should Invest in Leadership Development: A Q&A with Steve Gladis
By: Stephanie Berkowitz, President & CEO at Northern Virginia Family Service
Organizations rely on many things to be successful. A key component to a successful operation is its leaders. Human capital is the No. 1 challenge CEOs face, according to the Association of Talent Management, and many focus on bolstering leadership development through managerial, supervisory and executive development focuses.
Investing successfully in leadership development requires an understanding in leadership competencies. We asked executive coach and author Steve Gladis to share his insights about leadership and developing talent to help guide companies that may be looking to deepen their leadership development investment.
What does great leadership look like?
Great leadership takes many forms. At its best form, it makes people feel trusted, empowered and safe. When leaders can create that in people, they tend to get the best out of them. Typically leaders are known for three things: character, competence, and caring. Together they make a triangle.
You have to have all three of these to be successful. More often leaders trip over the last leg of that triangle. You may have good character and competence, but you may not care. If you don’t have strength in all three, the triangle will collapse.
Is there a core set of skills that are essential for success?
At the top of that list is listening. Don’t suck up all the oxygen in the room. The second skill is humility. This is the ability to not think you’re the smartest one in the room. The third skill is perseverance. These are the qualities I would look for in a leader. If you search, you’ll find a lot of research to back this up.
How do you identify emerging leaders in an organization?
Everyone moves on. Therefore, it is the duty of all leaders to create new leaders. One way to get to new leaders is to sit down and learn about your employees’ strengths. Find out what they want to do with these strengths.
It is the duty of all leaders to create new leaders.
From there, I would keep giving those people additional responsibilities and see if they rise to the occasion. The people who tend to step up and want more responsibility become my leader pool. These are people who don’t shy away from responsibility and who are thoughtful. Many opportunities will arise but not everyone will step up.
Also be careful not to pick the loudest in the room or those who are the most extroverted. Some of the best leaders in the world are introverts. You have to remember that introverts don’t raise their hand quickly. They don’t try to stand out. If leaders are listening and watching their employees perform in their strengths area, what emerges are the best people.
What’s the difference between leadership and management?
People have been messing around with those terms forever. Some people say that leaders lead people and managers manage things. That’s crap. Leadership is a more modern term. It used to be management science, and now it is leadership science.
Personally I don’t segregate those two. Leadership has become a more hip term. I think they are really the same thing. If you’re a manager of a restaurant, you’re leading people while also managing the restaurant. I think most leadership coaches would say that it is just a term that has changed.
Is there a difference between a leader and a boss?
A boss has a command-and-control sense to it. I think that’s an old term. The other is coaching. With the labels, bosses take all the credit and dump on your head. Leaders will push you forward. It’s really a good leader versus bad leader. The term boss dates back 20-30 years. If you were trying to show respect, you used that term.
If there is a drought in leadership development, how can companies start to rethink their operations? Or are there benefits they can start to look at to develop different leaders in their company?
Look at the actions of the CEO. People watch what you do, so be the leader you want to see in your company. When there is a crappy job to do on the weekend, you show up. There is nothing worse than having a team working on a crappy project at breakneck speed and see the leader clock out at 5.
Leaders don’t realize the power they have. Everything they say and do matters. How they say it is magnified. Leaders don’t just have voices they have megaphones. Be the leader you want to find in your company.
People watch what you do, so be the leader you want to see in your company.
Company after company, you’ll see people morph into the key personality of the CEO or leaders. People will exemplify leadership’s behavior. If you see a CEO acting like a bully towards customers or partners, it should be no surprise that people in the organization look like bullies.
It’s important to create a safe place for people to make mistakes and try new things. For instance, in government, there is a zero-tolerance policy for failure. Nothing changes, and no one takes any chances. They keep doing what works until it becomes obsolete. Then nothing works. It’s a slow boat to China. It’s a way to fail.
Lastly, develop some kind of training program, however minimal. GE spends over $1 billion a year training people. All the major companies in the world spend a piece of their budget training people. They know beyond a shadow of a doubt that if you don’t try to develop new leaders, your company will eventually dry up and fail.
In the end, leadership starts with developing and retaining talent within our organizations, and must be a priority. In order for NVFS to continue providing top-tier human services for the next 90 years, we must nurture our internal talent. If this sounds similar to my last post, you’re right. Part of what makes NVFS great is our emphasis on our people. Growing a competent and experienced workforce goes hand in hand with building a great culture and an even better organization.
Cultivating our own talent makes us stronger. As Steve mentioned, we seek first to listen and discover our employees’ passions and strengths. The process itself engenders goodwill, loyalty and improves overall engagement. Our people are watching. By showing we want to invest in them, they choose to invest in us. Together, we will continue to invest in the families and individuals that seek our help, thereby strengthening Northern Virginia for everyone.
Join us at the CARE Awards breakfast on Nov. 18 at the Falls Church Marriott Fairview Park as we spotlight companies who are exercising leadership development and other important business practices into their organizations to create a work environment that thrives on success and engagement.
Letter from Lou Von Thaer, CEO of DynCorp International and chair of the 2016 Greater Washington Heart Walk
It’s no secret that heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death in the United States. What is less known is that today’s youth make up the first American generation expected to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents.
This is a troubling fact, but the good news is that the American Heart Association (AHA) is committed to reversing this trend by fighting heart disease and stroke. It does so, in part, through annual Heart Walks across the country.
This is a cause I believe in. And it’s a fight we can win. That is why I am deeply gratified to serve as this year’s chair of the Greater Washington Heart Walk. To make sure we reach our goal of raising $2.5 million in Washington, I want to encourage other Washington-area companies and executives to get involved – whether that’s through serving on the Executive Committee, investing in this important event or sponsoring teams for the Walk.
At my company, DynCorp International (DI), cardiovascular conditions account for our biggest health insurance costs and take a large human toll on the people we care for and depend upon. That’s true for most organizations, which should make involvement in the Heart Walk a natural choice for companies and their corporate responsibility programs. And chances are that companies will find other shared focuses with the AHA. At DI, where almost half of our workforce are veterans, supporting the U.S. military is a top priority. That’s true too for the AHA, through programs and alliances with veterans’ groups.
Another goal of the AHA is to reverse the trend of childhood obesity. There are countless reasons to support this objective, but to name just one: doing so will improve the military’s recruiting efforts by fostering future generations of healthy individuals able to have the opportunity to serve.
I am challenging my company to “get healthy” this year. The Greater Washington Heart Walk will be our starting point, not just by encouraging people to get more active, but by bringing additional awareness and education concerning heart disease to the attention of our team.
At DI, we like to say “We serve today for a better tomorrow.” The work of the AHA is also aimed at securing a better tomorrow. Please consider supporting this important cause by forming a team and joining us on November 5th. Register today at www.GreaterWashingtonHeartWalk.org.
Lou Von Thaer
CEO, DynCorp International
By: Hile Rutledge, President, OKA
In your most formative years (between 10 and 20 years old), how present was the assumption that you would one day do better financially/materially than your parents?
This is a question I routinely ask people in my Generation Translation training, for it tends to produce different and illustrative answers from each generation. At a client-site training held recently, the question not only produced the expected replies, but it triggered a vigorous and pointed exchange between a Baby Boomer and a Millennial that quickly grew to a clash of their respective generational groups. It was a fortuitous teaching moment, and it highlighted one of the many heated tensions between these two generations.
A Baby Boomer (born between 1946 and 1964) participant said, with unanimous ascent from her fellow Boomers, that there was a clear and often stated belief when growing up that she would do better and have more than her parents. Making this goal a reality had been a motivating force in her education, professional development and a driving work ethic for as long as she could remember. Life is an effort, a challenge, a race—and running it well and vigorously had always been expected by others and embraced by her. Doing well financially and materially was a natural by-product of both her hard work and the serious approach she took to achievement. While one person voiced this sentiment, the other Boomers supported her with a streaming chorus of “amens”.
The Millennial (born between 1981 and 2000) very casually said, “I suppose there was a belief that I would do better than my parents, but that is not a goal I necessarily share.” The Millennial went on say that she had friends, interests, and community-rooted values that often felt at odds with the more material-focused and achievement-driven lives that her parents lived, and that the question itself (about doing better than your parents) was not as resonant as it seemed to have been with the Boomers. Most of the Millennials agreed with this statement.
Whereas the Millennials found the generational difference in the two groups’ responses merely interesting, the Boomers—found it more troubling, and the original speaker for the Boomers actually found it offensive.
The Boomer’s Perspective
The Boomer participant had a Millennial child—now a college graduate in his twenties—still living at home, and while there was no power differential or authority difference between the Boomer and Millennial colleagues within this working group, it was hard for the Boomer NOT to see her son when she engaged the Millennials in this discussion.
After a lifetime and long career of effort, toil and sacrifice, the Boomer has a vision of running a race that will culminate in the handing off of the baton to a protégé/colleague who has been groomed to drive on, fight the fight and maintain the race as established. It is disappointing at best—and violating at worst—to have the generation that was to take that baton decide that the race may not need to be run—that there may not even be a race!
Lazy & uncommitted—Boomers often see the Millennials’ lack of drive and achievement scripts as uncommitted and even lazy.
Immature & short-sighted—Boomers can believe that Millennials’ lack of drive and intense engagement with work is merely a delay in what is and should be their natural development.
Ungrateful—The Boomer in my training resented her Millennial colleague—and the entire generation by association—for her not wanting to step up and engage her work role the way that she (the Boomer) believed she should have. Many Boomers believe Millennials are free to choose whether or not to engage and compete only because they have been afforded a life of such comfort and protection from the Boomers—parents, teachers and bosses—who came before them. Within this view, Millennials look spoiled, entitled and ungrateful NOT to now pay their dues with hard work and dedicated effort.
The Millennial’s Perspective
The Millennial participant did not still live with her parents and did not appreciate being treated—because of her age—as subordinate to her Boomer colleague, whose intensity she found surprising and off-putting.
The Millennial had had an upbringing wherein she had constant access to praise, media, and support from those in power around her (teachers, parents, and coaches)—she did not have to toil and sweat to be and feel successful. She already was. She joined the organization with multiple degrees—more formal education, in fact, than the Boomer colleague with whom she had gotten into the verbal scrum.
Imbalanced & myopic—Millennials tend to have had a life rich with group and team experiences, familial connection and an active social media network. In the lives of many Millennials, the Boomers’ intense work-focus is at the expense of these other life-balancing relationships and activities.
Overly controlling—While Boomers have often been in the workplace for more years, Millennials are, as a group, well-educated and technologically current—ready to jump in, contribute, and quickly move along in the organization’s structure, not simply to get in line and to wait your turn.
Condescending—The Millennial in my training was put-off by her Boomer colleague’s attitude—by the older’s assumption that “you are not like me, but when you grow up, you will be.” This is not how colleagues—how peers—should speak to each other.
This clash of generations, viewpoints and opinions is only going to increase in frequency as the Boomers remain in the workforce and Millennials continue to join it—the youngest Millennial is still in high school. Anticipating these clashes and being able to see both points of view and find the middle ground are among the new challenges we face in our workplaces today.
To learn more about OKA, visit their website.