5 Good Reasons to Start a Mentorship Program

Post contributed by Heather Keefer Saulsbury. Vice President of Sales and Marketing for StaffLink Outsourcing, Inc.

Mentorships support new employees so they feel a sense of community and support. They also improve worker satisfaction across the board.

Key takeaways:

  • Workplace mentoring offers guidance. It involves a senior colleague working with someone new in their career to offer guidance and opportunities to grow, or teaching another worker new skills
  • Five advantages of workplace mentorship programs:
    • Networking opportunities
    • Employee satisfaction
    • Problem-solving
    • Job confidence
    • Industry insight

Many of today’s workers are starting new jobs remotely, and that makes it easy for them to become siloed. Even if workers aren’t remote, they still run the risk of fumbling and not performing satisfactorily if company culture is poor and senior employees aren’t helpful. These situations can quickly turn into job dissatisfaction and low staff morale.

Some companies are turning to mentorship programs to give remote and in-person workers a much-needed boost. When employees feel more supported and get the guidance they need as new hires and established workers, they’re more likely to be engaged. In fact, 91% of employees with a mentor are more satisfied at work.

This is why 70% of Fortune 500 companies have mentorship programs. These initiatives help new people get acclimated to the job and even their chosen industry. Mentors help newer and lower-level employees succeed by offering advice and knowledge to support them. Because mentorships have so much potential, they benefit the workers involved, the company and the industry at large.

So, what is workplace mentoring, and what are the advantages it can bring to your organization? Here is your guide to the benefits of having a workplace mentorship program.

How does a workplace mentorship program work?

Mentors are employees who work with another employee, a mentee, to help them learn something new, grow in their position or company and provide consistent guidance and feedback. The mentor is usually someone with a higher-level position in an organization or an expert in the industry. They might invite their mentees to events and meetings, meet to discuss goals and targets or provide advice when the mentee is facing a challenging situation.

An important aspect of mentorship is ongoing support. Employees succeed when they feel like they have someone on their side from the beginning. Mentorships create better networking opportunities and help people get ahead in the company. These benefits are leading more and more companies to start mentorship programs.

Age isn’t always a big factor in mentorships these days, either, as it’s more about industry experience and knowledge. However, it’s not unheard of for a lower-level employee to mentor a higher-up in a business if they need to learn a new skill. It’s also not always about years working for a company, either, and often centers around what people can teach one another, regardless of status or age.

Five advantages of mentorship programs

Support and guidance touch the surface of what mentorship programs can bring to your workplace. Here are five key benefits of starting one:

1. Networking opportunities

For employees to truly succeed in the workplace, they need to feel a sense of community. This is accomplished by fostering strong relationships and networking with people they may not normally interact with. Mentors can help their mentees meet more people while creating a strong bond. Mentorship programs thus help people grow their networks and strengthen the workplace community as a whole.

2. Employee satisfaction

Mentorship programs increase job satisfaction and make it much more enjoyable for people to come to work. Nine out of ten employees with a mentor say they’re happy with their jobs. This is because they offer career support and workers feel like there’s always someone rooting for them at work. Their purpose and goals will be clearer in their career trajectory.

3. Problem-solving

Everyone faces challenges at work now and then. It would be a lot easier to deal with issues if there’s someone around who’s been there before. Mentors can guide their mentees through anything, helping them problem solve with expert advice. Mentees often have a big advantage over their coworkers when they have that kind of support.

4. Job confidence

A greater sense of satisfaction and purpose at work leads employees to feel more confident and self-assured. They know that they’re doing things right. They receive encouragement to take on new projects and recognition when they hit a target or do something great. Their expanded network helps them to have more confident social interactions, too.

5. Industry insight

Both mentors and mentees can learn a lot from each other. For instance, someone from a younger generation just entering the workforce may have a firmer grasp of the latest trends and technologies. More tenured workers bring years of industry knowledge to the table. These dynamics create enriching relationships that benefit both parties and lead to well-rounded employees that will succeed in their industry.

Why you need a mentorship program

The benefits of mentorships are clear. Companies can gain a lot by starting a program, including better workplace culture, fewer silos and greater job satisfaction that leads to increased productivity and efficiency. When an organization benefits, it impacts the industry as a whole. Networks are more easily expanded and great employees will have access to opportunities they wouldn’t normally have.

Mentorships have been proven to work well in Professional Employer Organization (PEO) businesses. They’re excellent tools for clients looking to give their company culture a boost without having to expend a lot of extra money and resources. They are cost-effective and promote a positive work environment.

Get started by creating a set of goals for your program, figuring out how mentors and mentees will be onboarded, determining the expectations of each party and setting up a system to measure success. Identify how someone will qualify to be a mentor and what population you want to serve with the program. Your employees’ productivity and satisfaction will improve as the program gets underway.

California Occupational COVID Incidents Down Sharply

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Workers’ compensation claims for COVID-19 relative to statewide infections have fallen from more than 10% in 2020, to less than 2% for most of 2021

Good news in the fight against the pandemic. In the largest economy in the country, California, where COVID “presumptions of causation” are some of the most worker-friendly in the country, frequency of events has gone down over 80%. For those in the “please make it go away” category as myself, welcome news of not an end, but at least improvement, to the war on COVID….

I’ll take it. Have a safe week –

From our friends at WorkComp Central

Workers’ compensation claims for COVID-19 relative to statewide infections have fallen considerably, from more than 10% in the early days of the pandemic to less than 2% for most of 2021, according to new data from the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California.

In the first four months of the pandemic, there were 25,500 work comp claims for COVID-19 among about 233,000 statewide infections, a ratio of about 1 in 10. Starting in July 2020 and continuing through November, there were 49,100 comp claims among 993,000 statewide infections, a ratio of about 1 in 20.

Statewide infections jumped during the winter surge to 2.25 million, but while comp claims also increased to 69,400 during the three-month period from December through February, the ratio relative to statewide claims fell to about 1 in 30.

Since March 2021, the ratio of comp claims to statewide infections has been about 1 in 50, with 13,900 comp claims and 767,000 total infections.

Of the approximately 158,000 claims filed in 2020 and 2021, 68,000 were against self-insured employers and 90,000 were insured claims.

“About 43% of COVID-19 claims have been reported by self-insured employers,” the WCIRB report notes. “Typically, about one-third of non-COVID-19 claims are self-insured employer claims.”

The WCIRB also reported 1,056 death claims relating to COVID-19, including 858 in 2020 and 198 in 2021. Fewer than 500 death claims are filed in a typical year. The rating bureau added that COVID-19 death claims are often reported late and that totals for 2021 will likely increase.

The WCIRB’s report suggests that the health care sector was especially hard hit. About 22% of the reported death claims came from health care workers. And COVID-19 accounted for 49% of all indemnity claims filed by workers in the sector.

Public administration had the second-highest percentage of COVID-19 indemnity claims at 34%, followed by clerical workers at 21% and finance at 17%.

The average cost of a COVID-19 claim, with $6,781 in medical benefits and $5,697 in indemnity benefits, was about 8.1% lower than the average non-COVID-19 claim with $7,775 in medical benefits and $5,800 in indemnity.

While COVID claims tend to be less expensive than other injuries, the WCIRB reports 1.2% of virus-related claims incurred losses of $500,000 or more, about four times the percentage of non-COVID claims.

As a result of a high proportion of small indemnity-only claims for COVID-19, the average incurred cost of $18,151 for COVID claims was about 48% lower than the average incurred cost of $34,704 among non-COVID indemnity claims.

The WCIRB reports far fewer COVID-19 claims were classified as medical-only. More than 40% of 2020 virus claims are for indemnity benefits only with no medical losses, compared to less than 1% of the non-COVID claims.

Denial rates for COVID-19 claims have ranged from three times to more than seven times the denial rate for other types of injuries. In April and May 2020, between 22% and 23% of COVID claims were denied, about three times the average 7% rate. By April 2021, the denial rate for comp claims hit 52% before dropping back down to 31% by August.

“Generally, denial rates have been higher during the period Senate Bill 1159 has been in effect (post-September 2020) with its less expansive presumption of compensability than during the period the governor’s executive stay-at-home order was in effect (prior to 2020),” according to the WCIRB’s report.

SB 1159, enacted in September 2020, created two sets of presumptions — one for firefighters, peace officers and health care workers and the other for all other employees.

The bill presumes that COVID-19 is occupational for firefighters, peace officers and health care workers who test positive within 14 days of going to work or if their claim is not rejected within 30 days.

The bill presumes COVID-19 is compensable for other workers if a claim is not denied within 45 days. It also created a presumption that COVID-19 was compensable for people at a work site experiencing an outbreak, defined to mean at least 4% of people at a company with more than 100 workers tested positive, or at least four people tested positive at a company with 100 or fewer workers.

The presumption Gov. Gavin Newsom created through executive order in May 2020, retroactive to March 19, 2020, presumed that COVID-19 was a compensable disease for anyone who tested positive within 14 days of going in to work.

The WCIRB is holding a webinar at 10 a.m. Thursday to discuss the report. More information is here.

FAPEO is Right Around the Corner!

FAPEO’s annual business meeting is next Wednesday (8/4).

Click here to access the agenda. If you haven’t registered yet, you can email Suzanne Hurst at suzanne@helpmembers.org

In addition to the important legislative updates, we are certain that cyber security for PEOs will be a hot topic. Below is an overview of how we at Libertate look at cyber coverage. We will be available at FAPEO and would love to discuss further.

Paul HughesSharlie ReynoldsDavid Burgess
321.217.7477305.495.5173321.436.8214
phughes@libertateins.comsreynolds@libertateins.comdburgess@libertateins.com  

Parent Company of PEO Carrier Key Risk Reports Another Strong Quarter!

Kudos to our friends at W.R. Berkley for a stellar Q2! So happy they are a part of our PEO community.

W.R. Berkley Corp. reported net premium growth exceeding 27 percent and a combined ratio under 90 for the 2021 second quarter, positive results the commercial lines insurer and reinsurer attributed to rate adequacy and an improving economy.

Consolidated net premiums written during Q2 surpassed $2.2 billion, up from $1.7 billion in the 2020 second quarter.

The company booked net income of more than $237 million in Q2 versus $71.2 million a year ago.

Additionally, net investment income jumped nearly 97 percent to $169.2 million during the quarter.

The company said that its rate increases continue to outpace loss costs, with new products also helping to achieve or exceed its targeted rate levels. During the quarter, W.R. Berkley focused on exposure growth and business expansion, and it said the strategy should help lead to additional underwriting profits down the line.

W.R. Berkley’s consolidated combined ratio was 89.7 during the quarter, compared to 98.7 a year ago.

W.R. Berkley even produced gains for workers’ compensation, which had average rate increases of just under 10 percent.

Commercial auto and casualty reinsurance also saw large premium increases. Professional liability was among the largest gainers, jumping to $287 million in net premiums written during Q2, versus $174.2 million the year before.

Current accident year insurance losses from catastrophes, including COVID-related losses, landed at $36.8 billion during the quarter, improved from $114 million in the 2020 second quarter. Reinsurance and monoline excess losses were just under $7.2 million, compared to $31.8 million a year ago.

Source: W.R. Berkley

AM Best Assigns Credit Rating to Sunz Insurance Company

Congrats to our friends at Sunz for the A- (Excellent) rating!

Sunz Insurance

OLDWICK, N.J., July 16, 2021–(BUSINESS WIRE)–AM Best has assigned a Financial Strength Rating of A- (Excellent) and a Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of “a-” (Excellent) to SUNZ Insurance Company (SUNZ) (Bradenton, FL). The outlook assigned to these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable.

The ratings reflect SUNZ’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best assesses as very strong, as well as its adequate operating performance, limited business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management (ERM).

SUNZ was formed in 2005 and primarily writes high deductible worker’s compensation coverage utilizing its proprietary technology-driven platform focused on collateral management for its medium and small business clients.

SUNZ’s balance sheet assessment is supported by its risk-adjusted capitalization as measured by Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR) in current periods, projected future scores, and under stress scenarios. SUNZ balance sheet assessment also considers the capital contributions in support of recent premium growth, improved reserving patterns exhibited during the recent five-year period, its comprehensive reinsurance program diversified among highly rated participants, and a conservative investment portfolio that matches assets with liabilities.

SUNZ’s operating performance is assessed as adequate as evidenced by average pre-tax return on revenue measures that trail AM Best’s workers’ compensation industry composite over the recent five- and 10-year timeframe. SUNZ’s business profile assessment is limited as 49.9% of premiums are written in two states, California and Florida, when considering both direct and assumed premiums. Operating as a single line workers’ compensation insurer, SUNZ’s limited business profile exposes the company to the potential legislative, regulatory or judicial changes occurring within these states. SUNZ’s ERM approach is considered appropriate for the scale, scope and complexity of the organization.

While positive rating actions are unlikely over the near term, positive rating actions could be taken on SUNZ’s ratings should operating performance improve and be sustained at a level that is in line with peers with stronger operating performance assessments.

Key factors that could result in negative rating actions on SUNZ’s ratings and outlooks include a weakening in operating earnings to a level that is not supportive of the adequate operating performance assessment.

Negative rating actions could occur should adverse reserve development or strong premium growth result in a weakening in risk-adjusted capitalization that falls short of supporting the very strong balance sheet assessment.

This press release relates to Credit Ratings that have been published on AM Best’s website. For all rating information relating to the release and pertinent disclosures, including details of the office responsible for issuing each of the individual ratings referenced in this release, please see AM Best’s Recent Rating Activity web page. For additional information regarding the use and limitations of Credit Rating opinions, please view Guide to Best’s Credit Ratings. For information on the proper use of Best’s Credit Ratings, Best’s Preliminary Credit Assessments and AM Best press releases, please view Guide to Proper Use of Best’s Ratings & Assessments.

AM Best is a global credit rating agency, news publisher and data analytics provider specializing in the insurance industry. Headquartered in the United States, the company does business in over 100 countries with regional offices in London, Amsterdam, Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore and Mexico City. For more information, visit www.ambest.com.

Copyright © 2021 by A.M. Best Rating Services, Inc. and/or its affiliates. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210716005296/en/

Contacts

Gordon McLean
Senior Financial Analyst

+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5304
gordon.mclean@ambest.com

Robert Raber
Director
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5696
robert.raber@ambest.com

Christopher Sharkey
Manager, Public Relations
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5159
christopher.sharkey@ambest.com

Jim Peavy
Director, Communications
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5644
james.peavy@ambest.com

Week in Rewind <<

If you haven’t noticed our focus has been heavily weighted in the area of cyber risk! Too many of our friends and clients have been impacted lately by cyber thieves. Yes, we sell insurance, but we are passionate about the benefits of insurance. We are all about Mitigating Risk and Loss Exposure!

So How Does Cyber Insurance Actually Help?

What Does It Cover?

First thing to know here is, in most cases you can design a plan to cover your business’ specific needs. As a generalization Cyber Coverage includes the following:

  • Defense and Settlement – civil proceeding or investigation
  • Regulatory fines and penalties including forensic examination
  • Re-certification services
  • Cyber extortion
  • Ransomware
  • Website media
  • Business interruption
  • Data recovery
  • Crisis management and fraud response
    • notification to breach parties
    • call center operations
    • design and implementation of website for advising breach parties
    • credit monitoring
    • public relations
    • associated legal expenses

What It Does Not Typically Covered

  • Potential future lost profits
  • Loss of value due to theft of intellectual property
  • Improvement costs to internal systems after cyber evet
    • Your other policies may be “activated” in the event of a cyber incident, but there are likely gaps in coverage for what damages are actually covered. The industry term, “Silent Cyber” refers to cyber loss exposure not covered under traditional, non-cyber insurance policies; namely the exposure is silent.

IT Risk Management

In an effort to further educate our audience we are providing links to our previously published articles on creating a better infrastructure to avoid successful attempts.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Colonial Pipeline authorized ransom payment of $4.4 million as a result of the company not being able to quantify the magnitude of the cyberattack breach to their system and the length of time to get things up and running again. Feet held to the fire for resolve and the decryption tool provided for ransom payment did not bring full restore back to Colonial. We can all feel the impact of the Colonial hack.

CNN reports that the Justice Department indicated that 2020 was the worst year for cyber attacks with ransomware demands, on average, exceeding $100,000 but as high as tens of millions of dollars. “….A key lesson here is that while technology and automation is good, we must also have the ability to efficiently operate manually as well. Attacks will happen, but how quick can you recover and restore critical services?”, Brian Harrel, former assistant secretary for infrastructure protection at the Department of Homeland Security, as reported by CNN. Having the support of insurance coverage through a Cyber policy is definitely one way to mitigate recovery exposure, should you fall victim.

NAPEO has pre-recorded webinars and information available on Cybersecurity. For non-members, follow this link to join.

Libertate Insurance Services has access to a variety of programs for Cyber Risk Coverage. Contact us, let us help you identify your Company’s Cyber Risk and find the best placement for your needs.

Cyber Attack Nightmares Continue

While most of us were celebrating Mother’s Day on Sunday, Colonial Pipeline was attempting to assess the damage related to a cyber-attack last week. Colonial Pipeline accounts for 45% of the East Coast’s fuel (diesel and petroleum). Colonial has had to take 4 of their main pipelines offline; they are operating off of smaller lines and delivery points. Impacts from New Jersey down through Texas are expected. As a response to the cyber-attack and limitation of the company’s resources the US government issued emergency legislation to lighten the regulation on fuel transportation. Extended shutdowns are “fueling” fears over pump prices.

The 5 Key anticipated cybersecurity risks in 2021 were reported as Endpoint threats (servers, VPNs and cloud based software services), Remote workforce exposures (weakened network security of remote devices), Cloud Security (business-critical data on cloud platforms), and Shortage of security professionals or services (availability and affordability). You can check out the full article here of expected cyber threat trends for 2021.

Newer threats emerging are “multi-stage attacks like ransomware or “low and slow hacks”. Ransomware attacks gain exposure through stolen credentials and are designed with the goal of systems and data infiltration. While mutli-factor authentication (MFA) is an important security feature to mitigate ransomware attacks, it is reported that 78% of Microsoft 365 admin users don’t activate MFA.

Colonial Pipeline’s hack is reported to be a ransomware attack, ” Sources said the ransomware attack was likely to have been caused by a cyber-criminal gang called DarkSide, who infiltrated Colonial’s network and locked the data on some computers and servers, demanding a ransom on Friday.

The gang tried to take almost 100 gigabytes of data hostage, threatening to leak it onto the internet, but the FBI and other government agencies worked with private companies to respond. The cloud computing system the hackers used to collect the stolen data was taken offline on Saturday, Reuters reported.

Colonial’s data did not appear to have been transferred from that system anywhere else, potentially limiting the hackers’ leverage to extort or further embarrass the company, the news agency said.” You can read the full Colonial Pipeline article issued by BBC News here.

Mitigate Your Cyber Security Risks

1 – Identify and document asset vulnerabilities; What data are you storing?

2 – Identify and document internal and external threats; disgruntled employees, Dark Web techniques

3 – Assess your vulnerabilities; software security up to date and in place

4 – Identify potential business impacts; financial, operational, etc

5 – Identify and prioritize your risk responses; Response plan, best practices, documentation of procedures

Check out our previous articles on Cyber Risk at PEO Compass search Cyber. Libertate Insurance Services has Cyber Programs available to mitigate the loss.