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10 Steps to Keeping Employee Parking Lots Safe

Bookmark and Share Have you ever considered the safety of your parking lot? Criminal activity, inclement weather and fender benders are all events that can affect the safety of your valued employees. Several steps ensure you are keeping employee parking lots safe.

  1. Install Lighting

    A well-lit parking lot helps employees feel safe and decreases criminal activity since burglars or vandals can't hide in the shadows. Install enough lights to illuminate your entire parking area, including corners and building entrances.

  2. Monitor the Lot

    Security cameras or security guards add a layer of protection to your employee parking lot. They deter criminal activity and notice any safety hazards.

  3. Mark the Lot

    Every parking space should be clearly marked, and you should mark arrows on the ground that direct traffic flow. This step helps drivers navigate the parking lot successfully, especially during rush hour.

  4. Provide Security Escorts

    There's safety in numbers. If possible, assign security staff to walk employees to and from their cars every day or encourage employees to walk with a buddy or group.

  5. Perform Repairs

    As soon as you notice a blown light or see faded parking space markings, replace or repair the problem.

  6. Provide Safe Waiting Areas

    Employees should never have to wait alone in the parking lot. Provide safe place to wait in case someone locks their keys in their car, has to wait for a ride or otherwise can't leave work immediately.

  7. Report Odd or Suspicious Activity

    Encourage your employees to join you in looking for and then reporting odd or suspicious behavior such as:

    • Unfamiliar people or anyone who looks like they don't belong.
    • Someone wandering aimlessly through the lot.
    • People carrying large bags or concealing objects.
    • A person who peers into parked cars or tries to open the door handles.
    • Someone conducting business from a vehicle.
    • Anyone who sits in a parked vehicle for an extended time.

  8. Plan for Inclement Weather

    Ice, snow, slippery leaves and other inclement weather can pose a safety hazard as employees walk into work. Remove snow, spread ice melter and sweep away slippery leaves as you promote safety.

  9. Teach Self-Defense Tactics

    Empower your employees with basic self-defense training. They will feel confident in potentially dangerous situations at work and anywhere.

  10. Post Safety Signs

    Visual reminders help your employees remember and follow safe parking lot practices. These written rules can include reminders to:

    • Stay alert.
    • Pay attention to your surroundings.
    • Walk with another person when possible.
    • Have your key ready before you reach your car.
    • Lock your doors.
    • Don’t linger in the lot.
These 10 steps go a long way toward keeping employee parking lots safe. Consider implementing them as soon as possible.

Talking with Coworkers About Your Disability and Accomodations

Bookmark and Share The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits employers from telling coworkers anything about an employee’s disability, including the fact that an employee is receiving an accommodation.

However, in some cases, the employee might want to educate coworkers voluntarily about the disability and accommodation, especially if their coworkers are going to notice the accommodation anyway. For example, if an employee with a disability is using a service dog at work, it might be useful to educate coworkers about service dogs.

Or, suppose an employee has severe allergies and needs to avoid inadvertent exposure at work. Here are some general guidelines for employees with disabilities communicating information about their disability and accommodation to their fellow workers:

Keep the conversation work related.

Let coworkers know why you’re telling them about your disability.

Don’t assume that they know anything about your disability; be prepared to provide general information if relevant.

Let coworkers know what you need from them and why you need it.

Explain to them what accommodations you’ll need and how they will help you perform your job.

Be positive and open, but limit the information you provide to the amount that you’re comfortable sharing

12 Most Desired Employee Benefits

Bookmark and Share Employee benefits can be as important as salary when you choose a job. With a well-rounded benefits package, a company shows that it values its employees as people and is committed to their work/life balance, morale and motivation now and into the future. Surprisingly, some of the most desired benefits are unique, as you'll see on this list of the 12 most desired employee benefits.

  1. Retirement Plans

    Employees appreciate a company that helps them plan for the future, especially if the company offers matching retirement funds. Access to a financial planner is another bonus.

  2. Health Insurance

    The stability of a group health insurance plan gives employees peace of mind. It's also often more affordable than an individual policy, making it a valuable asset for many employees.

  3. Dental and Vision Insurance

    Often optional coverage, dental and vision insurance keep employees healthy and happy.

  4. Life Insurance

    With life insurance, employees can make sure their loved ones are provided for in the future. The peace of mind is invaluable.

  5. Flexible Spending Accounts

    Employees use FSA funds to pay for qualified health care or dependent care expenses. This benefit and its financial benefits stretch their paycheck and gives peace of mind.

  6. Paid Leave

    Paid vacation, sick, holiday and personal leave allows employees to take care of themselves and their families. It promotes work/life balance and improves loyalty and production.

  7. Flexible Hours

    When possible, companies can offer flexible hours. This schedule allows employees work when they're at their peak, take time off to care for personal or family matters, and find better work/life balance.

  8. Telecommuting

    The ability to work from home appeals to many employees. They value the chance to work independently, save money on transportation and take a tax break.

  9. Maternity/Paternity Leave 

    Because the standard maternity leave is only 12 weeks for new moms, employers demonstrate their value for families when they offer expanded maternity and paternity leave. This benefit also improves middle class income potential and encourages more women to enter the workforce

  10. Free Child Care

    Some employers offer free on-site child care. While this benefit is particularly popular with parents, it improves productivity for everyone since it reduces time off and improves project continuity.

  11. Tuition Reimbursement

    By paying for employees to further their education, a company empowers it team and improves its future.

  12. Student Loan Assistance

    College loans can take years to repay. Any assistance is welcome by employees and helps employers attract educated and trained workers.
When asked about the most desired employee benefits, these 12 benefits top the list. They improve employee relations, productivity and motivation and helps companies attract quality employees, so look for them the next time you apply for a new job.

How to Pick the Best Health Insurance

Bookmark and Share It is very difficult to evaluate what Health insurance plan is the best fit for you if you don’t have a basic knowledge of insurance industry lingo and terminology. An insurance provider can describe the various insurance plans ad nauseam, but unless you understand the technical terms, you are not likely to be any wiser by the end.

The following are some of the most commonly used and important Health insurance terms:

Exclusions: The services that will not be covered under a Health insurance policy. Exclusions vary per provider, but cosmetic surgery, experimental treatments, or home care would be examples of common exclusions.

Co-payment: The fixed out-of-pocket amount that you will pay for each medical service or prescription before the Health insurance provider begins to pay for the service or prescription. This amount will also vary per policy, but usually range from $10 to $50.

Co-insurance: The percentage of the total cost that you will pay for a medical expense. Co-insurance may be in lieu of a co-payment or in addition to it. It also varies per policy, but a common arrangement is 20% patient payment and 80% insurance provider payment.

Deductible: The amount of out-of-pocket money you will pay before any health care expense is paid by the Health insurance provider. The annual deductible can be anywhere from $500 dollars to thousands, depending on what type of insurance plan you choose.

Coverage Limits: The pre-set monetary amount that a Health insurance plan will cover. Once you incur medical expenses past the limit, you will be responsible to pay the entire amount out-of-pocket.

Premium: The monthly payment amount that you pay to your Health insurance provider to continue coverage.

Out-of-Pocket Maximums: The point where your payment obligation ends and the health insurance company pays all future covered medical costs. These maximum out-of-pocket expenses can be applied to a particular benefit section or the all the policy benefits.

How to Determine What Health Insurance Plan Is the Right One

Health insurance coverage should be based on individual need and monetary resources. Cost is obviously a huge consideration, but luckily consumers have a lot of health care plan options. The cost of a health care plan will vary based on the benefits it provides and what insurance company is providing it. Exclusions, coverage limits, deductibles, etc. will all impact the monthly premium amount.

At the same time, a policy is virtually worthless if it fails to cover your expected medical needs; for example, if you expect to become pregnant, but the coverage excludes maternity, it probably will not be a very beneficial plan for you. There might also be certain known medical needs, such as prescription medications, mental health needs, immunizations, home health, therapy, eyeglasses, or preventative care, that you would want to ensure are covered in whatever Health insurance policy you choose. Always understand the benefits a plan offers before signing on the dotted line.

Lastly, you should make sure that the plan is offered by a reputable Health insurance company. It is also beneficial if the company has a professional insurance agent available. The insurance agent can best apprise you of all of your health care coverage options, help you determine what plan best encompasses your financial and medical need, and answer any policy-specific questions you might have.