Well-being in the Workplace

Well-being is so much more than wellness.  It is a complex combination of a person's physical, mental, emotional and social health. Well-being is strongly linked to happiness and life satisfaction.  Well-being in the workplace is a key determinant of not only individual health and happiness but overall productivity and organizational profits. 

Creating a culture of well-being in the workplace involves understanding, measuring and improving physical, psychological, social and financial wellness. This collectively allows employees to feel safe, healthy, and able to thrive and maximize their potential. Employee well-being is increasingly the focus of senior leadership attention.

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For the third year in a row, Bouchard Insurance, A Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC Company, was recognized for Outstanding Culture of Well Being at the Cigna North Florida Summit. This program honors workplaces that are making a difference in the health and well-being of their employees. The Well-Being Award application evaluates areas such as leadership, organizational foundations, policy and environment, program implementation and participation. 

At Bouchard, our mission is to support and educate employees, clients, families and friends by encouraging habits of wellness. We accomplish this by increasing awareness and making resources available that inspire and empower all to be responsible for their total wellness, or well-being.

Well-being: the state of being comfortable, healthy, or happy

Well-being is an integral part of the culture at Bouchard Insurance and our programs help employees achieve their goals and improve their overall quality of life. We're passionate about our employees' well-being and take every opportunity to celebrate their success.

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As an insurance agency selling risk management solutions for both health insurance and workers compensation programs, we truly understand the importance of well-being.  We advise clients and prospects on programs and initiatives where we have found success here at Bouchard with our own employees. 


About the Author

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Beth Patterson is the Agency Coordinator for Human Resources at Bouchard Insurance. Beth and the HR team have been a critical part of the wellness strategies we have implemented internally and believe it makes us a better employer and partner in the communities we serve. | Connect on LinkedIn

Happiness Within The Office

Like any good millennial, I had dreams of working for ‘The Office’. You know, Dunder Mifflin led by the one and only Michael Scott. But probably not for the reasons you’re thinking.

Sure, it would be fun to work somewhere where office pranks are a thing. Where the boss is hilarious and always causing a ruckus. Somewhere that honors employees with silly made up awards at a fine establishment like Chili’s and spends enormous amounts of time on non-sense.

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But what honestly attracted me to the idea of their office environment was the camaraderie that they have. They give each other a hard time, but rally around each other when it counts. They step in for each other when the job needs to get done. They become each other’s closest friends and biggest supporters. And for the most part, they seemed to be genuinely happy at work. Those are the things that inspired me to find an office environment.

I’ve taken a rather mixed up path to end up at Bouchard Insurance. I earned a degree in Hotel Management and started my career with Marriott, transitioned to a role with a vision company doing marketing and events, moved into a program coordinator role for a non-profit, and took a brief detour in early education.  It wasn’t a straight line that led me here, but those experiences gave me a perspective I don’t think I would have otherwise had.

Walking around the Bouchard office my first week I was most impressed by the nameplates on people’s workspaces (which include our anniversary dates)… Serving Since 1979, 1986, 1999. I’ve been in the professional world for a little over a decade and have had 3 major career changes with 5 different companies in that time. What in the world is it like to work somewhere for 40 years?

In a day and age of “coolest office” awards, ping pong tables, and beer on tap in the break room, I think it’s easy to get lost in what we’re really looking for in a career. I don’t think I’m alone in saying that I’d much rather have co-workers I can count on than a ping pong table. I’d rather have a clear career path with the opportunity for growth than beer on tap. And I would certainly rather have a manager who says “I trust you to do what’s right” than a nap pod.

Doug Bishop, our CEO, sits in a cubicle with my team. He calls it The Quad. There are open offices in our building, but he declined to have one in favor of his cube. I’ve never worked for someone more approachable than Doug. I’m a bit of an outside the box kind of person (okay, maybe more than a bit), and because of that I often bring him out-of-the-box ideas. Like having a penguin at our client educational seminar for a brain break, confetti any chance we get, or renaming my department to “The Department of Happiness” (Golden Ticket ideas if you will). While it may earn me some heckling at company meetings, he supports my unconventional ideas. More importantly, he trusts me and my dedication to the company. He gives me a platform to be the best I can be, and then gets out of the way and lets me do it. He’s told me he would since the day I was hired, and he’s never waivered from that commitment.

Our company culture is ingrained in that commitment. There are no “culture keepers” and we’re certainly not trying to “maintain” our culture in the face of the huge change we’re going through. We recognize that our culture is a fluid thing. It develops as we develop. It’s not to be held or kept. It’s growing as the organization grows.

So while a nap pod sounds good in theory, I’m much more excited to work for an organization that cares about me as a person. That supports having dynamic thinkers. A company that recognizes that without change we’re not advancing. And understands that fun at work doesn’t always look like “fun”. It sometimes looks like a normal office environment with co-workers we can count on; and the occasional Pretzel Day for good measure.  

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These are the people I go to when I’m having a tough day. These are the people I celebrate life events with. And these are the people who have finally made me understand why people can and would work somewhere for 40 years.

It doesn’t need to be overcomplicated or expensive. Happiness at work is just that, happiness.


About the Author

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Tori McGee is the Brand Manager for Bouchard Insurance. Tori's team is responsible for the presentation of the agency in the communities we serve through digital marketing, community partnerships, graphic design, and events. | Connect on LinkedIn

Two Types of Riders: Preventing the Avalanche

We have all heard it before. There are two types of motorcycle riders, those who’ve gone down, and those who haven’t gone down yet.

Motorcycle riding provides an outlet for millions of people all over the world. Whether it be to blow off steam, get some wind therapy, live the lifestyle, or just enjoying the comradery; motorcycling is a skill that most do not “practice” and “prepare” for with the intent to be better and safer at it. Unfortunately, this means that there are hundreds of thousands of riders out there who have not had the real-world experience required to proficiently maneuver and control the 100+ mph animal underneath them in risky or emergency situations. Delivering the importance of practice, safety, and awareness to the current and future riders of the sport is crucial not only to the growth of the sport, but also saving the lives of those on two wheels, three wheels, and even four.

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Motorcycle safety starts with education and grows with communication, cognizance, and accountability. Hundreds of dealers all over the country have rider training and licensure courses for those looking to engage in the sport. This is wonderful! Growing the sport through the shared passion and excitement for riding is what every single manufacturer in the segment needs for sustainable growth. That being said, the courtship cannot end when the candidate passes the course. We have all seen recent course graduates disappear for a few months, to a few years, with their newly printed motorcycle endorsed license, all the while forgetting to practice what they learned while earning their endorsement.  

After a period of time, they come in, the salesperson follows the process, engages and educates, assists in the product selection, offers the test ride upon confirming the motorcycle endorsed license, waivers are signed and down the road the prospect and your sales person go. What happens next? Truth is, 99 times out of 100, nothing out of the ordinary. The new to sport prospect likes the ride, most likely they are shaking a little with a combination of excitement and fear, and they are ready to make their dreams come true. What about that 1 test ride that doesn’t end well? Could we have done more qualification to prevent it? Could we have had an “orientation” area where the newly licensed rider was thoroughly familiarized with the motorcycle selected and practiced on a closed course?

We need to ask ourselves as advocates of and experts in the sport, “Have we educated our customers and employees on the safety essentials? Do they have all the right safety equipment? Are we making the safety equipment selection process both informational and easy? Are we reminding the customer throughout the sales process that while owning a motorcycle is exciting, it comes with increased responsibility to practice, pay attention, never outride their abilities and, when able, never be afraid to avoid riding situations above their comfort level?” The casualties associated with a catastrophic motorcycle demonstration ride accident does not stop at the incident report. The sport may lose a rider. Your dealership suffers from possibly having an employee out on workers compensation. Your commercial insurance premiums rise. The scathed new rider loses their interest, broadcasts their horrifying experience to all of their friends and family, and the sport, your dealership and the manufacturer lose the opportunity to welcome new riders into the fold or seasoned riders back into the brand. Below is a short list of benefits to focusing on a safer riding population:

  • Higher volume of sales on helmets, jackets, boots and safety gear, which is one of the largest profit margins in the dealership

  • Appropriate motorcycle selection based on rider ability leads to the rider naturally growing from entry level, to cruiser to touring model. In this case, the dealership sells 3 or more motorcycles, sees the rider more often for service, parts and accessories, and builds a healthy, long-term relationship with the rider

  • The customer becomes a walking billboard for your dealership. As the customer’s confidence increases, they ride more miles. They meet more riders and speak highly of your dealership, your team and the lifestyle

The motorcycle market has been contracting at an alarming level since 2008. The attraction to moving metal whenever we have the opportunity to is something that must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis as new riders walk through the doors with the same sparkle in their eye we all had the first time we laid eyes on our new motorcycle. Grow the sport, grow your brand, grow your customer base, grow the relationship. Let’s not make short term decisions which could have irreparable, long term consequences. After all, less than 25% of the new motorcycles sold are to first time buyers.

The lives, relationships, and lifetime value of your customer base far outweighs the one-time sale to a new rider who doesn’t return to the sport due to fear, lack of interest, or even worse.

I love motorcycling! It is a passion I shared with my late step-father that guided me down a career path into the powersports and Harley-Davidson industry. I can say with absolute certainty that my time in dealerships, conversing with riders of all kind, logging thousands of miles with people that almost instantaneously shifted from acquaintances to friends, and sharing stories with proponents of riding more miles have been some of the best experiences of my life. Let’s not rob those new to the sport of the opportunity to experience what we love about it by ignoring the importance of safety and proficiency when throwing their leg over their new pride and joy!

Be safe, bust bugs, and ride on!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Jim Shamshak is a Sales Executive at Bouchard Insurance. Jim specializes in Property & Casualty, Workers’ Compensation, and Health Benefits for large commercial accounts. | Connect on LinkedIn

3rd Annual SummerFest

SummerFest is an annual, weeklong celebration of our colleagues. It’s held during the week of our summer Communication Meeting. Leadership, along with a volunteer committee, plans this event to show appreciation for the work we do all year. This was the 3rd annual SummerFest and we added in a few new activities this year, while keeping the tradition alive of our favorites (hello, Office Olympics!).

Let’s take a look back at last week’s fun!

Monday: Yacht Rock Day

Any excuse for us to have a photo booth at 8am on a Monday, right? Colleagues dressed in their Yacht Rock best and enjoyed a yacht-themed photo booth and soft-rock classics from the mid 70s to the early 80s over the speakers.

Tuesday: Acts of Kindness Day & Infused Water Bar

It wasn’t exactly random, but we do love a good act of kindness! Managers emailed their employees a note of thanks and the SummerFest committee distributed motivational quote bracelets. We also had a variety of fresh fruits and herbs for an infused water bar in the break rooms.

Wednesday: Coffee & Donuts

Nothing like a jolt of caffeine and sugar rush to get you through hump day! Each office started their morning with coffee and donuts.

Thursday: Office Olympics

I like to refer to this day as ‘THE BEST DAY OF THE YEAR’, others simply call it Office Olympics. Colleagues wore their best athletic fashion, often 80s workout gear, and came ready for some fierce competition. We started the morning with opening ceremonies, including the National Anthem and Torch March around the building, then broke off into games throughout the office. Each of our offices participated in the same 5 games; Waste Paper Basketball, Solo Cup Stack, Speed Skating (Typing Test), Tic Tac Toe Pong, and the Pencil Flipping Challenge. Scores were tallied by location and the top three participants were awarded with a fantastically random trophy at the Communication Meeting the following day.

Friday: Communication Meeting & The Elsey’s

The Communication Meeting is a company-wide meeting led by our CEO, Doug Bishop. We started the meeting by presenting a check to the Gramatica Family Foundation for the funds raised at the Derby Day 5K. Thanks to our runners and volunteers we were able to donate $22,000 to the foundation to help them build a home for a combat wounded veteran.

After some company updates, we awarded our Office Olympics winners from each office and finished the morning with The Elsey’s (think ‘The Dundies’ for The Office fans). It’s basically superlatives that are voted on by the entire company and they’re always a lot of fun.

To put it simply, it’s a week of fun. It’s fun to dress up at work. It’s fun to be recognized by your managers and peers. It’s fun to have a little healthy competition. But most of all, it’s fun to work for a company that recognizes the importance of having fun.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tori McGee is the Brand Manager for Bouchard Insurance. Tori's team is responsible for the presentation of the agency in the communities we serve through digital marketing, community partnerships, graphic design, and events. | Connect on LinkedIn

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Animal Liability?

I am a big animal lover and can’t imagine my world without my two happy, snuggly dogs - they are my babies! But what happens if my dog was scared and nipped at someone? Even the most lovable and well-behaved dogs can be unpredictable if they are in a scary situation or are protecting their owner or food. There are some pets out there that would never intentionally harm someone but could create an accidental injury - like a cat scratching a child’s face, a Great Dane leaning into someone for cuddles and causing them to fall, or a leash wrapping around someone’s foot and causing them to trip. I know that no one ever adds a furry friend to their home thinking of the potential liability, but as common as it is, you want to be informed on what your home insurance policy covers!

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But do I need Animal Liability on my home insurance policy?

According to the Insurance Information Institute, Florida is the #2 state in the country for dog bites and in 2018 alone, insurance companies paid out over $56 million dollars in animal liability claims. In fact, the average claim in Florida was almost $44,000. We know accidents happen, but you never think your dog will injure someone, until he does. Due to the frequency of animal claims in Florida, many home insurance carriers have excluded animal liability from their policies and if you do have coverage, many of the policies have a limit of $25,000-$50,000 in damage.

How expensive will it be to add the coverage?

This coverage is typically very inexpensive. Depending on the company and level of coverage selected, the price will range from $25-50 extra per year.

Ok! Let’s add Animal Liability!

Great choice! But first, there are some restrictions that are accompanied with this coverage. Your dog typically cannot have a prior history of biting. Also, your dog cannot be on the company’s restricted dog breed list. Each company has their own list and you should contact your Bouchard agent to see if your animal is eligible. Even if you do have a restricted dog or a dog with a naughty history, don’t be shy about telling us! We typically have a solution to make sure Fido can still be covered.

What about my umbrella policy?

Many umbrella polices follow the form of your home insurance policy. This means that if your home insurance policy excludes a coverage, your umbrella policy would also. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule and you should read your policy documents to see how your insurance company could cover animal liability.

My dog is a part of my family and always will be! But for me and my home, we would rather add an extra $25-50 to our home policy than risk a $44,000 lawsuit. As always, read your policy language to make sure you understand your limitations or speak with your Bouchard agent to understand your coverages.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Christin Snow is a Personal Lines Account Manager at Bouchard Insurance. Christin is experienced in all lines of personal insurance. | Connect on LinkedIn