We’re thrilled to report that we exceeded our fund raising goal for Habitat for Humanity. We mailed off a check for a little over $1,800 to the SF Bay Area chapter of Habitat for Humanity. Everyone here at GuideSpark had a blast back in February when we shut down our computers and picked up our hammers for our first ever Day of Service. We installed doors, constructed brand new window sills, and caulked walls to help build up homes for low-income families in our community. Our fearless leader, CEO Keith Kitani, spent the day cleaning debris and building a foundation for the home’s backyard garden, using his great experience building a solid foundation for GuideSpark back in 2008!
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We asked our lead writer, Sarah Leavitt, for advice on writing short content delivered to employees through various mediums. Just imagine trying to deliver a consistent message across all your channels of communication including email, Twitter, Facebook and your company blog. Effective communication is a core part of our business and as a result we have collected a set of best practices we’d like to share with you.
- Use active language.
- Don’t speak colloquially, regionally, or in any kind of dialect that isn’t a well-thought out part of your strategy.
- Be intentional.
- Spell check. Always.
- Make your point in as few words as possible.
It’s time for another entry in GuideSpark’s ongoing series of updates about the relevant policies and programs of the health care reform law that may have an effect on employers all over the U.S. Today, we will take a brief look at the new requirement to report the value of employer-sponsored group health plans on W-2 tax forms.
As of January 31, 2013, all employers must report the cost of the medical coverage they provide on each employee’s W-2 form. Despite this new reporting requirement, including these costs on W-2 forms does not mean health care coverage coverage is taxable. The value of the employer’s contribution to medical insurance will continue to be excluded from an employee’s income for tax purposes.
Now that the blisters, back strain, and bruises have had some time to heal, we can now celebrate a successful Day of Service. It was great to see everyone contribute 110%, whether we were digging ditches, laying floor planks, building fences, caulking siding, or installing furnaces, among a myriad of other tasks. Not only was our Day of Service with Habitat for Humanity a rewarding experience in terms of team building, but more importantly it was also a great way for GuideSpark to give back to the community. And, in addition to our volunteered labor, we’re also still raising money, which is a good way for anyone – GuideSpark employee or not – to contribute to our efforts. We’ll be raising money until the end of February, so feel free to contribute via our Day of Service paypal: firstname.lastname@example.org (and remember to mark the payment as a gift!).
GuideSpark will be joining Habitat for Humanity on Feb 7 to help fix homes in our area for people in need. We’re trying to raise awareness that all communities have people who need help, including food and shelter, even communities in the heart of Silicon Valley. Volunteers will be helping with touch ups, painting, flooring, and doing other finishing work. This is all part of our GuideSpark Day of Service lead by a group of amazing people here in the company.
When we meet with HR professionals, one of the first discussions we have is just how much has happened in the world of communications over the last 5 years. Sure, most of the innovation has occurred out on the consumer web but we have always maintained that it’s only a matter of time before the more mainstream trends make it into the enterprise.
We obviously think that video is an important consumer trend for employers to embrace in their employee communications strategies. Another consumer trend that you may be tired of hearing about at this point – social networking – is the latest to gain enterprise adoption. There are two companies in this space that have created a sort of Facebook for the enterprise that are growing at impressive rates:
How do Fortune 100 Best Places to Work communicate open enrollment changes and engage employees on benefit-related topics?
Adobe Systems and Meridian Health have both ranked on the FORTUNE 100 Best Places to Work in recent and multiple years. Both are leading organizations in their respective industries. And both have embraced the trend of using video as an integral part of their benefits communications strategies.
Though coming from very different backgrounds, technology and healthcare, Adobe Systems and Meridian Health share some of the same HR needs that large organizations experience. Each of their workforces are distributed over multiple domestic and, in Adobe’s case, international offices. The need to ensure consistent HR messaging across these locations is important.
Making its home amongst scores of other technology companies, GuideSpark recently relocated to its new home at:
1000 Elwell Court, Suite #225
Palo Alto, CA 94303
Positioned a stone’s throw from the scenic marshlands of the San Francisco Bay, our new offices have everything a growing company needs, including scores of handy parking spaces, easy access to the freely flowing 101, and a short drive to salubrious downtown Mountain View.
Now if we could just figure out where to eat lunch…
A majority of people have agreed they would like more guidance from their employer about how to achieve retirement goals according to the 11th Annual Transamerica Retirement Survey.
Perhaps not surprisingly, employees with a higher overall education level are more likely to be financially well in retirement. Only 63% of employees with only a high school diploma participated in a retirement plan, as opposed to 84% of those with a college degree.
But all education levels showed a desire for direction from their employers.