Worcester Business Journal

September 28, 2020

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24 Worcester Business Journal | September 28, 2020 | wbjournal.com 10) Reach out. When in doubt, go for it. Many people are feeling less connected than ever, and they may welcome hearing from you. 9) Be sensitive to altered circumstances. If you have not connected with someone in the last few days, begin your outreach by acknowledging the challenges of the pandemic. An extra "How have you been holding up lately?" demonstrates thoughtfulness. 8) But, know that life is not on pause. Everyone has been impacted in some way, but we all still have our eyes on goals and deadlines and on navigating the new normal. It is okay to do business. 7) Use technology. Staying engaged from afar half a century ago would have been nearly impossible. Luckily, we have smartphones, tablets, and laptops to help us connect efficiently. Send an email or text. Pick up the phone. 6) Get social media savvy. With less time commuting, networking and socializing, the internet has become a one-stop platform for filling these voids. Spruce up your LinkedIn presence and utilize it to discover and interact with new connections. 5) You've got mail! Getting a handwritten note in your mailbox can be a very pleasant surprise. Take five minutes to pen a personal note. 4) Stay informed. Do a quick Google search before reaching out to a new or lapsed contact. If her or his company had a recent round of layoffs or region's reopening phases has impacted their business significantly, that should inform your timing and approach. 3) Show your face. Programs such as Zoom, Skype, Microsoft Teams, and even apps like WhatsApp, Google Duo or Hangouts, and Marco Polo can make seeing each other's faces from a distance simple. With body language and facial expressions making up 55% of communication, hosting a video chat can make a world of difference. 2) Empower your team. Be sure your team has access to the same great resources and is encouraged to use them. Print company notecards, draft email blasts or direct mail pieces together, and set them up with the technology to help them succeed. 1) Show gratitude. It can be refreshing to hear from a contact without a solicitation or pitch. Express your appreciation for your relationship with them. Thank them for their past business or support and leave it at that. K N O W H O W The why's and how's of powers of attorney 10 1: A ccording to data analytics experts at Gallup, the 2017 annual employee turnover rate was 26.3%, based on numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. With the cost to replace one employee of a company ranging from one-half to two times that employee's annual salary, it's a worthwhile practice to review how employers can get to the root of why employees leave. Observe common trends, advises compensation soware and data company PayScale. Questions to ask: Did many of the departed employees report to the same hiring manager? at manager may need to be trained or let go. Did the employees who are no longer with the company all have specific skills? Maybe they are leaving for market opportunities where their skills are compensated more than what your company pays. Have the employees been in the same roles for a long period without promotion? If so, they may believe they need to leave the company to advance. Pay attention to when they leave, says Workstride, a New York-based channel incentive and employee-recognition firm. Losing top performers, for example, could be a sign of a larger cultural issue, such as ineffective management or a lack of professional- development opportunities. On the other hand, "High turnover among new employees could also signal a problem with the selection, onboarding and training processes," says Workstride experts, with the right combination of skill and fit imperative for long-term tenure. Determine why they stay. Iris Ware, chief learning officer with the City of Detroit, points out the process of figuring out employee turnover trends lean subjective and reflective, based on exit data and qualitative feedback. She comes at the problem from a different angle. "I focus on why good employees choose to stay and work to replicate those factors to increase retention," as opposed to concentrating on why they leave, she told Forbes.com. 1 0 T H I NG S I know about... ...Staying connected during a pandemic BY MATTHEW ERSKINE Special to the Worcester Business Journal W hy should you have powers of attorney for healthcare? To understand why you should have these documents, it's first important to understand what they are and how they work. e durable power of attorney, which will handle your financial affairs, is the official appointment of an agent to act on your behalf if you are unable to do so yourself, enduring past your mental or physical incapac- ity. For example, if you are going to take a cruise around the world and going to be gone for a year, you could execute a durable power of attorney and place it on your checking account so that your son or daughter could handle your financial affairs, by writ- ing checks to pay for your bills, while you are gone. In the case such as a sudden in- capacitating illness, like the corona- virus, you could execute a durable power of attorney but not give it to the agent you will appoint, or place it onto a bank account or other financial account until it is required. e rea- son why you would want to have such a document as a contingency plan is because otherwise, if you are incapac- itated, the only way to appoint some- body to act on your behalf would be to go into the courts and have a either a guardian or a conservator appointed to handle your financial affairs. Not only is this lengthy and time-con- suming, but it's washing your dirty laundry in public, since necessarily it is a public record. As to the healthcare proxy, again that is an appointment for someone to communicate to your primary care physician if you are unable to communicate to your physician yourself. is allows the primary care physician to speak with someone other than yourself, or perhaps your spouse, without violating the privacy regulations. Usually the designation of a healthcare proxy does not include any restrictions on the treatments that you can receive, which is usually described in a living will. You can go about getting a durable power of attorney by downloading the appropriate form and filling out the name and address of the individual that you would like to designate as your agent. ese forms are available through your attorney, but also through online legal form applications, such as LegalZoom. Of course, your estate planning attorney can provide you with these forms and with greater guidance on how to execute them. When should you give the durable power of attorney to your agent and ask them to place their name onto a checking or other financial account, and to begin handling your financial affairs? You could put it on just be- cause it is convenient to have some- one else handle your financial affairs. e other option is when it's apparent you will not be able to handle your affairs on your own. Obviously by that point you will be incapacitated, so in many cases I have held durable powers of attorney for my clients in a secure vault, and it is only when the client is too ill or has too many physical or mental frailties to be able to fully manage their financial affairs that I then contact the agent, as the client's attorney, and go with them to set up the durable power of attorney on the bank account. Obviously this is a judgment call as to how trustworthy a particular individual is and whether or not your incapacity is short-term or long-term. I usually describe to my clients, when preparing estate plans for them, that a durable power of attorney and healthcare proxy are like buying fire insurance on your home. Hopefully, you will never need to use it, but if you do need it, it will be a lifesaver. Matthew Erskine is managing partner for Worcester law firm Erskine & Erskine. Reach him at (508) 753-7100. BY SUSAN SHALHOUB Special to the Worcester Business Journal By Julie Bowditch Julie Bowditch is the advancement officer for community fundraising at UMass Medical School in Worcester. Reach her at julie.bowditch@ umassmed.edu. D I A G N O S I N G T U R N O V E R W W W

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