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How will the latest ACA delays affect your business?

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For the time being, businesses with 50-99 employees can delay the Affordable Care Act (ACA) employer mandate of providing employee health insurance until January 2016 before facing potential penalties. Companies with 100 or more full-time equivalent (FTE) employees still face a January 1, 2015, compliance deadline.

Part of it is about giving companies time to come into compliance, but also they do not know yet how penalties will be enforced or collected. The law doesn’t allow the IRS to collect any penalties, so they have a real challenge trying to figure out how to collect the money.

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18 Tips to Improve Your Next Presentation

Improve Your Next Presentation with Sequent

With presentations, whether you’re the presenter or an audience member, there’s one thing everyone is sharing — time. As the presenter, it’s your job to make the most out of your audience’s time and to help with that, here are some pointers to improve your next business presentation.

1. Practice

A great presentation feels like a great conversation with an old friend; effortless, fun, and thoroughly enjoyed by everyone. It's not just the content that makes a great presentation, but how the content is being presented. Practicing helps make the presentation feel polished and a joy to watch, and what’s nice is that most presentation software has a rehearsal feature that allows you to get the timing down, and even record yourself talking. If you are strapped for time, it's ok — practicing once is better than not practicing at all.

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Columbus Jazz Arts Group Presents "Brass & Grass"

Relentless Mules

Sequent, a proud sponsor of the Jazz Arts Group of Columbus Inside Track Series, presents "Brass & Grass" at the Lincoln Theatre in Columbus on Saturday, April 26th at 8:00pm.


Enjoy an Evening Chock Full of Jazz and Bluegrass!

Don’t miss this ear-bending collaboration of funky New Orleans jazz and bluegrass when local favorites New Basics Brass Band and The Relentless Mules join forces on stage for “Brass & Grass.” Taste how the common ingredients of gospel, blues, swing, and improvisation stir together into this tasty, toe-tapping gumbo.


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A High-Performance Culture

rock_climbers

No two cultures are exactly the same. Just as there is no one perfect personality, there is no one perfect culture. However, organizations that possess a healthy, high-performance culture all have a similar feeling about them.

Typical descriptions include:

“A flexible and highly adaptable culture is where employees display a ‘can-do’ attitude, a contagious sense of optimism and belief in themselves, and the company’s vision, mission and values. People at all levels of the organization would feel energized and empowered and would be growing both personally and professionally by being a part of the company.”

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Women Are Saving Less

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One of the findings in Aon Hewitt’s 2013 Universe Benchmarks Report is that women are saving less for retirement than men.

Although men and women participate in their employers’ defined contribution plans at the same rate, women are saving less: 6.9% of pay for women versus 7.6% for men. Also, women are contributing below the threshold for the employer match in greater numbers than men.

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Helping Employees Understand How HSAs Work – Part 1

Medical Expenses

Your employees could save between 25-35% on healthcare expenses by putting money into a Health Savings Account (HSA). It’s like having a 30% off coupon every time they go to the doctor!

Do you offer a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) to your employees? If so, you probably also offer a Health Savings Account (HSA); it’s a great way for employees to save money while taking care of eligible medical expenses. An HSA is a tax-advantaged savings account used to pay for or to reimburse for certain eligible health care expenses. By putting money into an HSA, your employees could save between 25-35% on your expenses. It’s like having a 30% off coupon every time they go to the doctor!


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Gamification - Get the job done by adding an element of fun!

Gamification

In the classic film Mary Poppins, a very astute Michael Banks calls the cheeky nanny “tricky” when they begin the game “Well Begun is Half Done" a.k.a. "Let’s Tidy Up the Nursery.” In reply, Mary Poppins says, “In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. You find the fun, and - SNAP - the job's a game!”

Although fifty years have passed since this sentiment was uttered, it’s certainly still relevant, especially in today’s workforce. Organizations need to train their associates and promote changes in behavior. But how do you get your employees excited about learning? How do you revolutionize their learning experience? How do you create a learning experience that’s not only informational, but fun and highly engaging?

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The Secret Weapon...Selfless Teamwork

Puzzle Contribution“Good teams become great ones when the members trust each other enough to surrender the 'me' for the 'we'.” Phil Jackson

It was already a muggy, mid-July morning even though it was 5am. The recruiter came to take me to the processing center. Eighteen hours and a flight to San Antonio later, I was standing in humidity so fierce I could barely breathe. A military training instructor was screaming at me to “pick `em up and put `em down”. He was referring to my duffle bag which contained nearly all I had left from my “civilian life”. I could not get my bearings. The only things I could see were hazy yellow lights of other training squadrons nearby and confusion in the faces of the nearly sixty strangers who would become my “flight” for the next 6 weeks.


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Learning Culture - Making it Safe to Learn

woman at laptop learning

It’s human nature - the desire to be recognized and seen as a valuable asset. In the workplace, this desire drives us to do our best to please our manager. In doing so, it can lead to some unintended consequences perhaps the biggest of which is fear of making mistakes.

While no one wants to fail, a fear to fail can be deadly to creativity and productivity. In an effort to please the boss, employees become afraid to try something new. The ‘safe’ performance is favored over innovation. The ‘safe’ performance is rewarded in favorable performance reviews and the occasional pat on the back. It’s a comfortable place for both the manager and the employee. The trouble with comfortable places is it’s easy to become complacent and a complacent employee is not one who is driving the team to positive results.

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College Savings 101

College_Savings_Chart

The gift of a college education is within your reach if you start planning early. Here’s our guide to funding a college education for your children or grandchildren.

Here are seven tips to help you get started. Breathe a sigh of relief: Although the cost of college has been rising well above the rate of inflation for more than a decade, there are some signs that annual increases are moderating, according to the College Board. Its Trends in College Pricing report for the 2013–14 school year shows a 3.2% average increase in total year-over-year costs at public, four-year in-state schools (to $18,391), and a 3.7% increase at private, four-year colleges and universities (to $40,917).

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