Purchasing Power A Better Way To Buy
September 2014

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News From Purchasing Power
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The Myth of the 40-Hour Workweek

A recent report released by Gallup shows that full-time US employees work, on average, 47 hours per week – a number that’s held steady since 2001.

Gallup’s annual Work and Education Survey also showed that salaried workers work five more hours per week than those who are paid hourly, which is most likely due to limitations in overtime pay.  In fact, 50 percent of the salaried workers surveyed indicated that they work more than 50 hours per week. One in four salaried workers reported working 60+ hours.

The takeaway? It’s not all about the number of hours worked. Previous studies have shown that employee well-being is also impacted by engaging work and a positive work environment. Americans outpace many other countries when it comes to the amount of time we work and unused vacation days, and we certainly need to examine the impact of our workaholic culture. But we also need to do more to make the work environment more pleasant, provide opportunities for growth and offer benefits that support their overall well-being.



Enrollment Tips: Education Is the Key to Success

For many organizations, with the fall and winter comes benefits enrollment season. According to a recent SHRM article, there is a common theme when it comes to benefits enrollment: the more information available, the better!

And as demand for voluntary benefits increases, educating your employee or member base is becoming even more important. According to the SHRM article, 70 percent of employees who feel knowledgeable about their benefits rated their employer as excellent. Those who do not feel knowledgeable are much less likely to rate their employers as excellent (30 percent).

While educating employees and members about the value of their benefits options and what they entail may seem like common sense, only 33 percent of employees rated benefits education as excellent or very good. Twenty-seven percent rated it as fair or poor.

Further, the SHRM article highlights how little time employees spend on benefits decisions, averaging as little as 15 minutes. This lack of education and decision time can be quite expensive, as 40% of employees state they waste up to $750 each year due to mistakes in benefits choices.

The good news is companies and membership organizations can start benefits education today, helping employees and members understand financial implications and think about both their long-term and short-term needs. Lean on your carriers to present at benefits fairs, provide benefits materials in multiple formats (video, in-person, PDFs, hard copies and through your company intranet), and allow for plenty of time to digest information.

Click here to read the full article.



Now Introducing: Your Dedicated Client Services Manager!

In the coming days, you will be receiving a communication from your Account Executive about an improvement in the way we manage the operations of your account. In addition to their support, you also now have a dedicated Client Services Manager. The Client Services team has always backed your Account Executive and now they’re moving from behind the scenes so we can continue to deliver quick answers and resolutions.

Your dedicated Client Services Manager will be your direct contact for day-to-day operational and systemic processes:

  • Payroll deduction questions
  • File transfers
  • Pay frequency changes
  • Payroll ID changes
  • Eligibility questions
  • Participant escalations

If you have any questions, feel free to contact your Account Executive. We will continue to do whatever it takes to ensure a great customer experience for you and your employees/members.



Fast 5: Learn All About Our New Brand

As you may have noticed, we’ve been slowly changing our branding. Our updated look includes a new logo, brighter colors and modern, unique graphic elements. This month, we sat down with Kristen Weeks, our Director of Brand Strategy and Public Relations to talk about how we got here and what you can expect.

Q. What prompted this change to Purchasing Power’s branding?

A. In 2013, Purchasing Power announced our new purpose statement to our company: Powering people to a better life. With the new purpose and our refreshed value statements, we wanted to update the look and feel of our brand assets to better reflect the energetic, fun-loving, caring and passionate culture we have at Purchasing Power.

Q. What does the new branding say about who we are?

A. The new branding is a reflection of our people. Our people are the building blocks of our company and the face of Purchasing Power. Together we strive to be a good company to work for and do business with and we give back to our community. The brighter colors and the pathway graphic device simply reflect the passion and energy of our employees.

Q. What was the process like? How did you decide which colors and brand elements to use?

A. We actually started this process a couple of years ago with the definition of our purpose statement. We got input from our leadership team and employees. Our partner agency developed creative concepts that better reflected our culture and brand personality then we put those concepts in front of clients and customers for feedback.

Q. With all these changes, will customers be able to recognize Purchasing Power communications?

A. Of course! We have been slowly introducing the colors since the launch of our new e-commerce platform in March. We also started to introduce the creative over the summer. Instead of a drastic change to a completely new brand, this is more of an organic evolution and introduction to our customers.

Q. When will we start seeing changes on the website?

A. Hopefully, you are noticing changes already! We started evolving the theme of our website to the new brand in March with the introduction of our new e-commerce platform. In August, we switched to the new logo. We hope to roll out a new website theme and content in the coming months.  We will keep you updated. Stay tuned!

A new “coat of paint” isn’t what make Purchasing Power the unique company that it is. We serve a special group of customers. People who find themselves, at times, looking for a place to turn to, someone who can help, an open door as opposed to the many that have slammed in their faces. We want to be a friendly, caring face they can turn to. When they come to Purchasing Power, they feel trustworthy again, empowered and in control. And when we serve our clients, they find us professional and responsive. Those are things that make us the leader in our space and we simply want our brand to capture and reflect the essence of that.



Speaking of Branding…

Do your company communications (intranet, benefits flyers, etc.) contain our logo? Then it needs to be updated!

Please contact your Account Executive for the updated file.



Stop by and See Us at These Upcoming Tradeshows

If you’re attending the Employee Benefit News Benefits Forum & Expo in Boca Raton be sure to catch the Purchasing Power offerings! 

In addition to our booth in the exhibit hall, Chief Revenue Officer Elizabeth Halkos is the featured speaker at the Industry Innovation Luncheon on Tuesday, September 30, discussing “Death by Cubicle: How Financial Stress and Poor Work-Life Balance Are Killing Your Bottom Line.”

Here’s a run-down of our exhibit hall presence over the next couple of weeks:

ASHHRA Annual Conference & Expo - Chicago, IL – September 28 to 29 – Booth #120

Employers Healthcare & Benefits Congress - Washington, DC – September 20 to 24 – Booth #725

Benefits Forum & Expo - Boca Raton, FL – September 29 to October 1 –  Booth #601


In This Issue
The Myth of the 40-Hour Workweek

Enrollment Tips: Enrollment Tips: Education Is the Key to Success

Now Introducing: Your Dedicated Client Services Manager!

Fast 5: Learn All About Our New Brand

Speaking of Branding…

Stop by and See Us at These Upcoming Tradeshows

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