Thursday, April 22

Business

Improve Employee Engagement This Summer
Business

Improve Employee Engagement This Summer

Unhappy employees cost American businesses more than $300 billion in wasted productivity, turnover, and sick days each year. And while many people feel like the winter season causes the biggest productivity slump, the summer months can also make for plenty of distractions and disengagement. So don't leave your employees to stare longingly out the window at the perfect weather waiting for their shift to end so they can go out and enjoy it. There are a number of quick and easy steps you can take as a dutiful employer to improve both productivity and engagement during the summer season. Here are just a few ideas to try this summer to boost engagement and overall company culture. Arrange a Competitive (But Friendly) Sports Night Many organizations have team-based friendly sports competiti...
Wal-Mart Tops the List for IT Spending in 2015
Business

Wal-Mart Tops the List for IT Spending in 2015

Information technology is quickly becoming one of the most expensive aspects of any business today. According to market researcher International Data Corp., Wal-Mart Stores Inc. spent more than $10.5 billion on information technology in 2015. In the years following the U.S. recession forcing significant spending cuts to IT, demand for business projects has increased. "They have to spend. They don't want to get left behind," said David Lantsman, a senior researcher at IDC. After researching the shopping behavior of its consumers, Wal-Mart is working to improve its e-commerce capabilities. The retail giant plans to spend $2 million on e-commerce by 2017 and expand its online grocery business. These improvements, including improvements to its mobile shopping app, are in an effort ...
Smaller Pharmacy Networks Benefit Pharmacy Chains, Study Shows
Business

Smaller Pharmacy Networks Benefit Pharmacy Chains, Study Shows

How can pharmacies play a role in reducing prescription drug abuse? It may be as simple as limiting which pharmacies a patient has access to, according to a new study. But will it hurt patients' medical care -- and the success of smaller pharmacies -- in the process? The jury still seems to be out. This was the question asked by a study, focused on CVS Pharmacies, that was recently published in the academic journal JAMA Internal Medicine by Dr. William Shrank, a senior vice president and chief scientific officer of CVS Health. The primary finding was that if insurance companies shrink their pharmacy networks -- thereby making it more difficult for patients to access a pharmacy that accepts their insurance plan -- the number of prescriptions actually filled by patients drops dramatically....
People Are Camping Out at Chik-fil-A
Business

People Are Camping Out at Chik-fil-A

Americans love camping. So much so -- in fact -- that in 2013 they spent a total of about 516.6 million days doing so. Americans also love Chik-fil-A. In 2011, the fast food chain reportedly sold a staggering nine sandwiches per second. So when the fast food chain offered a free meal per week for a year to some lucky contest winners, people naturally lined up from all over the country and camped out at the participating restaurants. "Before there were people coming from Illinois, there were people coming from Alabama and they would travel for a few weeks going from state to state, and that’s the reason why before I didn’t get in," Stephanie Robertson, who had previously attempted attending a Chik-fil-A opening, told WSB-TV. She was turned away when there were 200 others in front of her. ...
Rising Dental Fees Forces U.S. Seniors to Seek Dentists in Mexico
Business

Rising Dental Fees Forces U.S. Seniors to Seek Dentists in Mexico

As dental expenses continue to rise, seniors without dental insurance have begun to look for new alternatives. For many seniors, this means crossing the border to Mexico. Each year, more and more Americans adopt a dental plan. Currently, about 60% of U.S. citizens are covered by dental insurance, the highest percentage of coverage in years. Despite this, a recent 2013 Harris Interactive survey commissioned by Oral Health America showed that nearly 70% of U.S. seniors do not have dental insurance. This leaves many seniors unable to access the care they need to protect their teeth. Most government-based programs such as Medicare do not offer dental insurance, and many employers lack a post-retirement dental insurance program. While there are dental care insurance options through the recent...
Unlocking Goosebumps: an Innovative Marketing Approach
Business

Unlocking Goosebumps: an Innovative Marketing Approach

In 1992, Robert Lawrence Stine began penning what was supposed to be a run of six horror stories for children, but wound up becoming a cultural phenomenon that beat out Madonna's Sex and The Anarchist Cookbook on the The Top 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books List. Now, Goosebumps has been transformed into a blockbuster, and the movie is getting a big boost in online buzz thanks to a new Twitter feature: autoplay ads. In preparation for the fall release of Goosebumps, Sony has been running autoplay ads that star the film's hero -- Jack Black as author R.L. Stine -- and its villain -- a creepy ventriloquist's dummy named Slappy, which some may remember from Night of the Living Dummy. According to Ad Week, Twitter found that when it was testing its autoplay videos that users were 2.5 ti...
Evidence of Medical Marijuana’s Ability to Combat Diabetes Mounting
Business

Evidence of Medical Marijuana’s Ability to Combat Diabetes Mounting

Considering the fact that someone in the U.S. is diagnosed with diabetes every 17 seconds, it's fair to say that it's a pretty big issue. Luckily, there's now more evidence that medical marijuana can help fight the disease. A study published in the journal Obesity found that regular cannabis users had lower body mass indexes, lower fat percentages, and lower fasting insulin. Its findings mirror those of a several other investigations, including a French study from 2011 and a U.S. study from 2012 that concluded "marijuana use was independently associated with a lower prevalence of diabetes mellitus." "Subjects with a history of cannabis use were about 30 percent less likely to have diabetes compared to non-using subjects," researchers noted in the latest study. In this latest study...
Fox News Botches Internet Live Stream of First GOP Debate
Business

Fox News Botches Internet Live Stream of First GOP Debate

If you're one of the tech-savvy "cord cutters" who has ditched your cable subscription in favor of live streams on your phone or computer, you may have been muttering a few unmentionables under your breath during the recent GOP debate. According to Mashable, users of the Fox News app were disappointed when they settled in to watch the much-anticipated first Republican Debate of the year, only to find an error message glaring back at them. As is usually the case on the internet, multiple other "unofficial" streams were available, though some more reliable than others. Most were taken down immediately by Fox News because of copyright issues. The problem is particularly troubling considering the robust infrastructure available to Fox when it comes to funding proper web development for thei...
Why the Starter Home Might Finally Be Dead
Business

Why the Starter Home Might Finally Be Dead

Traditionally, when couples get married, they purchase their very first home together at the same time. These so-called "starter homes" have historically been inexpensive, allowing young couples to become accustomed to home ownership before moving on to a larger residence once they get better jobs or have children. However, with the U.S. housing market heating up fast -- and home prices steadily on the rise everywhere from San Jose, CA to Wellesley, MA -- it appears that the starter home might finally be a long-gone relic of the past. According to an August 17 WCPO article, today's home builders are constructing two types of homes: deluxe, luxury dwellings with mansion-like proportions and granite counter tops, or homes meant for families on government subsidies. As a result, there are ...
Lincoln Electric Announces Group Annuity Contract for Pensioners
Business

Lincoln Electric Announces Group Annuity Contract for Pensioners

Lincoln Electric Co., manufacturer of welding products and a subsidiary of Lincoln Electric Holdings Inc., announced on August 19 that it would be purchasing a group annuity contract in order to reduce the company's pension obligations for outstanding payments. The announcement stated that Lincoln Electric is purchasing the group annuity contract from Principal Financial Group in order to settle $425 million worth of outstanding U.S. pension payments to former employees. According to Crain's Cleveland Business and Pensions and Investments, Lincoln Electric currently owes about $900 million to 1,900 U.S. retirees and beneficiaries who retired on or before June 1, 2015. The company has already paid $375 million toward pension payments in the past 10 years, Lincoln Electric stated in a pres...