Well-padded expats

first_img Comments are closed. Someexpats still receive hardship allowances from their employers, as well as perksfor a comfortable lifestyle such as larger houses and school fees for thosewith children. Single men and women should drive a hard bargain for equalbenefits, writes Ed PetersOneof the best-selling humorous books in Asia at present is Hardship Posting, acollection of true anecdotes about expatriate life in the Far East. The bookdraws its title from a contributor in Bangkok who took his boss from London onan evening out on the town After dining extremely well, they moved on to someof the more lively bars where the carousing didn’t stop until the early hours.Finally bidding his boss farewell, the executive suddenly remembered animportant point he had not mentioned during the previous day’s businessdiscussion, “By the way, I forgot to talk to you about increasing thehardship allowance,” he breezed.Itmay sound incredible but it is nevertheless strictly true that some expats inthe upper echelons of Asian business circles still qualify for what is, in nameat least, a hardship allowance, even those living in modern cities such as HongKong or Singapore. Whileit supposedly compensates for the loss of home comforts, anybody drawing it isgoing to be enjoying a reasonably comfortable lifestyle in the first place. Atypical package for a well-placed financier, for example, would includehousing, probably in an apartment block with pool and gym attached, furnishingof the housing, one or more club memberships, tickets home two or three times ayear, travelling in business class at the very least, generousno-serious-questions-asked expense accounts and maybe even local taxes pre-paidinto the bargain. Addto this an even larger house and school fees taken care of if the expat happensto be married with children. Which means single men and women should be able todrive a fairly hard bargain themselves when it comes to negotiating their package,if the shortlist includes other candidates who come with spouse and childrenattached.Oncethe expat is in place, HR departments usually make every effort to keep him orher happy. Confronted with an outsize bouquet of flowers on moving into herflat in Hong Kong, a newly arrived executive for Marks & Spencer rang upthe HR director to ask what she had done to deserve them. Reading between thelines of the answer, basically the company had spent such a lot of moneyinstalling her, the price of three-dozen roses was a drop in the ocean. Ofcourse, it is not solely expats who are being tempted with well-paddedpackages, although their benefits do have a corresponding effect on local payand conditions. Generally,the larger corporations in Asia Pacific tend to go for a”catch-them-young” strategy, aiming to talent spot at an early ageand draw them into a corporate family.”Weconcentrate very much on graduate recruitment,” says Lyanna Chan ofPricewaterhouseCoopers in Hong Kong. “In general we have an acceptancerate of 80 per cent and we have training programmes in place to help staff withtheir professional exams. As a result, our pass rate is double the average inHong Kong.”Oncethe golden handshake has been proffered, most companies also seek to delicatelyaffix a set of golden handcuffs to capitalise on their investment in personnel.”Wemake sure we pay a premium to top performers, and the very best of them arerewarded with a partnership, while we also structure pay to make it taxefficient,” says Chan.PricewaterhouseCoopersalso allows its staff flexible working hours, providing extra support at undulybusy times so employees can strike an appropriate balance between home andoffice. More recently, some employees have also qualified for educationallowances.Whilesome employees will always be tempted to jump ship when better pay andconditions are offered, there is a tendency in Asia Pacific to stick with acompany you know.MalcolmLeung, an American passport holder of Chinese descent, who has worked in HR inThailand, the Philippines and Hong Kong, notes that in general rewardingworkers in the region generously keeps staff wastage to a minimum.”Therewas a time in Hong Kong when everybody would move on the moment they got theiryear-end bonus – it was like the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party as they all shiftedround a place,” he said. “Then companies got smart and started payingbetter wages over the whole year, rather than dangling a lump sum at the end.Another major factor is that Asians respond very well to teambuilding, and ifeveryone in the company is enjoying similar benefits, be they cash bonuses orother perks, then there is a marked reluctance to leave unless there’s a reallygood reason.”Whileexpatriates in Asia Pacific continue to enjoy some of the best remuneration,they are an increasingly rare breed. The future is likely to see more graduatesfrom the region climbing up the ladder, trained and assisted by the companywhich talent-spotted them fresh out of college.Furtherinformationwww.towersperrin.comwww.deloittetouche.comwww.wmmercer.com Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. Well-padded expatsOn 1 Dec 2001 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

Investigation: British students flock overseas

first_imgOxford faces growing competition from foreign universities, as figures show a steady increase in UK students opting to study abroad.Interest from British students in US universities has risen dramatically during the last two years, as the College Board, the American association responsible for administering SATs, recorded a 16.4% increase in traffic to their website during the year 2010-11. British visitors represented a striking 95% of this increase.The College Board told Cherwell that the number of UK students taking the SAT rose by 40% between 2007 and 2011, with a 15% jump reported over the past year.  Of particular concern to Oxford is the sudden increase in British applications to Ivy League universities which appears to have taken place over the last two years. The US-UK Fulbright Commission, an international educational exchange programme, has reported that between 2010 and 2011 alone UK applications to Yale increased by 23%, applications to Harvard increased by 45%, and those to the University of Pennsylvania increased by 50%.Oxford University has expressed worries about losing talented applicants to foreign institutions. A spokesperson this week pointed out Oxford’s comparative weakness with regards to funding at Oxford, 58% of new doctoral students entering in 2010 had scholarship funding, but at Master’s level, this drops to 18%. This compares favourably with the UK as a whole, but is nowhere near the funding levels offered by international peer institutions.”In his most recent annual oration, Oxford’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Andrew Hamilton, warned that financial issues were driving more and more bright UK students, especially graduates, to study abroad. He claimed, “There are sadly too many examples of Oxford losing bright graduate students to overseas universities because of the funding gap. It is the single biggest reason why those to whom we make offers turn us down.”The phenomenon may also have been partly driven by outreach work from a number of US institutions. A spokesperson for Harvard commented, “Over the past half dozen years, the Harvard Club of the UK has been making a concerted effort to get the word out to UK students from all backgrounds and all educational sectors about admissions and financial aid possibilities.”Nor are American universities the only threat to UK institutions. British students are also choosing to study in Europe, where the number of UK applications has seen a sharp upturn in recent years. Maastricht University in Holland, where it is possible to study entire degrees in English, is particularly keen to encourage UK applications: it recently sought entry to UCAS and labels itself “the most international university in the Netherlands”.There are eight times more UK undergraduates studying at Maastricht than five years ago, and numbers are set to increase more dramatically. A spokesperson for the university told Cherwell, “We had 491 applications from British students for our coming academic year. In the same week last year we had 265 applications, so the number of applications to Studielink (the Dutch equivalent of UCAS) has almost doubled.”Many British students who consider studying abroad cite the range and breadth of subjects that it is possible to study at overseas universities as a significant incentive. A second year student at the University of Pennsylvania who turned down an offer from Oxford gave his reasons for choosing the US over Britain, commenting, “It wasn’t an easy choice to leave the UK in order to study in the US, but for me, one of the major deciding factors in choosing America over British universities was the academic flexibility I would have access to.“Even after choosing one of the broader courses in England, PPE, I would not have had the opportunity to fulfil all my academic interests as I do now: I still get to study economics and political philosophy, but I can also continue my study of maths, statistics and languages.”Claire Gianotti, a visiting student from Brown currently studying at St Anne’s, also praised the breadth of subjects studied, arguing, “It makes for a very interdisciplinary atmosphere – a class would consist of students from all different background and disciplines. Once in a Comparative Literature class we were discussing stream of consciousness in Faulkner, and there were students majoring in the Cognitive and Neurological Sciences that had really interesting contributions to make, and everyone benefits from that kind of diversity.”Hester Bartelsman, a first year at Amsterdam University College, made a similar observation about European universities, saying, “I love love love studying a broad range of subjects. I and many others at AUC don’t really know what we want to study after this, so it is also necessary to be able to choose the next step.”Theresa Bullock, a first year at Maastricht, argued that her job prospects might be better than her counterparts at UK universities. She argued, “In Brussels, Maastricht graduates are well sought after, over those coming from good universities in the UK, and now many more employers both across Europe and internationally are looking for graduates with the qualities Maastricht graduates have.”Financial concerns clearly play a large part in students’ decisions. European fees are typically much smaller than those for UK universities: in Germany there are no tuition fees at all, and even the highest fees for EU students studying in Holland are significantly less than £9,000. The huge endowments of many American universities, which dwarf those of British institutions (Harvard’s stands at around £20 billion compared to Oxford’s £3.8 billion), mean that more financial support is often available to gifted students. A Harvard spokesperson commented, “Given the university’s very strong financial aid program, most UK students from low and middle incomes will likely pay no more to send their students to Harvard than to a UK university, if you include meals and accommodation in addition to tuition fees.“Harvard has a policy of ‘zero contribution’ from families with normal assets making $65,000 or less annually. Families with incomes up to $150,000 will pay from zero to 10 percent of their income, depending on individual family circumstances.”Emily Jones, a first year British student studying at Amsterdam said that financial concerns influenced her decision to study abroad, stating, “I guess it started with my mum suggesting that I look at studying abroad because of the fee rise.”Jones claimed that studying abroad is conducive to a superior undergraduate experience. She said,   “I feel more connected to the rest of Europe – I actually feel like I’ve matured a lot because of all the different opinions that I’m hearing all the time.”She also noted that the social life was markedly different, adding, “I think there’s a lot less pressure here to go crazy and get stupid – people are a lot more relaxed. When I visit friends in England or compare it to going out in my home town people seem to be actually enjoying themselves rather than getting into fights or throwing up on the street.”Oxford seems confident that it will survive increased foreign competition, with a spokesperson saying, “An Oxford degree remains exceptional value by any measure. It is one of the best educations available in the world. In the recent admissions round both UK and international applicants were as strong as ever.”Oxford faces growing competition from foreign universities, as figures show a steady increase in UK students opting to study abroad.Interest from British students in US universities has risen dramatically during the last two years, as the College Board, the American association responsible for administering SATs, recorded a 16.4% increase in traffic to their website during the year 2010-11. British visitors represented a striking 95% of this increase.The College Board told Cherwell that the number of UK students taking the SAT rose by 40% between 2007 and 2011, with a 15% jump reported over the past year.  Of particular concern to Oxford is the sudden increase in British applications to Ivy League universities which appears to have taken place over the last two years. The US-UK Fulbright Commission, an international educational exchange programme, has reported that between 2010 and 2011 alone UK applications to Yale increased by 23%, applications to Harvard increased by 45%, and those to the University of Pennsylvania increased by 50%.Oxford University has expressed worries about losing talented applicants to foreign institutions. A spokesperson this week pointed out Oxford’s comparative weakness with regards to funding at Oxford, 58% of new doctoral students entering in 2010 had scholarship funding, but at Master’s level, this drops to 18%. This compares favourably with the UK as a whole, but is nowhere near the funding levels offered by international peer institutions.”In his most recent annual oration, Oxford’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Andrew Hamilton, warned that financial issues were driving more and more bright UK students, especially graduates, to study abroad. He claimed, “There are sadly too many examples of Oxford losing bright graduate students to overseas universities because of the funding gap. It is the single biggest reason why those to whom we make offers turn us down.” [mm-hide-text]%%IMG_ORIGINAL%%5268%%[/mm-hide-text] The phenomenon may also have been partly driven by outreach work from a number of US institutions. A spokesperson for Harvard commented, “Over the past half dozen years, the Harvard Club of the UK has been making a concerted effort to get the word out to UK students from all backgrounds and all educational sectors about admissions and financial aid possibilities.”Nor are American universities the only threat to UK institutions. British students are also choosing to study in Europe, where the number of UK applications has seen a sharp upturn in recent years. Maastricht University in Holland, where it is possible to study entire degrees in English, is particularly keen to encourage UK applications: it recently sought entry to UCAS and labels itself “the most international university in the Netherlands”.There are eight times more UK undergraduates studying at Maastricht than five years ago, and numbers are set to increase more dramatically. A spokesperson for the university told Cherwell, “We had 491 applications from British students for our coming academic year. In the same week last year we had 265 applications, so the number of applications to Studielink (the Dutch equivalent of UCAS) has almost doubled.”Many British students who consider studying abroad cite the range and breadth of subjects that it is possible to study at overseas universities as a significant incentive. A second year student at the University of Pennsylvania who turned down an offer from Oxford gave his reasons for choosing the US over Britain, commenting, “It wasn’t an easy choice to leave the UK in order to study in the US, but for me, one of the major deciding factors in choosing America over British universities was the academic flexibility I would have access to.“Even after choosing one of the broader courses in England, PPE, I would not have had the opportunity to fulfil all my academic interests as I do now: I still get to study economics and political philosophy, but I can also continue my study of maths, statistics and languages.”Claire Gianotti, a visiting student from Brown currently studying at St Anne’s, also praised the breadth of subjects studied, arguing, “It makes for a very interdisciplinary atmosphere – a class would consist of students from all different background and disciplines. Once in a Comparative Literature class we were discussing stream of consciousness in Faulkner, and there were students majoring in the Cognitive and Neurological Sciences that had really interesting contributions to make, and everyone benefits from that kind of diversity.” Hester Bartelsman, a first year at Amsterdam University College, made a similar observation about European universities, saying, “I love love love studying a broad range of subjects. I and many others at AUC don’t really know what we want to study after this, so it is also necessary to be able to choose the next step.”Theresa Bullock, a first year at Maastricht, argued that her job prospects might be better than her counterparts at UK universities. She argued, “In Brussels, Maastricht graduates are well sought after, over those coming from good universities in the UK, and now many more employers both across Europe and internationally are looking for graduates with the qualities Maastricht graduates have.”Financial concerns clearly play a large part in students’ decisions. European fees are typically much smaller than those for UK universities: in Germany there are no tuition fees at all, and even the highest fees for EU students studying in Holland are significantly less than £9,000. The huge endowments of many American universities, which dwarf those of British institutions (Harvard’s stands at around £20 billion compared to Oxford’s £3.8 billion), mean that more financial support is often available to gifted students. A Harvard spokesperson commented, “Given the university’s very strong financial aid program, most UK students from low and middle incomes will likely pay no more to send their students to Harvard than to a UK university, if you include meals and accommodation in addition to tuition fees.“Harvard has a policy of ‘zero contribution’ from families with normal assets making $65,000 or less annually. Families with incomes up to $150,000 will pay from zero to 10 percent of their income, depending on individual family circumstances.”Emily Jones, a first year British student studying at Amsterdam said that financial concerns influenced her decision to study abroad, stating, “I guess it started with my mum suggesting that I look at studying abroad because of the fee rise.”Jones claimed that studying abroad is conducive to a superior undergraduate experience. She said,   “I feel more connected to the rest of Europe – I actually feel like I’ve matured a lot because of all the different opinions that I’m hearing all the time.”She also noted that the social life was markedly different, adding, “I think there’s a lot less pressure here to go crazy and get stupid – people are a lot more relaxed. When I visit friends in England or compare it to going out in my home town people seem to be actually enjoying themselves rather than getting into fights or throwing up on the street.”Oxford seems confident that it will survive increased foreign competition, with a spokesperson saying, “An Oxford degree remains exceptional value by any measure. It is one of the best educations available in the world. In the recent admissions round both UK and international applicants were as strong as ever.”last_img read more

Opioid reversal kits to be placed around Indiana

first_img WhatsApp Google+ Twitter Twitter IndianaLocalNews Pinterest Pinterest Opioid reversal kits to be placed around Indiana (“Governor Wolf to Discuss Availability of Naloxone in Pennsylvania Pharmacies” by Governor Tom Wolf, CC BY 2.0) Governor Eric Holcomb and the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration’s Division of Mental Health and Addiction today announced the state will partner with Overdose Lifeline, Inc. to expand access to the opioid reversal agent naloxone through the purchase of 24/7-access “NaloxBox” units.Any business or community entity committed to helping Hoosiers at risk of opioid overdose is eligible to request a NaloxBox unit to install in an accessible and highly visible area. Community partners who receive a unit will be responsible for monitoring the NaloxBox location daily and requesting naloxone refills after use.Naloxone, or Narcan, is a medication approved to reverse overdose by opioids. Naloxone is given when a person is showing signs of opioid overdose. It blocks the toxic effects of the overdose and is often the difference between a patient living and dying.A NaloxBox is a hard acrylic box mounted to an exterior wall that provides 24/7 access to naloxone and is an effective measure of addressing the increase of opioid overdoses in Indiana. Each unit contains six to eight doses of naloxone, instructions for use, and treatment referral cards.Overdose Lifeline, Inc., an Indiana nonprofit dedicated to helping individuals, families and communities affected by substance use disorder through advocacy, education, harm reduction, prevention, resources, and support, intends to purchase and place 215 NaloxBox units across the state, including at least one in every county.Overdose Lifeline, Inc. has negotiated a purchase price with the manufacturer of $58,200 to include 215 NaloxBox units and shipping costs. Funds were made available by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s state opioid response grant.Naloxone administration rates by emergency medical services continue to climb statewide during the COVID-19 pandemic. Local health departments registered with the Indiana Department of Health as entities to dispense naloxone may be experiencing limited access to resources due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The state’s partnership with Overdose Lifeline, Inc. allows local health departments to devote their resources to the COVID-19 public health emergency.Businesses or community entities who wish to receive a NaloxBox should contact Justin Phillips, founder and executive director of Overdose Lifeline, Inc. at [email protected] initiative is in addition to an existing collaboration with Overdose Lifeline, Inc. announced by Gov. Holcomb in May 2020 to fund a nearly $1 million distribution of naloxone to ensure the medication reaches Hoosiers who are at risk of overdose.First responders, families, caregivers, and other individuals who would like to receive a supply of naloxone can register online at www.overdoselifeline.org/2020-indiana-naloxone-request. Facebook Facebook WhatsApp By Jon Zimney – February 8, 2021 1 136 Google+ Previous articleSt. Joseph County Prosecutor pushing for tougher laws to curb catalytic converter theftsNext articleCARES 2.0 funding coming for Indiana Schools Jon ZimneyJon Zimney is the News and Programming Director for News/Talk 95.3 Michiana’s News Channel and host of the Fries With That podcast. Follow him on Twitter @jzimney.last_img read more

Press release: Emergency review of salmon numbers to protect stocks in the Severn estuary

first_img I know this will impact many fishermen and am sorry for the disruption but it is essential we take strong and immediate action to protect salmon in the river Severn as they are particularly at risk. We are liaising with our colleagues in Natural Resources Wales and Natural England and with those affected. We have not taken this decision lightly. There are a variety of environmental factors that have led to the decline in salmon stocks in the Severn estuary, it’s not just about the number taken through fishing. Licences for all forms of net fishing on the estuary, usually available from 1 June, are not currently being issued as new figures on the stock for the Severn, Wye and Usk, which salmon from the Severn estuary migrate to, have been shown to be extremely low and further consideration of the availability of permits is required.The review of the stock assessment will continue until 14 June when a decision will be announced on what further action is needed to protect the species. The Environment Agency is considering introducing an emergency byelaw prohibiting any salmon fishing by nets in the estuary for the current season, which continues through to the end of August, or whether other action can achieve the protection that is required. A review on whether rod anglers will be required to return any salmon caught after 16 June will be part of this consideration.Reducing the taking of salmon is only one part of the Environment Agency’s larger national programme to protect salmon stocks. Actions taken by the Environment Agency and its partners that contribute to protecting salmon stocks include removing barriers, improving water quality and agricultural practices and addressing unsustainable water abstractions.David Hudson, Environment Manager for Gloucestershire said:center_img But only through taking action now, and through the co-operation of others, will we manage to protect this iconic fish in the Severn for future generations. Doing nothing is not an option.last_img read more

Ben Folds, Violent Femmes Announce 2019 Co-Headlining Tour

first_imgViolent Femmes and Ben Folds have announced a late-summer co-headlining tour, set to begin at the end of July and run through the first half of August.The 14-date swing will kick off at Connecticut’s Mohegan Sun Arena on July 28th before making its way to Washington, D.C. (7/30); New York, NY (8/1); Asbury Park, NJ (8/2); Boston, MA (8/3); East Providence, RI (8/4); Pittsburgh, PA (8/6); Charlotte, NC (8/8); Nashville, TN (8/9); Indianapolis, IN (8/10); Detroit, MI (8/11); Minneapolis, MN (8/14); Des Moines, IA (8/15); and Kansas City, CO (8/16).This new tour will follow Violent Femmes’ previously announced May co-headlining tour with first-wave American punk heroes X. The busy 2019 touring schedule comes as Violent Femmes continues to promote last year’s release of 2 Mics & The Truth: Unplugged & Unhinged In America, a collection of unprecedented live recordings.For Ben Folds, this tour will take place in the wake of the release of his memoir, A Dream About Lightning Bugs – A Life of Music and Cheap Lessons, due out in July.Artist pre-sale for the upcoming dates begins on Tuesday, March 5th at 110 a.m. local time. All remaining tickets will be released to the general public on Friday, March 8th at 10 a.m. local time. V.I.P. packages featuring a Meet & Greet and Q&A with Folds and a signed copy of A Dream About Lightning Bugs will be available for each show.You can check out a list of Ben Folds/Violent Femmes co-headlining tour dates below. For more details and ticketing information, head to either Violent Femmes or Ben Folds‘ websites.Ben Folds & Violent Femmes 2019 Co-Headlining TourBEN FOLDS & VIOLENT FEMMES DATESJuly28 – Uncasville, CT – Mohegan Sun Arena30 – Washington, DC – The AnthemAugust1 – New York, NY – The Rooftop at Pier 172 – Asbury Park, NJ – Stone Pony Summer Stage3 – Boston, MA – Rockland Trust Bank Pavilion4 – East Providence, RI – Bold Point Park6 – Pittsburgh, PA – Stage AE Outdoors8 – Charlotte, NC – Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre9 – Nashville, TN – Ascend Amphitheater10 – Indianapolis, IN – Farm Bureau Insurance Lawn at White River State Park11 – Detroit, MI – Meadow Brook Amphitheatre14 – Minneapolis, MN – Surly Brewing Company15 – Des Moines, IA – Water Works Park Amphitheater16 – Kansas City, MO – Starlight Theatre**Tickets go on sale on Monday, March 11 at 10 a.m. CST in Kansas CityExpandlast_img read more

Glen Cove Home Invasion Victim Shot, Wounded

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A 22-year-old man was shot and wounded during a Glen Cove home invasion this week, Glen Cove police said.Two suspects were seen running from the scene on Eldridge Place and the victim, who was shot in the chest, ran from the home before collapsing on a nearby street shortly before 3 p.m. Tuesday, police said.“We are considering this incident a home invasion situation where we believe the victim and shooter are known to each other,” Glen Cove Det. Lt. John Nagle said.The victim was taken to a local hospital where he underwent emergency surgery, and was admitted in critical condition.Glen Cove police detectives ask anyone with information regarding this incident to contact them at 516-676-1002 or [email protected]last_img read more

Shine and serve: Seven ways to surprise and delight on this tough racecourse

first_imgWhat are the biggest challenges your members face? What matters most deeply to your members?What kinds of things might truly bring your members joy?  Recording smart phone videos in the branch when a member experiences surprise and delight.Asking members to share a testimonial including the surprise and delight element. Taking pictures or asking members to take selfies in the moment.Inviting those that helped come up with the surprise and delight ideas to also share ideas about how to capture these moments to be shared. Consider segmentation. As you think about creative options for surprise and delight, explore the possibility of different solutions for unique segments of your membership. Across a diverse membership, you may find that what works for one group of members or even at one branch location, may not work as well for another. Building in varied selections for different tastes, experiences, and interests may help create an even stronger response. As you explore segmentation, consider using your data to identify: Test it. Once you have your ideas ready to go, test the surprise and delight approach. Depending on your size and resources, you could test the idea at several branches, with one branch, or even with one employee. Ideas to keep in mind for your test: Engagement: Look at members that are using you fully and have been with you for a long time. Also, consider a potential option for newer members who may not be using the credit union as fully yet.Geography: Explore options that might be distinctively suited for different locations and the hyper-local opportunities that might exist that could change depending on the region.Product usage: As you look at member segments that are using the credit union for their unique needs, you may find surprise and delight ideas that are specific to how they are using you. For example, maybe you have a surprise and delight moment when you close an auto loan that is different from what you share with members that close a mortgage with you. Keep it surprising. One of the quickest ways for surprise and delight to go awry is for people to start to count on it. As you plan your surprise and delight approach, consider the frequency that makes sense so that it remains unexpected, fun, and astounding. When you vet the ideas to be executed, consider implementing those that have the best possibility for a frequency of delivery that will keep people guessing and not leave them expecting something.  One of the things that I learned when I was running marathons was that, no matter how much you prepare, anything can happen when you run 26.2 miles. There are so many variables that remain outside your control including the weather, the racecourse, crowd turnout and engagement, the race director, and even the response of your body on race day. No matter how much you train, with that many miles ahead of you, many challenges can arise. The last few months have felt a lot like a tough marathon day. The kind of marathon that takes place on a hot, humid morning, on a hilly course, with minimal crowd support, a race director that forgot several water and aid stations, and with legs that woke up feeling slow and grumpy. Just like that kind of race, this time has been exhausting. While I wish we were at mile 26, we may only be at mile two. Even on a tough race day, there are always moments of bliss. You see a family member that cheers you on. You take in nutrients and your legs start to feel more energized. You hear other runners’ feet and you remember just why you run. During our current collective tough race, I recently had a moment of pure joy. A dear friend sent me two books. They are first edition copies, signed by the authors. We are both readers and enjoy talking about books. When the package came and I opened it to find something other than detergent or more cleaning supplies from Amazon, I nearly burst into tears. Prior to the package arriving, it had been a particularly challenging week and to have someone that cares about me do something so thoughtful for no other reason than to show that she was thinking of me, lifted a bit of the weight from the heaviness of the time. It may not have changed anything about our shared circumstances, but it raised my spirits. That infusion of joy also helped me to share a bit of glee with my family, so the impact spread. Those books arriving show the power of surprise and delight, a concept that many service-driven organizations talk about. It can be so powerful. It also takes tremendous effort and planning to do well. In this challenging time for humans, there has never been a better time for credit unions to focus on building the process and infrastructure to get surprise and delight right.If your credit union can create moments of happiness and distraction from this dark time, you will continue to deepen relationships and grow loyalty for years to come. Here are seven steps to start generating even more joy for your members:Start with listening. Surprise and delight opportunities should be customized to your members and your organization. What might work well for one credit union and their members might not work well for another. For example, when you reach 100 rides with Peloton, you receive a fun t-shirt. This reward fits very well for Peloton and their riders. It is a small item, but the joy of receiving a gift for sticking to your commitment to exercise not only rewards the rider but also is a fun brand play for Peloton. When a rider wears their 100-ride t-shirt, it creates curiosity and invites non-riders to ask what the shirt is all about. This generates conversation and engagement. If you already have listening posts, including member surveys, you could begin by reviewing recent survey submissions. You might also set up a specific listening post in order to better understand the following: Define success. What will success look like? How will you know if you are successful? How long will you need to test to see those results?Share that you are testing. Let your team know you are running the test. Share the parameters of the test and then share the results once you are done.Be ready to learn. Invite the team members that are testing to share input and feedback with you. Create a mechanism to gather that feedback. Be ready to listen and make changes once the test is complete. Don’t overreact during testing. This new idea might not be a hit with everyone. Gather and listen to all feedback and allow the new idea time to season. Consider a bigger test as a second step. Depending on how the first testing goes, plan to do a broader test as you adjust based on feedback. You may learn even more the second time and then be ready to launch more broadly.  Capture and share the joy. Once you are launched, find fun ways to capture the reaction to the surprise and delight. This will be yet another way for you to share the story of bringing happiness to your members’ lives. You might explore: Inviting a subset of your most enthusiastic and member-centric frontline team members to spend an hour or so ideating on what the surprise and delight effort might be. This can be done virtually to include involvement even across a geographically diverse population. Sharing what you know from the listening posts from your members.Breaking a larger group into subgroups to hear a volume of ideas.Inviting even the wildest ideas during brainstorming. Insist on limitless bounds (including budget). You can always scale back once you gather the concepts.Holding off on choosing concepts as the brainstorming session occurs. Take all the ideas back and look at them together. You might find that one idea builds on another and that combined they could be even more powerful.Creating a final list of five to seven ideas that are given back to your frontline team to vote on. This will build even more engagement and enthusiasm. Size what you can sustain. Surprise and delight really should be a surprise, but in order to delight, you will want to create something you can sustain for the long-term. That may mean that what you do evolves over time, but you do not want to start something that you need to stop doing quickly. Determine what budget you can commit to over six to 12 months. As you launch, plan to stick to your surprise and delight plan for a period of time. This will allow you to measure reaction, understand results, and adjust based on feedback. It will also give enough time for response to be shared. Ideally, you want those that experience surprise and delight to spread their enthusiastic response to their friends and family. Keep in mind that these do not have to be big ticket items. One of my favorite take-out restaurants gives away a free falafel while you are waiting in line to have your sandwich made. That is a very inexpensive but fun surprise and delight approach.   Crowdsource ideas and invite collaboration. Beyond hearing from your members, invite your team members to help shape the surprise and delight approach. Since your frontline team members will likely be the individuals delivering on these efforts, and because they know your members so well, you may be surprised by just how many ideas they have to share. In addition, by including your team members in the ideation process, they will be much more likely to be enthused about the new surprise and delight effort. That enthusiasm will add to the success of launching the program.As you shape the session to gather input, consider: We may be in the early stages of this tough marathon. Our muscles may be sore, the drinking water may not be adequate, and there may be only a few fans cheering us on. With a strong surprise and delight approach, your credit union can be that one fan cheering on the racer who is struggling the most. If we provide surprise and delight for our members, we will help ensure they finish the race. They will never forget that we were a bright spot on this challenging course. People do not forget those that stood with them. That’s who we are as credit unions. Let’s shine and serve, one surprise at a time. 1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Tansley Stearns Tansley is a dynamic force of nature, fiercely crusading on behalf of all credit unions while tirelessly driving forward the brand image and family spirit of Canvas. She joined us … Web: https://www.canvas.org Detailslast_img read more

Soros raises $1bn for Europe and Japan

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Nearly 1,700 Indonesian pilgrims stranded in transit countries by ‘umrah’ ban

first_img“The Indonesian government conveys its appreciation to all travel agents, airlines and other relevant parties who have been willing to make speedy responses to address the situation without putting more burdens on the pilgrims,” Fadjroel said.Meanwhile, 2,393 Indonesian pilgrims using 75 travel agencies, who had been scheduled to fly with eight different airlines on Feb. 27, were unable to embark on their pilgrimages, Fadjroel said.Religious Affairs Minister Fachrul Razi has called for airlines and travel agents to facilitate the rescheduling of flights for all pilgrims affected by the ban.Read also: Indonesian envoy lobbies Saudi Arabia to exclude pilgrims from ‘umrah’ banAs a result of the fast-spreading coronavirus, which has affected Saudi nationals in Bahrain and Kuwait, Saudi Arabia suspended umrah and visits to the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah as among several precautionary restrictions.Hundreds of Umrah pilgrims piled up at Juanda International Airport in Sidoarjo, East Java province on February 27, 2020. (AFP/Juni KRISWANTO)The Saudi Haj and Umrah Ministry also temporarily stopped issuing umrah visas and suspended the entry of tourist-visa holders from “countries with confirmed coronavirus outbreaks, according to criteria established by the Saudi health authorities”.Indonesia, the country with the largest Muslim population in the world, contributed the second-highest number of umrah pilgrims last year with 443,879 arrivals, according to the Saudi Haj and Umrah Ministry.Saudi Arabia normally welcomes nearly 7 million umrah pilgrims every year. (afr)Topics : Almost 1,700 Indonesian nationals have been stranded in a number of transit countries by Saudi Arabia’s decision to temporarily ban all foreign umrah (minor haj) pilgrims from entering the country because of concerns over the COVID-19 coronavirus.Presidential spokesman Fadjroel Rachman said on Friday that the stranded pilgrims initially bound for the Islamic kingdom were expected to fly back to Indonesia as soon as they completed arrangements for their return.”There were 1,685 [Indonesian] pilgrims stranded in third countries during transit and they are now in the process of being flown back home by their respective airlines,” Fadjroel said without providing details of the transit countries. Read also: Saudi’s sudden ‘umrah’ ban leaves pilgrims heartbrokenAt least 83 Indonesian pilgrims were stranded at Abu Dhabi International Airport after landing at the United Arab Emirates (UAE) capital from Jakarta at 12:24 a.m. on Thursday, the same day that Saudi Arabia announced the umrah ban.Sanitary workers wearing protective face masks continue to clean the sahn (mosque courtyard) surrounding the Kaaba, Islam’s holiest shrine, as Muslim worshippers pray at the Grand Mosque complex in Saudi Arabia’s holy city of Mecca on February 27, 2020. (AFP/ Haitham EL-TABEI)Indonesian Ambassador to the UAE Nur Ibrahim said the 83 pilgrims were expected to leave for Jakarta on Friday at midnight as they were unable to continue flying to Madinah in Saudi Arabia.last_img read more