Fran Melmed

About the Author

Fran Melmed is an award-winning HR communications consultant specializing in workplace wellness and health care consumerism. Prior to founding context communication consulting llc context communication, Fran worked at Hewitt Associates in their Talent and Organizational Change and Communication practices in the U.S. and U.K. Contact her at fran@contextcommunication.com, and follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/femelmed.

Three Days for Death (or Why HR Policies Make No Sense)

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Editor’s Note: A number of TLNT readers have asked about this post recently, so here it is again in case you missed it originally. This past week a member of my husband’s team suffered a devastating loss: his one-year-old daughter died, which sent my husband — his manager — looking into the company’s…

Our Email Addiction: Can We Keep it From Following Us Home From Work?

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According to a new survey by GFI Software, email is alive and doing well in small- to mid-sized America. Some 44 percent of respondents use email over other available channels, such as instant messaging (6 percent), face-to-face (22 percent), and phone (28 percent). They’re also quick to review and respond to email, with…

How Far Can Employers Go In Mandating What Employees Eat?

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I’ve yet to talk with someone about employee wellness without hearing about how an employer allows — if not actually provides — donuts or cupcakes or something similar at meetings. The underlying message is this: the employer can’t be very serious about wellness if they’re still offering such junk food regularly. I don’t…

The Workplace Ethics of Not Hiring Tobacco Users

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As more employers consider how to reduce the percentage of tobacco users in their workforces, one policy in particular has raised eyebrows and hackles more than others: No-hire tobacco policies. Today, it’s mostly health care systems implementing these policies barring the hiring of tobacco users. They easily argue the importance of employing a…

The Wellness Dilemma: Getting More Employee “Skin in the Game”

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Last month I shared a story on health care costs titled The Bitter Pill. That might’ve been what CVS felt they swallowed when they saw their name splashed across the virtual front pages of Fox News, The Huffington Post, The Today Show, The Washington Post, and The Boston Herald, who “broke the story”…

What to Tell Workers About That New Health Care Costs Line on the W-2

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Whoa! What’s that new line item on my W-2? Is that taxable? Employers are starting to field questions like these from their employees. That’s because employees are having their eyes opened to the actual cost of their employer-provided health care benefits. Some employees have seen the value of these benefits before in company-wide…

Pew Study Shows That Employees Are Turning Into Health Care Consumers

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Employees have heard you loud and clear, Ms. and Mr. Employer. They got the message that it’s time to become a savvy health care consumer. They’re out there researching medical ailments and specific diseases, trying to understand medical procedures, and figuring out how their health insurance works and how to reduce their health…

Aon Hewitt Study: Stress Keeps Your Workers from Being Healthy

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We have such good intentions, particularly at this time of year. We intend to eat better, get more sleep, head to the gym more often, budget better. Then life happens and our good intentions get sidetracked, put off, discarded. That sweet spot between intentions and outcomes is the focus of Aon Hewitt’s 2013…

13 Easy and (Mostly) Low-Cost Employee Wellness Changes for 2013

From the HR blog on TLNT: workplace wellnessFrom the HR blog on TLNT: workplace wellness. Photo illustration by Dreamstime.

Right about now, your employees are wondering whether they’ll keep their new resolutions or dust off the old ones and give them one more go. Even your employees who didn’t make resolutions are likely stewing over possible ones as they listen to everyone talk about strategies for keeping theirs for this year. Since…

Connecting With Workers About Health Care? Call Their Cell Phone

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Our phones are fast becoming the ATM of health. That’s the upshot from the Pew Mobile Health 2012 report. Some 85 percent of American adults own a cell phone today, and 31 percent of them turn to their phones for health or medical information, up from 17 percent since this study was last conducted…