Archive for the ‘ Career ’ Category

Workplace Well-Being


What does well-being mean to you and how do you practice it at your workplace? June is National Employee Wellness Month which focuses on improving mental, physical and emotional well-being in the workplace. While some people may believe the words wellness and well-being are interchangeable, our Associate Experience team (comprised of Human Resources and Learning & Development) disagree. Join us as we take a closer look at the meaning of these words, how Members 1st promotes well-being and how YOU can implement well-being practices at your workplace. 

Wellness and Well-Being, What’s the Difference?  

Merriam Webster Dictionary defines wellness as “the quality or state of being in good health especially as an actively sought goal” and well-being as “the state of being happy, healthy, or prosperous.” Members 1st launched our wellness program in 2013, and this year we expanded the program’s focus from wellness to the holistic nature of well-being. The 6 pillars of our well-being program include physical, mental, social, financial, professional and spiritual. 

Transitioning to Well-Being 

So, why the change? Our SVP of Associate Experience, Sara Kennedy, said our organization believes “this broader focus on total well-being will help to support well rounded health, happiness and prosperity of our associates.” Studies have shown that higher well-being in associates can lead to a boost in satisfaction, teamwork, productivity, and even improve a company’s bottom-line. Keeping tabs on your organizational culture and well-being is important too. We periodically conduct surveys where associates share feedback on our culture and well-being. Soon, we plan to conduct an additional survey on benefits and well-being. These surveys ensure we are focusing on what means the most to our associates and their well-being.  

Ideas for Practicing Workplace Well-Being 

Now that we’ve defined well-being and why it’s important to you and your employer, let’s transition to the fun part– ideas! Busy, unpredictable schedules and different workspaces (remote and in-office) mean well-being initiatives need to be easy, user-friendly and most importantly, fun! Our team provides online programs, events, activities, rewards for program completion and yearly recognition for associate’s well-being efforts. One of our most popular events for associates is our well-being fair, which helps raise awareness about well-being. It features a variety of vendors, exercise sessions and free healthy snacks. If you cannot swing an in-person event, we recommend going virtual. This year we took the virtual route with our well-being fair and included helpful tips, informational videos submitted by associates on our well-being pillars and more!  

Advice on Well-Being and Commitment 

In closing, we asked our SVP of Associate Experience, Sara, for her advice on workplace well-being and staying committed to well-being goals. She recommends reflecting on all parts of your life, and not hyper focusing on one aspect, like your weight. Focusing on making small, meaningful improvements can be more effective than taking on all aspects of your well-being that you want to improve on. Think about your overall well-being and pick just one thing that you can add to your day that will make you an even more effective you! 


Thank you to our SVP of Associate Experience, Sara Kennedy and Jennifer Cubbage, our HR Business Partner – Benefits for your collaboration on this blog post. 

4 Forms You’ll Fill Out at Your First Job


Nothing’s easy about finding your first job: not the internet scouring, not the resume tweaking, not the interviews. When you finally are hired, you should experience some relief — but the sheer number of things you have to learn in the first few weeks can make you feel just as harried as the search process itself.

We can’t tell you how best to do your job, but we can prime you for the paperwork. Here’s a breakdown of how to handle it.

Direct deposit forms

As soon as you can, sign up for direct deposit — an electronic transfer of your salary from your employer directly into your bank account. It might not go into effect until after your first payday, but once it does, it’ll make your life much easier. Your wages will be harder to steal, and you’ll be able to access them more quickly. Checks can take a few days to process.

Setting up direct deposit is easy: You just need your bank account number and your bank’s routing number, both of which appear on your personal checks. If your employer doesn’t have a direct deposit form, your bank can provide one.

Health insurance sign-up forms

Most people get health insurance through their employers. Those who don’t must shop for a plan through private exchanges or the public marketplaces created under President Barack Obama’s health care law — or pay a penalty for forgoing coverage.

Whichever route you take, there are a few facts and terms you should know when evaluating plans:

  • Your premium is the amount you pay for insurance. If you receive coverage through your employer, it’s usually deducted from your paycheck.
  • Your deductible is is how much you are expected to pay per year for medical services your plan covers. After you “meet your deductible,” you will only be responsible for a percentage of the cost of service, a copay or a flat fee, depending on your policy. If you have a higher deductible amount, you often have lower monthly payments and vice versa.
  • A copayment or copay is the small fee — say, $10 or $20 — you pay every time you visit the doctor, get a prescription filled or generally receive health care. These payments go toward your deductible.

There’s much more involved in choosing a health insurance plan, including understanding the alphabet soup of plan types, such as HMOs, PPOs, EPOs and POS plans. Read any plan details carefully to decide which type of insurance is best for you. (And if you’d rather stay on your parents’ health insurance plan, you can do so until you turn 26.)

Retirement and 401(k) deferral forms

You’re just starting your first job, so the time when you can stop working probably seems like it’s eons away. But now is exactly when you should start saving for your retirement.

Your employer might offer a retirement savings plan, such a 401(k), which lets you divert a portion of your pay into a tax-advantaged account. Your employer might also match some of your contribution. If you can, take advantage of the full match amount — it’s essentially free money.

Other retirement savings options include individual retirement accounts and brokerage accounts, but one thing is constant: The earlier you start saving, the more you’ll have when you retire, thanks to compounding interest.

Tax paperwork

You’ll probably notice very quickly that having a $50,000 salary doesn’t mean you’re actually taking home $50,000 per year. A portion of your check pays your federal and state taxes, as well as deductions for Social Security and Medicare.

Before you receive your first paycheck, you’ll have to fill out a W-4 form, telling your employer how much tax to withhold from it. If you’re single and have no dependents, it’s pretty straightforward. And even if not, the IRS has a helpful calculator. Depending how much you have withheld, come next April you could have a big refund coming, or you could owe the government a lot of money. If you don’t like how things shake out at tax time, you can file a new W-4.

Questions? Ask your human resources department

Just as there’s probably someone at your office who will train you and show you where the restroom is, there are probably also people who can help you make sense of all these forms — the human resources department. If you have a question about your benefits or how you get paid, talk to them. It’s their job to help, and they’ve been at it longer than you have.

Source: NerdWallet, Inc.


Members 1st is here to help you through all of life’s most important moments and milestones. If you have any questions, please call customer service at (800) 237-7288, visit our website, or visit one of our various branch locations.

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