News and updates for in-the-know vintage insurance experts and those who value their talents.
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A Season for Gratitude
As the air turns colder, the multicolored autumn leaves continue to fall, and our nation’s traditional Turkey Day quickly approaches, I reflect on all the things we have to be thankful for in our lives. And this year, that list—and those feelings of gratitude—are especially outsized.
Nearly two years into this global pandemic, we are all still going strong. As professionals, we have spent month upon month managing this new and unprecedented balance between our work and home lives, while at the same time taking special precautions to protect our health and the health of our loved ones—often with little or no added support.
And yet, despite these challenges, our work product has never been better. With meetings moving to Zoom, Skype and other videoconferencing solutions, we’ve had to be more intentional about them, ultimately making them more efficient and effective. Employees have maximized their productivity through remote-work arrangements, cutting out commutes and wasted time. Deadlines have been met, projects have been completed, and businesses have not just survived, but continue to thrive as we sail into 2022.
In other words, it’s never been more important to thank our people. They’re the true superstars of our businesses right now, and they deserve to be recognized and rewarded for their incredible fortitude.
Unfortunately, it’s clear that many workers around the country aren’t feeling that way right now. They are quitting in record numbers, leading to what businesspeople have dubbed the Great Resignation (more on that in the blog below). So how can we make them feel truly seen and appreciated?
At WAHVE, we’re well acquainted with how to make a diverse and geographically dispersed workforce feel connected, valued, and inspired. A few of our tips for creating this environment include:
Make it personal. Generic year-end gifts—such as food baskets, lunches, team outings, and swag—won’t cut it. “Appreciation gifts must evolve from generic handouts to something that is personal, meaningful, and memorable,” according to employee recognition firm O.C. Tanner.
Think about your employees and what might matter most to them right now. Maybe it’s an Amazon gift card, a subsidized membership at their local gym, ergonomic office equipment, extra days off, or a gift certificate to their favorite neighborhood coffee shop. You could even consider reaching out to them directly to ask them what they really want or need through surveys or manager outreach. Then follow through. You don’t have to spend a lot, but you do have to invest the time and energy to make it meaningful and show you care about them.
Call out specific wins. General lip service doesn’t help individuals feel seen. Managers should keep track of specific tasks, activities, and projects accomplished by their direct reports, as well as just admirable qualities exhibited by them, that the can specifically reference when thanking their staff.

Check in regularly. It can be easy to start feeling anonymous when you’re not meeting face-to-face as regularly. It can also be challenging emotionally. Check in with your people. Ask them not just about their work, but about how things are going for them personally, too. Also, offer your support and help. You want to position yourself as a caring resource who can help resolve pain points and help them succeed.
As we prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving—possibly even in person!—this year, it’s the perfect time to spread the gratitude and give thanks for our wonderful employees.
Sharon Emek, PhD, CIC
CEO and President, Work At Home Vintage Experts
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Combating the Great Resignation
If it seems like people are getting fed up with their jobs lately, it’s because they are. Four million Americans quit their jobs in July, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. A record-breaking 4.3 million quit in August. We’ve officially entered the era that business experts are calling “the Great Resignation.”
And employers are feeling the pain. Not only are they flooded with positions they can’t fill—nearly 75% of employees surveyed recently by Indeed were struggling to hire and retain workers—but those who do remain are feeling stressed, burned out, and underpaid. According to a survey by the Society of Human Resource Management, 52% of remaining workers have taken on more responsibilities, 30% are struggling to get work done, 27% feel less loyalty to their organizations, and a whopping 55% question whether their pay is high enough. No doubt, morale is low.
So why are people leaving? Many experts agree that there are a variety of factors conspiring to create the Great Resignation. More baby boomers retiring is one issue—3.2 million more people retired in the third quarter of 2020 than in the same period the year prior, in fact. A disconnect between manager and worker expectations is another: A survey of 10,000 global knowledge workers found that 44% of executives wanted to work from the office every day, compared with 17% of employees; 57% of workers were prepared to look for jobs that offered more flexibility.
This relates to one of the most important factors—yet also one of the hardest to define—that is contributing to the talent shortage: a general dissatisfaction with employers. Workers have stated that they feel a lack of career growth opportunities, desire more purpose and meaning in their work life, and/or need more compensation. Many are feeling burned out and unappreciated.
Luckily, we as organizations can take several key steps to attract, keep and engage our top-notch talent. At WAHVE, some of our simple yet effective actions include:
Value your people—and make sure they feel it! It goes without saying, but it’s imperative that you show your people that you appreciate them. You can do this by recognizing their achievements, both big and small; acknowledging individuals’ specific contributions; inviting their input; and listening to and acting on their suggestions and expertise, where appropriate.

Give passion and purpose. You can inspire and motivate your team by giving them the passion and purpose they so eagerly crave. In addition to tying your project, team and company goals to broader global objectives, you can offer opportunities for mentorship, pair workers with projects that speak to their specific interests (or invite them to inject their personal meaning into projects, when possible), and encourage them to pursue their passions outside of work (and give them the resources to do so).

Ditch the busy work. We’ve all learned how much busy work can be cut out by streamlining our processes and trusting our people to get their work done in their own ways, on their own time. In a recent Adobe survey, workers estimated they spent one-third of their workweek on mundane, repetitive tasks, with 86% saying such tasks prevent them from performing their jobs effectively. As Forbes put it: “These workplace patterns are what will lead to burnout, and eventually, to disengagement and attrition.” Eliminate busy work and you increase not only productivity, but also morale.

Offer flexibility. Today’s workers have made it abundantly clear: They want the existing workplace flexibility—e.g., staggered or adaptable schedules and remote work—to continue post-pandemic. Meanwhile, experts have predicted that hybrid work environments will be the way of the future. Now’s the time to invest in the right policies, procedures, technologies and designs that will facilitate a smooth transition to a flexible workplace model going forward. Communicate your plans to your people, and solicit their input for how you can make tomorrow’s workplace a place they want to be.
What are some of the ways you’re working to keep your existing staff members and hire great new talent in this tight labor market?
WAHVE is an innovative contract talent solution that matches retiring, experienced career professionals with a company's talent needs. WAHVE bridges the gap between an employer's need for highly skilled professional talent and seasoned professionals desiring to extend their career working from home. From screening to placement, WAHVE is a comprehensive solution to qualifying, hiring, and managing experienced remote talent.
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