Work, Money (economics) and Mission

Try to separate your work, money, and mission?

They all weave together in your everyday. In fact, they work toward the same end all day. The question is do you see each in your day, all day?

Struggle and conflict occur often because we think work, money, and mission don’t belong together. I’m curious what you think? Have you ever been at work and asked yourself “what am I doing here?”

Have you been at Church and found yourself distracted thinking about work?

As different as we all are, we are very much the same.

What do you do when you have time on your hands but no job? Do you worry about getting a better job? Do you worry about bills? We all have that conversation with ourselves that influences us. How often does your conversation include money, work, and mission? How much time do you spend thinking about these things and having that conversation? Why do you occupy yourself with these topics?

Of course, there are many other topics; family, sex, chores, kids, homework, school, and many others. But, on the whole, the conversation between your ears, I’m guessing, includes the three; work, money and mission. Is that true for you? Maybe I’ve got it wrong so share your thoughts below in the comments.

It occurred to me recently to pray for all three at once; work, money, and mission.

Quickly, my reason for my prayer: employee handbooks don’t say you can’t talk about God at work. Right? But, there’s a cultural taboo, “don’t talk about God at work,” right? But people are soulful, your fellow employee is seeking the joy God offers just as much as you. They are having the conversation you have with yourself; if I get more money, better work and fulfill my mission then I’ll be happy, joyful. Right?

Chasing money doesn’t make you happy, doing more work doesn’t make you happy, being focused on your mission but unable to pay your bills doesn’t make you happy. So, I decided I would pray for a job where I could have the full life God promises me (you too).

So, first, of the year I asked God for a job that; utilized my skills and experience (work), was at a place where I could be in a community that accepted my faith (mission) and paid enough to meet my bills (money).

Today, I read the quote from the Gospel of John (today’s reading) and realized my prayer that offered to God the best version of myself and organized my work to him was a prayer he answered.

whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you.
Until now you have not asked anything in my name;
ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete. John 16:23-28

This new role is helping the owners of a small business. It uses my prior experience owner, economics, LEAN, HR, benefits (work), is set for 30 hours of work per week (money), and directs my efforts toward God (mission). Quite an answer to a prayer to do his will. LOL.

God’s sense of humor is not giving this gift when I was young, of course, I didn’t pray for this gift when I was young because I followed cultural norms (no God in the workplace). LOL.

mission: listening and validating employees through lean/six sigma.

Work grinds down employees who, as a result, feel disengaged, ignored, overlooked and unappreciated. In the LEAN role, I am connecting employees to the customer value in a way that’s meaningful to each employee in their own way.

Simply put, I validate each employee by listening to them. This work makes me think of the virtue of subsidiarity. That is putting decisions closest to the worker who is doing the work; this is totally LEAN and totally Catholic social teaching. Pretty cool, I am helping employees and the employer and doing mission work.

God should not be absent from the workplace; where people are there God is too. With eyes of faith we can see Jesus in each person. How often do we give others their due in this regard? As a business owner, I know all too well how the economic realities will push aside the value of the people. If HR is doing its job they should find the “human” in the resource.

I’ve always thought of work, money, and mission as together but never have I had the opportunity I have today.

I love economics because, like gravity, forces that affect economics are immovable. People have to work to pay bills. Companies need employees to be more productive than their competitor to survive. I like the reality economics imposes and I like helping employees and companies be more competitive.

So, this new role I prayed for has me in the middle of making people, productive and happier and improves customer value and profitability. Pretty cool, and an answer to a prayer. Thank you Lord.

Do you think it makes sense to merge mission, work and economics together for you? What’s your workplace like?

I’d love to hear what you think? Comment or share below.

Wondering Why Trump Was Elected?

I’ve been silent since the Donald Trump election because I’ve been shocked at how many people haven’t a clue about why Donald Trump was elected by people like me. My apologies to anyone who might be upset, please provide your comments here so I can learn about you. My hope is to offer, in This Linkedin repost, one explanation long before election day why I voted for Trump.

I’d love to stir up a discussion so I might learn if my post is new information if I’m miss informed or if this is not relevant and why. Continue reading “Wondering Why Trump Was Elected?”

What are ACA changes going to mean?

 Answer: More changes for businesses; it makes the case for a PEO.

ACA image
ACA image

Everyday I’m asked what’s going to happen with Obamacare/ACA now that Mr. Trump has been elected.

After reviewing in detail some of the proposals, like the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) aei-improving-health-and-health-care-online-2015 , a D.C. think tank, I’d have to say more changes are coming to healthcare. It’s hard to imagine more change than ACA but change is imminent. I shudder to think we could have more change in healthcare, we’ve had so much change since Obamcare/ACA was enacted in 2010. But the fact is, even to undo it, more regulations are needed to undo it. Continue reading “What are ACA changes going to mean?”

How Your Greed is Shrinking Your Pay Check

An office restroom in the 90’s had a sign on the wall that read, “Greed is Good.” This phrase was popular in culture when I was younger,

Greed is Good was common.
Greed is Good was common.

it was part of business school teaching and was commonly accepted. But now, fast forward 20 years and I’d have to say this notion is the cause of much of our American economic woes. I can see pretty clearly the affects played out in business, governement, courts, communities and in families.

Sadly, my generation, born in the 60’s will never be held accountable for events like Enron where greed fueled crazy financial modeling that could explain ways of fashioning the greatest greed. Or, where our government leaders were/are more concerned about a vote than an unborn American life. Continue reading “How Your Greed is Shrinking Your Pay Check”

How is a benefit plan like a bus route?

family_schoolbusflasher
School bus flashers are for the safety of the children on and off the bus.

A benefit office is supposed to make decisions for the benefit of the beneficiaries. A bus route should be concerned first for the safety of the children.

On the main road connected to my subdivision, two different school districts have bus routes running in opposite directions. The road is a two lane semi-rural, 50 MPH road. I’d add, drivers routinely move at 60 MPH or more.

Lake Orion School District buses travel southbound. Rochester Community Schools travel northbound on the very same road; it’s Adams Rd. for those interested in the particulars. In both districts, the bus stops on the road or shoulder but does not turn into the subdivision.

Lake Orion has chosen to tell bus drivers not to use the red flashing stop safety lights when picking up the children. And, by contrast, Rochester Community Schools does instruct drivers to turn on their red safety flashers. Continue reading “How is a benefit plan like a bus route?”

UHC and Obamacare; More of Your Money

My Answer to a customer who asked,

“This caught my eye over the weekend. Does this change our decision matrix at all?”

This customer is in the middle of making decisions today for their employees. I wrote the  email that follows to help them understand what this article is really about. The customer can move ahead as planned but should know more changes are coming for Obamacare. More importantly I explain how this article is an example of how the government and insurers do not care about your health.

If that’s important to you read on.


 

Screen Shot 2015-11-23 at 9.17.05 AM

The article includes this CEO quote,

“We cannot sustain these losses,” Chief Executive Officer Stephen Hemsley told analysts on a conference call. “We can’t really subsidize a marketplace that doesn’t appear at the moment to be sustaining itself.”

Source: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-11-19/unitedhealth-may-pull-out-of-obamacare-marketplace-stock-slides


 

My email to my business customer asking about how this UHC article may affect their present decisions for their employees.

Short answer to your question about UHC:

No, what they’re deciding makes no difference for your decision today. Your decision today will only be good until they make more changes and they do that everyday. What you decide today could change tomorrow, that’s not a joke, that’s real.

Long answer to your question about UHC:

Still, the answer is no, this won’t affect you in the short term and you can’t plan long term.

I’ve been using the words, “shifting sands” for 5 years now. The Obamacare law is 5 years old, March 23rd, 2010. Shifting sands means continuous course corrections by all system stake holders that affects more than $2-3 Trillion of the American economy. This means, today UHC is saying they’re out. But, what it actually means is they’re lobbying for more money. What we have going on here is “lobbying for position.” In the halls of congress, the industry exerts leverage in order to get more money from the government. Welcome to modern politics.

Our elected officials didn’t read the law; they had no idea what they approved and now it’s obvious. People like me have been calling attention to the cost problem for 5 years or more (my blog: https://www.donwatza.com/category/benstaff-inc/white-paper-research/) but the American public won’t listen to someone like me over articles like this. The evidence and problem is documented in my white paper posts.

Sad, but true, I can confidently say, I’ve never seen a bigger mess. Before Obamacare, Healthcare needed a fix because the insurance industry wouldn’t police itself. But, this isn’t a fix and national healthcare won’t fix it any better either (watch my video on, “US healthcare system in crisis”).

My guess about UHC? UHC and the feds will make up; the feds will give UHC more money (this will drag on over the next few months) and in order to give them money they have to make the fix look like they didn’t. In the end, just more rules, overhead, confusion and frustration; and cost.

Summary: The government is making massive changes everyday while the plane is flying. Thoughtless unread regulations created this mess and their fix is a daily stream of thousands of new patches, regulations, paperwork and confusion. I’ve been living in the trenches for 5 years trying to help employers understand and navigate. The reality and size of this law is starting to impact small employers like you.

 There has been NO improvement in health or cost because your health doesn’t matter to them (any of them). What are we going to get if we keep doing what we’ve been doing? Do you expect a different result?

My frustration is clear, we’re in an awful mess and no one cares. There’s a different voice that’s needed; here’s my hope (https://www.donwatza.com/about-2/owners-health-initiative/).

Peace,

Don

Read Don’s Huffington Post Article for Owners

PS

P.S. I will add below related articles;

“Insurers say Obamacare changes needed soon to protect companies from losses” USA Today, 11-24-2015.

“New research out this week from Commonwealth Fund shows far fewer people think their insurance premiums and deductibles — from employer-provided or exchange plans — are affordable than the government does when it defines affordability. About 40% of 2,700 people surveyed said they delay care and prescription refills when they were sick because of high deductibles, Commonwealth found.”

http://www6.lexisnexis.com/publisher/EndUser?Action=UserDisplayFullDocument&orgId=2778&topicId=100025082&docId=l:2487319212

Happiness and Faith

We All Seek Happiness

Did you know the dispensing of mental health prescriptions are at an all time high in the US? What does this mean, what does it say about the citizens of the US? Medication abuse, drug use and addictions of all kinds are on the rise. If mental health prescriptions are intended to cure the rise of the diagnosis of depression, and if we assume depression is a certain amount of unhappy, then we can say, citizens in the US are increasingly unhappy. I would make the stretch that addictions to alcohol and drugs are frequently explained as an escape from an individuals present circumstance the they must not be happy in their present circumstance. Would you agree with how I’ve connected these dots? I’ve made a generalization of course and haven’t considered physical ailments of the mind and body that would be an exception; for now let’s stick with the generalization.

Did you know the percent of people who volunteer their time to local community organizations has dropped from a high of 60% 40 years ago to an all time low of 25%? What does a decrease in serving others mean? Do you volunteer your time for the good of others? Is this decrease in volunteer time somehow related to an increase in “unhappiness?”

How Much Do You Pay For This In Your Healthcare Premium?

Is there a connection between our state of unhappiness and serving others? Is the attitude of one who serves others opposite the attitude of someone with an addiction or on depressive drugs? Are these two attitudes on the opposite ends of the happiness continuum? Only as an economic indicator, as something we can measure, can we say those serving others (not preoccupied with themselves) is opposite addiction and depression? What’s the cost to families, communities and companies in healthcare premium for our unhappiness, addictions prescription solutions? $210 billion per year is one answer; “Growing Economic Burden…” I’ve not vetted this report or double checked against other sources; this number seems to me to be quite low. Is there an alternative to our current method of treatment?

Where do we look for happiness? Is happiness found in things of “this world” like entertainment, wealth and work, honor, power, personal physical pleasure; food, sex, alcohol, drugs gambling excess in all kinds of other things? Do you seek your “fifteen minutes of fame” selfies, indulging in idol chatter?

What makes you happy and at peace? If you were depressed or if your loved one were depressed how would you solve that problem? Is depression on the rise because hoping in the empty promise of seeking happiness in the things we see advertised, things our friends have, or momentary physical pleasures or other worldly things? What’s your “addiction” what’s your worldly addiction that when you get it, it makes you happy? For how long does it make you happy?

VeggieTales Madame Blueberry Trailer

A great line from Veggie Tales, “Madame Blueberry” who is the purveyor of “Stuff” as she buys more and more to satisfy her need for “Stuff”. She is seeking happy at the Stuff Mart Store; she sees a boy with nothing who is happy with what he has. Madam Blueberry asks the Stuff Mart store manager, “I want what that boy has, I want to be happy, where do I buy that?”

As Madam Blue-berry finds out, happiness can’t be bought. We all know people, if not ourselves, who have everything and are still depressed, sad, or just not happy. That’s because things of this world feed the flesh and mind but do nothing for our soul. Our soul doesn’t need stuff it needs God.

Fr. Robert Barron, now Bishop says, “the great task of the church is to teach teh human race how to find themselves precisely in relation to God.” Word on Fire Video on YouTube called, “Atheism and Assisted Suicide”

Consider faith as the answer to pills, pleasure, wealth, honor and power because faith is heaven sent and is a free gift from God; he alone feeds our soul. Give him your heart, mind and soul first. Then, find happiness in everything he’s already given you.

Psalm 23:1-6

1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want;
2 he makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters;
3 he restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil;  for you are with me;  your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;  you anoint my head with oil, my cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life;  and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

Just a thought.