Broker blog from Delta Dental

Tag: benefits selling (Page 1 of 3)

How to keep yourself from “falling back” with daylight saving

Most of us look for­ward to snooz­ing an extra hour once a year when day­light-sav­ing time ends. How­ev­er, for many peo­ple, that addi­tion­al hour of sleep is where the pos­i­tive effects stop. When you add the season’s cold­er temps and bit­ter weath­er to its dark­er, short­er days, you’ve got the per­fect recipe for the blues. With increas­ing evi­dence that hap­pi­ness is tied to pro­duc­tiv­i­ty, that’s prob­a­bly a recipe you want to avoid. That’s why we’ve gath­ered these tips to help you stay hap­py and healthy in the com­ing months.*

Get mov­ing.
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again — phys­i­cal activ­i­ties help cre­ate endor­phins, which are proven to boost hap­pi­ness.

  • Par­tic­i­pat­ing in a team sport is a great way to get the blood pump­ing! Try a unique sport this win­ter like curl­ing or broom­ball. For those that don’t like to com­pete, check out group fit­ness class­es offered in your area.
  • There are also plen­ty of small steps — from tak­ing the stairs to park­ing in the back forty — you can take to increase phys­i­cal activ­i­ty dur­ing the work­day. Check out our pre­vi­ous arti­cle for advice on how to add more mobil­i­ty in the office.

Build more friend­ships.
Friend­ships can be a pow­er­ful force when it comes to increas­ing hap­pi­ness and pro­duc­tiv­i­ty. Find ways to meet new peo­ple in and out­side of the office. Here are some ideas to get you start­ed:

  • Keep tabs on local events and invite a cowork­er
  • Join a book club
  • Sit with some­one new on your lunch­break
  • Vol­un­teer at a new event

Take advan­tage of the sun (when it’s out).
The sun can be hard­er to find in the cool­er months, but that makes it even more impor­tant to catch rays when you can. Sun­light could increase the brain’s pro­duc­tion of sero­tonin, which is asso­ci­at­ed with mood boost­ing ben­e­fits. In fact, a lack of sun expo­sure has been linked to major sea­son­al depres­sion. To help com­bat the dark­ness at the office, keep the blinds open and arrange your work sta­tion to receive as much nat­ur­al light as pos­si­ble. If it’s a par­tic­u­lar­ly sun­ny day, get out for your lunch­break to soak up some extra sun.

Don’t wait to seek help.
It’s esti­mat­ed that 10 mil­lion Amer­i­cans suf­fer from sea­son­al affec­tive dis­or­der (SAD), often referred to as the win­ter blues. If you start to feel symp­toms of SAD or major depres­sion, seek pro­fes­sion­al help. The good news: There are sev­er­al treat­ment options avail­able, and a doc­tor can help find the right path to recov­ery.


For more thought lead­er­ship from Delta Den­tal, sub­scribe to Insid­er Update, our newslet­ter for bro­kers, agents and con­sul­tants.

If you’re a ben­e­fits deci­sion mak­er, admin­is­tra­tor or HR pro­fes­sion­al, sub­scribe to our group newslet­ter, Word of Mouth.


*These tips are not meant to be tak­en as med­ical advice or as treat­ment for depres­sion. If you or your employ­ees are suf­fer­ing from a men­tal ill­ness, please seek pro­fes­sion­al help.

Stories to smile about: David

We believe cre­at­ing healthy smiles extends beyond pro­vid­ing excep­tion­al den­tal ben­e­fits. That’s why the Delta Den­tal Com­mu­ni­ty Care Foun­da­tion makes it a pri­or­i­ty to sup­port groups and projects with the goal of improv­ing health and enhanc­ing lives in the com­mu­ni­ties we serve. While any pos­i­tive impact we can make is impor­tant, there are some sto­ries that give us all the feels, like this one that came to us from the Grady Health Sys­tem Oral Health Cen­ter.

Thanks to the Delta Den­tal Com­mu­ni­ty Care Foun­da­tion, Grady Health Sys­tem Oral Health Cen­ter was recent­ly able to pro­vide pros­thet­ic den­tal treat­ment to a young man named David.* David lost sev­er­al teeth — includ­ing his two front teeth — after being bru­tal­ly attacked by a group of strangers while walk­ing home one evening. Not only did he lose his teeth, but he lost his self-con­fi­dence and self-worth.

In addi­tion to the injuries suf­fered from his attack, David had lived for nine years with­out need­ed den­tal care or pros­thet­ics because he was unable to afford it. Thanks to your gen­er­ous grant we changed that. He was so hap­py and grate­ful to receive his den­tures. When he first put them on for a fit­ting, he sat and stared in the mir­ror for near­ly 10 min­utes. Tears of joy streamed down his face.

This was such a reward­ing expe­ri­ence for both David and the den­tal res­i­dent who assist­ed him. We would not have been able to help David in this way — and many oth­ers like him — with­out the gen­eros­i­ty of Delta Den­tal and your con­tin­ued sup­port of the Grady Oral Health Center’s Remov­able Pros­thet­ics Ini­tia­tive. Thank you.

Do you have a project that qual­i­fies for fund­ing? Vis­it the Com­mu­ni­ty Cen­ter sec­tion of our web­site to learn more and apply for fund­ing.

Want more ben­e­fits solu­tions, indus­try news or HR tips and tricks? Sub­scribe to Insid­er Update.

If you’re an employ­er, ben­e­fits admin­is­tra­tor or HR pro­fes­sion­al, sub­scribe to Word of Mouth.

*This sto­ry has been mod­i­fied to pro­tect the iden­ti­ty of the patient.

Grady Health Sys­tem Oral Health Cen­ter treats an aver­age of 2,000 patients per year by pro­vid­ing a full range of pre­ven­tive, restora­tive and pros­thet­ic den­tal ser­vices. It is the only den­tal clin­ic in Metro Atlanta that exclu­sive­ly treats low-income patients liv­ing with HIV/AIDS, a pop­u­la­tion with a high rate of oral health issues. The Foun­da­tion award­ed them $10,000 in 2017, which was the first year they applied for a grant.

4 ways to create a motivating workspace

2‑minute read

Ear­li­er this year, we shared how cel­e­brat­ing your employ­ees can boost hap­pi­ness and pro­duc­tiv­i­ty. While show­ing appre­ci­a­tion for employ­ees is key, it’s not the only way to inspire a work­force. To take engage­ment and pro­duc­tiv­i­ty into your own hands, con­sid­er design­ing your per­fect work envi­ron­ment. Check out our tips below to learn how the right office décor can help you per­form your best work.

1.) Don’t fear col­or. What col­or are the walls in your work­space? Are you sur­round­ed by neu­tral tones or bold col­or? Research sug­gests that cer­tain col­ors can affect a person’s pro­duc­tiv­i­ty. If you want to spark some cre­ativ­i­ty in your space, try incor­po­rat­ing the col­or pur­ple. If a laid-back vibe is what you want to evoke, try adding more blue and green to your sur­round­ings. If you don’t want to sat­u­rate your entire work­place in col­or, con­sid­er adding a few state­ment items to match the ener­gy you’re after.

2.) Bring the out­side in. You know how we just said green is a calm­ing col­or? This is great news if your work­place has a view — nature is full of it! Try arrang­ing your desk in a way that max­i­mizes your view of the out­doors. What if your win­dows look out to a con­crete jun­gle? Cre­ate your own lush land­scape by dec­o­rat­ing your space with plants and hang­ing art­work inspired by nature.

 3.) Let there be (sun)light. While we all know too much sun­light can be harm­ful, sun­light in mod­er­a­tion can have mood-lift­ing ben­e­fits and may even help you stay focused.

“Expo­sure to sun­light is thought to increase the brain’s release of a hor­mone called sero­tonin. Sero­tonin is asso­ci­at­ed with boost­ing mood and help­ing a per­son feel calm and focused.” – Health­line Media  

Keep the blinds open to let as much nat­ur­al light in as pos­si­ble. If your work­space lacks nat­ur­al light, resist the urge to crank up the over­head lights, which can be a night­mare for migraine suf­fer­ers. Instead, try a dim­ma­ble desk lamp that will allow you to adjust your light­ing depend­ing on your mood.

4.) Live your brand. A great way to get you excit­ed about work is to keep inspi­ra­tion right in front of you. Why not dis­play your company’s mis­sion state­ment on a wall? What about fas­ten­ing your favorite quotes or moti­va­tion­al imagery to your work space? Find what moti­vates you to focus and check tasks off your to-do list and remind your­self of it. By immers­ing your­self in your company’s brand or your own brand of moti­va­tion, you’re invest­ing in your own pro­duc­tiv­i­ty, goals and suc­cess.


Want more ben­e­fits solu­tions, indus­try news or HR tips and tricks? Sub­scribe to Insid­er Update.

If you’re an employ­er, ben­e­fits admin­is­tra­tor or HR pro­fes­sion­al, sub­scribe to Word of Mouth.

10 scientifically-supported ways to celebrate your employees

3‑minute read

Most busi­ness­es orga­nize some sort of employ­ee appre­ci­a­tion event every year. Why do we do it? Because oth­er com­pa­nies do it? Because social media tells us we should? Or maybe there’s a sci­ence behind it?

There actu­al­ly is some sci­ence behind it. Here are ways you can boost employ­ee hap­pi­ness and pro­duc­tiv­i­ty while going easy on your bud­get.

Employees smiling and talking in the office

Pay atten­tion to these four brain chem­i­cals, their pos­i­tive effects, and some ways to get them pump­ing:


Endor­phins are chem­i­cals meant to ease pain and stress, but they are also proven to boost hap­pi­ness. Since phys­i­cal activ­i­ties help pro­duce endor­phins, here are a range of activ­i­ties that can get your employ­ees mov­ing:

  • Orga­nize an intra­mur­al-style sport activ­i­ty for your com­pa­ny. Pop­u­lar sports include bas­ket­ball, soft­ball, vol­ley­ball and kick­ball. ZogSports coor­di­nates leagues in major metro areas, and many small­er areas have local leagues.
  • Encour­age mem­bers of your team to start a run­ning group and run a race. Bonus points if you’re ben­e­fit­ting a char­i­ty or cause!
  • Look into get­ting a reduced group rate for fit­ness class­es. There are plen­ty of cycling, strength train­ing, yoga, barre and oth­er stu­dio fit­ness class­es to choose from.


A lift in dopamine can kick-start some seri­ous moti­va­tion and pro­duc­tiv­i­ty, because it tar­gets the reward cen­ter of the brain. Low lev­els of dopamine have been linked to pro­cras­ti­na­tion and self-doubt, which is the oppo­site of how you want your employ­ees feel­ing. Some moti­va­tion-boost­ing activ­i­ties include:

  • Coor­di­nate goal-set­ting meet­ings with spe­cif­ic rewards. If you plan out small mile­stones and cel­e­brate each one, you’re encour­ag­ing con­tin­u­ous pro­duc­tiv­i­ty and reward­ing moti­vat­ed behav­ior each time. Rewards can be as big or small as you want.
  • Play music at some points dur­ing the day, as long as it’s not dis­tract­ing. Hear­ing music that you like is proven to boost dopamine lev­els. And it wouldn’t hurt if your team also got up and moved to the beat!
  • Encour­age learn­ing new skills or being cre­ative. Set up a class at a local craft shop, share a video on the basics of draw­ing, or give your employ­ees access to adult col­or­ing books.


Sero­tonin is the chem­i­cal per­haps most close­ly linked to your mood. It con­tributes to feel­ings like calm­ness, and a lack of sero­tonin is linked to anx­i­ety. Thank­ful­ly, there a lot of nat­ur­al ways to boost sero­tonin lev­els and improve your employee’s moods, includ­ing:

  • Soak­ing up some sun. Plan your next team event around being out­side —orga­nize a team lunch at a local restau­rant with a great patio, or sim­ply relo­cate your week­ly brown­bag to a pic­nic table near the office.
  • Think pos­i­tive­ly and spread pos­i­tiv­i­ty. One of the eas­i­est ways to boost sero­tonin lev­els is to recall pos­i­tive expe­ri­ences from the past. And try cre­at­ing pos­i­tive expe­ri­ences for your employ­ees going for­ward with a recog­ni­tion pro­gram.


The “trust hor­mone” is cru­cial in cor­po­rate cul­ture. It helps us build work­ing rela­tion­ships and cre­ate pos­i­tive inter­ac­tions with one anoth­er. Here are a few things you can try in the work­place to build rela­tion­ships and trust:

  • Try a trust- and team-build­ing expe­ri­ence, like an escape room or obsta­cle course.
  • Give (and receive) small gifts! It’s been proven that giv­ing a gift can often feel just as good as receiv­ing one. Take this CEO for instance, who wrote each of his employ­ees a birth­day card (and received cards in return for his!).

Take a chal­lenge and try inte­grat­ing each of these hap­py chem­i­cals into your employ­ee engage­ment strat­e­gy through­out the year.

Make sure you nev­er miss out on con­tent like this. Sub­scribe to Insid­er Update, our pro­duc­er newslet­ter.

Are you a ben­e­fits deci­sion mak­er, ben­e­fits admin­is­tra­tor or HR pro­fes­sion­al? Sub­scribe to Word of Mouth, our newslet­ter for busi­ness­es.

Plain language policy: Spotlight on Public Affairs

Health care pol­i­cy can be con­fus­ing. Real­ly, real­ly con­fus­ing.

That’s why we want to share peri­od­ic pol­i­cy updates and insights with you — in plain terms. No jar­gon, no non­sense. To kick off our Plain Lan­guage Pol­i­cy series, we’d like you to meet two of our key pol­i­cy play­ers, Stephanie Berry and Devin McBray­er.

Stephanie Berry and Devin McBrayer headshots


Tell us a lit­tle about your­self. Your edu­ca­tion­al back­ground, past work expe­ri­ence, per­son­al accom­plish­ments, etc.

Stephanie: I have worked at Delta Den­tal for five and a half years in gov­ern­ment rela­tions – pri­mar­i­ly han­dling leg­isla­tive analy­sis.

Before com­ing to Delta, I worked for Cal­i­for­nia Pri­ma­ry Care Asso­ci­a­tion (CPCA) for five years, rep­re­sent­ing clin­ics that most­ly serve the unin­sured and under­served. At CPCA, I was the Assis­tant Direc­tor of Fed­er­al Affairs, so I ensured every­one was edu­cat­ed on the Afford­able Care Act and what that would mean for them. I real­ly enjoyed doing that.

I start­ed in advo­ca­cy and leg­is­la­tion work­ing for Con­gress­woman Doris Mat­sui. I worked in her dis­trict office, doing a lot of health­care out­reach and that got my feet wet to move toward straight advo­ca­cy.

Devin: I also came from Doris Matsui’s office, which is how I met Stephanie. Before that, I worked in D.C. for Con­gress­woman Lois Capps on the Ener­gy and Com­merce Com­mit­tee. I focused on health pol­i­cy, assist­ing with health reform bills and ana­lyz­ing them before com­ing to Sacra­men­to.

I have a Mas­ter of Pub­lic Health (MPH) from George Wash­ing­ton, and being in D.C. was a great expe­ri­ence to see first-hand how leg­is­la­tion is made and how it goes through the reg­u­la­to­ry process. So I know how to ana­lyze things here when they come across the table.

Before we’re all work and no play, what do you like to do for fun? What are your hob­bies or inter­ests out­side of work?

Stephanie: I’m an avid ski­er; my hus­band snow­boards and the kids ski. Liv­ing in Sacra­men­to, we’re close to Sier­ra Nevadas, so we get to play in the snow, but we don’t have to live in the snow. It’s nice!

Devin: I’m into bik­ing. I live in a super small apart­ment down­town, but we have four bikes. I also love to hang out with my dog.

Okay, so get­ting down to busi­ness, what is your role at Delta Den­tal?

Stephanie: We keep track of new leg­is­la­tion and reg­u­la­tions that affect our enter­prise com­pa­nies. Because our brand is in 15 states plus D.C., that’s where we spend most of our focus. We have lob­by­ists in each of these states. We write let­ters of sup­port or oppo­si­tion and take part in advo­ca­cy activ­i­ties.

We’re also part of the Nation­al Asso­ci­a­tion of Den­tal Plans (NADP) and Amer­i­ca’s Health Insur­ance Plans (AHIP), which help us advo­cate on the issues hap­pen­ing in states where we don’t have as much pres­ence.

In 2017, we tracked 750 bills. More than 5,000 bills come up in our search top­ics, and we nar­row those down to those that might affect us. 150 of the 750 were signed into law; 50 of those affect­ed us.

What is it like hav­ing a direct impact on health pol­i­cy and leg­is­la­tion?

Stephanie: It’s feel­ing like you can make a dif­fer­ence. You can work with con­stituents when work­ing for a con­gress­woman. You see the impact. In this role at Delta Den­tal, it’s writ­ing a sup­port or oppo­si­tion let­ter and see­ing your advice tak­en into account.

Devin: Stephanie and I both real­ly enjoy pol­i­tics and the leg­isla­tive process. It’s a hob­by to be involved. Being active in the polit­i­cal process and ana­lyz­ing leg­is­la­tion and reg­u­la­tions might seem intim­i­dat­ing to some peo­ple, but we enjoy dig­ging through them. With our back­ground, some­times we are lucky in that we intu­itive­ly under­stand the way a bill may have been designed a cer­tain way and why. We just think it’s fun!

It sounds like you get to have fun for a liv­ing. What jumps out as mak­ing your work worth­while?

Stephanie: Com­ing to this job being raised in Cal­i­for­nia, it’s so inter­est­ing learn­ing how oth­er states think. I enjoy going to the Capi­tol in oth­er states and learn­ing that dif­fer­ent per­spec­tive. The fact that we have peo­ple with boots on the ground in all these states is so help­ful. I even went to Mon­tana this year, and part­nered with Jim Dole (Sales Account Exec­u­tive). He was so great at explain­ing how things tick there. I love learn­ing the his­to­ry. And I was in Atlanta advo­cat­ing on a bill recent­ly – that per­spec­tive keeps things inter­est­ing.

Since you’re new to Delta Den­tal, what are some of your first impres­sions? What do you like most about your job so far?

Devin: I most enjoy the team I work with; they under­stand my back­ground. We’re all equal­ly pas­sion­ate about the work we’re doing and we all want to be as help­ful as pos­si­ble to oth­er busi­ness units. My first few months here have real­ly been about becom­ing a bet­ter resource to the rest of the com­pa­ny. So far I like the open­ness to col­lab­o­rate and work togeth­er.

Part of our pur­pose as a den­tal ben­e­fits provider is to “enhance lives” — can you cite an exam­ple of some­thing you’ve worked on where you tru­ly think we’re achiev­ing that pur­pose?

Stephanie: There was a piece of leg­is­la­tion enact­ed in Cal­i­for­nia in 2015 — AB 648. We sup­port­ed this bill, which was brought forth by con­sumer groups. It estab­lish­es vir­tu­al den­tal homes, which is kind of like tele­health. Den­tal providers and hygien­ists can work in low-income areas, schools, Head Start pro­grams, and clin­ics and are able to do ini­tial screen­ing and send that info to a den­tist some­where else who can view the x‑rays to eval­u­ate. It helps peo­ple where they are. We were the only den­tal plan in Cal­i­for­nia to sup­port this bill and it was signed into law.

This year, we also sup­port­ed anoth­er Cal­i­for­nia bill, SB 379. There was already a law that says all kids in Cal­i­for­nia must see a den­tist before first grade. This bill lets den­tists host free oral health assess­ments at schools because many kids who aren’t do the screen­ings either don’t have insur­ance or they’re on Med­ic­aid and don’t have time. This bill will make it eas­i­er for kids to have this assess­ment before first grade.

We’d agree that your role is def­i­nite­ly help­ing in our pur­pose to enhance lives.

Let’s end on a fun note. Since you two work with such com­plex sub­ject mat­ter, how would you describe your job to an eight-year-old child?

Stephanie: Gosh, okay. I would say that I’m work­ing to make sure more peo­ple have the chance to see a den­tist and be sure their teeth are clean and free from sug­ar bugs. I get to meet with a lot of peo­ple and talk about real­ly impor­tant issues … I get to go around the coun­try try­ing to make it eas­i­er for peo­ple to see the den­tist. What do you think of that?

Per­fect. Okay, and now a dif­fer­ent ques­tion. If you had to cre­ate your own cam­paign slo­gan, what would it be?

Devin: I’ll go with my nick­name from child­hood and it was Devin from Heav­en. I like to think that I’m very nice, and I’ve been suc­cess­ful in work­ing in leg­isla­tive offices because some­times you have to deal with peo­ple who are… not so nice. So my cam­paign would def­i­nite­ly be cen­tered around that. I’d come in on a cloud, and there would be lots of stars and some fun music!


Thanks for tak­ing the time to get to know two mem­bers of our Pub­lic Affairs team! For more con­tent and indus­try news, sub­scribe to our newslet­ter.

Life hack: 3 ways to make cyber security a priority

Did you know Jan­u­ary 28 is Data Pri­va­cy Day? If so, you’re an infor­ma­tion secu­ri­ty rock star! If not, no wor­ries — we’ve got you cov­ered with some quick tips to bring you up to cyber speed.Man using laptop

We’re no stranger to explor­ing infor­ma­tion secu­ri­ty — from aware­ness and com­pli­ance to pre­ven­tion, we’re con­stant­ly adapt­ing to an evolv­ing cyber land­scape. Here are some ways your busi­ness can make data pro­tec­tion a pri­or­i­ty, too:

  1. Know the impact

As evi­denced in the wake of recent data breach­es, peo­ple aren’t hap­py when their per­son­al data is exposed in cyber attacks. But did you know that 76% of con­sumers say they’d aban­don a com­pa­ny that expe­ri­ences mul­ti­ple breach­es?


  1. Make com­pli­ance cul­tur­al

Stud­ies have proven that hav­ing a ded­i­cat­ed inci­dent response team in the occa­sion of a breach can sig­nif­i­cant­ly low­er the finan­cial impact on an orga­ni­za­tion. But take it one step fur­ther! Share your organization’s pri­or­i­ti­za­tion of data pri­va­cy with all of your employ­ees — because the more they care, the more like­ly they are to take care.


  1. Do the math

If you’re not sure how your orga­ni­za­tion stacks up against cyber threats, try plug­ging some infor­ma­tion into this Cost of a Data Breach cal­cu­la­tor, pro­vid­ed by IBM and Ponemon Insti­tute.


The cal­cu­la­tor takes your organization’s loca­tion, indus­try and secu­ri­ty mea­sures into account to a deliv­er an esti­mat­ed impact to your bot­tom line in the event of a threat. Take spe­cial note of how some fac­tors, like par­tic­i­pa­tion in threat shar­ing and employ­ee train­ing, can actu­al­ly low­er your esti­mat­ed costs.

Join the #Dat­aPri­va­cy­Day con­ver­sa­tion on LinkedIn and Twit­ter, and sub­scribe to our newslet­ter for more indus­try news from Delta Den­tal.

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