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February 16, 2013 / lorisweere

Angel Foundation: A Brief Overview By Lori Sweere

Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Angel Foundation aids individuals with cancer by providing financial and emotional support. Founded in 2001 with money from an oncology practice, Angel Foundation has given families more than $3 million in non-emergency financial assistance to help pay for food, gas, utilities, and housing. Another Angel Foundation endeavor, Facing Cancer Together, serves as a year-long educational program that helps families to grow in understanding and strength.

Families can apply for assistance from Angel Foundation at www.mnangel.org. The patient who has cancer must be at least 18 years old, must be undergoing treatment at the time of the application, and must be living or being treated within a seven-county area of Minnesota. Applicants may receive aid only once every two years.

Angel Foundation’s website also has other useful features. Those who are interested in sponsoring the organization’s mission can learn more about the process by visiting the website. Additionally, the site includes a video collection that highlights people who have been honored for their involvement in cancer care.

About the Author

Lori Sweere serves as the Executive Vice President of Human Capital at UnitedHealth Group in Minnetonka, Minnesota. She donates to Angel Foundation.

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August 24, 2012 / lorisweere

The concept of employee engagement by Lori Sweere

One of the business metrics getting attention lately is the concept of employee engagement. Employee engagement refers to the degree of emotional involvement employees have in the company and in the work they do. Some companies interpret this to mean that their employees should feel happy or satisfied with their work, but that notion misses the mark.

Good human resources management takes an interest in employee happiness and satisfaction, but neither factor has shown a direct impact on business outcomes. A happy employee or a satisfied employee is not necessarily going to work after normal business hours to complete a task without being asked, or go the extra mile to maintain the workplace without management oversight.

Employees who are engaged take initiative. They care about the company’s mission. Strategies to maximize feelings of engagement, including rewards for engaged performance, regular and clear communication between management and employees, and promoting the feeling of job importance, can improve the function of day-to-day business operations and therefore net profits.

About the Author:

Lori Sweere, Executive VP of Human Capital for United HealthGroup, has been recognized for her ability to consistently improve employee engagement.

June 28, 2012 / lorisweere

Lori Sweere on Increasing Employee Engagement

Lori Sweere, a Human Resources executive in the insurance industry, continues to offer advice about employee engagement.

Q: How can managers increase employee engagement?

A: Managers should clear away obstacles to achievement. Make sure that rules and regulations allow room for employees to make suggestions and improve processes. Talk to employees and ask them where their bottlenecks are and what they need to do their jobs effectively. Don’t write off rejections of new policies as simple disgruntlement. Employees usually have reasons for their objections. Take the time to understand what those reasons are.

Q: What specific strategies help to engage employees?

A: Managers should set clear goals and objectives so that employees know what they are working toward. They should provide ongoing feedback and coaching and work to develop their employees so they may achieve their career objectives. Both managers and employees should take advantage of any opportunity for development, whether it be self directed or through a company-sponsored program.

June 28, 2012 / lorisweere

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