Neil-summerSummer time is here, which means many of us are planning for outdoor fun and vacations with our loved ones. Whether you are traveling to popular tourist destinations or staying close to home, the AWA can help you make the best of your vacation. As an AWA member, you have access to discounts on attractions and entertainment venues throughout the country. Learn more in the AWA Benefits section.

You may have heard the news that Premier Health Solutions will be the new AWA administrator. Learn more in the Members' Corner section.

AWA knows it’s important to help our members with their business growth. Look in the Business section for more information about summer marketing ideas and how to keep employee motivation and morale up during the summer.  

The AWA is committed to the wellness and safety of our members. Taking time off from your busy routines not only improves your quality of life, but is also vital to your overall health. Take a look at the Health & Lifestyle section for summer safety, fun and health tips.

On behalf of the AWA Board of Directors, we hope you enjoy the rest of your summer and quality time with your family.

Regards,

Neil Peterson

New AWA Administrator

The Affiliated Workers Association board is pleased to announce the selection of our new Administrator and Marketing Partner, Premier Health Solutions, LLC (“Premier”). Premier’s knowledge and experience in administering membership programs, combined with their superior service and resources, will sustain and promote growth for the AWA by enhancing our value to current and prospective members. The continued viability and growth of our membership is paramount to the vision and mission of AWA.

Premier’s focus will be to provide best-in-class service that extends to every individual they touch. They are dedicated to treating each individual with the respect and courtesy they deserve, and offering personalized service that is proactive and effective.

Effective August 24, 2106, Premier’s customer service team will be ready to assist you with any questions, Mon-Fri, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. CST. You may contact Premier’s Customer Service by phone at 855-351-7536. Please save and make a note of this new customer service number! Premier’s friendly support staff is looking forward to providing you with excellent service. If you have questions or need any assistance during the transition, please email Premier at awasupport@premierhsllc.com.

Be on the lookout for additional notifications regarding new and exciting membership enhancements coming soon!

Save Money with Everyday Savings

everyday-savingsSummer vacation means many of us are preparing for family trips. Whether you’re taking a road trip or traveling by plane, you can save money on your travel with an exclusive discount included in your AWA membership.  

Through the Everyday Savings website or mobile app, you can save money on the things you’ll need for your trip, including a rental car and hotel. Plus, you can save up to 20% off on tickets to popular theme parks.  You can purchase and print the tickets to the parks, which will not only save money but time by skipping the line at the ticket gate. Everyday Savings also offers coupons to retailers near you, including dining establishments, service providers and more.

Start savings today by visiting www.MyEverydaySavings.com. Enter your zip code for a full list of specials near you.  Be sure to use your AWA Member ID# when registering on the site.  

Motivating Employees at Work During the Summer

motivating-employeesSummertime usually leads to decreased productivity and employee dissatisfaction, with one study showing that workplace productivity falls by around twenty percent during the summer. Here are a few tips to ensure that your employees stay happy and productive throughout the hot summer months:

  • Time Outdoors - Day after day of meetings in the same conference room is monotonous. Reschedule at least one meeting per week so that you and your employees have a chance to enjoy the sunshine and fresh air. Also consider teambuilding activities like attending a baseball game or summer barbecues to build a positive work environment and team spirit.
  • Encourage Vacations - It’s easy to feel overwhelmed at work, so employers should encourage their employees to take vacations so they can re-energize and feel more productive when they return.
  • Greater Flexibility - Consider implementing more flexible work hours, like a half-day or full day off on Fridays. Or, let employees pick one day per week where they can come in late or leave early.
  • Change of Wardrobe - If your office usually requires business dress during the year, let employees dress for casual Fridays or even have a day for flip-flops.

Your business doesn’t have to let productivity slide this summer. Keep your employees motivated and enjoy the season.


Summer Marketing Tips for Small Business

summer-marketingWith summer’s great weather comes the chance to promote your business and bring in new customers. You don’t have to experience the slowdown in sales that some small businesses report and you can plan for the rest of the year.

Here are a few ways to market your business for the summer:

Involve your community- With clear skies and greater free time, summer offers a fantastic opportunity to become involved in the community and treat your customers to a special day, whether at the ballpark or a picnic. Don’t forget that you can claim customer entertainment as a tax deduction, provided that you can demonstrate a business purpose.

Giveaways- Offer tickets to a local theme park or spa or even something like an iPad are a guaranteed way to entice customers into your store. Or, hold a contest with a tie-in to whatever type of business you have, such as an eating contest for restaurants, or a “cutest pet” photo competition for a pet grooming service.

Networking and Business Events- Check in with your local Chamber of Commerce or business associations to see what events are going on during the summer. Events like these can help you meet future business partners and network with other businesses. And if there aren’t any events near you, plan your own, with something as simple as a get-together at a local restaurant or bar.

Staying Hydrated

staying-hydratedSummer’s soaring temperatures and blazing sunshine can lead to a greater risk of heat exhaustion and dehydration. About 70% of our bodies are made up of water, so it’s crucial to stay hydrated and also to be aware of the warning signs of heat exhaustion and heatstroke.

Even mild dehydration has been shown to lead to mood swings, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and migraines. It’s a good idea to keep a reusable water bottle with you throughout the day and remember to drink extra if you’re outside or otherwise active.

Heat exhaustion is a result of your body’s inability to keep cool. Especially on muggy summer days, the humidity in the air slows down sweat evaporation and body temperature can rise as a result. Signs of heat exhaustion include: dizziness, confusion, nausea, headache, and dark-colored urine. If you think that you might be suffering from heat exhaustion, move inside to an air-conditioned room, drink water, and take a cool shower or bath. You should not drink alcohol or carbonated drinks, which can make heat exhaustion even worse.

If heat exhaustion is not treated properly, heatstroke may follow. This is when body temperature reaches 104 degrees Fahrenheit and its symptoms include: lack of sweating, nausea, dizziness, vomiting, confusion, flushed skin, and trouble breathing. If you believe someone is suffering from heatstroke, call 911 and move the person to a cool, air-conditioned place. While you wait for emergency medical personnel, remove any non-necessary clothing and apply cool water or ice packs to the person’s skin, armpits, and groin.

By making hydration part of your daily routine, you’ll ensure that you remain happy and healthy even in the worst of heatwaves.


Staying Safe on Vacation

safe-on-vacationSummer vacation is about enjoying time with friends and family, free from worries and distractions back home. However, it’s important to be careful and ensure that you and your loved ones stay safe while traveling.

Here are a few tips to make sure that you and your family stay safe on your summer vacation:

  • Time spent outside in the sun means exposure to harmful UV rays. Make sure to pack and apply sunscreen of at least 15 SPF, wear sunglasses, and periodically move into the shade. And don’t forget to reapply sunscreen, especially after heavy sweating or swimming.
  • If your summer travel plans take you away from home, be sure that all doors and windows are locked and that you’ve set lights and the radio on timers to make your house appear occupied. It’s also a good idea to have your mail held at the post office or to have a friend stop by to pick up newspapers and check on your home.
  • When you’re out and about, keep an eye on your children and other belongings like backpacks or purses. Also, don’t display excessive amounts of cash or other items that could make you a target for theft.
  • When you arrive at your hotel, make a mental note of the nearest emergency exit and place valuables or extra cash in the safe. Only take what you need with you.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. Pay attention to those around you and be more cautious at night or in crowds. Stay away from poorly lit areas and never travel alone late at night.


Throw a Great BBQ

great-bbqBurgers on the grill, kids playing in the pool and an ice-cold drink in your hand makes for summer fun.  A barbeque is a quintessential event for the summer, but it can require a lot of time and unnecessary stress. But, with a few simple tips and a little careful planning, you can pull off a great barbeque that your family and friends will remember for a long time to come.

Here are a few tips to ensure that your barbeque goes smoothly:

Pick a theme - From all-American to a Mexican fiesta, you have plenty of themes to choose from for your barbeque. Choosing a theme adds fun and flair, even for the grownups, and lets everyone relax and let go.

Menu - You can tie in your menu with the theme, like the classic hot dogs and hamburgers or tacos and burritos. Be sure to plan carefully for the number of guests you expect and ensure that you will have enough food. Another option is to go potluck and have each guest bring something different in line with your theme.

Entertainment - This is easy to forget, but make sure that you have different games or activities for both kids and the adults. Activities like volleyball, twister, piñatas, scrabble, or giant jenga provide opportunities for everyone to have fun!

Music - It wouldn’t be a great summer barbeque without a great summer playlist. You could try pre-curated playlists on services like Spotify or Pandora, or simply pick your own favorite lineup.

Mosquitoes- Last but not least, be sure that you don’t forget about the mosquitoes. Keep the grass cut and remove any overgrown shrubbery to keep the bugs away and drain any stagnant water that could attract unwanted pests. Also, set out a few oscillating fans on your deck or patio, which will blow away the relatively weak flying mosquitoes. Throw away trash periodically and set out bug spray for your guests to reapply.


Summer Apps

Along the Way ($2.99, iOs): Discover attractions and sights during road trips or finding the nearest coffee shop or gas station on the average day. This app points out desired destinations directly on your route.

 

Peek (free, iOs): Take the guesswork out of sightseeing, offering fun experiences in over 20 major tourist destinations with activities that you can book straight from the app.  You can also search by intuitive categories like “what to do if it rains,” “what to do with kids,” and “what to do in groups” or choose from the planned itineraries of people like Wolfgang Puck and Diane von Furstenberg.

 

Field Trip (free, Android and iOs): Find points of interest, like historic spots, interesting architecture, or film locations, wherever you happen to be. As you reach each destination, a card pops up (a voice speaks to you via headphones or Bluetooth) to spice up your exploration with fun facts and details.

 

Wolfram Sun Exposure Reference App($.99, iOs): Calculate how long you and your family members can be out without burning based on your complexion, location, time and the SPF you’re using. The app also provides a UV forecast for wherever you are. Now you can relax outside without worry.