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WCRI 2024 Conference Posted Live – Day Two


WCRI 2024 Conference Posted Live – Day Two

The WCRI 2024 Conference day two was posted live – please excuse any typos, etc.  Check out the slides for great information.

Day Two Keynote: Prof. Connie Noonan Hadley, Boston University

 Wed Mar 6, 2024
 9:00 AM – 9:45 AM
Speaker: Constance (Connie) Noonan Hadley, PhD
Moderator: Ramona Tanabe

The Power of Relationships to Improve Workforce Outcomes

Societal trends, economic pressures, and new ways of working have upended traditional workforce dynamics. One consequence is the rise in workplace loneliness, part of what the U.S. Surgeon General called an “epidemic of loneliness and isolation” in a 2023 advisory. In this interactive talk, organizational psychologist Connie Hadley (Boston University’s Questrom School of Business and the Institute for Life at Work) will explore why loneliness has risen – and why this matters for employee health, productivity, and resilience. Using research, Dr. Hadley will explain strategies to rekindle a sense of community at work, including modifications to team designs, remote/hybrid work policies, reward systems, and cultural practices. Attendees will gain new insights and tools to improve the relational climate of their organization, as well as a greater appreciation for the impact of connection on general workforce well-being.

Increasing Small Touchpoints


Remote adjuster work – 100% remote workers – some connections are needed

Balance – the value of flexibility – people with families have two more family hours- the tradeoff between autonomy and connectivity, valuing moments when workers are together, hybrid is better than 100% office or 00% remote, the challenge is mandating the meetings sometimes cause more isolation

How about non-office workers, construction, manufacturing, etc?   Demographics can cause isolation/loneliness

Currency of Compliments – everyone needs compliments, you notice what they do, and you value what they do

Loneliness in leadership – isolation is a major component, very visible, very lonely at the top, middle managers are lonely

Below is the bibliography of Dr. Hadley’s Presentation

Aubrey, A. (2009), “Becoming Close: The Geography of Friendship,” NPR’s Morning Edition
Baym, N. & Hadley, C. N. (2023), “The Unequal Rewards of Peer Support at Work,” MIT Sloan
Management Review
Baym, N., Martin, R., & Larson, J. (2021), “What a Year of WFH Has Done for Our Relationships at Work,”
Harvard Business Review
BBC (2018), “The BBC Loneliness Experiment,” BBC and University of Manchester
Borysenko, K. (2019), “How Much Are Your Disengaged Employees Costing You?,” Forbes
Bourke, J., & Titus, A. (2019), “Why Inclusive Leaders Are Good for Organizations, and How to Become
One,” Harvard Business Review
Cacioppo, S., Grippo, A., London, S., Goossens, L., & Cacioppo, J. (2015), “Loneliness: Clinical Import and
Interventions,” Perspectives on Psychological Science
Choudhury, P., Ayoubi, C., Jang, S., & Sevcenko, V. (2023), “Office at Offsite: How Temporary Colocation
Shapes Communication in Fully-remote Organizations,” working paper presented at the Stanford
Institute for Economic Policy Research Conference
Chugh, D. (2020), “Making Meetings More Inclusive,” Dear Good People
Cigna (2020), “Loneliness and the Workplace: 2020 U.S. Report” Cigna
Cigna (2020), “The Business Case for Addressing Loneliness in the Workplace,” Cigna
Cigna (2022), “The Loneliness Epidemic Persists: A Post-Pandemic Look at the State of Loneliness
among U.S. Adults,” CignaCreary, S., Rothbard, N., & Scruggs, J. (2021), “Improving Workplace Culture Through Evidence-Based
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Practices,” The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania
Curry O., & Dunbar, R. I., (2013), “Do Birds of a Feather Flock Together? The Relationship between
Similarity and Altruism in Social Networks,” Human Nature, 24 (3): 336-47. doi:
Ducharme, L. (2023, April 26). “Why Work Friends Are Crucial for Your Health,” Time.
Fosslien (2021), “The Top 5 Reasons People Quit Their Jobs: It’s Not Just About the Money,” Humu
Fosslien, L., & West-Duffy, M. (2019), “How to Create Belonging for Remote Workers,” MIT Sloan
Management Review
Gallup, (2023), “State of the Global Workforce: 2023 Report”
Gardner, H., & Mortensen, M. (2022), “Managers Are Trapped in a Performance-Compassion Dilemma”,
Harvard Business Review
Goh, J. (2015), “National Health Costs Could Decrease if Managers Reduce Work Stress,” Harvard
Business School Working Knowledge
Hadley, C. (2021), “Employees Are Lonelier Than Ever. Here’s How Employers Can Help” Harvard
Business Review
Hadley, C. N., Marks, B., & Wright, S. (2023, February 9), “Research: How Coworking Spaces Impact
Employee Well-being,” Harvard Business Review
Hadley, C. N., & Mortensen, M. (2021), “Are Your Team Members Lonely?” MIT Sloan Management
Hadley, C. N., Mortensen, M., & Edmondson, A. (2023), “Make It Safe for Employees to Speak Up —
Especially in Risky Times,” Harvard Business Review
Holt-Lundstad, J. (2018), “Fostering Social Connection in the Workplace,” American Journal of Health
Holt-Lunstad, J., Smith, T., Baker, M., Harris, T., & Stephenson, D. (2015), “Loneliness and Social Isolation
as Risk Factors for Mortality: a Meta-Analytic Review.” Perspectives on Psychological Science : a Journal
of the Association for Psychological Science
Kardas, Kumar, A., & Epley, N. (2021). “Overly Shallow?: Miscalibrated Expectations Create a Barrier to
Deeper Conversation,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
Kellogg, K. C., Kelly, E. L., & Hadley, C. N. (2023, March 5), “Why Neglecting Work Relationships CanSabotage Innovation and Productivity, According to Research,” Fast Company.
Knight, C., Olaru, D., Lee, J.A., & Parker, S. (2022), “The Loneliness of the Hybrid Worker,” MIT Sloan
Management Review
Lauricella, T., Parsons, J., Schaninger, B., and Weddle, B. (2020), “Network Effects: How to Rebuild Social
Capital and Improve Corporate Performance,” McKinsey & Company, Inc.
Lee, S. (2022), “Why Belonging Is Key to Building the New Workforce,” MIT Sloan Management Review
Mann, A. (2018), “Why We Need Best Friends at Work,” Gallup.
McKinsey & Company (2021), “Psychological Safety and the Critical Role of Leadership Development”
Microsoft WorkLab (2022), “Yes, People Miss Their Work Friends,” Microsoft
Microsoft 2022 Work Trend Index (2022), “Great Expectations: Making Hybrid Work Work,” Microsoft
Murthy, V. (2017). “Work and the Loneliness Epidemic,” Harvard Business Review
Murthy, V. (2020), “Together: The Healing Power of Human Connection in a Sometimes Lonely World,”
Harper Wave
Nembhard, I. & Edmondson, E. (2006), “Making It Safe: The Effects of Leader Inclusiveness and
Professional Status on Psychological Safety and Improvement Efforts in Health Care Teams,” Journal of
Organizational Behavior
Ozcelik, H. and Barsade, S. (2018), “No Employee Is an Island: Workplace Loneliness and Job
Performance.“ Academy of Management Journal
Philip, B., & Kaminstein, D. (2022), “Boost Employee Confidence and Inclusion by Creating Voice Space,”
MIT Sloan Management Review
Patel, A., & Plowman, S. (2022), “The Increasing Importance of a Best Friend at Work,” Gallup
Petriglieri, G., (2014), “Why Work is Lonely,” Harvard Business Review
Peytrignet, S., Garforth-Bles, S., & Keohane, K. (2020), “Loneliness Monetisation Report,” U.K.
Government Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport
Plata, T., & Hadley, C. (2022), “Burnout and Loneliness: Workplace Problems, Not Worker Problems.”
Poswolski, A. (2022), “How Leaders Can Build Connection in a Disconnected Workplace,” Harvard
Business ReviewRussell D, Peplau L, Cutrona C (1980), “The Revised UCLA Loneliness Scale: Concurrent and Discriminant
Validity Evidence,” Journal of Personality & Social Psychology
Silard A. and Wright S. (2020), “The Price of Wearing (or Not Wearing) the Crown: The Effects of
Loneliness on Leaders and Followers,” Leadership 16(4): 389410.
U.K. Government Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (2021, “Employers and Loneliness
Report,” GOV.UK
U. S. Surgeon General’s Office (2023), “Our Epidemic of Loneliness and Isolation: The U.S. Surgeon
General’s Advisory on the Healing Effects of Social Connection and Community,” U. S. Department of
Health and Human Services
U.S. Surgeon General’s Office, (2022), “Framework for Mental Health and Well-being in the Workplace”
World Health Organization (2022), “WHO Guidelines on Mental Health at Work,” WHO
Wright S. and Silard A. (2021), “Distinctly Lonely: How Loneliness at Work Varies by Status in
Organizations,” Management Research Review: Communication of emergent international management
research http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/MRR-05-2021-0379.
Wright S. and Silard A. (2021), “Unravelling the Antecedents of Loneliness in the Workplace,
Human Relations 74(7): 1060-1081. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0018726720906013
Vivek Murphy – Surgeon General – Our Epidemic of Loneliness and Isolation mentioned often 

State of the States: Selected Findings

 Wed Mar 6, 2024
 9:45 AM – 10:45 AM
Speaker: Will Monnin-Browder, Carol Telles
Moderator: Sebastian Negrusa
This is always my favorite session – data nerd that I am –

Examining Indemnity Benefits

Tennessee indemnity benefits look to have grown 18% from 2021 – 2022 to 2022 – 2023.   That is somewhat of a surprising result.
The learning curve of newly hired employees has always had this effect.  This chart matches what  I have found in Workers Comp claims – new employees are injured the most.  I am also sure that the return to work post-pandemic had some effect.
Hypertension with 28% of Workers Com patients along with arthritis.  The 28% may even be a low statistic.  Hypertension has always been a concern in workers comp claims.
The time to first medical service was presented in a webinar by WCRI earlier this year.  I have always said that the speed of medical service always cuts claim costs and increases worker satisfaction with the way that their claim was handled.

Closing Panel Session: Perspectives on COMPlex Topics

 Wed Mar 6, 2024
 11:15 AM – 12:15 PM

Joanne Moynihan

Workers Compensation Claim Product Group


Chrissy Lynch
Massachusetts AFL-CIO
Sheri Bowles
Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents
Cameron Van Dyck
Washington Self-Insurers Association
Moderator: Andrew Kenneally
Director of Communications – WCRI
This diverse panel of system stakeholders (employer, labor, insurer, and gov’t) will discuss the current and future impact of various issues (AI/technology; labor shortages; long COVID/COVID-19; marijuana; medical inflation; mental health, research discussed in earlier sessions, like heat-related injuries; workplace violence) on the workers’ compensation system.

AI –

Joanne – computers doing human tasks that require intelligence
Chrissy – safeguards to keep AI from making workers disadvantaged, training and assistance from worker displacement due to AI
Sheri – change how we work and deliver services, responsibility when something goes wrong
Cameron – make sure that AI systems have no bias,  technology has been a money-saver due to commuting reduction, decided to not do hybrid work systems

Labor Shortages-

Chrissy – a large number of jobs and workers  in the marketplace, construction apprenticeships have gone through the roof, worker burnout

Sheri – The shortage of healthcare workers has impacted WC greatly, the aging worker population and access to medical care are huge in WC

Cameron – equilibrium of demand and supply of claim workers,

Joanne – pre-hiring procedures such as training,  if they are not properly trained, then the likelihood of claims and major claims increases


Sheri – stopped tracking long COVID mid-2023, lessons to be learned from the pandemic such as how we use technology, and prepare for the next big event

Cameron – not on the Washington self-insured conference agenda for 2024

Chrissy – workers have access to the public but have no sick time,  lessons learned such as disease reduction, being more nimble in the response to a major disease outbreak

Medical Inflation – Access to Care

Joanne – medical inflation will not have huge increases

Chrissy – the cost of healthcare is always an issue, major hospital system in MA may be going under, staffing shortage, worker burnout

Sheri – medical inflation is not going to have a huge impact, access to care may be lower as physicians are paid lower than most states.

Cameron- Washington has a low fee schedule, and utilization has spiked, The Behavioral Health fee schedule is low, and rural hospital closings

Mental Health

Cameron –  20 individual sessions and 20 group sessions, concern with financial impact, increased fee schedule for counseling services,

Joanne – great that we are having a conversation about mental health, 40% of claimants had a psycho-social component

Chrissy – staffing shortage pressures may cause mental health issues, isolation issues

Sheri – have done a better job talking about it, does loneliness end up as a mental health issue

Other Issues – Presentation Highlights

Sheri – talent management, worker shortages

Cameron – presumptive PTSD has not gone away in Washington, Firefighters have been heavily affected by PTSD, school-related violence on teachers

Joanne – heat-related injuries,  may change the worker’s comp insurance industry

Chrissy – heat-related injuries, pharmaceutical management,



James J Moore - Workers Comp Expert

Raleigh, NC, United States

About The Author...

James founded a Workers’ Compensation consulting firm, J&L Risk Management Consultants, Inc. in 1996. J&L’s mission is to reduce our clients’ Workers Compensation premiums by using time-tested techniques. J&L’s claims, premium, reserve and Experience Mod reviews have saved employers over $9.8 million in earned premiums over the last three years. J&L has saved numerous companies from bankruptcy proceedings as a result of insurance overpayments.

James has over 27 years of experience in insurance claims, audit, and underwriting, specializing in Workers’ Compensation. He has supervised, and managed the administration of Workers’ Compensation claims, and underwriting in over 45 states. His professional experience includes being the Director of Risk Management for the North Carolina School Boards Association. He created a very successful Workers’ Compensation Injury Rehabilitation Unit for school personnel.

James’s educational background, which centered on computer technology, culminated in earning a Masters of Business Administration (MBA); an Associate in Claims designation (AIC); and an Associate in Risk Management designation (ARM). He is a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) and a licensed financial advisor. The NC Department of Insurance has certified him as an insurance instructor. He also possesses a Bachelors’ Degree in Actuarial Science.

LexisNexis has twice recognized his blog as one of the Top 25 Blogs on Workers’ Compensation. J&L has been listed in AM Best’s Preferred Providers Directory for Insurance Experts – Workers Compensation for over eight years. He recently won the prestigious Baucom Shine Lifetime Achievement Award for his volunteer contributions to the area of risk management and safety. James was recently named as an instructor for the prestigious Insurance Academy.

James is on the Board of Directors and Treasurer of the North Carolina Mid-State Safety Council. He has published two manuals on Workers’ Compensation and three different claims processing manuals. He has also written and has been quoted in numerous articles on reducing Workers’ Compensation costs for public and private employers. James publishes a weekly newsletter with 7,000 readers.

He currently possess press credentials and am invited to various national Workers Compensation conferences as a reporter.

James’s articles or interviews on Workers’ Compensation have appeared in the following publications or websites:

  • Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS)
  • Entrepreneur Magazine
  • Bloomberg Business News
  • WorkCompCentral.com
  • Claims Magazine
  • Risk & Insurance Magazine
  • Insurance Journal
  • Workers Compensation.com
  • LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites
  • Various trade publications


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