Posted by: danielrashke | December 21, 2020

Lessons From the Last Recession

2020 has been a year of challenge and uncertainty and we are bracing for more in the new year. It’s important that we look to the lessons of the past to help prepare ourselves and our clients for the future.

TASC has weathered a few storms in our 45-year history. We’ve seen highs and lows; recessions and booms and we’ve endured them all. We know that following this unprecedented situation, the end won’t come with a vaccine. We will be dealing with the economic fallout of this for years to come. We are both looking to the past and relying on our innovative visions to prepare our organization and our clients for the future.

The recession and the pandemic are impacting the economy and the country in vastly different ways. From 2007 to 2009 our country faced the most significant decline in our economy since the 1930’s. The great recession hit everywhere and everyone. Financial institutions were among some of the hardest hit and the housing bubble burst, leaving millions in a lurch.

TASC saw an uptick in notices of clients canceling because they were shutting their doors. As a result of the number of clients shuttered, we felt it on our top line with an approximate two-point difference in our revenue.

During the recession, TASC stood resolutely with other individuals and businesses knowing we could, and we would weather this storm. We saw several bankruptcies devastate our clients; companies fell behind on claims as they struggled to stay afloat. One of the major repercussions of the recession for employees who retained their jobs were their benefits suffered. Companies had to cut costs and that often-included fringe benefits and benefits deemed “unnecessary”.

We worked hard to make the benefits that our clients and their employees valued and needed accessible and available so that companies could continue to offer them, and employees could rest easy knowing they were getting the benefits they not only needed but that were also helpful.

The pandemic has also affected everywhere and everyone. It has changed the way many businesses are managed. The industries that are hardest hit are far different from previous economic challenges. Those affected today are small businesses, brick and mortar companies and hospitality, not a typical TASC client. Because of that, we as a business, aren’t feeling the strain at the same rate as it relates to our top line.

However, we had to change and adapt to the shifts in our environment and adjust our way of doing business internally. Our employees have been hit at home and in life and we needed to evolve our business to accommodate that and help our employees thrive. That being said, our business was not as negatively affected as unfortunately many others were and are. 

Ironically, the recession has had no bearing on the consumption of things like daycare or medical care other than the economic change. This time, we have seen a material change in the consumption of both those things. This is impactful to TASC because the transaction value, the account management and the card utilization lead us to stand up TASC Responds.

TASC Responds included specific account offerings that were targeted where people were being hit hardest and the need to plan for the unexpected. We were driven to adapt our services to the market needs that could then be absorbed into our overall service model.

We will do everything in our power to continue to build a sustainable organization so that we can continue to offer fair prices to our customer. With that said, we are not going to move away from making sure that we continue to extract the value for our organization that is commensurate with the value we are delivering. We are valuable in a down market and an up market.  

Taking calculated risks has allowed us to excel during high points and challenging times that have tested our business.  

During the recession TASC looked after our clients and looked at attracting new business when it seemed impossible and we took risks. We know that after surviving and thriving following the 2007-2009 recession, TASC is poised well to take on the challenges we will face in the wake of this pandemic.  

This is a difficult time. Whether you are a business owner or an employee. There is uncertainty, confusion and the fact of the matter is, there are a lot of challenges ahead. TASC can take them on. We are looking out for the security of our employees, our clients and our participants and whatever we will face in the next year and beyond, TASC will confront it with strategic intention. We will move forward and we will take risks to help our company and our clients whether the storm.

Posted by: danielrashke | December 1, 2020

Giving Tuesday

This holiday season, the biggest thing we can give is our love, our time and our heart. This season is different because though we may not be able to physically join together to give back it has never been more important to find ways to help those in need and the organizations that support them.

No matter where you are or what cause you champion, this Giving Tuesday and for the remainder of the year find ways to give back. We heal through giving. We unite through giving and in this, the season of giving, I want to encourage you to find your spirit of giving.

On this Giving Tuesday, I reflect on the year we’ve had and look forward to the year ahead. There is no doubt that 2021 will bring its own unique set of challenges but I am proud of our organization for stepping to the plate in 2020 and make giving a priority during this difficult time. It brings me hope for the future; that we can come together to help those in need even when faced with our own challenges.

Giving back is engrained in who we are at TASC. Our support aligns to our communities’ needs, harnesses our employee’ passions, and supports the TASC Mission. It is our goal to lead by example and inspire others to make a difference in their own communities and the causes that are close to their hearts.

We encourage employees to give back in a variety of ways. In addition to drives held both virtually and in person, employees can request TASC support for organizations in which they are actively involved. TASC also accepts requests from nonprofits and organizations helping to better our communities.

Providing a wide variety of options for employees to take part in and ways to become involved, means that more people are likely to participate. This allows us to support diverse efforts across the country for a variety of causes that our employees are passionate about. From environmental, health, seniors, children, hunger, animals, social justice and more, TASC is broadening our horizons with giving.

Through August 2020, 269 TASC employees utilized 3,606 hours of our Paid Volunteer Time Off program. Each TASC employee receives up to 40 paid annual volunteer hours to serve their communities during business hours. We’ve seen entire TASC departments work the evening rush at a local food pantry, participation in national disaster relief efforts, and some who have even started their own charitable organizations.

This year we expanded the program to go beyond traditional 501c3 organizations to provide additional opportunities for our employees to help and want to be involved. TASC encouraged involvement in social justice causes and organizations and we also encouraged our employees to support local bipartisan election efforts including working at local polling places.

The employee participation in our Paid Volunteer Time Off programs is valued at over $115,000.

The TASC Dollars for Doers program encourages employees to volunteer during non-working hours. For every hour of volunteering outside of work hours, TASC donates money into their giving account that can then be re-gifted to a nonprofit organization of their choosing. In 2020, 1,921 hours has been attributed to Dollars for Doers as of August. 53 employees participated in the program.

From 2016 through August 2020, TASC has dedicated $2,135,444 in total giving through our giving programs. This includes Dollars for Doers, Paid Volunteer Time Off and other giving focused programs. As an organization whose employees are spread throughout the United States, that’s a lot of communities impacted by TASC employees.

We are proud to be an organization dedicated not only to our business endeavors but to investing in the communities we live, work and play. On this Giving Tuesday and for all of December, I encourage you to take the time to give back to your communities and encourage your employees to do the same. We are at our best when we give back.

Posted by: danielrashke | November 24, 2020

Leadership in a Remote Workplace

Remote work is the new normal around the world. Even before the coronavirus pandemic forced many businesses to transform, there were nearly five million remote employees across the globe. From 2005 to 2017, remote work opportunities saw a 159% increase.[i] Prior to the onset of coronavirus, just 3.4% of the U. S. population worked remotely. That number has certainly increased in the wake of the current circumstances with estimates of 33% of the US workforce moving to remote work.

According to a PWC report, a majority of CEOs surveyed (78%) say the shift towards remote collaboration is enduring, a nod to the momentum building around flexibility. More than half of the respondents (54%) believe the trend away from traditional employment and towards the gig economy is here to stay.[ii]

A remote workplace brings about the need for a new type of leadership. Leading remotely. Leadership and management must adapt to fit current and changing circumstances. Right now, we need leaders who can motivate, inspire, and drive in new and unique ways. One thing is for certain, communication is the key to effective leadership especially in a remote workplace.

Even TASC, whose workforce was 75% remote prior to this shift, needed to adapt to the fully remote work model. We had to increase our communication with employees to support them. We set up weekly video conference company meetings to keep morale up and maintain engagement in the company. These meetings helped keep us on track with company goals, personal goals and working as a unit. After all, employees need to know what is expected of them and any change in process in order to be set up for success. It’s even more important when you can’t see them in person.

Managers shoulder the responsibility of setting measurable goals and expectations that are specific for the company, the team and the individual and working diligently to ensure understanding. We’ve found regularly revisiting and updating goals and expectations ensures everyone is remaining on track even without in person meetings

Encouraging and fostering collaboration and team building is crucial. One way to do that is emphasizing the importance of giving back and engaging in unique ways with the community. It is important not only for those being serve but for individual and team morale. Everyone can be an Everyday Philanthropist and what better way to bring your employees together than through remote philanthropy. Fostering a culture of giving within your organization boosts morale, increases pride for your organization and encourages team members to work together for the community, even if it’s in a remote capacity.

A corporate culture of giving has been shown to increase employee engagement and make a positive impact on the community. To help businesses learn more about what can work for your organization, TASC has a list of programs that can easily be implemented. You can view that list and learn how they can work for your business, employees and community here.  

TASC has a number of ways to encourage employees to give back. From a Giving Savings Account that provides employees the opportunity to put money into a savings account earmarked for a charitable cause of their choice. A Crisis PTO Account that can be made available to other employees in their time of need or a Donor Advised Fund Individual Giving Account offering employees a simple way to give to any of thousands of 501(c)3 organization through a giving account. Encouraging service to the community helps employees feel bonded to the organization and instills a sense of investment and comradery with the organization.

Communication, advocacy, and creating an inclusive environment despite remote challenges is key to providing crucial leadership in a remote workplace. Keep your employees engaged and connected to each other and the organization to keep your business thriving in times of change.

[i] Reynods, Weiler Brie. 159% Increase in Remote Work Since 2005. Flexjobs and Global Analytics Report. Flexjobs. 2020.

[ii]How Business Can Emerge Stronger. CEO Panel Survey, p. 8.

Posted by: danielrashke | November 16, 2020

Calling on Leaders to Unite This Country

We are the United States of America. But at this point in time, we are far from united. We are a nation divided. How did we get here and how do we heal?

In 1933, U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt said in his inaugural address, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” His words came during the throes of the Great Depression. He continued with “This is no unsolvable problem if we face it wisely and courageously. There are many ways in which it can be helped, but it can never be helped merely by talking about it. We must act and act quickly.”

President Elect Joe Biden on Friday, November 6 said in his acceptance speech, “For all those of you who voted for President Trump, I understand the disappointment tonight,” Biden said. “I’ve lost a couple of times myself. But now, let’s give each other a chance.”

Even in the darkest times and facing the steepest challenges, Americans are known for our strength and resilience and it’s time to come together and bring positive change to this nation. We all must work collectively to overcome the challenges in front of us. Leaders need to bring unity to our entire country. We can’t work just for the people who agree with us, but instead must work for the greater good for all of us.

The recent election brought home the chilling reality that our country is not okay and we have a lot of work to do. So, let’s get to work.  

It’s time to forge a path that acknowledges, addresses and overcomes the challenges we face. We can no longer brush them under the rug and act like our problems don’t exist. This year and this election have exacerbated our issues and it’s time we face them.  

We need leaders from around the country, in every industry, from every walk of life, to come together with messages of unity not division. Leaders who will acknowledge and address the problems America is facing, not turn away from them.

People crave leadership. They want to be inspired.

The role of a leader is not to take everything on alone. Lead the charge in gathering your community, whether it is your business community or your social community and empower them to stand up, speak out and act.

Oftentimes, the best place to turn is those who are disenfranchised. How can you help others? What can you do to lead the charge in bettering your community and the communities crying out for help? Helping others can help you find your own focus and re-center your priorities.

Let’s take a look at some key components leaders need to embrace that are crucial in driving us down the road toward unity. 

7 Key Ingredients to Leading Towards Unity:

Vision: Establish your vision for unity, share the vision with those in your organization and those outside your organization who can help bring that vision to fruition. Create a plan to implement your vision.

Integrity: Stand by your words. Follow those words with appropriate actions. Be accountable for your mistakes and the learning process you went through to get where you need to be in this unity process.

Focus: Be clear to your organization and your community that everyone will be accountable for unity. Moving forward together is not only the right path but the only path. Present your plan as an empowering opportunity for individuals to be a part of something bigger than themselves.

Engagement:  In 2020, engagement has taken on a new form; especially in business. It’s important to connect with your organization and your community in new ways to effectively communicate expectations.

Empathy: Acknowledging our division is important. Understanding where people with varying viewpoints might be coming from is even more important. We can’t come together until we understand what and where other people are coming from. We all have a different story. Leaders need to try to understand varying viewpoints to know what is best for everyone not just what you think would be best.

Resilience: Life isn’t only about success. Sometimes we have to tumble before we can climb higher. As a leader, it’s okay and even encouraged to be open and honest with your organization and your community about the trials it has taken to be successful. Honesty about resilience enables those around you to be positive about their journey.

Flexibility: I’ve never met a leader who focuses on only one thing at a time. Leaders must be able to pivot, adapt and see the big picture. 2020 is the biggest example of leaders who have been successful by being flexible in circumstances out of their control.

By embracing these traits and using them to lead your community, your business, maybe even your family toward unification, we can change the direction this country is going. We can bring about greater achievements by inspiring unity than we can by encouraging division. The traits listed above are essential to this path.

You are stronger than you know and when we work together for the common good we are stronger than we ever thought possible.

Posted by: danielrashke | October 12, 2020

TASC Votes

If you want your voice to be heard and you want to be a facilitator of change, vote. As an employer, I am taking action to empower my employees and providing them opportunities to make voting easier, which in turn, will hopefully encourage more to vote. That’s why myself and TASC leadership have decided to offer ways for our employees to vote and take the time they need to do so.

The most effective way for a company to impact the political process and empower employees is by whole-heartedly encouraging and providing opportunities for employees to vote and be involved in the election process.

TASC is excited that our organization will be affording our employees paid time to not only vote but also to get involved in their community election process by volunteering at the polls. TASC will be expanding our Paid Volunteer Time Off (VTO) program to include volunteering for bi-partisan election purposes.

The TASC VTO program affords TASC employees 40 hours of paid time to volunteer with an organization they are passionate about. This program encourages community engagement and involvement and allows employees to take time out of their workday to give back and get paid for it.

Earlier this year, we announced the expansion of our Volunteer Time Off (VTO) program By expanding the program beyond 501(c)3 organizations, we enabled our employees to use their annual 40 VTO hours for activism, standing up for change and getting engaged with organizations and causes that were meaningful to them beyond an official 501(c)3 organization.

This expansion also includes time for voting and assisting others to vote. Employees can use some or all their VTO hours to get community members to the polls to vote and/or assist in their local community by working in the election, as a poll worker.  

For election day, TASC will also be making a concerted effort to have a ‘no-meeting’ day to avoid congested schedules and allow employees every opportunity to get out and vote.

In addition, TASC has joined forces with over 1,300 other companies from all over the United States in a movement called Time To Vote. One of the frequent reasons given by registered voters who didn’t vote is the lack of time to do so between demands of work and life. Time to Vote is a commitment by these organizations to encourage employees to vote and be afforded time to do so. It’s great to see companies all over the country providing the opportunity for employees to get engaged this election season to ensure a safe and fair election. We are excited to join the movement.

TASC is dedicated to change for the better and encouraging our employees to use their voice and their time to get involved and be the change they want to see in this country. We have pledged to be a part of the solution and be a leader in changing the way we do business, view our employees and engage in our communities. One way we can do that is by getting out the vote and encouraging others to do the same.

There is a shortage of poll workers this year due to COVID-19. Generally, poll workers are over the age of 60 and those people are considered higher risk for the current situation and it’s up to the younger, lower risk generation to become empowered and step during this election season.

We took the opportunity during a recent all company webinar to discuss the importance of volunteering at the polls and becoming engaged in the election in that way. We had two TASC employees who serve as election officials discuss the work involved and the logistics of serving at the polls.  

These individuals are responsible for ensuring election protocol is followed for in-person voting, counting ballots at the end of the night, issuing ballots, registering voters, monitoring the voting equipment and more. Training is required but varies by state. The election process is different for every state.

For anyone who is unsure about the integrity of our country’s voting process, we encourage them to volunteer and participate to get first-hand experience and insight into the process. If you are interested in learning more about and becoming an election official for this year’s election, visit the U.S. Election Assistance Website.

This year, concerns surrounding COVID-19 makes planning for how you will be voting more important than ever. There are several states allowing early voting, voting by mail, or absentee voting. What’s important if you are planning to vote through one of these methods is knowing the deadlines in your area for voter registration.

For specific voting information for all 50 states is a great resource to make sure you are up to date in voting laws including those that have been changed for 2020. This is especially important for companies like TASC who have employees all over the country (40+ states, 500+ polling locations). It ensures that your employees have the information they need regardless of where they are to vote and make sure their vote is counted.

According to the U.S. Census only about 67% of Americans are registered to vote. Who you vote for matters and is crucial in determining the path this country takes. Providing resources to employees about registering to vote is the first step to empower them to be a part of the process and have a say in the direction this country goes. is a terrific resource to get started.

Make sure you’re registered to vote and encouraging your employees to do the same. Share communications with employees with information about voter registration deadlines. is a great source for finding voter registration deadlines for all 50 states.  It’s important to remember not every state allows you to register on election day.

TASC is committed to fostering a culture where employees feel valued and want to give back and be a part of the change we are dedicated to. Voting, encouraging others to vote and helping the process is a terrific next step for our organization to connect with our communities and be actively involved in the change we are striving to be a part of.

In the words of New Orleans Saints Defensive End Cameron Jordan, “only 60% of (us) voted in 2016, that’s not gonna get it done. We can’t win if we don’t play.” So, let’s do it. Let’s play to win. Commit to vote and be engaged for the upcoming election. We’re in. Are you?

Click here to see NBC15’s coverage of local businesses making efforts to encourage voting.

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