4 Office Improvements For A Better Work Environment

In a 2003 survey by Management Today magazine, virtually all (97 percent) respondents regarded their place of work as a symbol of whether or not they were valued by their employer. A further 2005 study commissioned by the British government concluded that the link between environment and performance was “so profound” innovation in how we design our office spaces was essential to meet the demands of the knowledge economy.


10 years on from this research and many practical solutions have emerged to help us create spaces that improve productivity, innovation, and give employees a greater feeling of belonging. Here are four of the top workplace design trends to consider:

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Benefits of Workplace Ergonomics Programs

What is Ergonomics?

Ergonomics is the scientific study of people at work.  The goal of ergonomics is to reduce stress and eliminate injuries and disorders associated with the overuse of muscles, bad posture, and repeated tasks.  This is accomplished by designing workplaces, tasks, tools, lighting, and equipment while keeping in mind the capabilities and limitations of the employee.  Poor worksite design can lead to fatigue, frustration, physical pain, lack of productivity, and possible workers’ compensation claims. 

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HRi Service Highlight: Compensation Analysis

As business owners know, the key to success is hiring talent that can take your vision and turn it into reality. In today’s competitive market one of the best ways to attract ideal job candidates is to stay current and complete a competitive compensation analysis. Compensation includes an employee’s base salary and additional benefits, such as health insurance, retirement plans, and performance bonuses. The compensation packages a business offers to employees affects the company’s recruitment rate, retention rate, and employee satisfaction.

 

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Planning Employee Summer Events

Recognition is a key element to employee retention programs.  Employees who are appreciated and recognized show increased productivity, engagement, and loyalty to their company.  Although most companies throw holiday parties, why not organize an employee appreciation event for the summer?  Your employees deserve to be recognized for their hard work all year round! 

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Happy Halloween! How to Celebrate the Holiday in the Office

Ah—it's that time of year again—that time where adults get to play dress up and be anything they want for one day! Bringing the office together a few times a year to celebrate the holidays is always a nice way to raise spirits and have some fun as a group.

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NDEAM: Disability and Employment

Did you know that as of 2014, only 17.1% of persons with a disability were employed, compared to that of 64% of those without a disability?

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Wellness Programs Are the New Black

Getting fit has become a worldwide phenomenon over the past few years. It seems people all over the country have been focusing on eating healthier, exercising and staying active more than ever before—it's even become a culture at many workplaces. In fact, one-half to two-thirds of U.S. employers with 15 or more workers have instituted some type of wellness program.

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Flu Season Is Fast Approaching—Are YOU Prepared?

Ah—the dreaded period from the end of fall through the winter—flu season is once again upon us. There is only so much that hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes and staying far, far away from anyone who sneezes can do. So what can employers do to reduce workers' exposure to the seasonal flu virus?

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Working Parents and Back to School Stress

Back to school season can be a stressful time for working parents, with 51% saying back to school interferes with work. I asked a few of my colleagues with young children what they found to be the most difficult about their kids going back to school. Their immediate answer was "getting back into the routine." The second answer was participating in school activities and either not being able to make it because of work or participating and feeling guilty about missing work.

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The Perks of Having Perks

Attraction and retention are two of the most key elements to the hiring process. You want candidates to want to work at your organization, and on top of that, to want to stay with your organization. With all of the fierce competition out there in the job market, it's important to have something that sets your company aside from the rest—you need to stand out. The question is, how?

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The Importance of Hiring Our Military Veterans

Take a look around your office. Do you know if any of your coworkers are veterans? My guess is (and I'm not trying to be controversial) there are little or no military veterans working among you.

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Gravity Payments: $70k for All—For or Against?

While the subject of employee compensation, satisfaction and retention is still fresh in our minds, let's talk about the whole Gravity Payments situation that's got everyone all abuzz...

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Employee Compensation Part Three: Money is the Real Motivator

Last week we argued that other forms of compensation, not money, are the greatest motivators to keep employees engaged and satisfied. This week: "SHOW ME THE MONEY!"

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Employee Compensation Part Two: Is Salary the Real Motivator?

And so it begins—the debate over whether or not salary is the real motivator for employees. In Part Two, we argue that other factors, not salary, are the key to keeping your employees engaged and motivated. Stay tuned for part three, coming next week, where we argue the opposite.

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Employee compensation: More than a paycheck

Rumor has it that top talent wants to be hired by an attractive or progressive company; not the one offering the same benefits and incentive packages as any other average organization. In order to attract those high-performers in the first place, companies need to differentiate themselves from their competition and a well-designed employee compensation strategy helps to attract, motivate, and retain those high-performing valuable employees.

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DOL’s Proposed Overtime Rules: Are YOU Prepared?

Business owners are experiencing all sorts of feelings after the Department of Labor announced the proposed overtime expansion rules this month. Whether those feelings are good or bad, for or against, it’s time we had a conversation about it and discuss some possible effects.

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Human Resources: In-House, Outsourced, or No Comment?

As a business owner, you want to ensure you're doing all that you can to contribute to the growth, health, and happiness of both your business and your employees. "Human Resources" covers a vast area of functions and responsibilities, many that take some serious expertise to execute. So what do you do when your business starts growing and you can't keep up with all the time consuming tasks that fall under HR? You might consider hiring in-house HR personnel or outsourcing your HR services altogether.

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The Chronicles of a New Hire

Think about your first day at any new job. Just thinking about it is nerve-wracking, isn’t it?! As an employer, it’s important to recognize the things that can make the first day welcoming and comfortable for a new employee. This week’s blog post is written from the standpoint of three new hires, and targeted to both the Employer and the New Hire.

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The Fourth of July: Ring the Freedom Bells!

The Fourth of July: a holiday many spend grilling hot dogs and hamburgers, watching fireworks, and lounging at a backyard cookout or at the beach. While enjoying time with loved ones and new friends, it’s important to remember the true meaning behind Independence Day, what it stands for, and who it honors. (And who says you can’t have fun while doing it?!)
 
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Stop the Madness: Reduce Employee Turnover

Employee turnover costs are largely hidden. They don't hit the profit and loss statement; they aren't line items in the budget. However, they can have a very real impact on your company's bottom line. In fact, there are studies that estimate it costs upwards of twice an employee's salary to find and train a replacement. The reasons why employees leave – not just the fact that they leave – have crucial implications for future retention rates among staff, job satisfaction, employee engagement as well as an organization's ability to attract talented people for job vacancies. Organizations track turnover to determine the following (among others): lost productivity during the time when positions are vacant, a loss of institutional knowledge, diminished productivity and efficiency from those who remain at the organization and must compensate for job losses by taking on additional work and subsequently training the new hire, hiring and onboarding costs for new employees, and potentially, decreased customer satisfaction, which is a result of having fewer personnel around to handle requests, (PricewaterhouseCoopers, 2006. Driving the bottom line: Improving retention). In other words, employee turnover can be very expensive and presents new management challenges.

So, how do we stop the madness and reduce employee turnover?

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This One Is For You, Working Dads!

Attention, Working Dads!

We’ve been talking about gender equality in the workplace for decades, only this time the situation is reversed. In honor of Father’s Day, this week’s blog is for all you working dads out there. So, “let’s give ‘em something to talk about” (thanks Bonnie Raitt!) – and no, we aren’t talking about love (c’mon people, this is an HR blog) – we’re talking about paternity leave!

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Under What Circumstances Do Temporary and Seasonal Employees Qualify for Unemployment?

Not all of us work year-round jobs—maybe you own a strawberry picking farm and you hire employees for a defined, often short, period of time. The question remains: are your seasonal and temporary employees eligible for unemployment? The option to allow seasonal and temporary employees to collect unemployment differs from state to state, but there are some basic rules and regulations that apply in most situations.

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What the Heck is EPLI and How Can a PEO Help?

Do you have managers, supervisors, and employees? If you do, you should probably keep reading. Did you know that in the last five years, 6 out of 10 employers have had to deal with employment lawsuits? As legal and regulatory requirements continue to expand, employers are responsible to stay abreast of developments, comply as required, and respond in a timely manner.  And what business owner has the time to do that?

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Why You Should Treat Job Candidates Like Customers

We've all been there – applying for a job, then waiting anxiously by the phone while compulsively checking email and social media and job sites for a status update on where we stand in the hiring process. We know our resume is one of a couple hundred you received for any one job and that we probably won't make your shortlist. But knowing we know this doesn't mean you should delete our emails and forget about us.

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What Makes a Great HR Partner Great?

Believe it or not, there was a time Human Resources was not included in the direction of a company; us old timers remember those dark ages. The department ran payroll, administered benefits, scheduled interviews, and helped with terminations – and was even sometimes referred to as the "Principal's Office."

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Finding the Perfect Summer Dress Code for Your Company

Take a look around the office. You may notice that hemlines are creeping up, fewer shirts are tucked in, and more skin is exposed.

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Building a Strong Company Culture

Company culture starts at the top. It is used to unite your workforce and create a cohesive group of people working towards a common goal; it binds members together and influences how they think about themselves, their fellow employees and their work.

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Finding Relevance in Exit Interviews

The only constant about an organization's workforce is that it changes regularly. And although losing employees is inevitable, their last few days also present a critical opportunity for business owners, managers, and the HR team to learn how employees really feel about their employer.

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When it Comes to Giving References, Just Stick to the Facts!

Whenever one of your employees leaves, you typically will have to decide what to say to potential employers who call for a reference. The decision is pretty straight forward if the employee left on good terms: you can come up with a mutually agreeable statement to explain the departure together, or you can simply tell the whole glowing truth to any prospective employer who calls for a reference. But, if the employee was fired, you face a more difficult task.

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The Numbers Are In: PEOs DO Help Small Businesses Grow

In September 2013, the National Association of Professional Employer Organizations (NAPEO) commissioned a study to see if what the industry was claiming to be true – was actually true.

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How Absenteeism Impacts Your Co-Workers

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and Kronos recently conducted a research report – Total Financial Impact of Employee Absences - with the objective of better understanding how organizations across the country are managing employee absences.

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How to Build an Effective Internship Program in 6 Easy Steps

It's official – gone are the days of using interns as simple "go-fers." Even if you don't currently have an internship program in place, you've likely considered bringing on interns to not only enhance your workplace but so you can help guide and develop future employees. 

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Let the Madness Begin - Managing March Madness That Is

March Madness has once again descended upon the workplace: Selection Sunday is March 15. And the stakes are even higher this year with Warren Buffet's recent announcement that he will give $1 billion to anyone who successfully picks all 64 team brackets!! As someone who has only filled out a NCAA tournament bracket a handful of times, I'm not going to easily refuse to participate with that kind of offer on the table.

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Questions to Consider When Outsourcing to a PEO

Most small business owners know the frustration of spending more time than they want or should on non-revenue generating activities and so they outsource some part of their business – IT, accounting, marketing, among others. And to get to the point - managing HR in-house is an operation that requires countless hours and dedicated employees, and it can be very costly – especially to a small business owner. 

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Professional Development Does Not Have to Be Expensive (or Boring)

For many, the words "professional development" conjure up memories of sitting in a human resources office, watching a series of awkward training videos and then taking a mandatory quiz. People – listen to me - it doesn't have to be this way!

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It's 2015. How ACA Compliant Are You?

It's hard to believe the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was enacted over four years ago! Many significant changes have taken effect, such as health plan design changes and increased wellness program incentives. But 2015 is the year we really need to sink our teeth into ACA compliance. Maybe you feel that you've heard enough about this already and you know what you need to know. Maybe you feel you will never get it so you tend to glaze over when you hear about it. Since the ACA is not going away and it has undergone some changes since its enactment, let's see where we are with this law today. But, instead of going on about the Employer Mandate, let's discuss some ACA requirements that are not talked about as much - some of which are actually in effect now. 

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4 Steps to Repairing Workplace Relationships

Saturday was Valentine's Day and hopefully spent time with your significant other or with those that have a special place in your heart. 

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An Employee Files a Complaint...Now What?

Most employers are anxious when faced with a discrimination or harassment complaint. And with good reason: such complaints can lead to workplace tension, government investigations, and even costly legal battles. However, if you take the complaint seriously and follow a careful strategy of dealing with the situation, you can reduce the likelihood of a lawsuit and even improve employee relations.

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5 Tips to Finding the Right Work-Life Balance

Yesterday was Working Parents Day. And in celebration – this post will cover the everyday struggle to find the right work-life balance. 

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Depression in the Workplace: How Employee Assistance Programs Can Help

Earlier this summer, the world lost someone near and dear to many of our hearts – comedian and actor Robin Williams – to an apparent suicide. It's difficult to understand how someone so talented and funny could be quietly suffering on the inside. However, his tragic death is a reminder to all of us of the very real and very serious presence of anxiety and depression in our daily lives regardless of whether we ourselves or a close friend or family member suffers from these afflictions. 

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What's the "Bermuda Triangle" of Employment Leave?

An employee is injured – what do you do (other than send a get well card and call your attorney, of course)? Look into the so-called "Bermuda Triangle" of employment leave: Workers' Compensation, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The inter-connectedness of these three laws can put employers into dangerous territory. In an effort to help you navigate these choppy waters, here is a breakdown of the "Bermuda Triangle" in a decision tree (courtesy of David A. Kaplan). 

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How To Keep Your Top Talent

When it comes to sustaining star talent, think like a good coach: once you land top performers, you must motivate them to stay – and continually raise their game.

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5 Steps to a Dignified Termination

Most terminated employees don't fall into the saboteur bucket. They aren't out to harm anyone. They aren't a cancer eating away at your organization. They aren't stealing from your company. They just don't fit (despite everyone's best wishes and intentions otherwise). 

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Recognizing the “Halo Effect”

Performance appraisals are important for organizations and employees. Unfortunately, they are not on the top of anyone's list of "favorite things to do", and there are a number of influences, such as memories and natural biases that can affect the impartiality of the manager and thus the effectiveness of the review. 

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What Employers Should Learn From Tracy Morgan’s Crash

Drowsy drivers are a major danger on the road. More than 100,000 motor vehicle crashes each year are a result of drowsy driving, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates. Additionally, studies from the National Sleep Foundation indicate that drowsiness has a number of physical side effects that can impair driving, including tunnel vision, shortened attention span and reduced reaction times. Drowsy drivers can't process information as quickly or accurately as an alert one. This makes it much more difficult for a drowsy driver to become aware of a potential accident and react to it. 

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What You Should Know About Maternity Leave, Short-Term Disability and the FMLA

Are you a working mom- or dad- to be? While there are companies that voluntarily provide family-leave policies, many stick to what they are required to offer. The legal requirements vary depending on the company's size, your employment status, the state you live in (because some states have broader maternity-leave laws that override the FMLA), among other factors. So if you are expecting – or you've recently given birth or adopted – it pays to become familiar with the family-leave rights you're entitled to at your workplace. 

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  • Kurtis
    Kurtis says #
    Hello. My wife is a full time employee at a large big box store. She has 17 years in the company and last year she gave birth to o
  • Felicia
    Felicia says #
    My daughter was born February 28, 2015. I had FMLA and STD. I only used 8 weeks of my FMLA. Here's my question. My daughter who is
  • HRi
    HRi says #
    Good Morning Felicia, The short answer is yes. FMLA allotment in most states/jurisdictions is 12 weeks. According to your situati

Make an Office Summer Schedule Work For You

Summer is officially here – and many of us are kicking off our shoes in favor of flip flops (or bare feet). Whether it's compressing a 40 hour week into four days instead of five, starting and ending the workday at times other than the traditional 9 – 5, or allowing employees to work from home to reduce long commutes and childcare costs, employers are embracing the idea of a summer flex work arrangement. 

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Are Student Athletes Actually Employees?

According to NLRB Regional Director Peter Ohr, yes, they are. His ruling issued in March 2014 found that scholarship players on the Northwestern University football team are employees of the school, and therefore have the right to form a union. Mr. Ohr's ruling has more than a few people wondering how he made that decision, so let's look at how he got there from an HR standpoint. Before we begin, I would like to point out that this ruling refers only to private schools – students at public universities are subject to state labor laws. 

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5 Steps to an Effective Mentoring Program

As small businesses continue to compete for skilled employees in an increasingly competitive and growing global marketplace, the ability to retain and develop talent from within is quickly becoming essential. Mentoring can improve employee satisfaction and retention, enrich new employee initiation, make your company more appealing to potential employees, and train your leaders. And the best part is – it's free! Unlike similar learning incentives such as training programs or offering to pay for courses, mentoring utilizes the resources that your company already has. 

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Employee or Independent Contractor

Employee or independent contractor: sometimes it's difficult to know what camp your workers fall into. But when you consider health benefits, compensation, and tax responsibilities, knowing the difference between the two is an absolute necessity. But what exactly are the differences between employee status and being an independent contractor? 

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Reinvigorate Your Hiring Process

Look around and what you'll notice at the heart of most great companies is an incredibly strong emphasis on the hiring process. Why? Because every new employee will either improve the organization or lower it – and managers should be seeking and hiring employees who will enable the company to grow and to become more profitable – instead of putting a warm body in a seat. 

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How To Make Employee Engagement Work For You

It doesn't matter what you build, sell, or invent; your organization can't move forward without people. CEOs, company founders and managers the world over know that keeping their teams moving forward together in harmony means the difference between winning and dying. 

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FSA as a Savings Tool?

Budgeting and saving are two basic ingredients to a solid financial plan. What is often overlooked during these financial discussions is an employer-provided benefit: Flexible Savings Accounts (FSAs). An FSA allows employees to use pretax dollars to fund eligible healthcare related expenses not covered by a health plan. 

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What to Include (and not Include) in Your Employment Application

All HR professionals know that having candidates complete an employment application is a very important step in the hiring process. Employment applications not only collect employment history and education information on potential candidates, but can also be used to inform applicants of the company's equal employment opportunity and at-will employment policies. Even if an employer requests that candidates submit a resume for a position opening, the completion of an employment application at the interview meeting should be standard hiring practice for all companies. 

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The Importance of Stay Interviews

While it's important to understand why employees leave, it's just as important to understand why employees stay. Stay interviews provide companies with a real chance to make necessary changes to help retain current employees – and perhaps even increase profitability! 

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Cross-Training Programs for 2014

As companies try to stay lean and mean, many are adopting cross-training programs to make sure they're getting the most out of their workforce. Employers beware: you will have some employees who will be gung ho about learning a new set of skills, others who will drag their feet and complain about taking on extra work, and others still might confuse the quest for staff flexibility with a red flag about layoffs. However, if you are considering a cross-training program, the benefits greatly outweigh any pushback or complaints along the way. Down the road, it may be possible for you to have fewer workers and a more efficient business or you may have the ability to shift employees to different departments to fill in for workers who are out sick or on vacation. And all of this can lead to significant savings. 

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HR's Game Plan for the Olympics

The 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics are set to start tomorrow – and the whole world will be watching. Fans of all ages will cheer over athletic feats of the century. HR professionals will be "oohing" and "ahhing" as well, but over completely different feats. How did they pull off staffing for this thing? How do workplace standards get communicated and implemented? How do they keep all those volunteers happy and engaged? 

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Can Training Really Attract & Retain Talent?

Attracting and retaining talented employees requires more than a fair paycheck and healthy benefits package. Talented people seek out opportunities to grow, and they gravitate to organizations that offer plenty of opportunities to do so. You've also just solved your retention issue: if people are learning and growing more rapidly with you than they could anywhere else, why would they leave? 

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How To Survive the Winter Storm

Winter is a wonderful time of year. The season brings many good memories - spending time with our families, the holidays, the New Year, snow, and the warmth from a fireplace. But, there is also a dark side to Jack Frost – ice, sleet, strong winds, power loss, and car accidents. However, there are a number of things we can do to keep ourselves safe and injury-free. 

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Dealing with Workplace Conflict

Let's face it: workplace conflict is and will be a constant. In fact, HR managers report spending 24-60% of their time dealing with employee disputes. This is because people react to and manage conflict at work very differently. For instance, three people in the same situation may have three distinctly different reactions. And to make matters more complicated, not only do people act differently in workplace conflict, but the same person may respond one way in one situation and react another way in a separate situation. How someone reacts can depend on the kind of conflict, who is involved, and whether the issue is personal or professional. While disagreements and differing opinions are normal and even healthy in work relationships, continuing conflict can eventually result in lost productivity, money and, lowered employee morale.

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  • Lesly
    Lesly says #
    I appreciate the steps that you've mentioned. It is very helpful in dealing with the workplace conflict. You can also check out he
  • Tanya Martin
    Tanya Martin says #
    These steps could be very helpful in dealing with workplace conflict. I personally used Dale Carnegie guide for workplace conflict
  • Tami Stoneburner
    Tami Stoneburner says #
    Thank you for the insight. The steps to dealing with conflict really get you to stop and think about the professional way to handl

Catering Benefits Packages to Your Employees

Offering benefits packages that satisfy each individual employee is no easy task. In the past, it may have been enough to put together a set of insurance policies, add in some other perks and offer each employee the same package, but this is no longer the case. In today's workforce, people are looking for individual, personalized attention. So what are your options? A number of the basics are outlined below. 

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  • Mike Rabkin
    Mike Rabkin says #
    I'm a big believer in this philosophy, as it cost an organization nothing to offer benefits that are free to the organization, and

Catering Benefits Packages to Your Employees

Offering benefits packages that satisfy each individual employee is no easy task. In the past, it may have been enough to put together a set of insurance policies, add in some other perks and offer each employee the same package, but this is no longer the case. In today's workforce, people are looking for individual, personalized attention. So what are your options? A number of the basics are outlined below. 

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  • Judie Clay
    Judie Clay says #
    To satisfy employees with these benefit packages is indeed quite a task. Trying to minimize them can indeed work against turnover
  • Mike Rabkin
    Mike Rabkin says #
    This article hits the nail on the head that organizations can seek to lower employee turnover (good for company productivity) and

The Employee's Guide to Surviving the Holiday Office Party

It's officially here! Holiday Office Party Season, that is. It's a time to celebrate the past year's accomplishments and connect with your colleagues. It can also be a scary time for some folks – why? Because it's a business function disguised as a social event and many people tend to forget this. So, to avoid being the next day's hot topic around the water cooler, follow these simple guidelines to surviving your holiday office party. 

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  • Elias Trajan
    Elias Trajan says #
    I kind of of bumped into your fun post during some festivities we had (non christmas related) at our work place this weekend. Our

The Employee's Guide to Surviving the Holiday Office Party

It's officially here! Holiday Office Party Season, that is. It's a time to celebrate the past year's accomplishments and connect with your colleagues. It can also be a scary time for some folks – why? Because it's a business function disguised as a social event and many people tend to forget this. So, to avoid being the next day's hot topic around the water cooler, follow these simple guidelines to surviving your holiday office party. 

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The Employee's Guide to Surviving the Holiday Office Party

It's officially here! Holiday Office Party Season, that is. It's a time to celebrate the past year's accomplishments and connect with your colleagues. It can also be a scary time for some folks – why? Because it's a business function disguised as a social event and many people tend to forget this. So, to avoid being the next day's hot topic around the water cooler, follow these simple guidelines to surviving your holiday office party. 

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Overtime Pay & the FLSA Explained

Let's start with an (allegedly) simple question: what is overtime and who gets it?

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) defines overtime as pay for hours worked in excess of 40 in a workweek of at least one and one-half times the regular rate of pay. An employer who requires or permits an employee to work overtime is generally required to pay the employee overtime pay for such work. The FLSA does not require overtime pay for work on Saturdays, Sundays, holidays, or regular days of rest, unless overtime hours are worked on such days. The FLSA also does not require extra pay for weekend or night work or double time pay. Extra pay for working weekends or nights is a matter of agreement between the employer and the employee (or the employee's representative). Again, the FLSA requires overtime for non-exempt employees who physically work in excess of 40 hours in a work-week. 

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  • Maribel
    Maribel says #
    If I have a employee that will exceed the 80 bi-monthly scheduled hours due to unauthorized extra time taking daily. Can I send th
  • HRi
    HRi says #
    Good Morning Maribel, Overtime is calculated on a weekly basis - typically 40 hours worked per week for full-time employees. It i
  • Morgan Gunn
    Morgan Gunn says #
    When a supervisor already approved over time hours, and the day you are already working the over time, can the supervisor cancel t

Takeaways from the NFL

It's a rare workplace that seldom experiences conflict. There are a number of ways this happens: personality clashes, warring egos, poor performance, and heavy workloads, among others. However, what happens when workplace conflict – and even worse, bullying – is accepted and considered the norm?

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Giving (and Getting) Productive Feedback

"Can I offer you some feedback?" For some reason, these six little words often generate a "fight or flight" response. They go through a translator in our brain and are heard as "You might want to sit down. I'm about to make you feel worthless." Many perceive the person giving the feedback as somehow superior which puts the receiver on the defensive. 

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The Hidden, Deadly Costs of Employee Turnover

Employee turnover costs are largely hidden. They don't hit the profit and loss statement; they aren't line items in the budget. However, they can have a very real and potentially deadly effect on your bottom line.

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Lead New Hires Down the Road to Success

It is important to provide new hires with the tools and skills for success and to make them feel welcome in your company from Day One. According to The Wynhurst Group, 22% of staff turnover occurs in the first 45 days of employment. Don't like this statistic? Follow these 5 highly effective onboarding steps and both you and your new hire will be on the road to success!

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Promoting Workplace Safety

Workplace safety is and should be a top priority for business owners as they strive to provide a safe and healthy workplace that promotes the well-being of their employees. Understanding and complying with state and federal safety and health guidelines is an important part of this process. In 1970, Congress passed the Occupational Safety & Health Act to protect private employees from unsafe work environments. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) became part of the Department of Labor and workplace injury and fatality statistics have been decreasing ever since.

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  • brandon
    brandon says #
    Thanks for the helpful info! http://www.ecfp.com/blog.html

Does Your Office Have a Mascot or Two?

This year, thousands of US companies celebrated Take Your Dog To Work Day in June – a tradition that started in 1996. Having your dog in the workplace has been shown to boost morale, increase productivity, and keep workers motivated. It also provides employees with a reason to step away from their desks and get outside for a workday break.

As more companies are allowing dogs in the workplace, it's important to establish proper "doggie" etiquette and set some ground rules.

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Are You Ready? For Flu Season That Is

The flu season is quickly approaching. On average, 5-20% of the US population will get the flu each year. Whoa! As an employer, it's important to help prepare your employees for the influenza, and that means encouraging flu shots, examining sick leave policies, initiating and communicating basic flu prevention strategies and ensuring cleanliness in the workplace.

THE Flu Shot

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the best way to avoid coming down with the flu is to get vaccinated. I'm not suggesting that you require your employees get the flu shot – that opens up a whole 'nother Pandora's Box. And you don't want to go there. What you can do is encourage your employees to get the flu shot in order to maintain productivity and attendance in the workplace; make it fun! Here are a few ways to incentivize your workforce:

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End of Year Planning: Bonuses

A year-end bonus is a sum of money paid to employees at the end of the year. It's a wonderful program to have and can be a strong retention tool, but can go oh so very wrong if not implemented well. How can you stop this from happening? Think about your corporate culture, your workforce and what motivates them, and decide what works best for you.

Your bonus program can be calculated in a number of ways – a percentage of hours billed, a percentage of sales, a percentage of the company's profits. But maybe you have a percentage-phobia; you can also calculate bonuses by what the company can afford, how many years the employee has worked for you or it can be based on merit.

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Document, Document, Document!

Documentation of employee performance, behavior, discipline, etc. should be second nature for all supervisors. Strong and accurate documentation is especially important in any kind of employment litigation – termination, retaliation, harassment, among others. This may sound easy, but knowing which documents to focus on and remaining objective in your notes can either make or break your case.

HR’s Top Three

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Real World Rules for Fantasy Football

Are you ready for some football? For many Americans, that is a definite "YES!" The number of employees participating in fantasy football leagues has grown to over 20 million or nearly 1 in 5 full-time employees. These employees spend on average – 3.86 hours at home and 1.19 hours at work – playing and researching the game (Fantasy Sports Trade Association and Nielsen Online). No matter if you are a critic or a fan – the question becomes – is fantasy football a real problem or a real positive in the workplace?

I'm going to assume that everyone is aware of Fantasy Football Leagues and what they are. So what's the big deal?

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How to Interview (for keeps)

We've all been there – uncomfortably sitting in the lobby, making small talk with the receptionist, resisting the temptation to play Angry Birds, all the while waiting for the hiring manager to call your name. But what if you are on the other side of the table?

No matter which seat you are in, interviewing can be daunting (and scary). As the interviewer, hiring the right person the first time around can save you and your company a considerable amount of time and expense through training, on-boarding, and management distraction. No pressure! Fortunately, there are a number of ways to put both yourself and the interviewee at ease – and make sure you get all of the information you need to make a smart decision.

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How to Make Employee Engagement Surveys Work for You

Conventional wisdom says employee engagement surveys are a good idea. Companies are spending a lot of time, money, and energy using surveys to “check the office temperature” and then magically create a stress-free work environment where everyone is happy and productive. This doesn’t always happen. Employee opinions are given, seemingly no action or follow-up is taken by management, and so employees become (more) disengaged. How can you correct this vicious cycle?

Define employee engagement. As an HR buzz word, there are currently many different definitions. You need to figure out what employee engagement specifically means for your company. This doesn’t mean copying and pasting the definition from Wikipedia onto your letterhead. Also, if you are using a template survey, you aren’t getting the necessary feedback unique to your organization and consequently won’t be able to achieve effective results. You want to learn more about your employees’ attitudes, satisfaction and engagement, right? Define your questions according to your company, not someone else’s.

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  • Praveen
    Praveen says #
    Employee appreciation, engagement and benefits has become an important factor in India now, considering the huge amount of attriti

ACA – One Year Extension of the Employer Mandate

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) was passed on March 23, 2010. The law mandated that on January 1, 2014 employers with more than 50 full-time equivalent employees offer health insurance coverage to employees that meets the minimum standards established by the law or be subject to penalties and fines.

In a surprising move on July 2, 2013, regulators announced that the effective date of the employer mandate rules of the PPACA will be delayed one year until January 1, 2015. This means that on January 1, 2014, employers with more than 50 full-time equivalent employees WILL NOT be obligated to provide health insurance coverage to their employees and WILL NOT be subject to penalties or fines if they do not provide health insurance coverage. This does not imply that employers with more than 50 full-time equivalent employees who currently offer health insurance should discontinue offering this benefit. Employers should keep in mind that the other provisions of the PPACA scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2014, such as the prohibition of pre-existing conditions exclusions for adults and the prohibition of annual dollar limits on essential health benefits, have not had their effective dates modified.

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“Let’s Ring Freedom Bells”

As the Fourth of July is quickly approaching, one of our clients, Carmella LaSpada, Founder of No Greater Love reminds us that Independence Day is not to be taken for granted. Rather, it is a time to celebrate the multitude of freedoms we have and to honor those who have fought and sacrificed their lives for those freedoms.

Here is her article in its entirety.

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Fighting Resume Fraud in 2013

Really? We still have to deal with this? Unfortunately, the answer is yes. Two out of three employers have caught an applicant lying on his resume – and those are the ones caught!

Resume fraud wastes time, money, denies qualified applicants job opportunities, and can expose a company to potential risks down the road. So how can you protect yourself?

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Hurricanes, Tornadoes & Earthquakes, Oh My!

Recently, tornadoes, floods, hurricanes, and fires – all affecting the personal and professional lives of thousands – have taken over news headlines. As an employer, how do you prepare for these emergencies that affect the health, safety, and welfare of your workforce at home and at work?

One way to be as prepared as possible is to create an emergency action plan. At a minimum, this should include:

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Financial Wellness 101

In 2010, 75% of Americans nearing retirement age had less than $30,000 in their retirement accounts. Whoa! Besides the daily stress factor, financial concerns can be a distraction during work hours and can contribute to increased employee absences, health problems, and higher company healthcare costs.

What's Going On?!?

Even though we all want to focus on the important aspects of retirement – where to travel, where to live, when is the next tee time – concerns are growing over medical costs and long-term care, as well as current job retention, large debt, and increased living expenses. According to the 2013 Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) Survey, 49% of respondents feel they are "not too" or "not at all" confident they will be able to retire comfortably. The upside to this (if there is one) is that employees are turning to their employer for financial education and long-term planning support. And get this – they are responding!
Employers are recognizing the significant value in offering low-cost and easy-to-implement financial planning programs, including on-site money management and financial planning seminars that cover a range of topics. By offering these programs, employers are building loyalty, increasing productivity, reducing turnover, and improving job satisfaction.

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Trouble Communicating Employee Benefits? PEOs Can Help With That

Considerable time and expense is spent planning and executing an effective benefits program and communications strategy. Owners and managers typically do not have the time, knowledge, or ability to administer a benefits program, let alone effectively communicate the value to employees. This is where the expertise of a Professional Employer Organization (PEO) comes in....

By outsourcing your HR, you gain access to dedicated communications and benefits specialists, who have the resources to stay abreast of and appropriately distribute on-going plan changes. PEO specialists are able to identify what is necessary to communicate, prepare content to share with employees, tailor that information to plan participants, refresh the information to accommodate changes, use various communication modes to reach individual participants, and quickly and efficiently answer benefits questions for individuals. In addition to communicating plan information, we also keep record of personal participant information and changes, provide hands-on administration for individual plan participants, and assist employers in selecting and providing the best and most appropriate benefits for the specific needs of the company.

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The Cost of Paperwork: Is a PEO Worth It?

Who in your office is spending his time on HR? Is it you or maybe one of your most valued and trusted employees? Wouldn't you be more productive with the paperwork off your desk? How do you maximize resources, save time and money, and still get the job done?

The answer: PEOs (Professional Employment Organizations)! We can do all of that for you by taking care of the HR paperwork.

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  • Kristian Svindland
    Kristian Svindland says #
    I love it when someone puts hard numbers up showing businesses the true costs of putting together a real hr solution. Great job.

Telecommuting: Is It a Do or a Don’t?

The question of whether telecommuting is a good idea or not has been widely debated recently due to unpopular decisions made by Yahoo! and Best Buy. Telecommuting isn't for everyone, but with the right attitude, policies, and communication in place, telecommuters can be as productive, if not more so, than employees who come to the office every day. Here are a few "rules" to keep in mind when creating or evaluating your telecommuting policy.

  1. It's not for everyone. Telecommuting is a privilege, not a right and employees who are allowed to do it, know it. Make sure you have a solid environment, compensation, and culture in place – otherwise, it won't matter where people work. On the other hand, when well planned, giving people the freedom to work elsewhere can be absolutely productive and great for retention too.
  2. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate! First and foremost, decide who gets to work from home and make sure everyone is aware of the guidelines and requirements. Secondly, set clear objectives that need to be met – no matter where your employees are working. If goals are not being met, make it clear that the privilege to work at home will be lost. Provide the same level of infrastructure and support needed to reach a high level of performance to those who work remotely that those in the office have. Managers and telecommuters need to keep a high level of communication using all the tools available – email, phone, video, etc.
  3. Out of Sight, Out of Mind. It's easy to forget about people who aren't in the office – especially when news is spread by word of mouth. Be sure to include your remote workers on in-office activities even when they are not scheduled to be in the office. It's important to keep them in the loop and provide them with the opportunity to connect with their co-workers over fun activities such as corporate functions or holiday parties.
  4. Decrease in Costs. When employees telecommute, overhead costs decrease. Every expense from furniture to rent to utilities goes down. Think about whether you are going to reimburse employees for their increased home office costs. For the small business owner, it's a great way to build your business with lower costs and happier employees.
  5. Larger Talent Pool. If you offer telecommuting as a benefit, you will have access to a wider range of potential employees. Think of the possibilities if you didn't have to narrow your job candidates by zip code.

New Form I-9 Released: HRi Keeps You HR Compliant

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a newly revised Form I-9 which ALL employers must start using by May 7, 2013. Prior versions of the Form I-9 will no longer be accepted beginning May 7, 2013. We recommend using the new form immediately so that you become familiar with the new format and additional information. To view or download the new Form I-9, click here.

What is Form I-9?

Form I-9 is used for verifying the identity and employment authorization of individuals hired for employment in the United States. All U.S. employers must ensure proper completion of Form I-9 for each individual they hire for employment in the United States. This includes citizens and non-citizens.

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Should I Care About Employee Retention?

Yes. Slowly but surely the labor market is recovering. Now more than ever, companies should be focused on attracting and retaining the right employees. Here are four key reasons why companies need an incentive/employee recognition plan.
 
  1. Opportunities ARE Available. Do not assume your employees lack other job opportunities or are locked in their current position – because they do! The unemployment rate for college-educated, highly skilled workers is less than 4 percent. Offering perks such as paid time off, on-site childcare, wellness programs, flexible schedules, tuition reimbursement and bonuses can go a long way to engage, motivate and retain employees.
  2. Looking and Ready to Move. Over the last several years, highly skilled employees have been asked to take on more and more responsibilities – many times without an increase in pay or benefits. According to the Corporate Executive Board, 1 in 4 highly skilled workers is considering leaving their employer compared to 1 out of 10 other workers. In order to retain these valued employees, make sure to send a clear message that they are important and that their hard work is being noticed.
  3. Employees – Like Elephants – Never Forget. As the labor market improves, employees are proactively looking for new opportunities or contacting recruiters to do the dirty work for them. When deciding to move on professionally, about 50% of that decision is based on how the company has treated them in the past (Corporate Executive Board).
  4. Nothing Nice to Say? Corporate Executive Board exit surveys of more than 200 companies show that only 1 in 4 departing employees would recommend their previous employer as a good place to work. Having a healthy and flexible employee recognition plan in place could not only minimize the unsatisfied signals departing employees are sending out but could also help maximize your employee retention rate.

4 Ways to Successfully Weather the Storm

When the weather outside is frightful – it is extremely important for the safety of employees and the continuation of business to have a plan in place to address how operations will (or will not) continue. Here are four key tips to successfully weathering the storm.

1. Form a Plan

Where IS that employee handbook? It's time to update (or create) an inclement weather policy. It's important to think through the different scenarios and address them as they arise. This way, you and your employees have an understanding of what is expected during bad weather.

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  • INTEGRITY
  • INNOVATION
  • OWNERSHIP
  • PARTNERSHIP