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If you want to get a snapshot of your organization’s efficiency and the health of its culture, look at your meetings. Are they efficient and productive? Do their results justify the time and expense? Are meetings an occasion for collaboration, knowledge-sharing, and team-building? Or are they a waste of time and a cause of needless frustration? The answers to these questions matter. Meetings aren’t cheap, so you want to make each minute count. The less efficient and productive meetings are,…   read more...
The importance of documenting performance problems as they occur cannot be overstated. Although this requires meeting with the employee and discussing the issue, which will almost certainly be uncomfortable, it’s your best defense to a wrongful termination claim should the employee feel litigious after termination. Too many employers rely on the concept of employment at-will to protect them, when the reach of this concept is actually quite limited. The problem is that if an employer has…   read more...
According to Gallup, 51% of employees are looking for a new job, and 68% of employees believe they are overqualified for the job they have. Even engaged employees are job hunting at an alarming rate—37%. Employees who change jobs cite career growth opportunities, pay and benefits, management, company culture, and job fit as reasons for doing so. Employees surveyed said they want to do what they do best while maintaining a good work-life balance. They desire a secure and stable job that pays…   read more...
Question: I’ve heard serving alcohol at company parties can be a liability. What steps can we take to protect our organization and our employees? Answer: Yes, alcohol can be a liability. Partygoers who overindulge could cause an accident or act in ways that violate your harassment policy. Here are some practices you might consider: Employers may be liable for employee misconduct and negligence when the employee is acting “in the course and scope of employment,” so make these kinds of events…   read more...
Lots of HR leaders today are talking about the importance of using marketing techniques to build an effective employer brand. The topic was a focus in several sessions at the latest annual Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) conference. What is an employer brand? To answer that question, it may be helpful to go over what a brand is in general. A brand is a name, image, or some other feature that distinguishes your products and services from those offered by others. Branding may sound…   read more...
The recipe for workplace conflict is decidedly simple: bring two or more people together and assign them a task. Unless the stars have aligned in your favor, there’s going to be some cause for disagreement between them, and if conflict ensues, their ability to cooperate will suffer. Regrettably, too often employers tolerate unresolved conflict because it isn’t a legal matter with potential fines, they’re busy with other things, they don’t know how to manage it, or because doing so is sure to…   read more...
The Department of Labor has announced the final rule that will increase the minimum salary for certain exempt white collar employees. The final rule is very close to the proposed rule we reported on in March.The new minimums will take effect January 1, 2020. Exempt Executive, Administrative, Professional, and Computer Employees (EAP) Salaried exempt EAP employees must be paid at least $684 per week on a salary basis (an increase from the current minimum of $455 per week). This is the…   read more...
An Overview of OSHA Oct 23, 2019
On December 29, 1970, Richard Nixon signed the Occupational Safety and Health Act into law, calling it “probably one of the most important pieces of legislation” ever passed by Congress. In a nutshell, the Act says workplaces must be “free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm.” These hazards were far from negligible. At the time, an estimated 14,000 workers were killed on the job every year. The Act created an administration agency…   read more...
401(k) Basics Oct 9, 2019
A retirement plan shows that you are invested in the futures of your employees and gives employees the opportunity to plan ahead and care for their financial futures. The 401(k) is a type of retirement account, aptly named after its section description in the IRS tax code (26 U.S. Code § 401(k)). This code section allows you to provide employees with an option to receive their earnings in cash or in a deferred compensation structure. Plan Options There are two main ways that employees can…   read more...
Employee turnover is expensive—more so than you might think. According to a recent survey by the Society for Human Resource Management, the average cost-per-hire is $4,129. However, turnover costs can vary depending on the length of time it takes to fill the role, the importance of the position to the employer, and the employer’s industry. Some costs are easily calculable, such as those of recruiting, hiring, and onboarding. Other costs can be difficult to measure, such as the impact of a…   read more...
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