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Four HR Practices

Your Small to Midsized Business Should Adopt

Small to mid-sized businesses have their work cut out for them, especially within the HR department. These professionals wear several hats and hold numerous responsibilities, often times beyond typical HR roles.

With the start of a new year, they may end up feeling frazzled with depleted bandwidth and resources to navigate through numerous disparate systems and to personally manage employee information, including payroll, time and attendance, onboarding, recruiting and everything else.

When you add the updates to federal and state employment laws, like FLSA and OSHA, HR professionals are left with one big question,

“Where do I start?”

With all of these responsibilities, you get HR professionals desperately looking for ways to improve their workflow and free up their time from tedious tasks to more strategic initiatives.

Luckily, there are strategies every HR professional working in a small to mid-sized business can use this year to distribute their workload in a more manageable way, and keep on top of it all.

So, before you add “Evaluate HR Department” to your endless list of “to do’s,” take a look at this HR checklist and simplify your schedule.

1. Update your Employee Handbook

Your Employee Handbook should be updated annually.

It’s something that is often overlooked, but immensely important for clear internal communication and appropriate employee relations.

As you look through it, take some time to review:

  • company policies
  • vacation days
  • company hours
  • overtime rules
  • other important information

By doing so, you will not only update rules and policies, but also refresh your mind on what employees are being told.

2. Check Your HR Information System

Your HR information system should solve your problems, not add to them.

HR pros are responsible for looking out for employees, but who is looking out for you?

Look for an HR Information System that helps with all of your HR and payroll needs – one platform that tracks EEO filing, overtime, benefits, PTO and ACA.

If you already have a system or systems in place, take the time to evaluate them and see what is working and what isn’t, it may be time for a change. Your HR information systems should work for you, not the other way around.

3. Have Process to Track Time

Changes to employment laws happen every year and it’s important that you stay current.

Look for changes in sick pay laws, ban the box rules, equal pay changes, minimum wage changes at the federal, state and city level.

Then take an additional step and find a human capital management solution that can navigate today’s business compliance maze.

Your future self will thank you for making things simple and efficient, especially when new law changes are introduced every year.

4. Schedule Management Training

You’ve reviewed the handbook, found an HCM system that works for your organization and streamlined processes, what’s next?

Training.

With updates and changes, management needs to be on the same page. If there are changes that impact current employees directly, be sure to review the specific changes and give the employee an updated employee handbook.

Cover:

  • termination rules
  • overtime rules
  • FMLA/time off
  • other updates

If there are no major changes or updates, it’s always wise to review and remind management and employees of current company policies annually.

Staying current on “all things HR” can be a daunting task. That’s why it’s important to not only look over employment laws, but also ensure your HR information systems can keep up with the demands of the new changes.

Now is the time to reevaluate, check things off and prepare yourself and your HR information systems for any change, so you can stay organized and keep your sanity.

Download the PDF here

4 Tips for Increasing Employee Learning Retention

Study Smarter, Not Harder

Strategic thinking and foresight help people use their time more efficiently and effectively.

  • Think about the format of the exam
  • Choose the best learning resource
  • Determine how each resource will help
  • Schedule when/how each resource will be used

E-Learning Course Tips

  1. Each module should begin and end with exercises that frame the learning according to how the employees will use the information
  2. Strategic framing should directly correlate the e-learning courses with the employee’s day to day

Identify Learning Strengths

Learning styles affect our ability to retain information.

Visual Learners

  • Writing Notes
  • Watching Videos

Auditory Learners

  • Listening To Lectures
  • Recording Answers

Kinesthetic Learners

  • Group Discussions
  • Group Activities

E-Learning Course Tips

  1. Provide learning opportunities for each style
  2. Include many different types of interactions learning methods

Sleep On It

All learners can benefit from a good night’s sleep. Any recently-learned material is more likely to be embedded in your memory.

E-Learning Course Tips

  1. Schedule learning over the course of several days and weeks
  2. Remind learners to take their time
  3. Follow-up with lessons and activities

Test & Iterate

Companies who invest in e-learning software should employ project management tools to track employee progress.

Get Insight Into:

  • Where learners get stuck
  • Time spent on each task

Notifications/Alerts:

  • Follow-ups
  • Further learning
  • check-ins

Every learner is different, so try different ways to improve your e-learning courses. By asking employees to reflect, engage, and build good learning habits, teams will gather better returns from their e-learning initiatives.

Download the PDF here

3 Principles of Strategic Recruitment

Re-evaluate and IMPROVE recruitment practices to make the best use of time and the tools available. Start by asking the right questions.

What do you need?

  • Develop a detailed applicant profile.
  • Clearly communicate needs, expectations and benefits
  • Use evaluations to gauge success and pinpoint gaps

Why should applicants want to work for you?

  • Create an employment brand
  • Highlight the company culture
  • Help the applicant envision themselves as part of the team
  • Encourage employees to become brand ambassadors
  • Target job seekers and entice talent to join

How are you going to reach and attract talent?

  • Build a talent pipeline
  • Create a pool of applicants who have been previously vetted
  • Build relationships with potential applicants
  • Capitalize on employee and applicant strengths

iSolved Hire

Improve your recruitment strategy with the right solution. iSolved Hire makes it easy to attract, recruit, and bring on talented individuals.

Download the PDF here

iSolved Network Turnover and Employee Retention

Turnover and employee retention are real problems that impact every industry.

55% of people who are currently employed are willing to leave their jobs because their skills aren’t being expanded.

So, how can you solve the age-old employee retention problem? By offering a learning management system that provides a path to career progression and improved skills.

Turn to iSolved, a people-centric human capital management system that’s designed to do it all. It’s available with a learning management system that’s packed with courses and makes it easy to upload your own customized content.

Take learning to the next level with iSolved, an all-in-one platform that also handles payroll, HR, time, and benefits. Give your employees the chance to learn and develop their skills!

Click here to download the PDF.

Training, Education, & Compliance

In today’s world, we can see the effects of harassment in the workplace. Without proper training, it’s difficult to address and resolve this massive problem.

Organizations must remain in compliance with local and federal laws, including those around labor, harassment, and discrimination.

Consider using a learning management system to get compliance training rolled out to every member of the team.

More than 6,800 sexual harassment complaints were filed in 2015.* A single complaint can cost an organization thousands or millions of dollars in legal fees.

Don’t take a chance with training your employees about these critical topics.

The answer? iSolved Learn.

  • engaging gamifaction
  • upload your own customized content
  • access a library of 150+ courses

iSolved Learn is the solution you need to keep everyone compliant with local and federal regulations.

Click here to download the PDF.

SOURCE
*The Equal Employment Opportunity Commissions

4 Challenges Companies Face in the Hiring Process

According to a recent study by Glassdoor.com, the time required for the hiring process in the U.S. and abroad has grown exponentially in recent years, averaging almost 23 days from first contact to offer acceptance. Employers and HR departments are struggling, now more than ever, to find and acquire great talent to complement their teams.

Let’s take a look at a few common road blocks in the hiring process.

Sourcing Talent

The job market is overflowing with talented, skilled workers seeking a career path. So why does it seem like there is never enough talent to go around? The answer lies in the processes by which HR departments seek and source candidates.

Hiring Strategy: Many employers admit to not having a hiring strategy, and because of this can easily waste valuable time posting job openings on multiple platforms in hopes of catching attention from the right candidates. Without setting clear recruitment objectives, goals and a target audience, the hiring process is really left to chance. Pinpointing your objectives will help clarify your recruitment messaging and engage with the right kinds of talent, without wasting time on candidates who are not the right fit for your team.

The Competition: The good news in all of this is that you are not alone in your hiring struggles. But that’s also the bad news. While the job market is full of talented workers who may be a great fit for your company, you are not the only person to notice them. Frequently, skilled professionals seeking work are being courted by many companies who are just as eager to fill a position and secure great talent. Many believe that finding great talent is like finding a needle in a haystack. And that is true, if the needle represents the perfect candidate for your team and the haystack represents the overwhelming number of competitors who are also seeking them. A solid hiring strategy and engaging recruitment messaging will help you stand apart from the crowd and attract the right talent.

The Screening Process

The screening process is perhaps the most important step in hiring the right candidate for your team, and unfortunately, it is also the most flawed step for many.

Because the hiring process can be time sensitive, many employers skip some very important steps in the screening stages. When trying to sort through a large pool of applicants, it is easy to get lost in the shuffle and lose control. Communication can sometimes suffer because of this, resulting in the loss of some qualified candidates who need a more personal experience to feel comfortable accepting an o er.

Don’t eliminate valuable screening tools, such as preliminary phone or video interviews, from the process, as they not only help highlight the brightest and best in the applicant pool, but they establish a clear line of communication and connection that great business relationships are built on.

Interviewing

Interviews are often a dreaded experience for both the applicants and the hiring staff. A bad interview experience can have a powerful impact on the likelihood of offer acceptance.

Things that can negatively affect an interview include:

  • Inconsistent communication, long waits for callbacks
  • Unclear agenda
  • Misunderstanding of job requirements and qualifications
  • Absence of constructive feedback
  • No attempt at connecting with staff

Make sure that your interview process is organized and clearly communicated to all candidates to ensure a positive experience for both parties.

Making an Offer

It is not uncommon for employers to complete the screening and interviewing process with an applicant, only to be turned down when an offer is made. Many companies struggle with finding a happy medium between not overspending and creating an offer that will entice the best talent to accept and join the team. If an offer is not accepted, the chances are good that another company has either made a better offer or is more willing to negotiate.

Offers should be based on the applicant’s qualifications and experience, and should take into consideration budgetary requirements and restrictions within the company. But the budget restrictions should not lead the way in making an offer, as an applicant may feel undervalued and walk away.

The best way to ensure a successful, prompt hiring process from start to finish is to focus on communication. In every step of the process, clear and effective communication will lead the way to a positive connection and a perfect fit for your team. iSolved has a brand new feature that will simplify the hiring process and aid in maintaining great communication from start to finish. iSolved Hire, developed exclusively for iSolved, allows users to create job listings, push the listings to multiple job boards, track applicants through each step of the hiring process, and use the information to bring the new hire on board. iSolved Hire is now available; learn more here.

Best Practices for Welcoming New Employees

At one time or another, many companies have struggled with employee satisfaction and retention. It is all too easy to focus on the goals of production and the needs of the client, leaving employees to feel undervalued and unmotivated. Without setting priorities to cultivate a healthy work environment for your staff, it is likely that your company will also face difficulty in retaining satisfied employees.

The positive environment you create for your employees should start on their very first day in your office, if not sooner. From the moment your offer for hire is accepted, your new employee should feel like a valued member of the team. In order to make each new hire feel welcome and comfortable in their new environment, it’s important to prepare a positive onboarding experience.

Before Their First Day

The interaction you have with your new employees prior to their first day in the office sets the tone for the working relationship you will have. Set them up for success by providing them with the tools to assimilate into the company culture seamlessly. Doing so will prevent a disturbance in the flow of your office and will also give them an opportunity to thrive from day one. It’s in the best interest of the company to ensure that each new hire is fully prepared to jump right into the role for which they’ve been hired as quickly as possible. Some ways to prepare and welcome your new employee are:

Communicate the agenda – Many new hires arrive for their first day of work feeling a bit of uncertainty, especially if the hiring staff has not provided adequate information about what’s expected of them. Initiate an open line of communication with your new hires that provides important details and encouragement to ask questions.

Set up the workspace – Nothing feels worse for a new hire than showing up to the job on day one and not having anywhere to sit or work. Demonstrate the value you place in your employees by taking the time to set up a workspace for your new hire before they even start in the office. It will make them feel welcome on their first day, and will also encourage them to get settled and ready to work.

Give them a welcome gift – A little gift goes a long way. A small plant, a coffee mug with the company logo, a gift card, or a little basket of goodies with a card signed by the team will make any new hire feel at home in the office.

During Week One

The first week is usually the hardest for new hires. It’s an unfamiliar environment with lots of names to remember, protocols to learn and schedules to which they have to adjust. Make the first week easier for your new employees by doing the following:

Give the tour – Show your new hires the lay of the land by personally showing them around the office and introducing them to their new coworkers. Taking the time out of your schedule to do this first step yourself will go a long way to demonstrate how much you value each member of your team.

Plan an Orientation – There is a lot to learn in that first week, so don’t skip the orientation for new employees. Designate members of your current team to be part of the “welcome wagon” who can give the new employee the rundown on the company culture. It will give them a better understanding of what’s expected of them and their place within the company.

Set a managers’ meeting – If you are not going to be the person directly dealing with your new hire on a daily basis, set a meeting with the managers with whom they’ll be working most. It’s important for your new hire to establish relationships with team leaders so they feel comfortable to ask questions and resolve any potential conflicts.

The most important work in making your new employees feel welcome takes place in the rst two weeks. Ensure that your new hire is ready to thrive in the company culture by planning ahead for training, job shadowing and, most importantly, feedback. Schedule a review of their rst 90 days, but also allow them to o er feedback on the experience as well. Business relationships are a two-way street. In order to increase employee retention and satisfaction, you must be willing to give as much as you hope to receive.

The onboarding module, built into iSolved, makes it easier to start the process of bringing on new hires. All information is stored in a single system and is accessible from anywhere, eliminating the stack of paperwork that many new employees must fill out on their first day.

4 Benefits of Improving Employee Onboarding

Nearly a quarter of staff turnover happens within six weeks of starting employment, which wastes time and resources. When a new hire starts with your company, this will be his or her first chance to see how it operates. Clear instructions, timely responses from management and HR staff, and proper handling of new hire paperwork are important tasks that help instill confidence in new employees. But when your new hire is shuffling between departments during the first week of employment, it’s tough to keep track of where he or she is in the onboarding process.

The solution to this common problem is an automated onboarding system. You can eliminate unnecessary steps, automate your onboarding workflow, and get rid of extra paperwork. Four of the leading benefits of improving onboarding include:

  • Improved job performance

When your employees understand their expectations, their performance tends to be much better. This is especially true of new hires, who are trying to adapt and learn more about the company culture and the new positions that they are filling. Take time to reduce ambiguity around policies and responsibilities.

  • Reduced stress

Onboarding a new employee is often a process can brings stress to everyone involved. When the process becomes more automated, everyone involved can stay apprised of the progress and have a clear understanding of necessary next steps. Automated onboarding also provides the opportunity to discuss the company’s values and expectations in the new role.

  • Increased employee satisfaction

If an employee feels confused or overwhelmed when starting in a new role, he or she might start to feel unfulfilled. When you can spend time with the new hire and provide information about goals and the company vision, you are laying a foundation for better satisfaction.

  • Better retention

When new hires feel satisfied and have lower stress levels at work, it is unlikely that they will look for other opportunities. Stress reduction, job satisfaction, and improved performance all add up to the ultimate goal of higher retention rates.

Taking steps to improve your onboarding process is well worth the effort with the benefits that this kind of system can offer.

iSolved, a human capital management system, is all about eliminating paperwork, and its newest addition, Onboarding, does just that for human resources and hiring managers. Onboarding is built directly within the iSolved platform, so you can sign in once and access all of the data it stores in the cloud-based system. When new hires feel like they are drowning in a sea of paperwork, iSolved can help you throw them a lifeline.

Can you prove your ACA compliance?

Can you prove your Affordable Care Act CoverageThe Affordable Care Act (ACA) employer mandates and deadlines are putting plenty of fear, worry and doubt into those who must comply with reporting requirements.  Applicable Large Employers (ALEs) should be especially aware of their ACA obligations to employees and the IRS. 

Enforcement

Since the ACA became a law, the IRS has managed over 40 provisions regarding implementation of ACA.

Perhaps the most pressing from an employer’s view point is play or pay.  Large employers (50+ FTEs) who do not offer coverage for all of their full-time employees, offer unaffordable minimum essential coverage or offer plans with high out-of-pocket costs could face tax penalties.

The employer would also be subject to a tax penalty if there is at least one full-time employee certified as having purchased health insurance through an exchange and was eligible for a tax credit or subsidy.

Fines

Employer fines imposed for ACA noncompliance are referred to as employer shared responsibility paymentsThe full details of who will have to pay, how much to pay and under what circumstances is pretty complicated, but rest assured those fines can be substantial. The IRS official Q&A about this contained 56 entries when it was updated as of May 20, 2015.

Data

ALEs should have been recording and compiling detailed, monthly information as of January 1, 2015, in order to meet filing requirements. Some required data includes:

  • Federal Employer Identification Numbers (FEIN) within a controlled group
  • Total employees
  • Total full-time employees
  • Total months covered
  • Validation that minimum essential coverage was offered, affordable and met the minimum value requirements
  • Personal information, including Social Security Number and birth date

Forms

Required reporting will be done via four IRS forms:

  • 1094-B (Transmittal of Health Coverage Information Returns)
  • 1094-C (Transmittal of Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage Information Returns)
  • 1095-B (Health Coverage)
  • 1095-C (Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage).

ALEs will file Forms 1094-C and 1095-C, while the coverage provider or self-insured plan sponsor has the legal obligation to furnish forms 1094-B and 1095-B to the plan participants.

Deadlines

Full-time equivalent (FTE) employees must receive their completed forms by February 1, 2016 (due to January 31 falling on Sunday). The paper reporting forms filed with the IRS must be sent in by February 29 (due to leap year) or March 31 for electronic filing.  Employers should already be implementing a solution that can manage ACA data and reporting compliance.

Be prepared

The challenges of ACA compliance can be met with the right solution that manages employee data, time and attendance, HR, payroll and benefits so an employer is able to quickly review data. If you use outside assistance, make sure they provide a defined project plan to ensure your compliance.

Action plan

  • Know exactly what should be done
  • Define a process
  • Manage and compile data
  • Understand the forms and instructions
  • Meet the deadlines

The bottom line?  Be ready – you have to comply!

All in one place. With one amazing solution.

Call us at (866) 992-5205, or use our online contact form below, and find out how Payroll Control Systems can help with Affordable Care Act Compliance.

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FLSA lawsuits are on the rise

shutterstock_193747298Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) lawsuits numbered over 7,000 in 2012 alone.  Companies such as Walmart, Staples, Merrill Lynch, JPMorgan Chase, Oracle, CVS, Tyson Foods, Lowe’s and AT&T have been subject to significant FLSA penalties.

FLSA lawsuits don’t target specific types of companies; every company could be faced with this challenge and the ensuing penalties.

Determining violations

In order to determine violations, investigators generally look at the following five areas.

Earnings codes

Your company’s earnings codes may be the easiest way to identify compensation being improperly excluded from the regular rate. In an FLSA lawsuit investigation, investigators tend to first look at safety, incentive, bonus, auto allowance, operator incentive and per diem.

Deduction codes

Looking at your list of deductions codes can also reveal existing issues such as appropriate deductions or if the deductions reduce wages below minimum wage.  Investigators will pay special attention to advances, laundry, safety glasses, tools, uniform fees and shoes and union dues.

It’s important to remember to document anything that requires employee authorization and to avoid deductions that cause pay to go below minimum wage.

Your time system

Your time and attendance rules and the resulting employee time punches can be one wage and hour issue, but there are several causes:

  • Rounding rules – make sure rounding is fair
  • Automatic meal period deductions – single largest reason for litigation; if you require employees to punch out/in rather than auto deduct, you have proof of meal periods
  • Time clock rules treat clocking in early or late the same for everyone
  • Shift hours overlaps work weeks; this may cause underpay one week and overpay the next week

Time card dangers

There are a few areas which investigators focus on as possible clues to inappropriate time clock management.

  • Identical in/out and meal period times for almost every day – is the employee actually punching?
  • No out/in and meal time punches – hard to prove if nothing is documented
  • Exact time punches when shift begins
  • Employee time punches are almost the same exact time – possibly buddy punching

Pay stub issues

  • Paid for fewer hours than shown on time record
  • Deductions for work required equipment (e.g., uniforms, tools)
  • Employee was paid a shift differential or bonus instead of overtime pay

Avoiding difficult, expensive and time-consuming business problems are now a part of our reality with FLSA lawsuits.  Proper record keeping and documentation is vital, along with a time and attendance system that integrates with payroll and other business functions.

Your systems should have consistent rules across the board, maintain documentation, have easy data management and reports to prove your compliance.

All in one place. With one amazing solution.

Call us at (866) 992-5205, or use our online contact form below, to learn more about FLSA lawsuits and how you and your company can avoid potential business problems.

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