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Whether your company is large or small, having your best employee submit their notice can be trying. Great employees tend to take on a lot, which can leave you feeling alone, stressed, and betrayed when they inform you that they will be leaving. You may also have difficulty seeing how you will carry on after their departure.
When your best employee quits, it can be helpful to remember the following.
Put Your Emotions Aside
Most employers’ initial internal reaction to their best employee leaving goes something like “How can you do this to me?! I thought we understood each other!” However, that’s a reaction that will make the encounter infinitely more uncomfortable. Taking a breath and putting emotions aside can help you to move forward faster and to keep a good relationship with the departing employee.
Find out why the Employee is Leaving
There are a million reasons that an employee may leave, so don’t assume that the reason is obvious or personal. Ambitious, hardworking people work on improving themselves constantly, which can cause them to “outgrow” your business. If you are tactful, you may also glean some insight into what you could do better to keep your next great employee longer.
It may be awkward for an employee to tell you all of their reasons for leaving face-to-face. Even if you speak to the person in depth, it may still be helpful to follow up with a digital exit interview. Employees may be more candid when they are on their own time and not right in front of you.
Don’t Make a Counter Offer
If an employee has gone through the thought process of leaving and made their decision, it’s generally unwise to make a counter offer. If they do stay, they may be unhappy with the position that they are now in, a job that they have already imagined themselves moving on from. If they don’t stay, it makes you look weak and unprepared.
Cover Legal Bases
It’s important to make sure that you draw up a final paycheck for the employee, disperse benefits, figure out bonuses, provide COBRA notices, and comply with any other legal obligations. In an already tumultuous time, it can be difficult to remember everything. For best results, have a checklist of obligations for terminations to help you remember and cover all of the bases.
Fill the Gaps
The first step to moving forward without your best employee is to make sure all of their duties and shifts are covered. It may be necessary to distribute their tasks among existing employees or to take on some of their tasks. Hiring a new employee or looking at existing employees for promotions is the next step.
It may be prudent to have the employee list all of the things that they do. This can help you to figure out exactly who will take on what, filling the gaps in a more organized fashion while you look for someone to replace your star.
Evaluate Your Leadership
Many employees quit because of their managers. It may be worthwhile to assess your own leadership and to survey how employees feel about your other managers. This can help you to spot leadership issues that may be contributing to turnover. If you know where your problems lie, you can work to correct them and keep future “best employees” happy.
HR software can help you to engage your employees and can assist with exit interviews. If you would like help finding HR software that works for you, check out our vendor matching page.
Financial wellness affects every area of life. When we are barely able to meet our basic needs with our salary or are struggling to pay back debts while staying afloat, it causes stress and demands our immediate attention. When we are able to meet our needs easily and have a little left over, it allows us more freedom to focus on less immediate issues and lessens our stress levels.
When employees are in difficult financial situations, it can affect their productivity, job satisfaction, attitude, behavior, and development. They may need more money to live comfortably, but stress may keep them from fully focusing on being the best at their job and working towards a promotion. Addressing employee financial wellness may benefit your workplace while also doing something that will benefit your employees for the rest of their lives.
Student Loan Benefits
Some employers have started offering student loan benefits that put a certain amount of money towards the repayment of loans each payday. This benefit takes away the stress of figuring out how much to pay towards the loan each time and provides a repayment plan that can make the debt seem less overwhelming. This benefit is an attractive offering that may make a job with your company more appealing to top talent struggling with student debt.
Student debt isn’t just a problem for recent graduates, either. Many older graduates are still struggling with debt from years earlier and parents may struggle with their children’s debts. Student loan benefits can help employees in all of these situations.
Tuition reimbursement can help employees prevent accumulating debt in the first place. Employers may benefit from having their employees sharpen their skills. Employees must pay out of pocket for courses, but employers will reimburse them for certain courses that relate to the industry as agreed upon ahead of time.
Personal Finance Education
Offering personal finance education can help employees both prevent and manage debt, while also providing them with general money management skills. Personal finance education helps employees address their own specific financial situations, so it can be more beneficial than blanket options. Having someone available to review their budgets and financial concerns and offer tips can create a foundation for good financial health.
Competitive Pay and Benefits
While pay isn’t the only factor in employee financial wellness, it certainly makes a difference. When employees make a competitive wage, they may be less likely to seek out other companies in the industry and will be more likely to live comfortably. This can take care of immediate needs, while benefits can provide a buffer and allay concerns about the future and potential financial obstacles.
Merit Increases and Rewards
Providing merit increases and periodic incentives or rewards for good performance can help employees continue to improve their situations. They will be more loyal to your company if they feel that they are being fairly compensated for their time and that you care about their wellbeing – including financial wellbeing. Employees may start to become complacent or unsatisfied if they go too long without a raise or other reward, so consider increasing wages at least twice per year.
Good payroll software may help you help your employees with their financial wellness by simplifying the process involved in offering these types of programs and systems. If you’re looking for new payroll software, let us help you.
In the past, fun was seen as an impediment to productivity. When employees are having fun, they are visibly not working. Many employers saw fun as something to be limited, kept out of work hours, even punished.
The human element prevails, however. People want to have fun, they strive to incorporate more fun into their lives, and they see fun as rewarding. Fun isn’t something that needs to be relegated to certain times; incorporating fun into work can benefit an organization.
1. Happy Employees Are Less Likely to Miss Work
Employees that are having fun look forward to coming to work, so you are less likely to see employees “play hooky” when they truly enjoy their jobs. Employees that express happiness and satisfaction with their job also tend to be healthier, which may result in fewer absences due to ailments. Fewer missed work days can have a positive impact on the team and may even benefit the bottom line.
2. Fun Can Improve Productivity
When you think about it, it makes sense that employees that are happy are more motivated and more productive than employees that are sad, bored, or otherwise unhappy. A study done by the University of Warwick’s Centre for Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy confirms this, showing that participants that were happy were more productive by 12 percent on average.
While fun activities can take time out of the work day and decrease hours spent on work measurably, productivity may increase to account for or exceed this missed time. This can be used as a motivational tool by allowing employees to engage in fun after hitting certain goals.
3. Your Company Will Become More Attractive
Companies that treat their employees well are more attractive to job seekers and even prospective customers. People feel good about interacting with a company where employees love their job and say they have fun working. When employees genuinely express enjoyment at going to work, others want to participate in that and see if they can glean the same meaningful experiences.
4. People Learn Better When Having Fun
Training exercises that are enjoyable to participants are better received and more engaging than training exercises delivered in a quiet, lecture-style setting. When learners are having fun, retaining information and processing new information becomes effortless. When team settings are used, learners may also form bonds with coworkers that can extend beyond training.
5. Creativity is Fostered by Fun
Fun stimulates imagination, which can assist with adaptation, problem solving, and other areas where creativity is needed. When employees are able to break away from the daily hum of work tasks and give their minds a rest, it can allow them to view problems with a fresher perspective.
How to Make Your Workplace More Fun
It‘s not as easy as it seems to introduce genuine fun into a workplace. Outings and activities that are planned can seem forced. Gamifying training and goals can be a step in the right direction, but may seem cheesy if they aren’t kept up to date or lined up well with real productivity markers.
Instead of creating mandatory “fun” events, here are some real ways you can infuse fun into the workplace:
Allow flexibility in schedules
Set up a game room and let employees use it at will
Most people need a job and most companies need employees. This simple equation seems like a recipe for success, but it gets complicated when both sides start to put expectations on the other. It’s obvious that everyone has to start somewhere, but how can unqualified candidates gain experience when every workplace requires experience to start?
For many employers, it seems only natural to require certain qualifications for candidates that wish to work for the company. While we’re not recommending that any company hire every person that submits an application through the careers portal, it may make sense to reduce the qualification expectations for certain positions. By giving some less qualified candidates a chance, you may see the following benefits.
A Chance to Train Someone from Scratch
Inexperienced employees have no bad habits to drop, so you can train them to perform tasks exactly the way that you want them to. In some cases, this may actually make training faster and easier. Even when training does take a little longer, it may be easier to develop a candidate that really shines because there are no preconceived notions to undo.
An Unconventional Approach to the Work
Employees that have never had a job or that are new to the field can bring a fresh perspective to the table. They may brainstorm ideas for improving systems and shake things up in a way that veteran employees wouldn’t. This can inspire creativity and drive improvement.
Lower Salary and Benefit Expectations
The primary motivation for hiring less qualified employees shouldn’t be lower pay and benefit expectations, but this fact of life may be helpful for new or struggling companies. Additionally, it makes it less risky for a company to take a chance on an under-qualified candidate. If the candidate quits, the total expenditure on that candidate was less and it will cost less to replace him or her.
Loyalty, Enthusiasm, and Pride
When a company takes a chance on a candidate that is looking to learn more about the industry, that candidate will likely be grateful. Grateful candidates often become loyal and enthusiastic employees that take pride in their work. While the ability to learn the skills needed to prosper in the industry is a must, the eagerness and drive that green candidates bring to a company can be a boon to company culture.
Unique Skill Sets
Older candidates, employees that are coming in from a different field, and individuals that are coming back to an industry after an extended period of time may bring unique skill sets to a workforce. In some instances these skill sets may translate, but in other cases they can help to enrich the position and open up new opportunities. Employers may be able to rely on in-house workers for certain services that are outsourced, for example.
Every employer wants to build the best team and employ workers that are loyal. Some employers find that taking a chance on candidates that seem eager but don’t meet the traditional qualifications helps to achieve this goal.
If you decide to take an unconventional approach to hiring such as this, HR software can help you to track the effectiveness of the change by measuring factors like your time to hire and new employee turnover. Change can be a good thing; the right tools can help you make sure it’s the best decision for your team.
Employee files are some of the most important files in any organization. It’s critical to make sure that you have what you need to prove that employees are legally allowed to work and to ensure that you’re taking proper steps when it comes to things like taxes and insurance requirements. If you decide to terminate an employee, it may also become critical to show documentation supporting behavioral or performance issues.
On the other side of the equation, however, it’s also important to limit the amount of data stored in employee files. The more data that you store in employee files, the greater the amount of sensitive information that could potentially be compromised. It can be helpful to have a guideline as to what should be kept in personnel files – and what shouldn’t.
What to Store in Employee Files
The first items that should be placed into an employee’s file are copies of personal documents proving identity and work eligibility, as well as application forms, CVs, and resumes. Legal forms such as W-4 forms and benefit information come next. Additionally, any job-specific forms such as employment contracts, job descriptions, and training program certifications should be included.
As the employee’s career with the company continues, documentation or notation regarding performance and behavior should be added as necessary. If an employee is given a raise or promotion, the date and reasons should be noted. As such, if an employee is reprimanded, the date and reasons for this should also be noted.
If an employee is terminated, documents relating to the termination should be added to the personal file. Documents may include exit interviews, information about continuing benefits, and agreements about unemployment benefits.
What to Store in Other Files
Forms like I-9s, hazard communication training logs, medical records, workers’ compensation claims, investigation records, and garnishment records may need to be accessed by third parties. Tying these documents to employees’ personal files could allow sensitive information to be accessed. Storing them separately keeps this information safe while allowing the appropriate parties to access specific data.
What Not to Store
Information about employees’ personal lives shouldn’t be stored in their files. Some irrelevant information that has been found in employee files includes hobbies, political affiliation, religion, and number of children. With the addition of social media analysis to some recruitment strategies, employee’s social media site addresses are another thing that should be purged from employee files if they have been stored.
While notes about performance should be kept on file, employers should be careful to stick to the facts. Employees can request to see their files and files may be reviewed by legal counsel or a jury if a lawsuit is filed. Writing notes that could be considered discriminatory or inappropriate could be harmful to an employer in these situations.
Cleaning up employee files and making sure that only the most relevant and up to date information is stored can improve security and protect employers. Using a HRIS can make it easy to store employee information correctly and securely. If you would like help finding a HRIS that’s the right fit for your company, visit our vendor match page to get started.
Many companies have begun to switch over from offering sick days and vacation time to offering a set amount of paid time off, or PTO that can be used for any reason. There are pros and cons to this approach, however.
Advantages of PTO
PTO is easier to calculate than separated leave policies, simply because any time off is counted the same. This minimizes the amount of time spent making adjustments to ensure that paid time is deducted from the proper bank. Since it all counts the same, there’s less room for error and misunderstanding.
There’s no need to figure out whether an employee is lying about being sick, because it doesn’t count any differently if the employee is sick or not. When PTO is in place, many employers report that there tend to be fewer unscheduled absences than when separate sick leave is in place.
When a PTO system is in place, employees tend to view all of their PTO as vacation days. This means that they are more likely to use all of their PTO, which can be viewed as either an advantage or a disadvantage. Since employees seem to perform better with regular vacations, we’re going to call it an advantage.
Disadvantages of PTO
Employees become less likely to call in sick when PTO is in place because they’d rather “save” the PTO for vacation. This may minimize the number of unscheduled absences, but can put your other employees and your customers in jeopardy. To discourage employees from doing this, employers should send sick employees home and encourage employees to call in sick when necessary.
Employees may also take PTO all at once or early in the year, which leaves no backup plan in place if they become sick or need to take time off for any other reason. To avoid this, some employers establish a system where PTO is accrued throughout the year.
Why Paid Leave Is Good for Business
Paid leave isn’t required in many places, particularly if a company employs fewer than 50 employees. Paid leave can make a company more attractive to top talent, can encourage employees to stay home when sick, and can provide employees with a refreshing break from responsibilities, however. Paid leave can help employees to be more productive while at work by allowing them flexibility to take care of personal needs.
Strategies for Offering Paid Leave
Whether you decide to offer separate types of paid leave or PTO, it’s important to have a strategy in place for requesting, tracking, and dispersing the leave. Employees should know from the start how to request leave, how much time is required for approval, any policies surrounding sick days, and how the paid time is earned. These strategies must be consistently and effectively managed for paid leave to work.
Payroll software can help you to manage paid leave, reducing time spent on paperwork and ensuring a pleasant experience for all involved in using and dispersing the paid time. If you would like to review payroll software options that could help you establish or improve a paid leave program, visit our vendor match page and we can help you get started.