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According to a Global SHRM Survey, executives worldwide believe their two biggest challenges through 2020 will be attracting the best people to their organizations and retaining and rewarding the best people in their organizations through creative reward, engagement, development, and involvement practices.

Succession Planning happens to be a very important part of that Talent Management process for organizations of all sizes.

What is Succession Planning?

Succession Planning is essentially planning for and executing smooth transitions of leadership positions. This includes recruiting new talent, executive search, selection assessments, onboarding the new leader, and successfully transitioning the new leader in and the old leader out.

HR leaders play a key role in this process. HR finds the right people who will fit into the organization’s culture, ensure the right processes are in place to develop and train into leadership roles, ensure all employees are assessed, and drive the long-range view.

This Succession Planning approach and way of thinking enables HR to focus on what their organization’s top talent and leadership could become in the future, establish ways in which top talent can get exposure as well as have a strong career and individual development plan.

Why is Succession Planning Important?

Succession Planning is important because at the heart of the Talent Management process is identifying key roles and mapping out ways to ensure the organization has the right people with the right skills, capabilities, and experiences, in the right place at the right time.

The number of people in leadership roles who plan to retire in the next few years is higher than the number of people entering the workforce.

Organizations need to prepare for this phenomenon to happen and prepare the next generation of leaders to move up. The loss of organizational memory (tribal knowledge) is not to be underestimated.

The labor market is tight, and it’s an employee’s market. There is a shortage of top talent available therefore finding talent for leadership roles at your organization will be no easy feat.

Succession Planning is also important because executive search is expensive. Having the foresight to develop the top talent you currently have, actively recruiting top talent, and making sure they have the proper experiences to prepare them for the future is an important strategy. The complexity involved at the most senior leadership levels is significant. Preparing top talent to take on these roles and challenges is essential to organizational success.

ERC’s Director of Consulting, Lisa Codispoti, provided her insight on these keys to success:
  • Active engagement by the executive team and the board
  • Ensure the process is planned and structured
  • Ensure the process is considered an essential tool used on an ongoing basis as opposed to a once a year exercise
  • Design the process to be simple and straightforward rather than complex
ERC provides Strategic & Business Planning to help you develop & implement a plan.

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Up until January 5, 2018, when employers needed to determine whether the internships they would offer qualify as paid or unpaid, they would turn to the long held 6-part test that was officially enacted by the Department of Labor (DOL) as of 2010. Amidst a number of high profile legal cases brought by unpaid interns against their employers (some of which initially favored the interns in their verdicts), several courts recently found the 6-part test was too rigid.

In response, the DOL published a new set of rules entitled, “Fact Sheet #71: Internship Programs Under the Fair Labor Standards Act”. “Fact Sheet 71” sets a new standard, based off the court’s “primary beneficiary” test, and uses 7-factors to be considered when determining the paid or unpaid nature of an internship.

As is the case with any major DOL policy change, especially those involving pay, the reviews are mixed thus far. Supporters of the change applaud the flexibility that the new rules provide to employers. Detractors are concerned that the subjective nature of the rules will allow for widespread abuse and a resurgence of unpaid internships.

While reality probably lies somewhere in between these two extreme viewpoints, if you are in the process of putting together your company’s internship hiring plan for this summer, you don’t have time to wait to find out what the trend will be. So, before you zero out your internship budget, here’s what you need to know NOW about the new rules for properly classifying paid vs. unpaid internships.

1. The DOL can only create federal policy.

This means that if your company is located in a state or municipality with more stringent set of rules surrounding internships, then those are the rules to follow. For the record, Ohio does not have anything on the books, so federal policy applies here in Northeast Ohio.

2. Regardless of the “test” being applied, some unpaid internships have always been, and remain, legal.

Non-profits, including the government sector, have always been exempt from the internship pay rules. The new test does not change that fact and only applies to for-profit entities.

3. The application of the new test is significantly more flexible than the old one.

Without even getting into the 7-factors included in the new test, the language used by the DOL describing how the test should be applied is quite different from the prior test.

Previously, an employer must have met ALL 6-factors for the internship to qualify as unpaid.

The new DOL policy is situated much more as a set of guidelines to be taken into consideration, either all together, or not. Furthermore, the new test is somewhat open ended, indicating that there may be other considerations specific to any one case that fall outside of the 7-factors that could enter into the equation as appropriate.

4. The “primary beneficiary” test is the new legal standard.

The court cases leading up to the official policy change set up the concept of the “primary beneficiary” test, but “Fact Sheet 71” provides official policy structure for implementing this as the new starting point for employers trying to decide if they are required, legally, to pay their interns.

To do this, employers should be weighing which party, the employer or the intern, derives the most benefit from the internship arrangement.

If it’s the employer (economically), then under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), this qualifies as an “employment relationship” and the intern must be compensated in full accordance with the FLSA. If the calculation favors the intern (educationally) they may not be entitled to compensation for their time and instead would be classified as a “trainee”.

5. Meeting a legal standard is just the beginning.

If your organization determines (with proper guidance from your legal counsel of course) that your internship program provides a greater benefit to the interns participating than to your organization, you are not legally obligated to offer payment in conjunction with your internship program. But, just as it is critical to consult your lawyer, it is also important to reflect on what your internship program is trying to achieve and how those goals fit into the cultural fabric of your organization on the whole.

ERC’s own research consistently demonstrates that employers consider “developing a talent pipeline” the top priority for their internship programs.

If this is the case at your organization, then your recruitment and hiring process needs to get the best and brightest in the door. While some proponents of the new standard predict that the financial savings of not having to pay interns will allow companies to provide more training & development opportunities within their internship programs and further enhancing the educational benefits provided to these interns.

But after nearly a decade of movement towards paid internships as the new norm, it seems unlikely that your company’s future “top talent” is even going to apply (much less have a chance to groom them through a robust training & development program) if your job posting indicates that the internship is unpaid.

Take the Intern & Recent Graduate Pay Rates & Practices Survey

Still wondering what impact the new rules might have on employers with interns and see trends in how other organizations are paying their interns (or not)? Take the Intern & Recent Grad Pay Rates & Practices Survey and we’ll send you the final report!

Take the Survey

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As technology evolves, it seems that virtually every aspect of business is evolving with it, including employee training. While there is still much to be said about the importance of instructor-led training, the way the instructors are leading these trainings is becoming much more advanced. 

Here are some of the top training trends you will see in 2018:

Interactive Video Learning

Interactive Video “is a type of digital video that supports user interaction.” Interactive video learning uses the concepts of interactive video to engage the learner throughout the content. These interactive videos are just like regular videos but add the element of interaction by requiring the user to complete a task that is a part of the video.

These tasks, from a learning perspective, can be used to answer questions, go through activities, and more, throughout the lesson. What makes this type of learning attractive to many areas of development is the ability to add gamification or real-life scenarios to the training. This gives the learner the ability to actively put into practice what they are learning, while they are learning it.

Increased Focus on Metrics

As employee training and development becomes more and more important to an organization’s success and ability to attract and retain top talent, developing strategies and measuring results is becoming increasingly important. Organizations will begin putting more thought behind their training philosophies in 2018.

Many organizations already have training effectiveness measurement practices in place. Many organizations also don’t know what to do with those measurements.

Training should be a strategic initiative within the organization and therefore be influenced by business needs and skills gaps. In order to figure out what type of training the organization needs, they can begin by conducting a training needs assessment. From this training needs assessment, the organization can then set training-related goals and develop evaluation methods based around those goals.

A few measuring tactics include scorecards, skills assessments, competency models, pulse surveys, and even entire models of evaluation such as the Kirkpatrick Model of Evaluation.

Microlearning

Microlearning was also included on our list of training trends in 2017 and is as relevant as ever. The concept of microlearning revolves around efficiency.

Microlearning takes a robust, full-day, or lengthier learning course and breaks it into smaller bursts of information. The reason microlearning is becoming more popular is due to the increased flexibility it gives to the learners.

Employees want to learn, it’s just hard for them to find a full-day or big chunk of time to dedicate out of the office. If 54% of Americans left over 662 million unused vacation days on the table in 2016, pulling away from the office to dedicate to communication training, is not a viable option.

Virtual Instructor-Led Training (VILT)

Virtual Instructor-Led Training (VILT) “refers to training that is delivered in a virtual or simulated environment, or when instructor and learner are in separate locations.” Live webinars are a perfect example of a VILT.

These types of virtual environments allow learners to get all of the benefits of typical classroom-based, instructor-led training without having either party endure travel and travel costs. There is also an increase in convenience and ease of scheduling, and physical space is no longer a point of discussion.

Users can participate in VILT while sitting at their desk eating lunch. They can participate and interact with 80 of their co-workers from all around the country, and even the world, in the same exact training session as one another.

Gamification

Gamification was also featured on our list of training trends in 2017, and just like microlearning, is as relevant as ever. With the increased capabilities in artificial intelligence and virtual reality technology, gamification will be going through advancements.

On the applicable, and fiscally-attainable for many organizations, side of gamification, trainings such as Zodiak are bringing an interactive experience with motivations to course material. Gamification takes the traditional course material and positions the lessons and key takeaways in a way that motivates employees with competition and rewards.

On the cutting-edge side of gamification, organizations can utilize virtual reality to train employees. This type of technology puts employees in “real-life” situations, virtually, and enables them to practice by going through these situations as they would in reality. One interesting example of virtual reality gamification training is Walmart. Walmart has 187 employee training centers that use virtual reality gamification to train and prepare for “situations like Black Friday or emergencies where you can’t set up a simulation in a store, learning customer service, and teaching operational stuff like how produce should be stacked and arranged.”

ERC Training provides customized learning and development solutions nationwide.

View all Training Courses

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The concept of Inbound Recruiting is driven by the fact that 73% of candidates begin their job search with a Google search. Organizations looking to attract and retain top talent are reacting to this digital landscape transformation in the same way as Marketers. Human resources and recruiting functions have increasingly become the “marketers” of their organization as a workplace, and Inbound Recruiting is a reflection of that.

Inbound Recruiting is a way to differentiate yourself from other organizations and add value to the digital candidate experience before they even begin their job search. It’s a way to position yourself as such a great place to work that top talent comes to you.

Here are the three keys to inbound recruiting:

1. Employer Branding

Employer branding is your reputation, in a nutshell. Having a strong employer brand can add great value to your recruiting practices. Whether you are currently building your employer brand or working on maintaining your employer brand, it’s important to be clear on what you stand for as an organization.

When you have a positive employer brand in the circles you are trying to recruit from, it becomes an easy decision for the candidate to come to you.

However, when you lack an employer brand or have a negative employer reputation in the circles you are trying to recruit from, recruiting top talent can take much more effort, time, and money.

2. Culture Fit

Position your culture as a differentiator and a selling-point in your recruiting process. A “great culture” can be defined differently depending on whom you are talking to.

Therefore it is important to be transparent with potential candidates about what they can expect from your organization.

The ideal candidate may check off all the boxes, but if they aren’t the right fit for your organization, you can expect to have turnover. By sharing and pushing your culture out into the digital space, you are working on attracting more of the “right” candidates.

3. Share Your Story

The most valuable assets to your organization's employer branding, culture, and inbound recruiting process are employees. Employees truly make up an organizations story. Encourage your employees to share all of the “little things” that make your workplace a great place to be. You have the opportunity to share your story, your culture, and your employer brand in virtually everything that you do; take advantage of it.

Use your website as a place to display your culture. Create a video that can be shared on social media. Feature employee testimonials on your careers page.

If you are a great place to work, use the digital world you have at your fingertips to scream it from the rooftop. You never know if your next top performing hire is watching.

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It’s no surprise to anyone in Human Resources that high engagement leads to increased retention, productivity, and business success. Assessing the level of engagement or commitment your employees have to your organization through Employee Engagement Surveys is only half the battle. The other, more crucial, half of the battle is how you communicate Employee Engagement Surveys and the results to your employees.

The Purpose

Get off on the right foot by communicating the purpose of why the organization is going to be conducting Employee Engagement Surveys, how the data is going to be used, and what they should expect before the survey is distributed. Be sure to emphasize to employees that their honest and open feedback is expected and encouraged. Calm the nerves of weary employees by reassuring them that processes are in place to ensure their identity remains anonymous.

Tip: Have leaders and managers educate employees on what employee engagement is and what it measures such as the job, the people, the opportunity, before administering the survey.

The Process

Before administering the survey, send an email out noting the details involved such as, the expected amount of time it should take to complete the survey, what type of format to expect, what type of questions they’ll be asked, and sample questions.

Once all of the employee feedback is collected, reach out again to employees. Thank them for participating, share a few, very high-level outcomes, and what is next to come.

Tip: Continuously thank employees for their honest and open feedback, and remind them that their feedback, whether good or bad, helps influence the future company culture.

The Plan

Meet with your senior leadership to discuss the results and analysis to determine the goals and action plan necessary to either increase or maintain the engagement levels of your employees. Developing an action plan before communicating results to employees can be the best way to ensure that the outcome is focused on the feedback, not the people.

Be collaborative, clear, open, and objective when communicating the results and action plan to employees. Reiterate that the importance of this feedback is how it will influence positive change in the business and the culture. Give an overall summary of the results then prepare leaders and managers to communicate department specific results (if applicable) with their respective employees.

The worst possible thing you can do during Employee Engagement Survey results communication is resisting the feedback. This is not an opportunity to guilt-trip employees or play the blame game. It is an opportunity to obtain objective feedback and listen.

Tip: As the year goes on, share updates with staff on how the employee engagement action plan is progressing.

All in all, utilizing Employee Engagement Surveys can greatly help organizations who want to improve their retention rates, their productivity, and their company culture. The most successful employee engagement initiatives are supported by leadership, embraced by the organization, and acted upon.

Interested in learning more about engagement surveys?

Submit your contact information and receive instant access to a brochure that overviews what is included in ERC's engagement surveys and our process for conducting and assessing.

View the Engagement Brochure

 

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When an employee calls in sick we would all like to be able to say, “Yes, of course, please stay home, rest up and get-well-soon. We’ve got your job duties covered, yes—you’ll get paid, and see you back at work in a day or two.” But if it was always that easy, it wouldn’t make for much of an article now would it?

With the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reporting a “moderately severe” flu season already in full swing, and another solid three months of the official flu season still ahead of us, preventing the spread of flu (or any illness for that matter) in your workplace is definitely challenging, but worthwhile pursuit.

Access to Paid-Sick-Leave

In an ideal world, sick employees would always be able to take the day off to get better, not share their germs with their coworkers, and quickly get back to being fully productive members of your workforce. But the reality of today’s workplace is much different.

Despite a growing number of state and municipal level laws that mandate some minimum level of paid sick leave, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), as of March 2017, only about two-thirds of private sector employees have access to paid sick leave.

And yes, that number does account for those that have consolidated “Paid-Time-Off” (PTO) policies from which to deduct their sick days. The access to paid sick days drops below the 50% mark for workers in the service industry as well as the “construction, farming, etc.” industries—and, lower still, to barely over one-third, for part-time employees.

Under Pressure

Of course the statistics above only account for what sick leave options are officially on the books. Having the option to take a paid sick day does not take into account what subtle (or not so subtle) cultural or professional pressures are put on employees to “power through” their symptoms and show up regardless of their illness.

Whether that’s in the interest of being viewed as a “good, hard working” employee, or to avoid negative consequences of being looked down or passed over professionally for actually using those sick days to get better, study after study after study has shown that these pressures continue to exist (and employees continue to get their coworkers sick as a result) in many workplaces.

Another very real pressure that many non-exempt employees feel is the financial pressure to work their hours no matter what. If they don’t have sick time to take (no matter what the reason) the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) says they just don’t get paid. With many non-exempt workers on the lower end of the earnings scale to start with, losing out on even a few hours of pay can be a difficult pill to swallow.

Prevention

Would you rather have one sick employee or the whole department? One day of work missed for mild symptoms or a week of absences because the employee didn’t take care of themselves and now the illness has escalated? For starters, many employers now provide flu-shots as part of their employee wellness programs.

While this preventative measure is the #1 recommended way to avoid the flu by the CDC, it is not fool-proof, and is only one of many possible illnesses that can be passed along at the office.

To keep the germs at bay, employers can provide employees with the proper tools to keep their individual workspaces clean, such as disinfectant wipes for hard surfaces (particularly if employees are “hot-desking” or “hoteling” and as a result sharing desks, chairs, computers, etc.), make sure bathrooms are always stocked with plenty of soap, and keep common areas on a regular cleaning rotation.

Pair these physical tools with educational materials on wellness and tips for preventing the spread of illness in the workplace for maximum effectiveness.

Absenteeism & Policy Abuse

According to ERC’s 2016 Absence Management Survey, employers report an average of 4.5 days’ worth of unscheduled absences per employee per year. Unscheduled absences are far and away the most-costly with employers scrambling to cover shifts & job duties at the last minute.

Unsurprisingly, the primary cause of these absences is illness (82%).

So while employers may not want sick employees to come in for all of the health reasons discussed above, the reality is that an empty seat costs the organization real money.

To help prevent abuse of sick time, 16% of respondents require a doctor’s note for your typical sick-day (in cases of extended illness, notes are required more frequently).

Other disciplinary actions are sometimes used (e.g., points-systems and “no-fault” attendance policies), particularly within industries where a missing employee for the day has more dire consequences for the company’s overall productivity and ability to conduct core functions. On the flip-side, some companies try to incentivize appropriate use of sick-time by allowing those designated days to convert to vacation days at the end of the year or be cashed out after a given time period.

However, critics of this “positive reinforcement” approach argue that this still puts pressure on employees to come to work sick in order to hold-out for the incentives.

Normalizing Wellness

Despite all of this talk about abuse of sick-time and the high costs of unscheduled absenteeism, for the vast majority of employees who do follow the rules, more than likely your organization should be erroring on the side of encouraging (not punitively discouraging) employees to stay home when they are sick.

Ways to do this include: Provide flexible work options (when applicable), e., work from home/telecommute.

Obviously this is not an option for all industries or positions, nor should every sick-day turn into a work from home day.

If the employee is feeling up to getting some work done, but has a cold that they don’t want to share with the rest of the office, working remotely can be a great compromise.

With that in mind, employers should also be careful of simply setting up a new avenue through which employees will feel “pressured” to work through their illness. Remember, the end goal really is to get the employee well again.

Provide a generous paid sick-leave offering.

As stated above, employees shouldn’t have to worry about if they are really “sick enough” to warrant taking a sick day or trying to decide if they “might get sicker” some other time during the year. Doing so will simply increase the likelihood that they will show up and get other employees sick too.

If your workforce includes a large number of parents with young children or even slightly older workers who may be caring for an aging parent, keep in mind that they may struggle to take their own sick days, if they’ve already used them all up taking time off to be a caregiver.

And of course, as is the case whenever extended medical leave (either for themselves or for a family member) might be in the cards, make sure your managers know when to come to HR to inquire about FMLA.

Have HR, managers/supervisors, etc. communicate the company policy and philosophy on sick time with employees.

Whether your company is committed to letting employees take as much time as they need to get better or you just want to be sure employees know how to use their sick time appropriately to avoid abuse, this message is most compelling to employees coming from their direct supervisors. The supervisor is more than likely who they will need to be in touch with when they have to call off sick, so developing strong, positive, trusting supervisor-employee relationships is key.

By having frank conversations around sick-time expectations, both parties will have the confidence needed to stay home when they really need to get better as well as to trust that the direct report is using good judgement in making that decision.

You will need full buy-in to make wellness a priority—that means from everyone.

As with any new policy or practice that you want ingrained into your organizational culture, management needs to model the behavior that you want to see repeated.

This might be difficult, particularly if your management team and C-suite is full of super motivated go-getter, not to mention there is probably less redundancy in job duties the further up the line you go.

But as it turns out, the CEO’s cough is just as contagious as her secretary’s cough, so try to stay home no matter where you fall in the organizational chart.

View ERC's Absence Management Practices Survey Results

This report summarizes the results of ERC’s survey of organizations in Northeast Ohio on practices related to attendance and unscheduled absence.

View the Results

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Performance management is a necessary and valuable practice for both administrative and developmental purposes in organizations. However, many employees involved in traditional performance management, whether as raters or ratees, have negative reactions to it.

HR professionals and practitioners generally describe traditional performance management as being cumbersome, time-consuming, inaccurate, too formal, or just plain difficult.

These are extremely fair points to make about traditional performance management, and there is a plethora of evidence coming from many different perspectives to support the legitimacy of these claims.

What is the performance management problem?

Since WWI, research and practice have made great strides in identifying many different variables that go into effective performance management. Specifically, much research has been on rating scales, cognitive processes, and social context.

Although we know significantly more about these areas and others concerning performance management, there is still a disconnect between what has been discovered as the best practices in performance management and what HR professionals and practitioners are actually doing.

Just last year, some of the most prominent researchers1 in performance management took a step towards bridging this gap by listening to what HR professionals and practitioners were saying about performance management and matching it with empirical research that informed the specific issues brought up. The following are some of key takeaways and recommendations from the discussion.

One of the clearest and actionable recommendations is doing away with the formal, annual or semi-annual performance management system.

Trying to have managers remember and rate the performance of their subordinates over 6 to 12 months is nearly impossible to do accurately, and this formality will most likely cause frustration and negative reactions from everyone involved.

So what do you do instead of performance reviews?

Replace it with informal, frequent conversations (or “check-ins”) with employees that include giving feedback on their performance. This will take the pressure off of having only one or two meeting per year and will allow for the performance management system to be effective in dynamic work environments. By doing performance management this way, employees will not only be aware of how they are performing on a more regular basis, but it will also help them to continuously improve their performance by receiving more timely, useful, and relevant feedback.

The accuracy of performance ratings is another contentious subject amongst HR professionals and practitioners and rightfully so.

Raters are not always motivated to be accurate with their ratings and may rate more leniently or severely for various reasons. Thus, steps need to be taken to increase the accuracy and utility of these performance ratings. Outside of accuracy, raters have been found to be motivated by organizational norms, impression management, and biases.

So what can you do about this?

Motivate employees to rate more accurately by creating a culture that values the performance management system and holds raters accountable to their ratings. As for biases, interventions can be used to reduce implicit biases related to race or sex to make ratings more accurate (i.e., structured free recall).

Overall, performance management still has legitimate issues. In fact, going as far as saying it is broken is not a stretch.

However, doing away with performance management or ratings entirely is not a viable option due to their administrative and developmental purposes. Thus, our best option is to take steps towards improving it.

Research and practice have both informed on how to develop an effective performance management system, and it is an achievable feat. There needs to continue to be communication between practitioners and researchers to ensure what needs to be researched is being researched and what needs to be put in practice is being put in practice. If this line of communication continues to develop and is utilized, the outlook for the continued improvement of performance management will be bright.

Citation: Levy, P. E., Tseng, S. T., Rosen, C. C., & Lueke, S. B. (2017). Performance Management: A Marriage between Practice and Science–Just Say “I do.” In Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management (pp. 155-213). Emerald Publishing Limited.1

ERC delivers customized performance management training nationwide.

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Vacation planners can make an employer’s vacation request and approval process a lot easier and more efficient. We've put together a free Vacation Planner for 2018 that you can download below.

Download (PDF) Download (Word)

Tracking employee attendance is important to ensure that you have a record of employee absence, tardiness, vacation time and more. Download the free Attendance Record below to help you track attendance for your employees.

Download (PDF) Download (Word)

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Monday, January 1
  • Ohio Minimum Wage is $8.30 per hour
  • Federal Contractors minimum wage is $10.32 per hour. Tipped employees working on or in connection with covered federal contracts minimum wage is $7.25 per hour.
  • FSA limits at $2,650
  • HSA limits for self-only contribution is $3,450 and Family contribution is $6,900
  • 401K contribution limit $18,500

Wednesday, January 31
  • Deadline for employers to furnish Form W-2 to employers and Form 1099 to contractors, vendors, etc. for work performed in 2017
  • Deadline to file Forms W-2, W-3, 8027, 1099, and 1096 to the appropriate agencies (electronic and paper)
  • Deadline to furnish employees with Form 1095-C
Tuesday, February 28
  • Deadline to file forms 1094-C and 1095-C by paper
Saturday, March 31
  • Deadline to submit EEO-1 survey data selected from a payroll period from Q4 of calendar year 2017
Monday, April 2
  • Deadline to file forms 1094-C and 1095-C electronically
Sunday, July 1
  • Deadline for establishments with 250 + employees in industries covered by the OSHA recordkeeping regulation (and establishments with 20-249 employees in certain high-risk industries) to submit information from all 2017 forms: 300A, 300, and 301.

Please note that all due dates and compliance requirements were compiled for the State of Ohio. By providing you with research information that may be contained in this article, ERC is not providing a qualified legal opinion. As such, research information that ERC provides to its readers should not be relied upon or considered a substitute for legal advice. The information that we provide is for general employer use and not necessarily for individual application.

View the 2018 HR Compliance Timeline

Want to make sure that you don't forget any of these important compliance deadlines throughout the year? Print the HR compliance timeline and hang it at your desk.

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Often HR processes become stagnant and untouched due to the “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it” mindset. Sometimes that works out perfectly fine, and well, sometimes it doesn’t. Dust off the old untouched processes and implement something new and refreshing. Your new hires and current employees will appreciate it.

1. Onboarding

If you are still onboarding employees the same way you did 10, even 5, years ago, it’s time to take on that process in 2018. Go beyond the 3-ring binder full of forms and show your new employees that there is more to their first day besides paperwork and a company overview.

Sure, the paperwork can’t completely go away for any organization but the way you go about introducing said paperwork can. Try going paperless with a digital onboarding experience.

You can also take your onboarding to the next level by creating a more interactive experience for your new employees. You can even take the approach of self-onboarding where everything is digitized, and employees can learn about your organization and get acclimated, saving HR’s time and resources.

You can also incorporate (and show off) your company’s culture during the onboarding process. Make it a game in which new hires have to complete the game board and get a new company t-shirt. Create a scavenger hunt for them to learn their way around the office. Schedule an icebreaker game for team building and introductions.

Regardless of how you choose to update your onboarding process, be sure that you are doing what’s best for your organization and staying true to your company culture.

2. Recruiting & Hiring

Attracting and retaining top talent in today’s world can be challenging. There’s a talent shortage that sometimes feels like a talent war, and it’s crucial for your business to find the right people. Whether you have in-house recruiters or outsource to a recruiting firm, you should take the time to reevaluate your processes and revamp for better hiring in 2018.

For instance, if you aren’t already using a suite of assessments to ensure that you are hiring quality talent, you should greatly consider doing so. By using selection assessments in your recruiting and hiring process, you are taking a calculated approach to your hiring which in turn may result in higher retention rates and better talent.

Selection assessments include validated testing to measure work and leadership styles, workplace needs, achievement drive, reasoning, interpersonal and communication style, team focus, and more. By using these types of assessments, you can more accurately select the right fit for the positions are you filling.

3. Performance Reviews

Debating whether or not your organization should administer yearly performance reviews is not what we are here for. It’s up to you to determine what is best for your employees and your organization. However, it is important to note that if the only feedback opportunity your employees have is once a year, you may want to consider adding a program that allows for more continuous feedback.

Consider implementing a feedback software that enables employees to seek and give feedback more consistently. With more regular feedback processes, you and your managers can impact employee engagement and performance.

Your employees don’t want to wait another 365 days to find out whether they’re doing a good job or not.

ERC delivers customized performance management training nationwide.

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