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How to Get Results From Your Team Building Activities

At some point in your career, you’ve probably participated in team-building exercises that made you wonder, “What’s the point?” Maybe they were useless group activities that everyone mocked under their breath. Or maybe they were inconsequential events with colleagues that, while fun, didn’t change the way anyone interacted in the workplace. Team-building activities don’t have to be this way. They can improve a team’s productivity and efficiency. The key is to approach team building strategically. To do that, you have to know what it means to build a team and how to measure a team’s performance. What It Means to Build a Team It would be nice if building an efficient a

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Reducing Exempt Employee Salaries

We’re often asked whether the pay of exempt employees can be reduced if they work less than 40 hours in a week. And the answer is almost always no. The very idea of the overtime exemption, at least in the case of White Collar employees, is that you are paying them to complete important tasks that require use of their own discretion and are less (or not at all) time-clock-sensitive. You pay them more than the bare minimum and can expect more than the bare minimum in terms of time commitment. But if they can complete their tasks in less than 40 hours – because they have used their discretion well – that’s okay too. However, there are situations where a pay deduction is allowable:

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HR Tip of the Month

Multitasking is a myth! Human brains simply cannot pay attention to two things at once. Instead, our focus operates like a flashlight, which can illuminate a thing over here or a thing over there, but not both at the same time. When we ask someone to multitask, they are just switching their focus back and forth between the two (or more) tasks. And the act of constantly switching focus makes a person worse at all of the tasks they are attempting to tackle. Task-switching can double the amount of time a task takes and usually more than double the number of mistakes that will be made. And over time, this constant task-switching hinders our ability to focus on a single task even when the other s

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Five Tips for Effective Meetings

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, the more they cost. One employee’s lost hour is bad enough. When meetings are a waste, the costs are multiplied. Too many bad meetings and you risk creating a culture marked by disorganization an

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Partner With An HR Outsourcing Team

The Risk (And Cost) Of Failing To Conduct Background Checks Running your organization effectively sometimes means prioritizing some functions over others in order to simply keep things moving. This can prove particularly true when hiring new employees. A hiring gap in your organization can often mean your already overstretched staff having to absorb even more responsibilities. In an effort to fill the void fast, you may feel tempted to hire a seemingly qualified candidate as quickly as possible, without performing any background checks to expedite the time between offer letter and start date. Some entrepreneurs don't feel pressured to hasten their hires, but simply don't want to incur th

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OSHA Reporting Deadline Delayed

On July 24th, OSHA announced that it is launching a new website for electronic injury and accident reporting. Electronic injury and accident reporting was slated to go into effect for certain large employers on July 1, 2017, but was put on hold. OSHA has published a notice of proposed rule making to extend the deadline to December 1, 2017. Employers subject to OSHA recordkeeping should continue to maintain hard copies of OSHA Form 300, Form 300A, and Form 301, as they have in the past. Content provided by TPC HR Support Center.

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Want Your Organization to Stand Above the Crowd? Create an Engaging Workplace!

Most employees are not engaged at work—70% according to Gallup. This is no new trend. The combined number of unengaged and actively disengaged employees remains high from year to year. Poor engagement results in less productivity, less creativity, higher absenteeism, and higher turnover. Employee engagement is basically a measure of your employees’ commitment to their work and the success of your organization. Think of it as their work ethic within your company. It includes their emotional investment in the work they do for you, but it’s not simply an emotional state. You might have employees who are grumpy and frustrated, yet strive to do their best work and make a difference. F

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Unpaid Internships

The Department of Labor has six specific and hard-to-meet criteria for when an employee can be classified as an unpaid intern. If the position doesn’t satisfy all six, the worker must be classified as a paid intern (or simply an employee). Before advertising for or hiring an unpaid intern, ensure the following: The internship is similar to training which would be given in an educational environment; The internship experience is for the benefit of the intern; The intern does not displace regular employees, but works under close supervision of existing staff; The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern (on occasion it

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HR Tip of the Month

Most employers are familiar with the core list of federally protected classes: race, color, religion, sex, and national origin. These come from Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and have become part of our collective employment consciousness. Other federally protected classes include military or veteran status, pregnancy, and citizenship and immigration status. What employers may not realize is that most states have added their own groups to this list. For instance, many states protect marital status, and a growing number protect credit information and arrest records. Lawful off-duty conduct, political activity, and wage garnishments are also protected in a number of states. Mana

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Working Interviews and Alternatives

Few things are more frustrating for employers than finding out that a new hire oversold their knowledge, skills, and abilities. The employee looked great on paper and appeared confident and competent in the interview, but when it came to doing the basic duties of the job, they just didn’t have what it took. To lessen the likelihood of this unfortunate situation, some employers want to see the candidate in action before formally hiring them. They’ll invite the candidate to spend a day or so at the workplace, shadowing a seasoned employee or doing some of the tasks of the job. This is known as a working interview. It’s legal to conduct working interviews, but there are serious drawbac

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