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Many Managers Are Uncomfortable Communicating with Their Employees – Here’s How You Can Help Them

Here’s a startling statistic: Nearly 70% of managers are uncomfortable communicating with their employees. That number comes from a Harris Poll conducted on behalf of Interact, and it indicates that managers may at times shy away from doing basic management duties. If uncomfortable managers avoid giving feedback, offering praise, showing vulnerability, providing direction, or communicating in general, they’re not helping the bottom line. Poor employee performances will go unaddressed. Star performers won’t feel recognized. Employees may distrust their managers and not admit mistakes. Efficiency and productivity won’t be a good as they could be, and that’s money down the drain.

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How to Increase Diversity in Your Recruiting and Hiring Process

The recruiting and hiring process is supposed to select the best candidates while deterring unqualified job seekers from applying or advancing. All too often, however, the process creates obstacles or disadvantages for qualified candidates due to their membership in a protected class or minority group. Even a well-meaning process be discriminatory. Below are some actions you can take to eliminate discriminatory practices and increase diversity. Reduce barriers. Consider your recruiting and hiring process from a candidate's perspective, specifically from an under-represented class member's perspective. Would a transgender person have a fair chance in the hiring process? What about someone

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Do you know what the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) means for your business?

Congress enacted the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) in 1935 to protect the rights of employees and employers, to encourage collective bargaining, and to limit certain labor and management practices that can harm the general welfare of workers, businesses, and the U.S. economy. Although a good portion of the NLRA deals with unionization, Section 7 provides protections for all non-supervisory employees, even those not involved with a union. Some supervisors may even be protected by the Act, if they do not have sufficient authority and discretion. Specifically, Section 7 defines and protects concerted activity by employees. Generally, protected concerted activity takes place when employ

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Do I Have to Keep My OSHA 300 Logs Up-to-date During the Retention Period?

Employers must retain all OSHA Forms for Recording Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses (300, 301, and 300A) for a period of five years following the end of the calendar year the records pertain to. OSHA also requires that employers update their stored 300 Logs during this five-year period if changes occur. Changes include newly discovered recordable injuries or illnesses and any changes that have occurred in the classification of previously recorded injuries and illnesses. If the description or outcome of a case changes, you should remove or strikethrough the original entry and enter the new information. There is no requirement to update the 301 or 300A, though we recommend that all recor

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How to Evaluate Your Culture (part 3 of 4)

This article is the third part of our series on workplace culture. In the first installment, we explained that every organization has a culture, and every culture has three components—the organization’s rules, traditions, and people. In the second article, we showed you how to identify the culture that you have so you’re able to assess whether it’s the culture that you want. Both articles are linked below. We turn now to the question of evaluating your culture. The specifics of a good culture vary from company to company, but there are a few general qualities of a good culture that you should aim for whatever your industry and mission. A good culture should be: Well-defined a

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HR Tip of the Month

The importance of documenting performance problems as they occur cannot be overstated. Although this requires meeting with the employee and discussing the issue, which will almost certainly be uncomfortable, it’s your best defense to a wrongful termination claim should the employee feel litigious after termination. Too many employers rely on the concept of employment at-will to protect them, when the reach of this concept is actually quite limited. The problem is that if an employer has little to no documentation and relies on at-will employment—and the theory that legally no reason is required—the terminated employee, their attorney, and possibly a jury of their peers will fill the

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Worried About Retention? The Best Way to Keep Employees Is to Be Useful to Them

According to Gallup, 51% of employees are looking for a new job, and 68% of employees believe they are overqualified for the job they have. Even engaged employees are job hunting at an alarming rate—37%. Employees who change jobs cite career growth opportunities, pay and benefits, management, company culture, and job fit as reasons for doing so. Employees surveyed said they want to do what they do best while maintaining a good work-life balance. They desire a secure and stable job that pays well and contributes to their personal wellbeing. They’re likely to leave their current employer if they can get a more flexible work schedule or a significant pay increase elsewhere. To retain

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Four Keys to Improving Your Culture

In the previous articles of the series on workplace culture, we showed you how to identify and evaluate your culture by examining the rules that govern behavior, the traditions that facilitate interactions, and people you employ. We turn now to the final topic in this series: how to improve your culture. There’s no easy formula to fixing all cultural problems because each workplace is unique. The rules and traditions that lead one team to success might bring a different team to ruin. Some teams will thrive in a highly centralized environment, while others will reach new heights through delegated decision-making. Much depends on individual situations and circumstances. Nevertheless, succ

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Employee Files: When More is Better

As much as we may want to simplify our HR processes, not all employee information is best kept in the same place. For instance, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recommends storing Form I-9s in a different file than other personnel records, so they can easily be audited (by you or the government). We also suggest keeping medical records and related accommodation and leave requests in a separate location so you can more easily evaluate what kind of accommodations and leaves you’ve provided in the past. A separate file for these documents should also reduce the number of individuals who have access to sensitive medical information. And, it may go without sayin

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The Fundamentals of Performance Management

There’s a lot of debate in the HR world about what performance management process employers should use. The annual performance review, once the standard, has fallen out of favor with some employers. They’ve opted instead for more frequent feedback about performance, sometimes involving the employee’s peers in addition to their supervisor. Others, to be sure, still prefer the traditional annual performance review. The right process to pick depends in large part on what you want to accomplish with performance management and what you’re willing to invest in it. Here are some principles to keep in mind when deciding on your policy and performing assessments: Performance reviews a

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