Expansion of Sexual Harassment Training Obligations

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Governor Brown Signs SB 1343 Expanding Sexual Harassment Training Obligations

On September 30, 2018, California Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 1343, which lowers the number of employees a company must have to trigger mandatory sexual harassment training.

SB 1343 takes effect on January 1, 2020.  Any California employer with 5 or more employees will be required to provide mandatory sexual harassment training to all employees both supervisory and non-supervisory employees, as well as temporary and seasonal workers..

Currently, any California employer with 50 or more employees is required to provide at least 2 hours of sexual harassment training to all supervisory employees within 6 months of assuming the supervisory position.  After the initial training, employees are required to have updated sexual harassment training once every 2 years.

Please contact HR Advisors for more information about our Sexual Harassment Training Program.

Tips for Open Enrollement

6 tips to share with your employees during open enrollment.

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1. Take an active role.

Many employers are working on making enrollment quick and easy. One of the ways your company can do this is by clearly communicating what is changing from previous years. You should also encourage your employees to take advantage of the resources you provide.

2. Assess your and your dependents’ health care needs.

Encourage employees to start by reviewing how much they have spent out-of-pocket in the past year, the costs of their regular prescriptions, and the number of doctor visits they have had. If they are participating in a flexible spending account, encourage them to re-evaluate their contribution levels based on their actual and anticipated expenses for 2019. It’s also important to think about any life changes that may impact their decisions, such as an addition to the family or the development of a new medical condition that may impact health care expenses.

3. Evaluate your plan’s provider network.

There have been many changes taking place in the provider community, including doctor’s groups joining together and hospitals and health systems re-contracting with insurers. As a result, health plan options may include vastly different combinations of doctors and hospitals than in the past.

4. Evaluate whether a consumer-driven health plan is right for you.

CDHPs often have lower premiums, which make them an attractive option for individuals who want to reduce the costs taken out of their paychecks each pay period. While employees may have a higher deductible to meet, many employers combine these plans with health reimbursement accounts or health savings accounts, which employees can use to help pay for eligible out-of-pocket health care costs. It’s important for employees to understand how the employer’s contributions work so they can maximize this subsidy.

5. Determine the best source of coverage for your dependents.

If an employee’s spouse, partner or adult children have access to health coverage elsewhere, including through their employer, it may be more cost effective for them to enroll in this coverage instead of being covered by you. Encourage employees to carefully review and compare these plans to ensure they are choosing the coverage they need at the most favorable cost.

6. Take advantage of health and wellness programs.

Many employers offer a wide range of health and wellness programs, such as health assessments, weight loss programs and health coaching to help employees get and stay healthy. Taking part in these programs can help employees understand their current health status, and they might even be able to take advantage of a financial incentive for doing so.

Halloween & The Workplace

 
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Beware, Halloween is right around the corner!

You just picked out your costume, so now what? It’s important to remember that if you plan to wear that costume to work or decorate your office space, you must always consider your audience. To help prevent any scary situations, here are five things to think about:

1. Holiday Decorating Policy

Always check to make sure your company doesn’t have a policy or restrictions on certain decorations. For safety reasons, it is common for companies to prohibit items such as open flame candles, electrical lights and fog machines. Better to be safe than sorry!

2. Simplicity is Key

Wearing elaborate or heavy costumes can present some complications or snags in being able to perform your daily tasks. After 8 hours of trying to maneuver through your work day, it might not be worth the trouble. Instead, dig out those cat ears, witch hats and pumpkin t-shirts and call it a festive and successful workday!

3. Holidays Don’t Cancel Out the Dress Code

Everyone should continue to follow the standard for dress in their workplace even on Halloween. In recent years, it seems that almost any costume can be modified to become “sexy.”, however, just because it is a holiday, it doesn’t mean that the company’s dress code policy doesn’t apply.

4. Stay Clear of Controversy

One person’s idea of a funny costume may not be the same as another’s. Avoid costumes that could be insensitive to someone culture, religion, political stance, or related to a recent hot-button news story.

5. Find Other Ways to Celebrate

Instead of dressing up, place some sweet treats on your desk. Another option is to plan a department lunch and decorate pumpkins that can be displayed in your workspace. While many companies encourage healthy eating habits, there’s nothing wrong with indulging a little during the holidays!

If your company is restricting what you can do to celebrate this year, don’t take it personally. The people who make these decisions want to keep everyone’s best interests in mind.

Forms I-9 Scam Wreaking Havoc on Employers: What to Watch For

 
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If you get a very convincing email from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) about information on your employees’ I-9s, do not follow the instructions! The I-9 information request is the latest in a series of sophisticated scams targeting employers. Moreover, the scam appears to be working.

Employers are not required to submit I-9s to the USCIS, so such a request should raise some red flags. Nevertheless, the request is throwing employers off because the emails look very authentic. In fact, the emails actually come from a uscis.gov email address and they even contain logos from both USCIS and the Office of Inspector General.

As if that’s not enough to fool some time-strapped HR professionals, many of the emails also contain other details designed to make the messages appear legitimate — like your company’s mailing address.

However, the USCIS, has made it abundantly clear it’s not sending any emails to employers about their I-9s. It’s also warning companies not to click on any links in the email or respond to the sender. Another reason employers may be eager to cooperate is that the Federal Government recently announced they are ramping up I-9 audits; but again, the USCIS will never email you about an I-9 audit.

What to do if you are targeted:

To prevent your company from falling victim to this I-9 scam, there are several preemptive steps you should take ASAP.

 First, make sure your employees are aware of the I-9 scam email and what the phony email will look like. If workers do receive an I-9 information request, they should forward those messages to the Federal Trade Commission via the ftccomplaintassistant.gov website.

 Lastly, if you receive an email from the USCIS and are not sure if it’s legit, you can always double-check by forwarding it to uscis.webmaster@uscis.dhs.gov.

The Importance of Regular Feedback

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Giving your employees feedback about their work performance makes a positive impact on your company. Below is a short list of why this type of communication is key.

  • Regular performance feedback lets your employees know what they're doing well, and which areas they can improve in. Instead of just pointing out what is not working, good performance feedback offers tips and suggestions on how to do better in the workplace.
  • When managers and employees communicate honestly on a regular basis, it creates a better relationship between them over time. The main reason employees leave a company is when they have a poor relationship with their manager. If feedback is given both ways, it can help retain employees. Also, employees will likely feel more comfortable approaching their managers with questions, comments, or concerns, and managers will have an easier time giving direction.
  • Feedback eliminates guesswork. When managers and employees are guessing, it typically means communication is lacking. Poor communication can lead to poor performance and low productivity or work quality. Regular feedback provides employees with an understanding of exactly what is expected of them.
  • Regular performance feedback helps improve conversation skills. It encourages to communicate better with not only their manager but other co-workers as well, which improves teamwork.

For more guidance on employee evaluations and employee relations, contact HR Advisors!

The 6 Worst HR Mistakes

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The number of lawsuits against employers has increased significantly over the past 10 years and one small HR mistake could cost a company a great amount of time and money.
Below are some of the most important HR mistakes to avoid.

1. Using the wrong wording in job ads and interviews. It is very important that managers and supervisors are aware of the topics they should avoid in job postings and during interviews. Statements or questions that relate to race, religion, age, disability etc. could expose the company to a hiring-bias lawsuit. The main question should be: "How well can this candidate perform the job duties?"

2. Wage-and-hour errors. Employee-pay lawsuits have increased by 300% over the past 10 years. Employers must ensure that workers are properly classified (exempt vs non-exempt). It is recommended that employers create a policy regarding unauthorized overtime, and to apply progressive discipline for employees working off-the-clock, but they must be paid for any time
worked whether or not it was approved. It is also important to make sure that overtime pay is calculated accurately.

3. The beginning and end of an employee's tenure are the most legally risky. Employers should avoid making any legally binding promises to workers. Also, without the proper documentation, the company cannot defend that the business decision to terminate an employee was not based on a discriminatory reason (race, religion, sex, age, disability or retaliation for voicing a legal complaint).

4. Giving the impression of electronic privacy. Employees should be informed that their computer usage and data can and will be monitored.

5. Lack of supervisor training. Employers should make it a priority to properly train supervisors and managers so they are aware of their legal limits when it comes to interviews, hiring, daily management and terminations.

Management Practices to Improve Employee Productivity

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Increasing productivity is a major goal for most (if not all) employers. Managers and supervisors play an important role in ensuring that the company is getting the most from their employees. Below are some tips for managers to help improve productivity.

1. Economic Incentives. Designing a program that benefits employees at all levels of the company will motivate "lower-level" workers to contribute to the company's success, rather than just those at the upper level.

2. Constructive Feedback. Providing regular feedback to employees helps them understand what they are doing well and what they need to improve on. Delivering the message in an encouraging way is key.

3. Training. It is important that managers and supervisors at all levels in the company have received the proper training.

4. Employee Support. Management support in times of need (updating equipment, emotional support and work-life balance support) will never go unappreciated and boosts employee morale.

5. Employee Recognition. Management does not gain anything by withholding praise when it is well deserved. Studies have shown that many employees value recognition for their hard work over money.

6. Lead by Example. Employees can be quickly demoralized when they see senior-level managers behaving in a way that they do not respect. Employees notice when those in leadership positions are "walking the talk," and they also notice when they aren't!

For information on management training, please contact HR Advisors.

3 Ways to Provide Actionable, Helpful Feedback That Improves Performance

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Giving helpful, constructive feedback can be surprisingly difficult. While it’s easy for most people to work out how a behavior or process doesn’t work, turning this into a piece of advice that’s actionable and helpful is rarely an easy process.

Despite this, giving feedback is one of the most important aspects of building a great team. Without feedback, it’s impossible to know where and how to improve and put the changes into place that required to develop and get better.

Luckily, it’s possible to provide actionable, helpful feedback to colleagues and team members using a few simple techniques. Apply the three tactics below to give your colleagues and employees helpful feedback that they can use to improve.

Make sure your feedback is relevant, timely and specific. 

The best feedback ticks three boxes: it’s highly relevant to the task or situation that’s at hand, it’s delivered at the right moment to help the recipient, and it’s very specific and directly applicable.

Does your feedback meet all three criteria? Many people give great advice that’s not relevant to the situation, or they deliver the right advice at the wrong moment. Lots of great advice is given that’s also too general to put into practice.

Giving relevant, timely and specific advice makes your feedback more valuable than any other messages your team members or employees receive. It gives an employee the chance to directly implement your advice and improve a specific situation.

Before you give advice, make sure that it ticks all of the three boxes above: it’s highly specific, timely and relevant. When all three conditions are met, your feedback is far more likely to have a positive effect on your employees or team members.

Be positive, and ensure your feedback has a constructive tone. 

It’s easy to sound overly negative when you give feedback. Because of tone, it’s quite common for people to interpret positive, constructive feedback as an insult or mean, negative statement about their job performance.

Because of this, it’s important to make sure that your feedback is always built to be positive and constructive. Great feedback should give people valuable help, and not feel like it detracts from their abilities or belittles them.

Before you give feedback, think about how you would react if you were the recipient instead of the giver. Would you view it as a helpful piece of actionable advice or as a personal insult or complaint?

Phrasing, tone and word choice can have a huge impact on the way your feedback is received, even if it doesn’t change its content much. Before you give any advice, use the above test to make sure the recipient isn’t likely to misinterpret your feedback.

Be consistent, or else your feedback is largely meaningless. 

One of the most common complaints of disgruntled or frustrated employees is that their bosses simply don’t listen to them. When you give inconsistent feedback, it’s extremely difficult for your employees or team members to know what to do.

As written above, great feedback is relevant, timely and specific. It’s also consistent, with great feedback maintaining the same message no matter how or when it ends up being delivered.

If you deliver inconsistent feedback to an employee, it becomes difficult for them to know how to improve. This is particularly true if several people each provide their own contradictory feedback on how a person, task or project could be made better.

When you’re part of a team, ensure you all have the same goals and can deliver the same key messages in your feedback. As an individual, make sure you stick to one message and remain consistent when you offer feedback to your team members.

How to Hire the Wrong Person Every Time

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Here are 10 Questions to Ask Yourself:

1. Do you ONLY recruit when you have an immediate need? 

If that's what you do, you probably do not have a list of pre-screened candidates to call.

2. Do your recruitment ads attract people who are looking for a job - ANY job - rather than people who really want to do the job you have to offer?

3. Have you neglected to identify the particular capacities (both mental and physical)? 

Skills, personality traits, and other core competencies that are necessary to being successful on the job is the key to hiring the right person. 

4. Do you neglect to ask your employees, vendors, business networks, family, and friends if they can refer to anyone who would be a good fit for the job?

5. Do you neglect to pre-screen applicants by phone first?

This process would help ensure that they meet your minimum hiring requirements.

6. Do you neglect to test applicants for the needed skills and other requirements someone needs to be successful in the position?

Just taking their word that they will be able to do the job or just assuming they can do it well because they did it somewhere else before is risky.

7. Do you rely on your "gut" instinct during interviews? Naturally, if you "like" an applicant, you look for reasons to hire them and, if you don't "like" them, you look for reasons not to hire them. This may lead to hiring the wrong person for the job. 

8. Do you tell applicants all about the job and what the ideal candidate looks like before you find out who they are and what they can do?

You will have given them too much information and they will gear their interview answers to what you have confided in instead of waiting until you have received information from them to compare with what the ideal candidate looks like.

9. Do you neglect to plan for the interview? 

If you do not plan, then you just "wing" it and the result is that you hire the person with the best presentation skills rather than the person who is the best fit for the job.

10. Do you neglect to check references? Don't just assume that none of the people you call will tell you anything useful.

If you are doing most of the things cited here, the formula is for frustration and failure. When the new hire doesn't work, you can go out and do it this way all over again OR you can reverse engineer the process and hire the right person!

For recruitment services, please contact HR Advisors.

What Is the Cost of Hiring Bad Employees?

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At some point most business owners realize they have made a bad hiring decision. The employee may have poor customer service skills or frequent tardiness. Bad hires tend to have a ripple effect in business.

According to CareerBuilder, on average each year, 69% of employers are negatively affected by a bad hire. The costly adverse effects may shock you. 

What is the actual cost of hiring bad employees. 

For 41% of business owners a bad hire cost them a minimum of $25,000.00, and 25% of business owners say that it cost them $50,000.00.

Bad employees hurt productivity and can cause a loss in sales and/or damage customer relationships. After firing a bad employee, recruiting, hiring and training a new employee costs the company time and money.

Why do bad hires happen?

According to a survey from CareerBuilder, the biggest reason for bad hires is the need to fill a position immediately.

Although having an open position takes a toll on the company, hiring a bad employee is actually worse. There is no financial benefit of hiring an employee just to fill a position quickly.

Other reasons for bad hires include:

·         Insufficient recruiting

·         The need to adjust sourcing techniques

·         Fewer recruiters needed to review applicants

·         Failure to conduct reference checks

·         Lack of a strong employment brand

How can you avoid hiring the wrong person?

Create a job ad that specifically states what skills are needed. Be specific in the ad so you can attract candidates that have the skills you seek and who can be immediately effective on the job.

Prepare a list of interview questions that pertain to the position. Don't ask generic questions during the interview.

Gather feedback from existing employees. Ask current employees what kind of person they would want to work with and include those qualities when searching for the right candidate.

Google the candidate and see what comes up. Check social media accounts and posts for any red flags.

Do a second interview. Although this may be time consuming, it will refresh your memory on the candidate and help reveal more of their character traits.

Conduct reference checks. Call the candidates most recent employer and ask to speak with a manager or supervisor who worked with the candidate.

Business owners want to hire the right person and a great deal of time and energy goes into this process. In the long run, taking the time to find long-term employees will help keep turnover down and save the company a great deal of money. HR Advisors offers full cycle recruitment services, please contact us for more information!

 

- Five Stars

Ten Common Mistakes In Employee Handbooks

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An employee handbook can be the foundation of employee performance and a shield against law suits OR it can be a time bomb that confuses employees and strips away your legal defenses!

It depends on how well it's written and implemented. Here is a list adapted from The HR Law Weekly of common mistakes in company handbooks:

1. Adopting a "Form" Handbook -  It many include promises you will never be able to keep.

2. Including too much detail on procedures - This is confusing to employees and provides fodder for lawyers. Stick to company policies and keep separate procedures manual for managers.

3. Mentoring a "probationary" period - To be effective, it must be called an " introductory period."

4. Being too specific in your discipline policy - This may give the idea that the policy covers every infraction.

5. Not being consistent - Make sure all policies speak in one voice.

6. Overlooking an at-will disclaimer

7. Sabotaging disclaimers by what you say- Especially by reassuring employees their jobs are safe.

8. Not adapting the handbook to accommodate each state's  laws

9. Failing to update the manual frequently for changing laws

10. Setting unrealistic policies -  If managers won't enforce it- don't put it in the handbook.

For handbook services, please contact HR Advisors. 

 

- The HR Law Weekly

The Key to Defeating a Discrimination Claim

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If an employee is able to prove that that he/she was wrongfully terminated (e.g. discrimination), does the company have any defense to such a claim?

A recent case demonstrates that California employers can avoid liability if they are able to prove that they would have made the decision to terminate regardless of the wrongful factor.

In 1977, William A. Davis worked as an insurance agent for Farmers. In 1983 he entered into an independent contractor agreement, however he was restricted from representing any other insurance companies and was required to abide by all of Farmer's regulations.

Davis filed a lawsuit against Farmers for misclassification (stating he should have been classified as an employee not an independent contractor), as well as wrongful termination claiming that he had been fired because of his age (57).

The jury decided that Davis was indeed misclassified and should have been hired as an employee. During the time that Davis' wrongful termination lawsuit was pending, the California Supreme Court held in Harris v. City of Santa Monica, that when an employee supports a Fair Employment and Housing (FEHA) discrimination claim by demonstrating that an illegal reason was a major factor of his/her termination, the employer may avoid liability by establishing that the decision would have been made regardless of the wrongful factor.

The court instructed the jury to reflect the holding in the Harris case at Davis' trial. The jury found that while Davis' age was a key motivating factor of his termination, Farmers would have made the same decision for valid reasons such as poor performance. Davis was not awarded any damages.

 

- HR Daily Advisor

Can You and Should You Keep Employee’s Salaries a Secret?

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Making salary information public shows transparency which in turn can boost employee morale; while on the other hand, keeping this information private can cause employees to feel “cheated” if they learn that someone in the same position is receiving higher pay.

Although transparency is valuable, there are some downsides to making salary information public. For one, this might cause some employees to feel that they are being paid too little in comparison to others, which may lead to a hostile or jealous work environment. This also limits the employer’s ability when it comes to negotiating salaries.

Although some companies choose to keep salaries confidential, they should be weary of discouraging employees from sharing their wage information as this may be illegal. The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) prohibits employers from preventing employees from discussing pay with each other.

Furthermore, President Obama signed an Executive Order in 2014 which prohibits federal contractors from retaliating against employees who disclose their wage information. Should the Paycheck Fairness Act pass, this protection will apply to all employees.

There are positive and negative aspects to both options when it comes to disclosing salary information, but regardless of how each company chooses to handle this, it is important that they stay in compliance with the NLRA.

 

-HR Daily Advisor

Qualities to Look for When Hiring

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A bad hire is more costly than leaving a position open for a few extra weeks or even a couple extra months. When hiring, below are some key traits to look for in candidates, regardless of the position.

1. Responsibility. Someone who possesses this trait will show desire for taking ownership of assignments and projects from start to finish.

2. Resourcefulness. Things don’t always go as planned, so it is good to have someone who is resourceful, can think on his/her feet and can get the job done regardless of any “surprises.”

3. Positive Attitude. Someone who has a positive outlook is likely to take on challenges in a proactive manner and handle them more effectively and efficiently.

4. Good Listening Skills. A good listener will learn from the information they take in from training, discussions and from being aware of what is going on around them.

5. Relationship Builders. Most of the time it takes more than one person to get the job done which is why it is important to hire people who are able to work well with others.

In addition to the traits listed above, it is important to keep in mind your company’s culture and the nature of the job when searching for the candidate who will be the best fit!

 

-Compensation & Benefits Daily Advisor

Employee Morale Crushers

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Employee morale is one of the most important but difficult things to manage. It is important to maintain high morale in order to retain employees. Below are some one the most common reasons as to why employees are dissatisfied.

1. Managers that treat employees poorly. Often times moral issues are a result of poor management. An example of this is when a manager causes an employee to feel that his/work is not valued or respected and that the employee is “lucky” to have the job.

2. Unclear expectations. If employees do not have a clear goal that they are working toward, they are likely to become discouraged and frustrated. Managers should provide employees with frequent feedback so that employees understand what is expected of them.

3. Lack of communication. Communication is extremely important, especially in times of change. Employees should be able to communicate up the chain of command and feel that they are being heard and that their opinions matter.

4. Not feeling recognized for hard work. Most employees desire to have their efforts recognized in some way. Recognition gives employees confirmation that they are meeting expectations and encourages them to take pride in their work.

5. Lack of trust to complete the work. Another word for this is micromanagement. Most employees would prefer to do their job to their best of their abilities without having a manager constantly question their actions. However, it is important for employees to feel that they are able to ask questions without having to face a negative reaction.

6. An unreasonable workload. Although most employees understand that workloads may fluctuate, demanding an employee to keep up with an unreasonable amount of work for a long period of time will cause him/her to be burnt-out and resentful.

7. High turnover rates. High turnover rates puts stress on the entire company and extra pressure on the remaining employees when they have to take on the extra work. If the turnover rates are a result of employees being terminated, existing employees may lose confidence in their job security.

 

-HR Daily Advisor

What Not to Ask on a Job Application

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There are certain questions that may appear discriminatory based on specific topics that are covered by State Laws or regulations. Below are some examples of what not to ask on the job application form.

  • Marital status. Asking a question that targets gender or a person’s familial status appear discriminatory as it is not relevant to the individual’s ability to perform the necessary job duties. Avoid asking for titles such as Ms. or Mrs. or for maiden names.
  • Arrest records. Asking for arrest records can seem discriminatory as it may indirectly impact a protected class. Conviction information should only be included on an application if it is related to the job.
  • Sexual orientation. Asking about an individual’s sexual orientation should be avoided as this is considered a protected class in some states.
  • Height and weight. Unless it is directly related to the person’s ability to do the job, questions regarding height and weight should not be asked, especially if the results have an unequal impact on a specific gender or nationality group.
  • Credit history. Financial questions as well as questions regarding wage garnishments, bankruptcy and home ownership, that are not directly related to the job should not be asked.
  • Questions that directly or indirectly expose the applicant’s age. The only reason that an employer should ask a question related to age is to find out if the candidate is old enough to work. The best way to ask this is “Are you over the age of 18?” (or the minimum age requirement for that position).
  • Questions that expose medical or disability information. Only ask the applicant if they are able to perform the essential duties of the job.
  • Questions that relate to an applicant’s protected activities (Former FMLA Leave, Workers’ Compensation etc.). Asking these questions may seem discriminatory against a person who has used their protected rights.
  • Avoid asking questions about race, national origin, citizenship, creed etc.

It is best to avoid these questions mainly in order to protect the rights and privacy of employees as well as their sensitive information. For more information or guidance on whether or not your job applications are compliant, contact HR Advisors.

 

-HR Daily Advisor

Top 4 Characteristics of 21st Century Leadership

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Faster communication, shifts in demographics, globalization and numerous other changes in today’s business world means that leadership styles must also be altered to keep up with the current environment.

Although certain characteristics of leadership such as vision, intelligence, good judgment, ambition and integrity are still valuable, the “hierarchical, inward-focused” method of leadership will not fit well with the 21st century business needs.

Below are the four key characteristics that distinguish the leaders who are successful in today’s ever-changing business environment:

1. Capacity to Navigate – This skill of scanning the fast-changing business landscape allows leaders to see signals and patterns that might impact the company’s growth.

2. Capacity to Empathize – This allows leaders to reach and connect with people who are different from them.

3. Capacity to Self-Correct – Companies need leaders who are able to evaluate their own long-standing ideas and assumptions about leadership and adjust them if necessary for the benefit and success of the organization.

4. Capacity to Set Up Win-Win Propositions for Stakeholders – With the current rapid flow of information, leaders must embrace transparency and competition. Effective leaders strive to create appealing propositions for all of the various stakeholders.

These four key characteristics are a guide for successful leadership in today’s fast changing business world.

 

     – HR Daily Advisor

5 Ways to Improve Performance for Small Teams

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There’s no substitute for great performance. In all industries, from manufacturing to professional services, that businesses that lead ahead of the pack tend to be the ones that emphasize and aim for great performance.

There are several aspects of achieving great performance. Great performance can be achieved on an individual level by one person, by a team of talented people, or by an entire business made up of many small and large teams.

Today, we’ll focus on the second type of performance: team performance. Read on to discover five ways that you can improve the performance of your small team using a selection of human resources management tactics.

1. Make integrating into the team part of your performance appraisals. 

Many people thrive independently but struggle to work as part of a team. This can result in great performance on individual projects but slow, inconsistent results in an environment where communication and teamwork is important.

Instead of focusing solely on individual productivity, make integrating into the team a major priority of your management. It’s not just skills that matter, but also being a good team player and someone that others can depend on.

2. Don’t just focus on team members – focus on the team’s leadership. 

Even a team of top-performers will struggle to achieve its goals without an excellent leader. Does your team have a leader that sets the right goals and keeps members of the team motivated?

Effective leadership means understanding each team member’s role and priorities, then ensuring all team members can work effectively together. It’s important to be just as attentive about leadership as the individual performance of each person.

3. Set goals that can be achieved on an individual and team level. 

Does your team have goals that can be achieved both individually and collectively as a team? The best goals are ones that can be achieved as a team, as well as being able to be broken down into small goals that can be achieved by individuals.

Create major goals, then break them down into sub-goals for individuals or smaller groups to focus on. This gives your team a major goal to work towards, but one that isn’t so large it seems impossible to achieve.

4. Make sure communication between team members is a priority. 

Communication is the key to effective teamwork. When people with different skills can communicate with each other clearly and openly, problems that can otherwise hold progress back are quickly avoided or overcome.

Is your team designed for open, simple communication? Create an environment in which communication is encouraged and you’ll make your entire team much more focused, effective and productive.

5. Keep morale as high as possible by celebrating every achievement. 

It’s important to stay focused on achieving your team’s goals. It’s also important to occasionally step back and view the progress you’ve made in order to keep morale high and team members energized.

When your team achieves a major goal, take a moment to celebrate. Achieving large goals not only helps your team move towards its objective – it also strengthens the ability of each team member to work effectively with their peers.

Are you HR Compliant? 4 HR Compliance Mistakes to Look Out For

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Is your business HR compliant? When your business is growing and every month is better than the last, it’s easy to forget about the importance of ensuring your human resources management team is completely compliant with all relevant laws.

From keeping records to appraising and recording performance, there are a variety of HR laws and best practices that are important for your business to follow. These regulations can protect your business, often significantly, during a dispute.

Are you worried about HR compliance? Read on to learn more about four common HR compliance mistakes, and make sure your company – whether it’s a small and rapidly growing business or a large, established one – isn’t making them.

1. Ignoring OSHA compliance. 

Is your business fully compliant with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) laws? It’s important to comply with OSHA laws not just because of the legal implications of ignoring them, but also because they keep your employees safe.

Every year, thousands of people are injured or killed on job sites and in workplaces in all industries. Although your office may seem safe, if you’re not compliant with all OSHA regulations, you could be putting your employees at risk.

Keep your team safe by making complying with OSHA regulations is a major priority for your business. From having detailed safety rules to identifying and removing any safety hazards, it only takes a few simple steps to create a safer workplace.

2. Poor performance reviews. 

Does your business carry out detailed performance appraisals of its employees? If you need to fire or promote an employee, having detailed records of their average performance can help you make your case.

It’s essential that you carry out regular, standardized performance reviews for all of your staff members. Performance reviews are particularly important if you need to fire an employee for poor performance, as they’re evidence for your decision.

Letting an employee go for performance-related issues without documentation can leave your business exposed to the possibility of legal action from the employee – a threat that can be avoided through detailed, accurate and effective record keeping.

3. Forgetting about I-9 forms. 

Here’s an “obvious” aspect of human resources management and compliance that’s all too often forgotten. I-9 forms – forms for a person’s identity and authorization to work within the United States – are essential for proper and full HR compliance.

Does your business have complete, current I-9 forms for all of its staff members? It’s essential that your business completes the I-9 form and other relevant paperwork in three days upon hiring new employees in order to avoid fines.

Paperwork such as this may seem nonessential when you’re focused on growth, but it’s essential that your HR management team is on top of it to avoid facing fines and other setbacks that can affect your business’s ability to grow and prosper.

4. Misclassifying employees. 

Does your business have employees or contractors? Have you mistakenly classified an employee of your business as a contractor? Doing so could lead to your business facing fines and legal action as a result of its decisions.

It’s important to be honest and accurate about your business’s employees, even if it may increase the amount of tax your business pays or lead to additional costs. While some workers may be contractors, others may need to be classified as employees.

Misclassifying employees is illegal, and your business could face penalties if any of its workers decide to take action. It also faces the risk of lawsuits and the large costs that are associated with legal action from former employees and contractors.