All posts by erick.merced

2020 Small Business Health Insurance Trends

2020 Small Business Health Insurance Trends

2020 Small Business Health Insurance Trends

If simply having an employee health insurance policy isn’t enough to stay competitive, what can small businesses do to make their policy stand out? From educating employees to outsourcing policies, here are some of the top 2020 trends in health insurance that every small business should take advantage of.

Benefit Education

While the quality of an insurance plan is most important, the clarity and information given to employees about the plan plays a similarly significant part. According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), 37% of employees stated that their employer didn’t educate or advise them on their benefits plan. More small businesses need to focus on the way in which they present their benefits, whether it’s through team meetings or detailed onboarding packets.

Ancillary Benefits

Having control of their health is a huge priority for employees in 2020, which is why a lot of them are turning to employers that offer ancillary benefits, like hospital indemnity or cancer insurance. These optional coverage options allow each employee to personalize their insurance plan to fit their lifestyle and medical history. By catering to the individual preferences of each staff member, small business owners can better attract and retain top talent looking for a long-term employer.

Virtual Healthcare

Employees want healthcare options, but they also want healthcare freedom. That’s why a lot of small businesses are turning to healthcare plans with virtual care included. Virtual care allows employees to speak with a healthcare professional over the phone or an online portal to get quick answers to their health questions, go over medical concerns, and even fill prescriptions. Rather than taking time away from their daily job duties for temporary or easily treatable conditions, employees can conveniently and remotely manage their health with virtual care.

Outsourced Insurance

Beyond the fact that most small business owners don’t have time to take on healthcare management, they typically don’t have the knowledge to navigate healthcare’s ever-changing federal regulations. That’s why more and more of them are turning to outsourcing for their employee benefits. By relinquishing responsibility to a professional employer organization (PEO), small business owners gain access to top-of-the-line, legally compliant insurance benefits.

Your Benefits Administration Provider

At Professional Employer Resources (PER), we’re a PEO that offers benefits administration designed with your current operations and future goals in mind. From accident to cancer insurance, we offer ancillary benefits so each one of your workers can have a personalized health insurance package. Furthermore, we supply HMO, POS, as well as PPO health insurance plans, so you can find the exactly right fit for your workplace. To start implementing these 2020 health insurance trends throughout your small business, contact us at 888-599-4991.

How to Welcome a New Employee to the Team

How to Welcome a New Employee to the Team

How to Welcome a New Employee to the Team

New hires have a lot to take in on their first day — new names and faces to memorize, a new office floorplan to navigate, and a new copy machine to master. Fortunately, you can relieve a lot of their start-date stress just by welcoming them to the team with the some friendly and functional gestures.

Give Them an Office Tour

Perhaps the best way to welcome your new employee to the office is to personally show them around. Give your new hire the grand tour by leading them through the different departments, introducing them to your other staff members, and highlighting key points of interest — like the conference room, kitchen, and restrooms. Encourage them to take advantage of any amenities you offer to your employees, like complimentary snacks, coffee, or candy.

Decorate Their Workspace

Nothing says “welcome” like a personalized decoration. Something as simple as a handmade welcome sign and a few balloons will show your new hire just how much their contribution means to your team. Of course, you can also use this opportunity to go the extra mile for your newest team member. Make their first day one they’ll never forget by putting together a welcome package stocked with branded merchandise like a t-shirt, reusable water bottle, and stress ball.

Create a Reference Guide

Between the countless account logins and phone extensions, there are a lot of numbers, figures, and phrases that your new employee will have a hard time keeping track of. To prevent them from getting overwhelmed while trying to get comfortable with your office software and digital programs, compile a list of important passwords and key information that they can use as a quick index.

Review the Employee Handbook  

You should take the time to make sure your handbook is as clear as possible, but you should also take an extra minute to address any questions your new employee might still have about the contents. Walk them through essential sections of the handbook, including employee benefits, the company 401k plan, and workers’ compensation. Stick around to clear up any confusion, and make yourself available in the future if another question pops up.

Help Your New Hire With HR

At Professional Employer Resources (PER), we offer a series of services that will not only help you welcome new members to the team, but keep them satisfied well into their tenure. As a human resources provider, we can also assist your business by creating employee handbooks, maintaining employee records, coaching your management team, and much more. For more information, contact us today.

Ways to Improve Employee Morale

Ways to Improve Employee Morale

Ways to Improve Employee Morale

What would you do to make sure everyone on your payroll was at their happiest? Would you give company-wide bonuses or raises? Would you add a week of PTO to your onboarding package? 

The most satisfied employees have a better chance of being successful. However, you don’t have to unrealistically uppercut compensation to improve employee morale. In fact, these three tips will help you lift satisfaction in the most sustainable ways possible.   

Provide an Outlet for Opinions 

If you aren’t sure how or where to start with improving employee morale, ask your employees. While you don’t have to be as direct as to imply that morale is low, you can use company- or department-wide surveys to pull valuable answers from your staff. Some important questions to ask include: 

  • If you could change anything about our workplace, what would you change? 
  • How do you feel about our company culture? 
  • What do you like most about working here? 
  • Is there any training that you feel would make your job easier or more satisfying? 

Support Your Staff Through Training 

No matter what industry you work in, there’s always more to learn. By training your talent, you can not only empower your employees, but also show them that you’re invested in their future. Adopting new information and expanding their skillset, your employees become more of an asset when they have more to offer — and they become more satisfied when they feel like a valued member of your team. 

Offer Ancillary Benefits 

To feel confident in their future with your company, employees need to know that they’ll have flexible options for their health and wellness. In combination with your current heath, vision, and dental plans, provide peace of mind to your working professionals through ancillary benefits. Some of the top ancillary benefits include: 

  • Cancer
  • Accident
  • Hospitalization insurance 
  • Short-Term Disability
  • Specified Health Event Protection

Partner With the Professionals 

With Professional Employer Resources (PER), you don’t have to wait until employee morale is low to make the right moves. By partnering with PER, you’ll unlock a multitude of morale-boosting services tailored specifically to your business. A human resources provider, PER can assist with management consulting, records administration, and other services designed to minimize employee-related issues. Furthermore, PER supplies benefits administration so your staff can have access to health, vision, dental, and a range of ancillary benefits. For more information on how PER can help your company, contact us today. 

Everything You Need to Know About Employee Feedback

Everything You Need to Know About Employee Feedback

Everything You Need to Know About Employee Feedback

Report cards can determine whether a student makes the dean’s list or ends up in the dean’s office, which is why teachers rarely wait until the end of the semester to provide feedback. Similarly, performance evaluations determine whether working professionals need to keep up the good work or put in extra effort. However, not every employer is as considerate with the timing of their criticism.    

Performance reviews and annual evaluations are undoubtedly valuable to both employers and their staff, which is why feedback sessions shouldn’t only happen once or twice a year. If your company is falling behind on feedback, here are some tips to help you catch up.  

Start Putting Feedback First 

If you already adhere to once-yearly individual evaluations, you might wonder what’s really in it for you when it comes to additional feedback. Through consistent and clear feedback sessions, you can improve your operations by: 

  • gauging employee satisfaction 
  • setting objective goals 
  • measuring employee success  

Find the Balance Between Give and Take 

There are more than a few ways to give feedback, but you also need to adopt methods to improve how your feedback is received. That’s right; response from your employees should play a big part in your feedback policy. Depending on your leadership style and your company as a whole, you can keep in touch with your staff by using the following techniques.  

  • Send surveys

    Surveys anonymously allow employees to voice their opinions, address concerns, and vote on office amendments. 

  • Appoint mentors

    Newcomers to your company can easily blend in with your workforce when they feel connected, guided, and supported. Appointing mentors gives them the opportunity to ask questions and learn from successful staff members. 

  • Evaluate performance

    While casual feedback establishes strong connections, you should still make room for the occasional sit-down evaluation. 

  • Set goals

    The only way to measure an employee’s progression since your last meeting is to set goals. 

  • Check in

    Feedback sessions don’t always have to be formal affairs. By regularly checking in, you can maintain contact and encourage employees to continue working toward their goals.  

Get the Fix for Your Feedback 

Whether you have specific areas to improve or a need for an overall update, the team at Professional Employer Resources (PER) has the management consulting services to guide your team to success. As an HR provider, we can help create surveys tailored to your company, policies, and any updates around your office that will bring out the most effective responses from your staff. And, we can assist in minimizing employee issues through recognition programs and other feedback-forward solutions. To take the first step with your new evaluation system, contact us today at 888-599-4991.

How to Manage Different Personalities in the Workplace

How to Manage Different Personalities in the Workplace

How to Manage Different Personalities in the Workplace

The first step in effectively managing employees is to accept their professional personality types—especially the ones that don’t match your own. Here’s a look at each kind of employee you might find in your office with some tips to help manage their unique needs.  

The Analytical 

Analytical employees aren’t known for being outgoing, but they are known for producing outstanding work. Often driven by perfectionism, the analytical easily understands numbers and figures but struggles with subjective expressions. Because these types of workers need consistency and organization, you can start their employment on the right foot by customizing your training sessions to be as objective as possible. 

The Driver 

Drivers are go-getters and goal setters. They’re active in their workplace, vocal, and dominant. These employees can take control of conversations, lead meetings, and take their team to the top; however, they need to feel challenged in their workplace and constantly engaged in tasks. To keep a driver interested, continuously set goals and consider implementing an award program that entices drivers to strive for company recognition. 

The Amiable 

As a patient, quiet, and likable coworker, an amiable is unlikely to make waves in the office. However, if an amiable feels uncomfortable in his or her workplace, he or she is more likely to look elsewhere for employment. To best manage these types of employees, check in and make sure that their needs are being met in their everyday activities. And when you need to reach out, try sending an email or a similar form of communication, because an amiable can easily feel cornered by confrontation. 

The Expressive 

Employees with an expressive personality type are eager to engage in conversation. They don’t like to be closed off from others or kept out of important projects where they could be useful. To cater to the needs of an expressive, manage them through one-on-one meetings where you can sit down and communicate your ideas, questions, and concerns. Or, consider distributing a survey where an expressive could detail their input.  

The Right HR Provider 

Although you should treat every employee with the same respect, you shouldn’t necessarily approach them all the same way. If you need help navigating the multiple personality types of your business, partner with the human resources provider that can accommodate all attitudes, Professional Employer Resources (PER). We can provide human resource services, like recognition programs, customized training seminars, and site-specific surveys, to help retain any type of personality. Contact us online or call 888-599-4991 today for a complimentary cost analysis for your business.

4 Things to Include in Your Employee Handbooks

4 Things to Include in Your Employee Handbooks

4 Things to Include in Your Employee Handbooks

Employee handbooks are the ultimate resource for staff members of all seniority. These company manuals set expectations, outline essential information, and direct workers through critical points of employment. Because the right content in your handbook can make work a lot more convenient for both you and your employees, we’ve laid out the top four things to include in it. 

Company Culture 

New hires don’t wait until their first day to start making assumptions about your workplace, which is why you need to have your handouts ready before the start of their shift. Use your handbook to highlight some key components of your company culture, including the mission statement and dress code. This will prevent newcomers from mistakenly dressing—or acting—out of order, and it will help them to understand the long-term goals of your business from the very beginning.  

Benefits and Compensation 

If you don’t detail your company benefits in your handbook, your employees will undoubtedly ask about them. Include as much information about your benefits as possible, such as the details on deduction from pay, transferability, and eligibility. If you offer ancillary benefits, such as accident, short-term disability, or cancer insurance, outline those in your handbook as well. 

Employee Policies 

To make sure everyone is on board during the onboarding process, lay out your employee policies in your handbook—and the consequences of violating them. This will minimize discrepancies if an employee disrupts any of your regulations during their employment, because you can refer them to the clauses written right in their company manual. Important employee policies to include are:

  • Harassment policy 
  • Equal employment policy 
  • Conflicts of interest 
  • Leave policy (PTO/Sick leave) 

Legal Clauses 

Small businesses might feel safer from legal liabilities, but companies of all sizes can face litigation. Therefore, you should use your handbook to protect your business by clearly disclosing your policy on confidentiality and highlighting your non-disclosure agreement. To finish out your section on legalities, include a signature line to ensure that each employee is liable for having read the information outlined in your handbook.     

Need a Hand With Your Handbook? 

Employee satisfaction starts before your next employee does. Therefore, you need to punch up and put out handbooks with quick and quality results. At Professional Employer Resources (PER), we’re a professional employer organization (PEO) that offers human resources services and benefits administration. Whether you need help writing your employee handbook or designing the services that go inside it, our team at PER can provide. To get started on perfecting your employee handbook, contact us today at 888-599-4991.

Overcoming High Employee Turnover

Overcoming High Employee Turnover

Overcoming High Employee Turnover

Employees come and go, but it shouldn’t happen all at once. If your staff is shrinking and you aren’t sure how to stop it, here are five tips to help you overcome high employee turnover. 

Start Hiring Strong 

You can’t undo an unsuccessful hire, but you can do your best to prevent them in the future. This makes your next hire the first place to start when overcoming employee turnover. Before you even start with onboarding, take a step back and detail your job descriptions. If your current postings are vague, uninformed, or just not up to date, you could end up misleading candidates into a position they don’t belong in. To further increase your chances of retaining talent, focus on hiring candidates that fit your company through applicant screening. 

Offer Better Benefits 

Salary isn’t always the reason employees stay. In fact, if you want to entice each member of your workforce, you might want to offer them another form of compensation—like ancillary benefits. Accident, cancer, and hospitalization insurance options can give your staff peace of mind just by being with your company. On top of typical medical options, like dental and vision, ancillary benefits allow employees to customize their plan and create a system that works for their individual preferences. If possible, try offering remote work days or even overtime opportunities now that more employees meet the salary threshold for overtime eligibility in accordance with the Department of Labor’s final overtime rule 2.0.

Strengthen Employee Satisfaction 

If you want to stop employees from searching for other opportunities, improve their daily satisfaction on the job. To find out exactly what you can do to improve your workplace for each member of your staff, administer a survey. Taking your staff’s feedback into account, you can create recognition programs, personalize training workshops, and come up with other fun ideas to engage your employees.  

Consider Co-Employment 

In a co-employment plan, a professional employer organization (PEO) absorbs certain responsibilities and co-employs your workforce. The PEO acts as an HR provider while also assuming the responsibilities for payroll obligations and tax benefits. Overall, co-employment offers a range of benefits while minimizing the liabilities of the initial employer, which can allow you to dedicate more time to retention. 

Partner with PER

At Professional Employer Resources (PER), we can provide the tools to decrease turnover through co-employment and a host of other services. By tracking employee-specific information, we can improve retention and help you overcome any turnover hurdles. Choose from human resource services, payroll and benefits administration, liability management, and more to find the right mix for your company. To turn around your turnover, call 888-599-4991.

How the Final Overtime Rule 2.0 Affects Your Business

How the Final Overtime Rule 2.0 Affects Your Business

How the Final Overtime Rule 2.0 Affects Your Business

The U.S. DOL has recently passed a final rule that will change the overtime guidelines starting January 1, 2020. There’s been no major amendment to the national salary threshold since 2004, which makes this revised overtime rule a significant shift for many businesses—and their employees. Here’s an overview of the final Overtime Rule 2.0, and a look at what the key changes could mean for your company. 

Changed Exempt Status and Salary Threshold 

Before the final Overtime Rule 2.0, the federal law only allowed salaried workers making under $23,000 a year or $455 a week to earn overtime pay. Of course, there were some exceptions to the salary threshold, but the rule generally applied to professionals and blue-collar employees. Under the revised overtime rule, workers making less than $35,568 a year or $684 a week are eligible for overtime pay, or 50% extra pay for every hour worked over 40 hours. 

Any salaried employee in your business that falls under the salary threshold will no longer be exempt from overtime pay. Therefore, you’ll have to start factoring time-and-a-half into some of your staff’s payroll or consider implementing raises to maintain exemption and lawful payroll policies. 

Updated HCE Annual Compensation 

Per the revised overtime rule, the additional total annual compensation for highly compensated employees (HCEs) will increase from $100,000 to $107,432. Typically, the federal government considers the amount of HCEs per company and measures their contributions while assessing the fairness of a 401(k) plan. This could affect 401(k) plans, as the federal government compliance test results may change while HCE statuses update. 

Therefore, the federal government may make significant 401(k) amendments to ensure that your company plan treats all employees equally after the revised overtime rule takes effect. If you have certain employees that will no longer fall into the HCE category, you’ll need to understand whether raising salaries or maintaining compensation will have a better outcome for your company. 

Payroll Administration for the Final Overtime Rule 2.0

Staying on top of payroll policies leaves no room for mistakes, which can be overwhelming for small- to medium-sized businesses without any dedicated payroll oversight. With overtime rule revisions quickly approaching, some companies need more help than ever. If you want professional assistance navigating the new salary threshold, exemplary status requirements, and other revised overtime rule amendments, partner with Professional Employer Resources (PER). 

At PER, we offer payroll administration to help alleviate the challenging tasks associated with W2 tax reporting, year-end W2’s, comprehensive payroll deductions, and more. To learn more about our payroll services and get your company and your payroll prepared for the revised overtime rule, call us today at 888-599-4991.

2019 Employee Benefit Trends

2019 Employee Benefit Trends

2019 Employee Benefit Trends

Companies have to stay just as competitive as their applicants, and the best way to do so isn’t always through a high-paying salary. Turns out, benefits are a big deal to the current workforce­. To help your business attract and retain top talent, here’s a look at some of the top benefit trends you should be taking advantage of for your staff.

Total Health Benefits

Supplying your staff with multiple coverage options is a great way to retain them without having to negotiate a higher salary, because employees are looking for companies that can take care of both financial assistance and healthcare needs. Beyond a basic health insurance plan, employees want to see vision, dental, and even life insurance included in their compensation package. And, they want to know that a wide range of facilities will accept their coverage.

Ancillary Benefits

Customization matters when it comes to employee benefits. With each member of your staff having a unique family, home, vehicle, and general lifestyle, they don’t all necessarily need the same benefits. That’s why more and more working professionals are turning to companies that offer ancillary benefits to suit their individual needs. Providing voluntary benefits, like cancer, accident, or hospitalization insurance gives your staff more control over their compensation and puts your company on the maps of even more candidates.

PTO Benefits

A lot of employees procrastinate on their healthcare if they feel like they don’t have adequate PTO, which can cut straight from your bottom line. When employees feel physical or mental stress, it can impede their work progress or even cause them to search for an employer who can better meet their needs. To help retain and onboard the best, consider bumping up your PTO or even including compensations like paid sick days, flexible hours, or opportunities to work from home.

Human Resource Services

To understand which benefits benefit your employees, you need to have a strong understanding of their wants and needs. That’s why the team at Professional Employer Resources (PER) offers human resources services that can help your business maintain a healthy relationship with your staff. And, if you want to upgrade your benefits package, we also offer benefits administration to provide your employees with the right ones. For more information, call us today at 888-599-4991.

When Should I Give Employees a Raise?

When Should I Give Employees a Raise?

When Should I Give Employees a Raise?

Employees who work hard, stay late, and come in early aren’t going to continue going above and beyond forever—unless you find ways to sweeten their deal. If you want to know how to keep your best performing their best, you must learn when it’s time to tweak their take-home pay.

Measure Length of Employment

The longer an employee works for your company, the more money you’ll save in turnover fees like training, onboarding, and benefit enrollment. These long-term savings make your senior employees top candidates for wage raises. So, when deciding when and how much of a raise to give to certain staff members, weigh their tenure in your decision. To consistently reward the ones that remain, consider setting company milestone raises at five, ten, and fifteen years of employment.

Analyze Employee Performance

If an employee is exceeding in every part of their position, making an impact in other areas of your business, and adding undeniable value to your company, they undoubtedly deserve some compensation. To make sure that your assessment is fair for each worker, design a performance evaluation sheet and determine how often you want to evaluate your employees. Whether you use it annually or every sixth months, you can use performance evaluation to score your staff in each section of their position and even allocate a raise percentage to their performance.

Teach Employees New Skills

Rather than hiring a specialist to cover a new area of business, you can train one of your existing employees and increase their wages to compensate for the new skills. Even the combined cost of training and a wage increase is an often-stronger payroll solution than hiring a new employee altogether. To get the best estimate of how much their new skill is worth, check the average salaries for individuals in similar positions and consider raising your employee’s wages to close the gap.

Determine the Alternatives to Raises

Money matters, but it isn’t everything. If you aren’t able to dedicate the amount that you feel is fair to employee raises, consider showing your appreciation in other ways. For example, employees often weigh company benefits over salary when considering their job satisfaction, and they are a more affordable investment than individual raises. Likewise, bonuses are a short-term boost in income that can make your employees feel valued without adding long-term expenses.

Payroll Solutions for Your Business

As your business grows, your employees do too—which makes it even harder to come up with ways to keep every employee satisfied. If you’re looking for smart strategies to keep everyone on your payroll satisfied, partner with Professional Employer Resources (PER). We can provide a range of payroll solutions to your business and handle any changes in your staff’s wages. For more information on our payroll services, call us today at 888-599-4991.