Category Archives: Blog

Your Guide to OSHA Compliance as Employees Are Recalled

Your Guide to OSHA Compliance as Employees Are Recalled

Your Guide to OSHA Compliance as Employees Are Recalled

Along with furloughing employees due to a global health crisis, recalling employees to work during a global health crisis is something few employers were fully prepared to do. As more cities and states transition further into reopening phases, you now have to consider how to bring your staff back — and how to stay OSHA compliant while you do it. But what if you aren’t ready to recall every employee? Or what if the only way to rehire your entire workforce is to make serious changes to it? Below are some guidelines to help you recall members of your staff while staying OSHA compliant. 

Selecting Rehires 

Deciding which employees to recall and which employees to recall first may be fairly simple if you have a preestablished set of guidelines to help. If you don’t already have a system in place, however, you’ll need to be a bit more careful with how you approach the rehiring process. Focus on the most objective measurements of an employee’s performance possible rather than rehiring based on factors such as:

  1. Age

  2. Gender 

  3. Health 

To resist subjective rehiring, decide which employees to bring back first by comparing seniority and determining which positions are most essential to your business at this point in time. As you continue to rehire employees, continue to take these factors into account so as to not leave your business vulnerable to legal liability. 

Sending Rehire Letters

You might want to personally welcome back your senior employees with a phone call or keep your other staff members updated with text messages, but it’s most important that you assemble all of the necessary paperwork and deliver it — via mail or email — at least a week in advance. Keep in mind, the contents of rehire paperwork may vary depending on:

  • The length of time an employee was furloughed

  • Job title changes 

  • Salary increases or decreases 

Although there aren’t any legal requirements regarding the contents of rehire letters or when they are distributed, you can better protect your business by carefully classifying employees, detailing what their employment will look like upon return, and sharing this information as far in advance as possible. 

Recall With the Right Partner  

Remotely managing your business while surviving a pandemic may not have been easy — but that doesn’t mean returning to work has to be hard. To help small- to medium-size businesses recall their staff while avoiding legal complications, the team at Professional Employer Resources (PER) offers a variety of human resource services, including federal and state compliance, wage and salary information, and records administration. Contact us today to see how we can help during the rehiring process.  

How to Make Your Employees Feel Safe as They Return to Work

How to Make Your Employees Feel Safe as They Return to Work

How to Make Your Employees Feel Safe as They Return to Work

If your office is just now reopening or your employees are gearing up to return to work, safety should be your first priority. You can stock up on personal protective equipment (PPE), sanitize from floor to ceiling, and encourage social distance with floor markers, but it’s the way you communicate with your staff that will determine just how safe your precautions seem. Here are some tips to help you make your employees feel as comfortable as possible while stepping back into the office. 

Be Patient

Making daycare arrangements, gathering PPE, and overcoming potential anxiety can take days — at minimum. So, whether you’ve just gotten the go-ahead from your local government or have been permitted to reopen your office for some time, you should still offer your staff room to prepare for an on-site return. If possible, consider giving a one- to two-week notice before officially requiring them to revisit the office. 

Be Thorough

Months into the COVID-19 pandemic, your employees are certainly familiar with the latest health and safety recommendations — washing hands, maintaining social distance, etc. But that doesn’t mean you can expect them to understand what your business is doing to encourage, facilitate, or implement them. The first day you ask your staff to set foot in the office, make them feel comfortable by:  

  1. Going over your existing health insurance policy or explaining any new changes to your office benefit structure that could affect an employee’s ability to access affordable medical care 
  2. Reviewing the policy for personal protection, detailing the PPE you’ll provide and the sanitization practices you’ve put into place
  3. Explaining how you plan to regulate social distancing in the office — whether that be through staggered work schedules, smaller team meetings, or seating rearrangements 
  4. Expressing that you appreciate your staff, admire their dedication, and are grateful for their health and safety 

Be Available

If you want to make your employees feel safe, listen to their concerns, answer their questions, and be as receptive as you possibly can. Make yourself more available through email, phone, or video chat, and let your staff know exactly where to find you when they have a question or concern. Likewise, if you don’t yet have an answer or are still working on a solution for one particular pain point, be honest — but also make it clear that you acknowledge the issue and aren’t going to let it go unsolved.   

Be Flexible

While it’s important to honor your customers and your company, it’s also important to honor your employees. If employee performance and results have remained stable throughout the pandemic, your staff might come to you with requests to keep working from home for the time-being. To slowly transition back into the office full-time, consider putting a hybrid in-office/work-from-home schedule in place. 

Be Ready for a Safe Return

Your employees need reassurance, honesty, and availability now more than ever. Instead of taking time away from other areas of your business to be there for your staff, partner with Professional Employer Resources (PER). As a co-employer and human resources provider, we can help with tasks like payroll administration, benefits administration, and workers’ compensation — allowing you more time to focus on your workers and their safety. To learn more about our services, contact us today.

How to Make Working From Home Work for Your Business

How to Make Working From Home Work for Your Business

How to Make Working From Home Work for Your Business

Whether it’s a temporary fix or a long-term change for your business, working from home certainly has its benefits. Many employees report increased productivity, focus, and relaxation while working from home. Notwithstanding, there are some who might still struggle to make the shift. The following tips will teach you how to make working from home work for your business. 

Set “Regular” Hours 

From home, it’s just as easy for employees to underwork as it is for them to overwork. Create structure for your staff by scheduling regular work hours. “Regular” hours might mean something different to your company than others, but whether it’s eight hours or not, you still need to find a way to make your staff stick to them. Some employees work best at night, while others thrive in the morning — so staying somewhat flexible in your approach will help you find out when each employee will put in their best work. You can use a digital timecard software or simply ask your staff to send regular reports at the end of each workday to keep up with their performance and monitor their progress. 

Equip Your Employees 

An office setting is a comfort for some employees because it draws the line between work and home. For others, an office setting is imperative to their performance simply because they don’t have the same technology or tools available at home. To help your workers transition to a work-from-home environment, give your staff the option to take computers, keyboards, and other items that they may not personally own. Keep track of which employees take which devices so you can easily collect them when you’re ready to transition back into the office again.  

Use Communication Tools 

In the office, questions, answers, and virtually everything else your employees could need are just a few steps away. To make communication as easy — if not easier — from home, set your team up with a communication software. With the right software, you can create channels for specific departments, teams, and project members that might need to quickly chat, review information, or ask questions. When you want to schedule meetings, try using a video chat program like Zoom or Google Hangouts to remotely meet with multiple team members.  

Have Faith in Your Workforce 

Working from home is something that everyone will have to adjust to. Some employees will face more temptations and distractions while others will find it easier and more relaxing to work away from all the hustle and bustle of the office. Regardless, you need to trust that your employees can handle the shift over time and equip them with the tools to do so. Keep an open line of communication and be transparent about how your employees can reach you if and when they need to. 

Co-Employment Wherever You Work

If you’re stressed about switching to a work-from-home setup, partner with a provider that has all the resources you need. At Professional Employer Resources (PER), we’re a human resources provider and co-employer, which means we can help with HR, payroll administration, and a range of other essential business functions — no matter where you work. To learn more, contact us today.

Why Do Good Employees Leave?

Why Do Good Employees Leave?

Why Do Good Employees Leave?

They’re great at what they do, and your business directly benefits from their input — but what exactly makes good employees want to work somewhere else? Do they have a personal issue with you, your office, or your company? Are they no longer interested in the perks that once drew them in? Or, are they simply looking for a salary your company can’t quite provide? Here are some of the top reasons why good employees leave.

They Don’t Feel Fulfilled 

Great employees strive to make a difference in their workplace — and in their industry. If you or anyone else in your management team sets low expectations or discourages employees when they try to input new ideas or innovate workplace practices, it can rub off the wrong way on workers that care the most. Instill a sense of pride in your employees by starting from the top. Training your management team to be better leaders, and it will encourage them to expect the best from subordinates at all levels.  

They Need Better Benefits 

No matter how hard you work on your office culture or how much compensation you offer, you still risk your greatest employees when you don’t provide the right benefits. Employees expect a strong benefits package — one with ancillary options, as well as health, dental, and life policies. If you don’t already offer a competitive benefits package, you may want to partner with a provider that can help you design the right one for your staff. 

They Aren’t Being Recognized 

The best employees put in the best work — and they deserve to be recognized for it. Likewise, top-performing staff members don’t always work for praise, but they can still feel underrecognized when it never comes their way. Consider implementing a recognition program, which can include Employee of the Month awards, employee recognition lunches, or email blasts that congratulate your top-performing workers at the end of each quarter. These simple expressions of gratitude go a long way when you want to retain your talent. 

They Feel Like Management Doesn’t Trust Them 

You may feel compelled to micromanage your staff because you’ve seen issues with time management or efficiency in the past. This management style can quickly become an issue, because your employees can tell when you don’t trust them. If you’re having a hard time trusting your employees to do their job without handholding or a constant watchful eye, consider improving your onboarding process so your workers are better trained from the start. Or, think about working with an organization that can assist with the task of tracking their performance. 

Co-Employ Your Employees 

Whether you’ve recently had to say goodbye to a good employee or are dedicated to making the changes necessary to keep all of your workers right where they are, Professional Employer Resources (PER) is ready to help. As a Professional Employer Organization (PEO), we can co-employ your workforce while providing cost-effective, personalized human resource services designed to improve satisfaction and retain talent at all levels. To learn more contact us today. 

How Personal Stress Affects Your Employees

How Personal Stress Affects Your Employees

How Personal Stress Affects Your Employees

There are a variety of internal factors that can influence employee performance — office culture, workload, and training. But what should you do when stress outside of work is causing problems inside the office? When personal problems in your employees’ day-to-day lives start affecting their performance on the clock, you need to confront the issue and come up with a plan to address, manage, and minimize it. 

Where You’ll See the Signs of Stress

Some employees might be straightforward and let you know right away when they’ve got a serious problem at home, but others can be more reluctant to share their struggles. Notwithstanding, your staff doesn’t always have to speak up for you to see that there’s an issue. Here are the likely signs that an employee is dealing with some personal stress: 

  • They are calling out more often than usual 
  • Their motivation is low 
  • Their performance is declining  
  • They are tense, irritable, or agitated 
  • They are missing deadlines 

When to Address Their Stress 

Considering the severity of the warning signs listed above, your entire workplace can suffer quite a bit when just one employee is under stress. That’s why it’s important to address the issue once you see that it’s more than a short-term problem. For example, if an employee has a temporary blip in their efficiency, misses one deadline, or calls out unexpectedly, you can monitor their behavior to see if it worsens or improves in the following days before you take the next steps. 

However, if an employee is displaying one or more of the warning signs mentioned for an extended period of time — a week or more — you should consider having a confidential conversation with them before their stress starts to affect your other staff. When addressing your employee, let them know that their privacy is of your utmost concern, and that your team is dedicated to supporting them through personal and professional struggles.  

How to Manage Stress Among Your Staff 

While it’s important to instill a sense of personal responsibility in your staff, it’s also important to step in and offer assistance when appropriate. Of course, the solution you present to a staff member may vary depending on the specific issue they are facing. Some possible plans to present to your employee include: 

  • Flexible work hours 
  • Bereavement leave 
  • Opportunities to work from home 
  • General condolences and sympathy 

Keep in mind that, if an employee is suffering from a medical condition, disability, or a similar type of issue, you may be required to provide certain accommodations based on state and federal law. 

Your Professional Employee Partner 

Managing the stress of your staff shouldn’t add to your own stress. If you’re having trouble responding to the personal problems of your employees and making sure you offer a solution that’s fair to the rest of your staff, count on the help of Professional Employer Resources (PER). Because we’re a human resources provider, we can assist you with federal and state compliance, employee related issues, and management consulting. To learn more about our services and how they can help minimize stress around your office, contact us today. 

Manager Mistakes That Ruin Employee Engagement

Manager Mistakes That Ruin Employee Engagement

Manager Mistakes That Ruin Employee Engagement

Like most other internal issues, the longer you ignore problems with employee engagement, the harder they are to solve later on. On the other hand, the quicker businesses adapt to prevent such concerns, the easier they are to proactively put a stop to. That’s why company owners and, more specifically, managers need to correct their course of action and stop making mistakes that ruin employee engagement. 

Setting Unattainable Worker Expectations 

There’s a fine line between pushing your employees and pushing your employees too hard. Even if your staff clearly understands what’s expected of them, you can still run into issues when your management team simply expects too much. While there’s no clear measurement to know how much is too much, you can see that there’s an obvious issue when employees are struggling to meet deadlines, turning in rushed work, or consistently having to stay late.  

Failing to Recognize Strong Performance 

Employees don’t need to be thanked, rewarded, or even recognized every single time they do good work. But when it comes to big projects or big displays of effort, even a minimal amount of praise can make your staff feel genuinely appreciated and encourage employees to put forth the same amount of effort in the future. That’s why it’s important to send out congratulatory emails, financial bonuses, or other means of recognition to staff when they go the extra mile or show a general history of excellence.   

Showing Favoritism to Select Employees 

It’s critical that managers maintain a positive relationship with subordinates. But when managers show excessive leniency toward one or a few employees, it can disrupt relationships with those who don’t feel included in the circle. Favoritism may not only cause managers to unfairly give additional perks and rewards, but also falsify performance reviews and recommendations. This kind of behavior fosters an uneven, unfair, and unwanted work environment. 

Giving Unhelpful Performance Reviews

Both managers and the staff they supervise can take away valuable insights from performance reviews. However, when managers fail to explain the scores they assign, offer advice for how to improve, or recognize excellence in those that rank high, it can leave workers feeling discouraged about their performance and future with their employer. That’s why managers should never end a one-on-one evaluation without setting goals, answering questions, and giving a thorough review. 

Forgetting to Collect Employee Feedback 

One of the most, if not the most, critical mistakes made my managers is forgetting to collect employee feedback. Something as simple as an anonymous survey can provide insight on employee satisfaction and the general state of office culture. However, when managers fail to ask for the opinion of their staff, they almost always fail to understand their wants and needs.  

Elevate Employee Engagement With PER 

If you’re experiencing high turnover, low employee satisfaction, or declining engagement, get back on track with Professional Employer Resources (PER). As both a human resources provider and a Professional Employer Organization (PEO), we offer a variety of services that can help you address your biggest employee issues. To learn more, contact us today. 

Offering Constructive Feedback for Performance Reviews

Offering Constructive Feedback for Performance Reviews

Offering Constructive Feedback for Performance Reviews

Performance reviews highlight the areas where your staff excels. But they also reveal the areas in which they fall behind. Instead of tearing down bad behavior or shunning poor performance, however, try to offer constructive feedback that will empower and encourage your staff to make the necessary changes and get back on track. 

Recognize the Positives 

Perhaps the best way to gently approach a negative situation is to build on a positive foundation. For example, if an employee is having issues with communication, you could address it by saying, 

“You were so good at keeping me updated on X project, but I haven’t been seeing that kind of communication on your last few assignments. Would you mind sending me daily updates like you’ve done in the past? I found those incredibly helpful.”

By highlighting a specific moment when your employee displayed the behavior you want to see, you can remind them just how capable they are of doing so again. 

Clearly State the Issue 

To avoid confusion and get to the root of your concern, clearly define the problem area and list specific instances, if necessary. In addition to informing your employee on what the issue is, express the significance by detailing how it can affect them and their team by using phrases like: 

  • “This issue can lead to poor productivity amongst the rest of the team.”
  • “I’m worried that this issue might be affecting your ability to best manage your tasks.” 
  • “When this issue happens, it can make it hard for other members of the department to focus.” 

By clearly stating the issue and its consequences, you can encourage your employee to assume responsibility, recognize the issue, and revise their behavior.

Try to Personally Help 

Phrasing things in an inclusive way will make your employees feel that you’re personally invested in seeing their improvements. Try rewording your verbiage to include yourself whenever possible by saying things like: 

  • “Is there anything I can do to help prevent this from happening again?” 
  • “What can we do to improve your performance in this area?” 
  • “Let’s create a plan together so we can meet and reevaluate it in the future.” 

Inputting yourself in the situation allows you to not only show personal support as a manager, but also reassure your employee that you’re serious about solving the issue. 

Address Any Questions 

Before ending any evaluation, make it a priority to address questions and concerns. When addressing specific problem areas, show that you’re dedicated to understanding your employee’s perspective by asking questions like: 

  • “Did you also notice this particular issue?” 
  • “What do you think could be the cause of this issue?” 
  • “What do you think we should do to solve it moving forward?” 

To feel confident that you’ve comprehensively covered the problem, let your employee know exactly how they can reach you if they have questions about the subject in the future.  

Offer Your Own Tips 

If you’ve ever experienced problem similar to your employee, explain that they aren’t alone. When an employee struggles with time management, for example, you could say, 

“I’ve also had issues with time management. Here’s what has helped me to get my schedule in order.” 

And even if you don’t have personal experience with an issue your employee is dealing with, you can still offer your honest insight and detail strategies you’ve seen success with in the past.   

Guidance for Your Management Team 

When you’re ready to rethink the way you give employee performance reviews, partner with Professional Employer Resources (PER). Because we’re a human resources provider, we offer guidance to management teams in a variety of professional practices. If you’re struggling with performance evaluations in particular, our team can help you with troubleshooting employee issues, creating employee surveys, and customizing training seminars. To learn more, contact us today.

Why Hire a Human Resources Provider?

Why Hire a Human Resources Provider?

Why Hire a Human Resources Provider?

When either entering a business, growing within a company, or leaving their employer, employees have to consult with human resources (HR). If your business simply doesn’t have time or resources to cover all the ground that an HR department must cover, consider hiring a provider that can offer help where it’s needed most. Here are some of the main reasons to hire an HR provider for your business. 

Employee Record Administration 

Receiving, organizing, and filing incoming employee paperwork can take a lot of time, but it still has to be done correctly. A lot of small- to medium-sized businesses turn to HR providers because they can advise on employee file system organization and maintenance that includes instruction on secure storage and federally compliant document destruction. 

Wage and Salary Assistance

An HR provider can help your business attract top talent by crafting job descriptions, determining salary recommendations, and finalizing job offer letters. 

Employee-Related Claims 

From recruitment and applicant screening to discipline and termination, HR providers can help with just about every employee-related issue. When an employee files a claim, for example, you need to trust that their complaint will be discreetly and professionally handled. Fortunately, an HR provider can advise on how to contain such situations with federal and state compliance.  

Management Advising  

Your management team serves as the eyes, ears, and authority figures of your business so that you don’t always have to. That’s why each member of your managerial team needs specific training that will help them handle employee issues, track employee information, and implement safeguard policies. To give your managerial team the guidance they need, hire an HR provider that offers customized training seminars. 

PER, Your HR Resource

Now that you know the benefits of a human resources provider, why wait to bring one to your business? If you’re ready to get professional, legally compliant assistance with all of your HR wants and needs, partner with the team at Professional Employer Resources (PER). PER is an HR provider that handles or advises on all of the services mentioned above, as well as unemployment management, HR forms, and more. To learn more about our services as an HR provider, contact us today.

What Does High Turnover Mean for Your Business?

What Does High Turnover Mean for Your Business?

What Does High Turnover Mean for Your Business?

Black means profit, red means loss, but what exactly does high turnover mean for your business? Turnover rate marks the amount of employees that resign, quit, or leave a facility within a specific number of weeks, months, or even years. A high employee turnover rate not only suggests that employees are leaving, but also that their employment is short-lived — and this can be devastating to companies of all sizes at any point in their lifetime.  

Consequences of High Turnover 

Employees aren’t inventory. They aren’t easily replaced or assembled. Because each member of your staff serves a specialized and highly important function in your overall operations, turnover can hurt your business in multiple ways, including: 

  • High costs — Just like customers, it’s more affordable to retain existing employees than to hire new ones. Re-training, insuring, and onboarding employees costs money. 
  • Low employee morale — When employees see their coworkers come and go, it can influence the way they perceive your company and cause them to lose morale. 
  • More distractions — The more focus you have to put on posting new job positions, interviewing candidates, and training new employees, the less time you have for your other obligations. 
  • Poor performance — Without enough time to properly train and mobilize employees, you can expect to see a dip in overall performance. 

Causes of High Turnover

Turnover isn’t as clear-cut as other issues that healthcare facilities commonly face, and it can be especially difficult to track down the main cause. Employees might choose to leave for a number of personal or professional reasons — some of which you can minimize. Reasons that employees most commonly cite as the cause of their decision to leave include:  

  • Advancement — If employees feel like there’s no room to grow, either laterally or vertically, they may start to look for a company with such opportunities.  
  • Leadership —When staff members feel disconnected from leadership, it can affect the way they perceive their position and personal value. 
  • Compensation — Failing to offer additional compensation for tenured or high-performing employees can drive them to look for companies that will.  
  • Benefits — Company benefits that don’t effectively meet the wants and needs of your employees may be a significant factor in their decision to leave. 
  • Stress — All other variables held equal, companies with high-stress positions are far likelier to experience turnover than those with low-stress ones. 

Lowering Employee Turnover 

Whether you need to reverse the cycle of employee turnover or want to preemptively prevent it from starting, the team at Professional Employer Resources (PER) can help. At PER, we’re a human resources provider, which means we coach management teams on how to be better leaders, mentors, and coworkers — all of which are vital to high employee satisfaction and low employee turnover. For more information, contact us today.

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.