THIS IS YOUR BRAIN ON HR.


As we draw closer to the end of 2022, it's prime time to assess and reassess what's working well for your small business, and what isn't. To help you with the "people" side of things, (which let's face it, is the MOST important factor in any business!) we've compiled a short HR-related, Must Haves list for 2023. Ready? Let's go.

1. HR and Payroll Technology with Automations

Let me guess, few to no HR or payroll processes are currently automated in your business. That's ok, for awhile, but in today's hyper-fast tech-driven world, there are tons of solutions available to small businesses that can help automate vital, complex, and simple recruiting, HR and payroll processes. For affordable prices, many systems can automate, or at the very least, simplify, sourcing candidates, interviews, tracking time and attendance, calculations for payroll, tax deductions, new hire paperwork during onboarding, and so much more.


How much time, money, and effort did you spend on these administrative tasks in 2022? Would you rather significantly free up your time, save money, improve efficiency, and make all of your back-end operations run smoother for 2023? When things consistently run as they should, employees are happier and more productive, which sounds like a win-win situation to me!


2. Improved Employee and Candidate Experiences

Today's workforce is increasingly demanding more flexibility, greater appreciation, feedback, updates, and self-service features from the modern technology you choose to implement.


Long gone are the days this only applies to large corporations with thousands of employees. Small businesses can join forces with one of nearly 1,000 PEOs and compete with the big guys for top talent. Partnering with a PEO not only streamlines everything we talked about in #1 above, but also has been known to strengthen company resilience, improve retention and recruiting, and improve employee satisfaction. Most, if not all PEOs offer self-service portals, self-selection for benefits, automated messaging, automatic PTO calculations, training courses, payroll automation features, plus a dedicated team to run your back-end processes, resulting in empowered, informed, and happy new hires and employees. No wonder companies stay with a PEO, on average, 5-7 years, grow 14% faster, and have a 51% better chance of still being in business for the next year!

3. HR Compliance

Last, and most importantly, get ready, because HR compliance is going to be a real B**** in 2023! Every single small business will have to focus on HR compliance more than ever before. It seems like every day, new state, county, and federal laws creep up and demand your attention and abiding action.


These changes are not to be taken lightly, as they have major consequences if you don't follow suit, and have major impacts on your employees. If you haven't updated your Employee Handbook since COVID, you're out of compliance already (most likely). Now is the time to dust off the ol' handbook and give it a nice, compliant revision, with the help of an HR expert and your legal counsel, of course.


Here's a few (of many!) changes that have recently occured - but if you want to know if these apply to you, and your business, the answer is, it depends. It depends on where your business is located, where your employees are living, and where your employees are working, as well as what kind of jobs are they performing. Crap answer, I know, but it's true!


So, to wrap this list up, here's just a few of the recent law changes that may affect your small business in 2023:

  • minimum wage increases

  • workplace health and safety laws

  • new ACA reporting requirements

  • paid leave laws / sick leave

  • retirement plan offering requirements

  • mandatory benefits

  • mandatory PTO pay-out laws

  • pay and reporting requirements for remote workers in different states

  • accommodation requirements for mental health related disabilities

  • commission payment requirements

  • job salary listed in job postings requirements (New York....)

  • diversity reporting requirements

  • I-9 process changes

  • and MORE

The upcoming year dictates you make HR compliance strategy a major factor to reckon with. It cannot be an afterthought. It cannot be reactionary; it must be made central to your overall business and HR strategy, otherwise risk major fines, losing your business altogether, lawsuits, or other major consequences.


Final Thoughts

The best way to avoid that kind of hell hole, is to implement and utilize a robust people management solution, such as a PEO, who can ensure a reduced administrative burden and compliance with health benefits, workers' compensation, unemployment, ACA reporting, payroll processing, and everything HR related.


As mentioned, there are nearly 1,000 PEOs in the United States today, and not all are created equal. If you need assistance shopping PEO services, evaluating quotes, selecting the right one, or implementing their technology and services into your business, CTC HR can guide you through this process from beginning to end.


Want to know who's good, who's expensive, who's technology is the most user-friendly, who has the best benefits, who offers the best customer service, or who has the best deals for 2023? Ask us, and we'll share what we know. As great as most PEO teams are, it would still be smart move to have an impartial HR and PEO relationship expert to guide you through the selection, purchasing, and implementation process.


If your business isn't quite ready to take the plunge into PEO-land, CTC HR can help you navigate and implement temporary alternatives until you're ready to invest in a more sustainable, grow-as-you-grow, all in one people management solution. Either way, we got you covered. Cheers!






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Hiring and retaining talent can be tough, especially if you don't have any attractive benefits in place to help out. Here's a list of ten low and no cost benefits every small business owner should consider offering their employees. Let's start with the obvious and go from there.


1. Major Medical Insurance - If you're thinking "low cost? Major medical? Yeah right." You're right to a certain degree, however, depending on the size of your team, their location(s), and your industry, you may be able to offer benefits at no cost to the organization, or choose how much you want to contribute. Some small businesses can offer major medical plans without being subject to the Affordable Care Act's reporting and contribution requirements.


However, many small businesses have trouble establishing affordable rates due to having a small group participating. If you find yourself having trouble getting decent rates from Insurance Agents, consider talking with PEOs such as Infiniti HR, ADP, or Paychex. Professional Employment Organizations help level the playing field with corporations so that small businesses are able to offer competitive benefits to their employees at affordable prices.


2. Dental and Vision Insurance - These types of plans do not require the employer to contribute anything to them, and they are usually affordable enough for employees to pick up the tab on their own. If you want to compete with the bigwigs though, consider covering 50% or more of the cost of monthly premiums.


3. Flexible Spending Account (FSA) / Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account - These are two separate types of benefits accounts. Neither requires a monetary contribution on your part, and they allow the employees to pay for medical expenses and/or child care with pre-tax dollars. The federal government limits these pre-tax benefits, so be sure you're offering a plan that is compliant with state and federal guidelines.


4. Paid TIme Off (PTO)- Offering your employees paid time off shows them that you are aware, and you respect the fact that they have personal lives that have nothing to do with you. If you're not offering at least one week of paid time off during their first year of service, don't be surprised when they jump ship for the business next door that offers two, three, four, or unlimited PTO.


Unlimited PTO became popular due to Netflix originally offering it to their employees, and enjoyed more of the lime light throughout the main throws of COVID-19. If you're not sure how much PTO to offer, be conservative, but do give as much as you can. Even if your employees don't take the time off, they appreciate knowing it's there.


Be aware that some states require you to pay out PTO at the end of each calendar year, some require you to pay out unused time upon termination, and some states have no requirements at all. If you're in a state with no requirements, consider letting employees "roll over" a certain amount of hours they can utilize in the upcoming year.


However, if you do allow a roll over, make sure your PTO policy clearly states that "all PTO must be pre-approved," and if there are any limits you want to set on home much time a person can take off at once. For example, would you allow an employee to take off 1 month (30 -31 days) if they stockpiled their PTO? If not, put limitations in your Employee Handbook under your PTO policy.


5. Remote Work - Employees LOVE the option to work where they are most comfortable, and many employees say they are more productive working from home than in an office setting. If your business is set up so that remote work is possible, you'll see higher retention and employee satisfaction rates than your Office-Work-requiring competitors. It costs you nothing to let your people work from home, so why not consider it when they want it so bad?


You don't have to go full-time remote; just offering a hybrid option is likely to please most people. If the thought of your employees working somewhere without you being able to see their every move, you're likely a micromanager and already hurting your retention and satisfaction scores. Loosen up the reigns or get rid of people who can't be trusted and aren't pulling their own weight. Do what you need to to do to build a culture of trust and flexibility, and you will reap the benefits of those decisions for years to come.


When offering a remote work benefit, make sure your policy is fair and equitable for everyone in the company, meaning, don't allow only your favorite employees to work remotely and make everyone else be at the office. This will breed ill-feelings between coworkers, make leadership look juvenile and petty, and given the right circumstances, end up an ADA lawsuit (if the employee has requested an accomodation around remote work due to a medical disability, and the request was denied, but other employees were allowed to work remotely without an accommodation request being made.)


6. Leadership Development Training - This old saying has a kernel of truth it, " People don't quit companies, they quit managers." While this is somewhat accurate, it's probably more accurate to say "employees quit bad leadership."


If you hear lots of grumblings amongst employees about unfair treatment, unrealistic expectations, or just bad management and people skills, it may be time to re-evaluate how you decide who gets promoted. If your managers were given their people-management job role due to their outstanding performance on the job as a non-people manager, consider offering them opportunities for leadership development training. There are several ways you can go about this:

  • Send your leaders to a leadership conference

  • Give them a stipend to attend online workshops and webinars to learn communication and people management skills

  • Bring in diverse speakers for "lunch and learns"

  • Establish monthly presentations that are taught by your Human Resources professional

  • Set up a mentoring program.

  • Formally acknowledge managers who exhibit leadership qualities and follow best practices.

  • Establish 360 Feedback.

Often employers don't have up-to-date, realistic views of their managers' leadership capabilities, including how they talk to and treat their workers day to day. If you haven't shadowed your managers in awhile or ever, consider doing so. You may learn that a little training is all that's needed to improve productivity, morale, and retention.


7. Flexible Work Arrangements (FWA) - FWAs are similar to remote work arrangements, except they may or may not include an option to work remotely. FWAs allow employees to work out an agreement with their employer so that they can work a schedule more suitable to their personal needs. This usually includes consideration for work allowed during off-peak hours, the employee coming in hours early or hours later than their typical start time, or a compressed work week. If remote work is not an option for your company, consider flex time. It costs you nothing, and your employees will appreciate you acknowledging their lives outside of work matter to you.


8. Cancer Protection and Hospitalization Indemnity Plans - Many employers aren't aware that they can offer their employees extensive cancer cost containment coverage or prolonged hospitalization coverage, at no cost to the company. Companies like AFLAC will come to your place of work and present their catalog of protection plans to your employees for free, or they will present to your team virtually if needed.


I have a plan through AFLAC for about $50 a month, and my favorite feature is that for every year I don't use my benefits, my coverage amount increases. They're literally rewarding me for staying healthy, and you can reward your people too, free of charge to you!


9. Casual Dress - Long gone are the days where wearing a suit to work is the only way people will take you seriously, and if you're employees are going to be barricaded in their cubicles taking customer service calls all day long, I bet they would at least like to be comfortable. One study found that American employees would gladly give up $5k just to be able to dress more comfortable-casual at work. Some employers allow casual dress only in certain departments or certain days of the week, but if you can open it up to the entire company, do it!


10. Mental Health Resources - COVID-19 drove into realization that fact that mental health is and always will be a part of all of our personal and professional lives. "Taking a mental health day" used to mean that you're weak, lazy, or unmotivated to go to work. Nowadays, as noted in this extensive Workable.com study, things are much different. Employees everywhere have been calling out their employers and urging them to do something about the company's culture surrounding mental health, and requests for new helpful resources are still flooding in to HR departments everywhere. Workable's study found that 92.6% of respondents have personally experienced mental health challenges that impacted their work.


So what you can do?

  • Create a culture of inclusive, accomodation, acceptance and safety for all.

  • Communicate in mass-form about mental health via newsletters, Slack messages and groups, during meetings, and when engaged in casual conversations.

  • Offer an Employee Assistance Program (PEOs often provide this to small businesses!)

  • Hold mental health fairs throughout the year

  • Create a committee to oversee mental health activities for the company

  • Go above and beyond to destigmatize mental health in your workplace with relevant trainings and workshops.

  • Approve accommodation requests quickly and without question (when possible) from employees with mental health challenges (provided they have requested a modified work arrangement due to it)

  • Tell the team about your own personal challenges with mental health.

  • Tell your future employees about the mental health resources you offer on your Careers page on your website.

If you implemented even 1 of these things in your workplace, you can bet your employees will take notice! Mental health programs may not be free for you to offer, but it should be free for your people to utilize, which in turn will improve your retention rate, and therefore your bottom line. :)


There you have it. Ten benefits your small business can offer at low or no cost to you, and this is just the tip of the iceberg! Don't forget HSAs, "bring your pet to work day," "bring your kid to work day," team building events, birthday luncheons and birthday PTO days..


What benefits does your small business offer, and which ones do your employees appreciate the most? What other benefits could you offer at low or no cost to your organization? If you'd like help selecting, evaluating, or implementing programs, plans, or resources for your team, we're here for you! Reach out to today to get started: chandy@ctuckerconsulting.com.


Updated: Jan 4

Job Seekers and Career Upgraders, This Post is for You!

Were you laid off during COVID? Perhaps you‘re part of the “Great Resignation,” one of the 4.4 million people who have left their jobs to pursue work that is more flexible and satisfying. Regardless the reason you’re in the job market, conducting a job search is no small task.

Being in the midst of a job search or complete career change can be exciting, scary, daunting, uncomfortable, emotionally taxing, and fun. The interview process often feels like a roller coaster of ups and downs between confidence, uncertainty, and pleasantness and unpleasantness. Not to mention, the slew of rejection emails and ghostings” by recruiters, while only receiving a few call-backs for interviews.


If you‘re in the job market or looking to make a major change in your career path, don’t fret. Here’s a (oversimplified) list how to get started in the right direction, and it all starts with getting to know yourself and being clear about what you know you want, and what isn’t going to work well for you. To gain insight into your best career move, start by following these simple steps:


1. Be open. Be honest with yourself about what is the most important thing you want to accomplish, and what you want to gain from a new job.


Be willing to change your perspective when needed. If you’re viewing all jobs from a “I’m too good for that job,” or a pessimistic, beyond nit picky, ego-driven perspective, then chances are you’ll apply for and be offered the wrong job opportunities (if any).

Instead, try approaching your job search as if you are creating your career opportunities from scratch.


What do you want to create for yourself with this job change?

What‘s most important for a company to get right?

What means the most, and a lot, to you? Freedom?

A fantastic manager?

Work from home?


Write down everything you would like to get from a new job, then mark off anything totally unrealistic.

There‘s a big difference between a lofty desire and being completely unrealistic. Lofty desires are good! List them.


2. Organize your mind.

Choose jobs to apply to that align well with your career goals and your list of “must haves” you want to receive from a new employment situation. The more clarity you have, the better chances you’ll land the job you want.

(see video link below for an interesting perspective on how to organize your mind)


3. Take action.

Make confident decisions. Know your worth. Make your career decisions, your intentions for your career, are in alignment with your job searching efforts and life goals.

Intentional Life Goal + Organized Mind + Effort = Career Clarity & Happiness


If you are open, introspective, get clear about your goals, put in the effort to apply to the right opportunities, and make wise career choices, (including watching the video) you’ll land a fantastically fitting opportunity where you can flourish!


4. Forget everything everyone has told you about what you “should be doing” for your career.


No one knows you like you do, so forget about what your parents want you to be, your teachers say you should be, and what you think society says will make you successful. Lasting, real success and career fulfillment only comes when you follow through with what you want to do. So forget all the well-intentioned advice. It’s your career, not theirs, do what you want.

5. Get to know yourself better starting today.

There’s no need to wait on more job information, your next interview, or for you to get your resume ready first. If your self-employed or looking to be, you don’t need to wait for anything either, and if you’re embarking on starting an LLC, no need to wait for any business partners to decide with you, or lawyer paperwork to do this. In fact it’s best not to wait at all. Don’t leave your career up to someone else.


“Waiting = procrastination. Procrastinating boils down to laziness, feelings of unworthiness, and fear of an outcome. This process creates the outcome you want, nothing to fear, no reason to wait. Start getting clear today about what you want, then be confident as you take steps in pursuit of your dream!

This is a great time to get noticed and hired, as 59% of employers are hiring this Q4. It’s a candidate market right now, and that doesn’t come around too often, so take advantage of this rare opportunity and make the most of it.

Cheers to Your Next, and Best, Career Move! It’s going to be a great one!


 

Heads up: The video below is mostly about spirituality, however, you can and should approach your job search and career plans with this same “Creator” mindset as described in this video. (You can start it at the 1/2 way point if you‘re short on time.)



 

If you‘re still unclear where to start or how to identify your career goals, contact me today. I’m here to help, guide, and support you. You can email me at chandy@ctuckerconsulting.com and you’d like to get on my calendar, please request my calendar link!


Best,

Chandy


 

Chandy Tucker Consulting exists to help job seekers, employees, and employers, navigate employment situations and workplace relationships. By working with CTC, you gain increased motivation, clarity, decision making confidence, and better fitting job opportunities.


We also aim to provide useful, thought-provoking fuel for your life choices so that you are well equipped to make better, conscious career choices that favor the outcome you want, and your work enhances your happiness, career trajectory, and overall quality of life.


You can start getting clear about what you want, and experience more joy, right now, and I’m here to help you! You don’t have figure this out alone. I‘ve helped hundreds of people obtain the career opportunities they want most, and I celebrate all of your small and big wins with you!

Either way, get started on a new path to career happiness today.



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