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From Entrepreneur to Employee: I love my J-O-B

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from-entrepreneur-to-employee-I-love-my-jobI’m a relatively happy person. I have my family (though we are scattered across the U.S.), my pets (low-pitched meows and growls pervade my workspace as my puppy Roxy terrorizes my 14-year-old cat Jacques as I write this), and I have my work.

Now, “W-2 work” has never been a thing I have loved, or oftentimes even liked, over my many years on this earth. I have excelled as a self-employed individual when I could afford it, but it is an expensive game in the early years, and not one many of us can afford, so we expense-poor entrepreneurs may eventually turn to the dreaded employment.

Working for Staff One HR has changed my perception of working as an employee.

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Set the Tone for a Long-Lasting Adventure

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set-the-tone-for-a-lasting-adventureOn November 1, 2017, I started a new adventure with Staff One HR. Human Resources Generalist Marissa Corken conducted my initial orientation and gave me the tour of our office and the building.  My office was decorated with a welcome sign signed by everyone, plus a picture of my personal family.  We even have a free gym on site, complete with showers.

Our HR Director took me to lunch on my first day so we could get better acquainted. As the week went on, I found it refreshing how helpful all my HR teammates were, as well as everyone from other departments. Did I mention that we have free fresh fruit every day and that team members have continued to approach me to ask if I needed anything?  I felt soooo welcome! Continue reading “Set the Tone for a Long-Lasting Adventure”

Boost Your Benefits for a Great 2018

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boost-your-benefits-for-a-great-2018It’s the fourth quarter of the year…what does that mean to you?  For many, it’s the time for football, holidays, and vacations.  For a business owner, it could mean preparing for the coming year, deciding on health insurance, hiring new employees, researching benefits, making W-2 preparations, and analyzing costs. By partnering with a Professional Employer Organization (PEO), business owners can eliminate or reduce many of these year-end tasks.

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Protect Your Company and Your Team from Distracted Driving

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protect-your-company-from-distracted-drivingThere’s a troubling new trend on America’s roads.  After years of steady decline, traffic fatalities have risen more than 14% in the last two years.  Why?  Many experts believe it’s no coincidence that the same two year period has seen a dramatic expansion in mobile phone ownership – and in the ways we use our phones.  Using electronics while driving, whether talking, texting, emailing, reading, or updating social media, seriously impacts our cognitive abilities.  As a result, we see less of our environment, react more slowly and have a false sense of confidence similar to intoxication.

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Focus on Employee Engagement, Attachment for Success

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HR Managers at HR SouthwestOur local HR Managers recently attended the HR Southwest conference in Fort Worth, Texas.  HR Southwest is one of the largest regional HR conferences in the country, and while it is recognized as the Texas SHRM conference, HRSW attracts HR professionals from across the country.  This two and a half day event features an expert lineup of educational sessions, nationally renowned keynote speakers, and great networking opportunities.

While I have been participating in this conference for years, this year’s theme, “Plug In and Power Up for 2018,” resonated with me.  Most of the sessions I attended concentrated on retention strategies and preparing for a changing workplace as Baby Boomers continue to exit the workforce at a steady rate; specifically, employee engagement and attachment.

Jill Christenson of Jill Christenson International discussed the importance of forming a company-wide engagement strategy for which all members of management are accountable.  She was adamant that employers throw away the constant and ever-changing engagement initiatives and trade up to an engagement strategy that aligns with the strategic goals of the business.

Christenson defined employee engagement as a mutual commitment between employees and the company and explained that engagement happens when employees genuinely trust leadership and feel an emotional attachment or connection to the company or organization.  This was a very impactful presentation for me, as I learned that 87 percent of employees are disengaged.  Think of it this way:  you are the coach of a rowing team of 10, where three are rowing (engaged), five are checking out the scenery (disengaged), and two are literally trying to sink the boat (actively disengaged).  Now, think of the boat as a company and you get the picture.

Christensen also explained the difference between being engaged and being happy or satisfied.  For example, having a company dog lick your face while you have a free beer and play video games on your break will make employees happy.  But will it illicit an emotional connection to your company?  Most likely not.

Another session I attended was with Jimmy Taylor, a BizMultiplier partner, whom I consider a recruitment and employee engagement guru.  He presented the theory that all new hires start off being 100 percent engaged with the company and their engagement and attachment to the company remains “moldable” through the first 120 days.  After that time, it is set like concrete unless the employee changes positions, departments, or managers.  His strategy is to focus on your front line managers, as they control the relationship with the employee. Training your front line managers in successful recruitment and onboarding from Day One.  Taylor stresses that onboarding is not orientation (Note: the author has discussed the difference between the two in a previous post.).  He states that new hires all want the same four questions answered:

  1. Where are we going?
  2. How are we going to get there?
  3. What is my role?
  4. What’s in it for me?

Line Managers must be trained in the in the process of hiring and managing for engagement – from candidate sourcing through performance management to employee exits.

This is really just the tip of the iceberg of what was available to HR professionals at the HR Southwest conference!  I’m excited to put the things I’ve learned to work for my clients as we look forward to 2018.

When we consider that our country’s unemployment rate is finally back to where it was more than 10 years ago, along with the Boomers exiting the workforce faster than the millennials and generation Z can enter it, some, if not most, industries will see a significant shortage of qualified candidates.  I believe that employers will need to shift their focus to creating a more inclusive, flexible, and engaging workplace for their employees so they can continue to retain their top talent while attracting more of the same.

Contact the author directly at marisa.eckberg@staffone.com.

Invisible Illness – What Employers Should Know About Traumatic Brain Injury

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what-employers-should-know-about-traumatic-brain-injuryLet’s say “Sally from Accounting” slips on a slick spot in the break room and falls.  You rush to the scene and find Sally sitting down, cracking a joke about “seeing stars.” She insists she is “fine” and doesn’t need to see a doctor.  She laughs it off, but her co-worker Carl, who witnessed the whole thing, isn’t so sure.  He says Sally hit her head hard on the kitchen floor when she fell.  She admits she feels a little “dazed,” but she’s sure that it will pass.  Sally isn’t bleeding and she insists she isn’t hurt.  But is that enough to determine that she doesn’t need medical help?

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Partner with a PEO to Hand Off Payroll Headaches

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Partner with a PEO to hand off Payroll headachesAcross the country, in all walks of life, payday is many employees’ favorite day. That’s why, when it comes to processing payroll, it has to be correct and on time, every time.  This task costs time and money, while exposing a business to risk and liability, without producing a single dime of profit.

To the uninitiated, payroll can seem like a minefield of mistakes waiting to happen.  Just processing regular and overtime wages and correctly accruing vacation time or Paid Time Off (PTO) is a lot to handle, once your company has more than a few employees.  Add in record-keeping requirements, Wage and Hour compliance, regulatory reporting, and state, federal and local tax compliance, and processing payroll becomes a task fraught with hidden responsibilities and risks.

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Controlling the Controllables

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Controlling the controllablesA former work colleague of mine recently was diagnosed with cancer.  It came as a surprise to me, as he is in mid-forties and otherwise a very healthy person, as far as I can tell.  I know that he is a resilient person who will fight as hard as he can to get through this.  However, when I reflected on our conversation, I was struck by the fact that I actually seemed more shaken by the diagnosis than he was.  I realize now that his response is driven by one of my favorite mantras, which is the importance of “controlling the controllables.”

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Staff One HR Launches Master Medical Plan with Aetna Effective July 1

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Staff One HR is proud to announce that effective July 1, 2017, we have partnered with Aetna to offer a master medical plan for our clients.  The new offering will include a variety of plan designs, featuring low, mid-range and high deductibles.  Having a master medical plan will allow us greater buying power and provide rate stability for our clients, helping minimize unexpected increases.

It’s a struggle for many small businesses to provide robust benefits for their workforce, but if they don’t provide competitive benefits, they risk losing their best employees to a competitor.  Partnering with a leading carrier like Aetna helps us better meet the needs of our clients across the nation, from attracting top talent to keeping their existing team members happy.

Not only does Staff One HR offer top tier benefits supported by a team of professionals, but our certified HR Managers, Payroll Specialists are second to none.

For more information on the Aetna master plan, becoming a Staff One HR client or referral partner, contact Executive Vice President Donna Meek at donna.meek@staffone.com or call 405.830.0115.

Find out more about Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs) and what they have to offer.