Advance Planning Can Make Maternity Leave – and Return – Much Easier

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advance-planning-can-make-maternity-leave-easierWelcoming a new baby was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.  We were fortunate in the fact that we had lots of time to plan for our new bundle of joy.  Here are a few recommendations that really made a difference for me:

Train your backup early. Even if you are part of a team, identify those tasks in which you specialize or the systems you utilize more than others do. “Shadow training” is priceless, as live calls allow your backup to not only hear how you answer requests, but also to understand the various ways customers may phrase a question.  Whoever is covering for you, whether a temporary employee or someone you’re cross-training, should shadow you, listen to live calls, and get a feel for how you interact with your clients and customers. Continue reading “Advance Planning Can Make Maternity Leave – and Return – Much Easier”

Social Media:  A Sticky Situation

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social-media-a-sticky-situationSocial media is pervasive in today’s online world, and it has created many “gray areas” for employers.  Just as you should have a social media policy for your company’s posts for consistency and tone, you also should have a social media policy included in your employee handbook, so your team understands expectations when representing your company.

We all have opinions and beliefs, and as Americans, are entitled to freedom of speech.  Social media promotes individualism, and people use various social media platforms, such as Facebook to LinkedIn, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, and many more, to share their lives – both personal and professional – with their connections around the world. Continue reading “Social Media:  A Sticky Situation”

Leading by Example: What Managers Need to Know About Motivating Employees

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leading-by-example-motivation-ideasMotivation comes in all shapes and sizes. What motivates me might not appeal to someone sitting next to me.  Thus, the idea of “motivating a team” should be taken as a holistic approach.  Managers must understand that motivation doesn’t have to break the bank, and can be as simple as a thank you.  Kindness and thoughtfulness can go a very long way and while this mindset may take some mindfulness, it is free.  A simple “Thank you” or “Good job” can motivate employees and show your appreciation for a job well done.

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If you are a manager or supervisor and feel your team could use some additional motivation, here are a few basics to know: Continue reading “Leading by Example: What Managers Need to Know About Motivating Employees”

2018 Arizona SHRM Conference Provides Training, Insights

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SHRM-conference-provides-training-insightsEvery year, Human Resources professionals seek learning and development opportunities to ensure they are up-to-date on the latest trends, resources and regulatory uncertainties that impact the American and global workforce. College degrees, industry-specific certifications, and on-the-job experience will help individuals stand out among their peers.  However, none of those provides an HR professional with a clear picture of what the future holds in our fluid legal environment.

Increasing State/Local Legislation

In a climate of decreasing federal regulations, employers should expect to continue seeing an increase in state and local legislation that certainly will present legal and ethical challenges. From Paid Sick and/or Family Leave to protections on sexual orientation and harassment, employers need a clear understanding of their state and county employment regulations and ordinances, as well as how their reaction to these changes will define the future of their organization’s culture. Continue reading “2018 Arizona SHRM Conference Provides Training, Insights”

Why Your PEO Should Be IRS-Certified

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why-your-peo-should-be-irs-certified-cpeoLast year, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) rolled out a new voluntary certification for Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs), called “CPEO,” or the Certified Professional Employer Organization program. This certification program originated as a result of the Small Business Efficiency Act in 2014.  Prior to implementation of the CPEO program in 2017, the IRS did not recognize the PEO relationship when it came to federal taxes, and this presented tax challenges for business owners who wanted to enter a partnership with a PEO, or transition from one PEO to another.

PEOs with CPEO status have demonstrated their stability and financial well-being, as well as their ability to meet and maintain strict requirements for financial reporting, tax status, and bonding.  Continue reading “Why Your PEO Should Be IRS-Certified”

Remote Employees: 4 Tips for Staying Motivated

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4-tips-for-remote-workers-motivationLast August, my (now) fiance and I decided to move back from Dallas back to Las Vegas. Even though I had only been part of the Staff One HR team for six months, my manager and the company’s leadership went out on a limb for me by offering me the opportunity to work from home. At first, I think everyone was a little nervous because I would not have the same “office interaction” as when I was working in our Dallas headquarters.

Having the chance to work from home really made me feel valued as a team member.   Although there are plenty of perks to working from home (i.e. no commute, casual dress, and hanging out with my dogs all day – what could be better?), there are also some challenges to being a remote employee that not everyone may realize.

Continue reading “Remote Employees: 4 Tips for Staying Motivated”

Help Employees Understand, Utilize Benefits

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help-employees-understand-utilize-benefitsWhen hiring a new team member, you focus on their qualifications, where they fit into your team, and how they can contribute to the company’s goals.  You invest time in orientation for new employees, so they’ll know how to perform their jobs effectively, but do you spend time explaining their benefits as well?

Healthcare benefits can be confusing, especially for employees who are new to the workforce or those who have not had their own benefits plan before.  How well do your employees understand their healthcare plans?  Do they know what premiums and deductibles are?  How about the difference between a copay and co-insurance?  What is a High Deductible Health Plan?  So much information is available on employee benefits that it can be overwhelming to sift through during a short open enrollment period. Here are some basic terms employees need to know to fully utilize benefits offered. Continue reading “Help Employees Understand, Utilize Benefits”

3 Ways to Avoid Discrimination Issues

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3-ways-to-avoid-discriminationIn this age of political correctness, almost every business owner I speak with is scared of the potential for a discrimination lawsuit. Not because they set out to discriminate against an individual or an employee, but because people are human, with biases and feelings.

What is discrimination? Title VII prohibits employers from discriminating against individuals, based on age, gender, religious beliefs, race, etc.  And, according to, Discrimination in the Workplace is “the discrimination in favor of or against an employee based on a group, category, or class to which the individual belongs, rather than on individual merit.” Continue reading “3 Ways to Avoid Discrimination Issues”

Invest in Employee Development and Ongoing Training

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Employee-development-training-should-never-endEmployee development should be customized to match the individual goals and expectations of each team member.  That’s why it’s important for managers to engage in ongoing and regular conversations with employees to be sure they stay engaged and invested in determining and driving the direction of their professional development.  In today’s world, we are experiencing a more diverse and inclusive work environment than ever before.  Remember, Millennials expect and thrive on constant development and feedback, so this is a wise investment in your up-and-coming team members. Continue reading “Invest in Employee Development and Ongoing Training”

Cracking the (Dress) Code: What should I wear to work?

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cracking-the-dress-code-what-should-i-wear-to-workOffice attire trends change every season, every year, every decade.  Dress code rules have changed drastically, mostly in the corporate world.  For those who wear a uniform, scrubs, or other standardized clothing to work, this decision is a non-issue.

For the rest of us, the common term in many employee handbooks, “business casual,” has taken on a life of its own…and can be a scary beast to take on for both managers and employees.

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Understanding what is still considered suitable for today’s office job is hard, and often misconstrued due to the “casual” part of the term “business casual.” Regardless of the season, weather, region, specific market and/or type of business, there are ways to conquer this challenge. Continue reading “Cracking the (Dress) Code: What should I wear to work?”