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Employment Resources

Promote Inclusion During National Disability Employment Awareness Month

By Employment Resources

October, National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), gives your company an excellent opportunity to promote awareness for and appreciation of disabled employees. This year’s theme is “America’s Workforce: Empowering All.” Your company can empower all and improve inclusion in several ways this month and throughout the year.

Share the Benefits of Hiring Disabled Employees

Your company gains numerous benefits from inclusion, such as:

  • Enhanced team environment.
  • Increased customer base and loyalty.
  • Improved public image.
  • Reduced employee turnover.
  • Compliance with labor laws.
  • Earned Work Opportunity Tax Credit.

Share these benefits with your clients, customers and competitors as you encourage them to follow your example.

Review your Policies

No matter how many employees with disabilities you hire, ensure you’re creating a company culture that embraces everyone. All employees in every area of your company should be welcoming and feel welcomed. Also, your recruitment, hiring, retention, and advancement practices should support your employees of all abilities.

Train Supervisors

The men and women who directly supervise employees should understand inclusion and their role in fostering the right attitude and culture in your company. Include relevant policies, reasonable accommodations and other essential information in your training.

Educate Employees

All employees should understand and participate in your company’s commitment to inclusion. Hold official trainings, talk about inclusion throughout the day, and facilitate inclusion activities as you educate your employees.

Establish an Employee Resource Group (ERG)

An ERG, also known as an Employee Network or Affinity Group, gives employees with a disability the opportunity to connect and support each other. Establish one in your company, and use displays and other tools to remind employees about this helpful resource.

Update your Display Boards

Your company’s display boards may include announcements or feature different departments or employees. This month, update your display boards to add information about your inclusive workforce. Celebrate your employees with a disability, hang posters from the “What Can YOU Do?” series or highlight other information about this important celebration.

Participate in a Disability Mentoring Day

Encourage youth with disabilities to learn more about the careers offered in your company. Host a hands-on event where youth can shadow employees and receive mentoring. While Disability Mentoring Day is held the third Wednesday of October, you can participate more often if you wish as you promote inclusion.

Share Information on Social Media

Prioritize awareness online and start conversations about disability when you use your website and social media pages as a platform for inclusion. Talk about your company’s policies, showcase individual employees, and share statistics and other facts about NDEAM.

National Disability Employment Awareness Month gives your company the opportunity to promote awareness. Consider incorporating these tips this month and all year as you embrace inclusion.

Ways To Reward Employees When You’re On A Budget

By Employment Resources

Rewarding your employees for their hard work and dedication to your company is one way to say thank you. Rewards also build morale, strengthen teamwork and improve productivity. Consider several ways your HR team can reward employees without spending a fortune.

Plan an Outing

A fun outing builds teamwork and helps your employees to relax. Try bowling, jumping at a trampoline park or seeing a movie.

See a Local Show

A ticket to a local theater show, sporting event or musical concert is a fun way to show appreciation and support the local economy. Choose a different event each month or quarter to increase employee engagement.

Pay for Gym Memberships

A commitment to health and wellness boost your employees’ mental clarity, energy, focus, and productivity. Select a gym near the office to encourage your employees to work out and exercise before and after work or during breaks.

Cater Lunch

Serve a taco, salad or baked potato bar or other favorite food as you reward employees and give them time to connect over lunch.

Buy Gift Cards

A Visa or other gift card is similar to a cash bonus. You may even get a discount on gift cards when you buy them in bulk.

Create a Company Award

Purchase a trophy or other reward for employees to win. The award for attendance, innovation, performance, or another trait can motivate employees, create friendly competition and boost morale.

Reserve a Priority Parking Spot

Allow the employee of the month to earn the right to park in an exclusive spot close to the office. This convenience rewards outstanding team members and boosts the winner’s confidence and self-worth.

Give Swag

Imprint performance hoodies, laptop skins, pens, and other swag items with your company logo. These items double as a reward and company advertisement.

Donate to a Charity

Many of your employees may feel strongly about certain charitable causes. Donate to a charity in honor of your employees, and support your employee’s personal interests.

Promote Professional or Personal Development

A professional or personal development book, workshop or seminar encourages your employees to learn new skills and develop interests. This investment shows that you care about their growth and value them as people.

Rent a Coworking Space

Give your employees the opportunity to get out of the office and into a new, creative environment. This reward may jumpstart creativity and provide a beneficial networking opportunity.

Take Time Off

Employees always appreciate an early start to the weekend or a long lunch break. Plan this reward to ensure all job obligations are covered.

Part of your job as an HR professional is to build morale. Choose from these frugal suggestions as you reward your employees.

Promote Workplace Eye Wellness Month With These Tips

By Employment Resources
During the month of March, your company can commemorate Workplace Eye Wellness Month and Save Your Vision Month. Several tips assist you in promoting healthy eyes and these important events among
your employees.
Evaluate and Adjust your Workspace
Staring at a computer screen or repetitively assembling widgets for hours at a time strains eyesight. Remind employees to evaluate their workspace, identify any strain or damage risks, and make adjustments that protect their eye health, such as:

  • Turn down the screen brightness and reduce blue light.
  • Reposition work materials to between 20 and 26 inches from your eyes.
  • Adjust your chair and posture so your worksite is slightly below your eyes level.
  • Look at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds once every 20 minutes.
  • Increase the screen font or use a magnifying glass to see small items.
  • Blink regularly throughout the day or use eye drops to prevent dry eye.

Wear the Correct Eye Safety Equipment

Employees who work with hazardous materials or operate equipment need to wear the proper eye safety equipment. Glasses, goggles and helmets, along with three steps, protect their eyesight.

  • Wear eye safety gear at all times.
  • Ensure the eye protection fits properly.
  • Replace worn or torn eye safety equipment immediately.

This month, schedule an eye safety equipment inspection. Additionally, remind employees of the procedure for reporting eye accidents or injuries. You may also offer a refresher course on how to use the eye wash and first aid stations.

Encourage a Healthy Diet

The right foods can prevent eyesight deterioration and protect eyes from damage. For optimal eye health, encourage your employees to eat foods that are high in zinc, vitamin C, vitamin E, and omega-3 fatty acids, such as:

  • Green leafy vegetables.
  • Non-meat proteins, including eggs, beans and nuts.
  • Oily fish like tuna and salmon.
  • Citrus fruit and juice.

To promote an eye-healthy diet, stock these foods in the break room or serve them during employee lunches. Also, include recipes that feature these eye-friendly ingredients in your company’s monthly newsletter.

Promote Regular Eye Checkups

An optometrist checks for vision changes and reviews eye health. The eye’s health and condition can even indicate an employee’s risk of developing diabetes, hypertension or other chronic illnesses.

If possible, provide vision insurance so your employees can visit an eye doctor at least once every year. Remind employees this month to take advantage of their vision benefit and ensure their eye health.

During Workplace Eye Wellness Month, you can follow these tips to protect your employees’ eye health and eyesight. Your insurance agent can provide additional tips that promote eye wellness this month and all year.

1,500 of Wasted Time on Busywork

By Employment Resources

Work can be a life-draining affair.” Joseph Campbell

Effective time management is essential if you wish to be a successful HR executive — and have a life at the same time. According to CEO surveys, when HR professionals focus their time on administrative and compliance duties (positions in which one is particularly likely to say “no”) their companies don’t see them as being strategic partners to the business. The problem is that HR executives spend an average of only 25% of their time on strategic activities. From a career and company goals perspective, this is akin to orchestrating their own demise.

When I advise HR executives to manage their time more effectively by minimizing administrative and compliance activities, I get a variety of “reasons” why they don’t do so:

This simply has to get done.
Somebody has to do it.
I don’t have the time to delegate this right now.
There’s nobody else here to do it.
I’m not sure I would know how to delegate it properly.
I can’t manage the person to whom I delegated it.

These are all poor excuses that can block your career success.

Let’s think about some numbers. Suppose you spend an average of 10 hours a week managing payroll and other administrative tasks. Let’s say you earn $40 per hour (roughly $80,000 per year) and administrative tasks such as this are the least valuable work you do. In fact, it’s work that $20 an hour people can do. On the conservative side, every hour that you do this work, the company loses $20 an hour — which comes to $800 a month or $9,600 a year. If you put this same effort into doing $60 an hour strategic work instead, the company would gain $20 every hour — and you’d be in a far better position to ask for a raise.

Think about it: if you waste 10 hours a week for the next three years, that’s 500 hours this year, and 1,500 hours during the next three years of your life that you’ll never get back! What’s more, this waste will cost the company at least $30,000.

If you label your work as “A”, “B,” and “C” work, you should be spending 80% of your time on A Work, 20% on B work — and zero time on C work. Otherwise, you’re spinning your wheels.

C work basically wastes time completely. It’s nothing you can delegate; it’s just something you should stop doing. B work is administrative and can be delegated or outsourced — such as payroll and benefits administration. Focus on A work: What the business needs and what you want to get great at doing. A classic example would be training in a company that’s focused on technological advances.

To determine where your time is going — and should be going — use this checklist:

A-Level Activities:

  • Meeting with the executive team to understand their vision, mission, value, goals, etc.
  • Studying and understanding the company’s strategic plans, financials, succession plan, markets, branding, and other operations.
  • Identifying the critical human resource needs for this organization (surveys, observation, focus groups, interviews, etc.).
  • Input into the company’s overall compensation plan, including pay rates, incentives, bonuses, rewards programs, etc.
  • Creating strategic plans and processes for carrying out top objectives.
  • Developing training plans to support implementation.
  • Input into the company’s overall risk-management plan, including assistance with the purchase of benefit programs, Workers Comp insurance, Cyber Liability insurance, and Employment Practices Liability insurance (EPLI).
  • Creating systems for hiring, performance, retention and compliance.
  • Facilitating creativity, branding, suggestion systems, etc.
  • Implementing any other company strategic objectives to which you can provide input.

B-Level Activities:

  • Payroll and benefits administration.
  • Implementation of hiring, performance, retention and compliance systems.
  • HRIS management.
  • Delivery of training.
  • Creation of employee handbook and executive contracts.
  • Personnel files management.
  • Attendance, vacation, and leave management.
  • COBRA administration.
  • Compliance posters and handouts.

C-Level Activities:

  • Employee dramas.
  • Meetings that go nowhere.
  • Doing any $10-20/hour work.

Top Tips To Reduce Stress At Work

By Employment Resources

Three in four adults report that work stress affects their personal lives. Since April is National Stress Awareness Month, your HR department can share several tips that help your staff reduce stress at work.

Schedule your Day

Your productivity naturally wanes during the day. Be proactive and schedule tough, unpleasant or high-energy tasks for the moments when you have the most energy, and leave mundane or boring tasks for low-energy times. With this tip, you’ll get more done and feel less stressed.


Maintain an open-door policy that welcomes co-workers to share challenges they face. With this information, you can address areas that should be changed and help your staff find solutions that reduce their specific stressors.

Eliminate Interruptions

Email, pop-ins and phone calls interrupt your train of thought and can affect your deadlines. If you can’t turn off your phone, shut your office door or set up office hours, work to manage your response. Accept the reality that you will face interruptions and try to remain calm. Then perform triage and prioritize the interruptions as you deal with the most important things first and delegate or leave the rest until tomorrow.

Take A Deep Breath

Give yourself a moment to breathe deeply when you feel tense, overwhelmed or angry. Simply inhale through your mouth, count to five and exhale slowly through your nose. This break can calm your mind and body during meetings or after frustrating encounters with clients or co-workers.

Improve Interoffice Relationships

Encourage team members to build trust and improve communication. Team bonding exercises and problem-solving techniques eliminate troublesome interpersonal problems and related stress.


Take exercise breaks throughout the day to reboot your body and your brain. A quick walk during lunch, stretch breaks every hour and yoga, basketball or a bike ride after work can help you relax.

Eat a Balanced Diet

Stress eating may help you feel better in the moment, but it can actually make you feel sluggish, irritable and tired. Boost your protein intake and cut sugar as you fuel your body to work and think efficiently. Stock the break room with healthy snacks and water, too.

Get Enough Sleep

Lack of sleep affects your ability to think clearly, make decisions and handle challenges. Implement a good sleep hygiene routine so you can stay alert and function at your best while at work.

Buy Plants

Plants brighten your workspace, clean the air and help you relax. Your plants may also lower your blood pressure and quicken your reaction time, helping you get more done and feel less stressed.

These top tips help your co-workers feel less stressed at work. Implement them in your workplace today.

Employee Retention Tips For Your Business

By Employment Resources

To help your business grow and stay healthy, you need to retain your employees. Your company will experience higher employee and customer satisfaction ratings, and you’ll save money and conserve resources when you maintain a consistent workforce. Gain these benefits and protect your company when you implement several employee retention tips.

Hire Quality Employees

During your hiring process, try to fill positions with staff members who fit in with your culture, possess essential skills and embrace your company’s vision. Employees are more likely to stay long-term when they feel at home in your company.

Clarify Expectations

Ensure every employee understands their production goals and other expectations. They’ll experience less stress and feel more secure and motivated when they have a clear set of goals to achieve.

Tap Into Talents, Skills and Experiences

Every employee has a hidden skill or two that can benefit your business. Get to know each member of your team, and discover the unique talents, skills and experiences they possess. You can then maximize each staff member as you stretch them professionally and enhance your business.

Provide Tools, Training and Growth Opportunities

Equip your employees for success when you provide them with the tools they need to do their jobs. You can also schedule performance reviews and ongoing training workshops, seminars and classes that help your employees feel professionally fulfilled and satisfied.

Appreciate all Employees

Incentives, gifts and rewards show employees that you value and appreciate them. Consider offering:

  • Flexible work hours
  • Tuition reimbursement
  • Competitive salaries
  • Free lunches
  • Regular verbal thank you’s

Each of these appreciative measures boosts morale and gives your employees reasons to stay.

Encourage Work-Life Balance

Protect your employees from stress and other health problems as you encourage work-life balance. Offer nontraditional work hours or a flexible schedule, extra holidays, realistic work expectations, and more breaks. Your efforts improve employee morale and satisfaction.

Strive for Fairness

Most businesses implement different pay and incentive levels, but do your best to be fair and equitable. Offering only certain employees higher pay, extra bonuses or other perks will negatively affect employee morale, productivity and longevity.

Welcome Feedback

Give your employees freedom to share their thoughts, ideas and opinions as you create an open environment that welcomes improvements and innovation. Be sure to take all suggestions seriously, and give employees credit for their ideas as you keep your team excited and involved in your company’s growth and success.

Conduct Exit Interviews

When employees do leave, conduct exit interviews and ask why they’re moving on. Their insights can help you improve operations and reduce future employee losses.

With these tips, your company can improve employee retention. You’ll then gain a variety of benefits that keep your business healthy.

Tips To Calm Employee Fears When Onboarding A New CEO

By Employment Resources

As a human resources professional, you help your company prepare to onboard new employees. When that new employee is the CEO, you may receive questions from employees who worry about their job security or potential changes to the company culture. Use these tips as you reassure your employees.

Make a Good First Impression

Many new CEOs take a few weeks or months to make personnel decisions. Encourage employees to make a good first impression and be available, participate willingly and learn as much as they can. Their efforts prove their readiness to embrace change and move forward for the sake of the company.

Study the CEO’s Working Style

The new boss may prefer direct confrontation, walking meetings or emails rather than phone calls. Employees should study the CEO or ask for details so they can properly support his or her working style.

Work as a Team

Employees may resist the overhauls a new CEO wants to make. However, employees should get on board and tell the new boss that they will embrace and cooperate with the new vision. This teamwork mentality can mean the difference between staying employed or getting sacked.

Offer to Help

Talking to a CEO may be intimidating, but employees will benefit from offering to assist their new boss. They can reach out with an email or voicemail and tell the boss that they’re willing to do whatever it takes to help him or her succeed in managing the company.

Prove Your Value

New CEOs are hired to improve efficiency, productivity and sales, and they will make changes as they do their job. Current employees must prove that they’re valuable members of the company. Instead of relying on past success or accolades, employees can secure their jobs by initiating a conversation about what the CEO expects of them and then exceeding those expectations.

Do Great Work

Every employee should show up for work each day ready to perform. Adjusting to new strategies may take time, but employees who show a willingness to work hard on each project, participate in discussions and follow through with objectives will stand out.

Avoid Gossip

Nothing travels faster through the office grapevine than gossip. Encourage employees not to complain about new policies or strategy changes. Social media posts, interoffice emails and even private conversations could be leaked and become grounds for dismissal.

Forget the Past

Under the previous leadership, an employee may have felt mistreated, unheard or frustrated. Times have changed, and employees need to forget past grievances, embrace the future and cooperate with the new leadership.

When your company welcomes a new CEO, calm your employees’ fears with these tips. They help everyone welcome the new boss and support the company’s success.

Tips To Address And Handle Racism In The Workplace

By Employment Resources

Racism occurs when anyone expresses bias verbally, in writing or via behavior or attitude toward someone of a different skin color or ethnicity. Overt racism, including slurs, jokes and name calling, and covert racism, including avoidance, ridicule or body language changes, are illegal according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) laws. As a Human Resources employee, you hold the responsibility to address racism immediately, implement prevention policies and deliver necessary discipline. Use these tips to address and handle racism properly in your workplace.

Establish a Zero-Tolerance Policy

Refuse to allow racism and discrimination in your company. With help from your attorney and insurance agent, prepare a zero-tolerance policy, including reporting procedures and potential discipline, and print it in the employee handbook. Then ensure everyone, starting with management, follows it.

Maintain a Diverse Workforce

Encourage diversity when you recruit and hire employees from a variety of races, ethnicities and backgrounds. Additionally, create a safe environment where everyone in your company feels comfortable discussing racism and maintaining a cooperative workplace. Ongoing training will also share the benefits of diversity and update employees on anti-discrimination laws.

Stay Calm

From the moment you receive a report of racism to the final resolution, resolve to remain calm and serve as a role model for others in your company. Becoming excited, angry or otherwise emotion could incite further incidents, cause hurt feelings and complicate resolution. Plus, you will think more clearly as you maintain a calm attitude and demeanor.

 Take Action

A corrective action plan reinforces your zero-tolerance policy and protects your employees and your company. This solid action plan equips you to handle racism incidents properly and reduces workplace tension and potential legal action as you maintain a safe environment for every employee. Your action plan should include these steps.

  • Take each complaint seriously.
  • Exercise respect for all parties, including the complainer.
  • Don’t retaliate with punishment such as discipline, demotion, shift changes or isolation toward any of the involved employees.
  • Investigate all complaints objectively, and reserve judgment for after the impartial and thorough investigation.
  • Follow your established procedures exactly to discover the truth and avoid unfair treatment claims.
  • Interview everyone involved, including the complainer, accused and witnesses, and gather supporting documents such as emails to create a corroborative picture of the alleged incident/s.
  • Keep detailed records of all interviews and documentation.
  • Maintain confidentiality at all times.
  • Cooperate with any investigative or government agencies.
  • Take appropriate disciplinary action as needed.

Racism in a company affects everyone and could jeopardize the business’s future. Create a safe, inclusive and diverse workforce with these tips, and discuss additional protective measures with your insurance agent and attorney as you address and handle workplace racism properly.

Can Your Company Ban Negative Attitudes?

By Employment Resources

In almost every company, you can find at least one employee who displays a bad attitude. Negative attitudes can poison the entire workplace, though, and decrease morale, motivation, creativity, decision making and productivity. In 2014, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled that a Boiling Springs, South Carolina, restaurant owner could fire an employee who complained to customers about the company and its policies. Based on this ruling, your company can take several steps as you address negative employee attitudes, maintain a positive workplace environment and protect your company’s future.

Focus on Business Disruption

You may wish to ban negative behavior because it affects your company’s reputation. However, keep the bigger picture in mind. An employee’s negative attitude can affect morale and productivity throughout the company, cause you to lose key employees and turn away customers. You could lose income and jeopardize your company, and that business disruption gives you a legitimate reason to ban negative behavior.

Track on Behavior Not Attitude

Attitudes are difficult to measure or discipline. You can measure behavior, though, which allows you to track how the employee affects your company and then take disciplinary steps.

Write a Clear Behavior Policy

To use behavior as a reason for discipline or termination, your employee handbook must include clear language that outlines the exact behavior you will allow. Consider this example. “Our behavior standard requires all employees to maintain a positive work environment through their actions and behavior toward co-workers, management and customers.”

In this example, you focus on teamwork and address your employee’s overall attitude and mindset toward their job and the people with whom and for whom they work.

Record Specific Problems With the Negative Behavior

Be specific when addressing behavior problems. For instance, did the employee’s behavior halt progress on a project, disrupt a co-worker’s day or cause a customer to leave the store?

Document Negative Behavior

Always document negative employee behavior in case you need to discipline or terminate the employee. Include details such as who, what, where, when and how.

Screen Potential Employees

As you consider potential employees, screen their attitudes and behaviors. Discern how candidates talk about former employers, co-workers and clients as well as how they respond to you and other team members they meet. Their overall disposition, mood and emotion during the interview can indicate how they will act after they join your company.

Consult Your Attorney and Insurance Agent

While you can include behavior in your employee handbook, be sure your policy meets labor laws and can withstand unlawful termination suits. Your attorney and insurance agent can help you create a policy that protects both your and your employees’ rights as you ban negative attitudes from your company.

Handling Safety Inspections

By Employment Resources

Safety consciousness tends to slip over time – and it’s your responsibility to make sure that this doesn’t happen. A well-prepared and well-executed safety audit/inspection program can play a key role in your risk management by uncovering conditions and work practices that could lead to job accidents and industrial illnesses.

Stated more positively, this means checking to see that things are in good shape. In addition to help preventing accidents, the inspection program will keep management informed about the “safety status” of your organization, provide a consistent method of recording observations, and reduce the possibility of important items being overlooked.

Safety inspection tours are like preventive maintenance. Every piece of equipment wears down and deteriorates sooner or later, and needs to be checked. Similarly, employee work procedures fall into routines – some of them unsafe – over time, which means that you need to evaluate them at regular intervals.

Safety inspections have a number of objectives:

  • Spotlighting unsafe conditions and equipment.
  • Focusing on unsafe work practices or behavior trends before they lead to injuries.
  • Uncovering the need for new safeguards.
  • Getting all employees to buy in to the safety program.
  • Re-evaluating the safety standards of the organization.
  • Comparing safety results against safety plans.
  • Gauging the relative success of safety training efforts.
  • Anticipating problems in advance of any OSHA inspection.

Our agency’s risk management professionals would be happy to work with you on developing and implementing a comprehensive safety inspection program for your business. Feel free to get in touch with us at any time.