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Developing Your Company’s Culture

By: Shraga Jacobowitz

Do you feel like the atmosphere in your office is not ideal? Do you feel like a two-week escape – a real vacation – is unattainable, because your employees would not work the same with you absent? Do you feel like your staff members do not care for the future of your business?

I would like to introduce you to the concept of Company Culture.

Company Culture is something that cannot be touched. It steps in where the employee handbook ends. It is the spirit in the air, developed by the leaders in the company simply by their policies, practices, and interactions with customers and employees. It influences how an employee reacts to an overwhelming workload, or to an unprecedented service request.

Those of you who belong to a PEO know that in addition to payroll services and affordable insurance rates, you also benefit from a full HR team, including safety compliance, legal counsel and sexual harassment training programs. Your dedicated HR rep can also advise you on any other HR related matter.

If your company’s culture needs a revamp, a call to your PEO’s HR team is in order. They will assess what it is you are trying to accomplish and help you devise a plan that will remedy the situation.

For those of you who have yet to join a PEO, here are a few tips that will get you started.

First and foremost, post your mission statement on the walls of your office and/or facility, and come up with 3 core values that will become part and parcel of your company’s mission.

Then, to ensure that your team is encompassing your mission statement and core values, here are three practical suggestions:

1. Be a team working toward a goal. Remember when you were a kid and you and your siblings planned a surprise birthday party for your mom? No one spilled the beans! That’s because you were all part of the same big plan, working toward the same end goal. When you enthusiastically hung up those streamers, you understood how that was an important part of the party. And your little sister knew that the glitter she so eagerly added to the Happy Birthday sign, though a minor detail, was a detail that would enhance the party.

Believe it or not, according to a Kronos Inc. report, 29% of employees see no connection between their role and the overall company game plan. Don’t we want our employees to feel the same sense of purpose as kids preparing for their mom’s birthday party? (Hey, I didn’t say they should feel the same excitement, I said they should feel the same sense of purpose.) Each person needs to feel like they are part of something big. Each person needs to feel that they are part of a team contributing toward the company’s end goal. To this end, create reasonable short-term company goals and celebrate with everyone once those objectives are met. Let everyone realize how their responsibilities lead toward those goals, with the incentive of … the party. Maybe we can create that same sense of excitement as Mom’s birthday, after all!

2. Monthly Company-wide meetings. This is something your team will look forward to. Monthly meetings, plus the donuts and milk, to discuss the direction of the business. These meetings will be a chance review the company’s successes and failures and give team members the opportunity to make suggestions. No blame here! The objective is to devise a system to prevent the failures from recurring. Now, imagine a young employee throws out an idea which gets implemented and is ultimately successful. Think about how significant they’ll feel, and how invested they will continue to be in the success of this business! That is something to aim for.

3.Reward employees that embody the company values. This one will take a bit more effort. But it will actually turn those company values from a sign on the wall into the spirit of the business. It means taking note of who goes above and beyond, such as providing exceptional customer service (if that’s one of the company’s values) or looking for better ways to do something (if constant improvement is one of the company’s values) or owning up to a mistake (if accountability is one of the company’s values). Whenever you see that an employee is delivering on your core values, share that with the team, and reward accordingly.

Good luck! A new year is the perfect time to launch new initiative. Contact ARC Consultants if you are looking for customized HR solutions that can help your company as they are helping the thousands of others that have chosen to join a PEO.

Retaining Your Employees In A Constantly Changing World

By: Shraga Jacobowitz

If you’re like most people, you don’t love change. When all is well, and all your team members appear at the office punctually, fulfilling their responsibilities in a timely fashion, it’s easy to just put your feet up on your mahogany desk, lean back in your leather executive chair, and close your eyes.

But in today’s age of technology and work-life balance, more and more employees are leaving their jobs for better working conditions. In fact, only 12% of workers who resign are leaving for better pay! That statistic likely makes you anxiously put your feet back down under the chair, wondering how you can improve working conditions to make today’s Gen Z’s stay in their jobs without seeking greener pastures.

With Work-Life Balance being today’s buzzword, it certainly makes sense that job seekers will prefer a position that promises stress-reducing opportunities.

Poor work-life balance can cause fatigue, poor health and faster burnout. How’s that for a recipe for disaster?

So, what can you, as an employer, do to help the situation?

Though I’m sure your employees would love you to build a gym for them, and establish mandated 30-minute naps daily, you are no doubt hoping to find an easier way to allow your employees to de-stress while still being productive.

Here are a few suggestions that will help your employees stay productive without costing you money or cutting into their worktime.

  1. Encourage employees to take breaks throughout the day

Let’s face it: Hard working people (yourself included) need to take breaks to recharge. Think back to those college days. Wasn’t it the dinner/socializing breaks, and the late-night snacks that kept you going?

Kidding aside, taking breaks helps us refocus, clarify things, restore motivation and boost creativity.

Even if you’re not taking breaks yourself, (a classical example of ‘do as I say, not as I do’) let your employees know that their lunch breaks are supposed to be breaks, and they are not expected to work while they eat. They’ll be happier knowing that their boss doesn’t expect them to be a powerhouse. And once they are back from their breaks, they will be more productive.

Some (not all) states require employers to pay for lunch breaks. Your PEO’s HR representative will be able to guide you as to whether your employees should be clocking out when they take their lunch breaks or not. A simple phone call will help you ensure that you are being compliant, while showing your employees that it’s okay to be human and need to air out sometimes.

  • Keep after-hours as off-time

Did you ever get a call on your cell from a client during dinner? I did. And it was annoying. 

Though most employees are afraid to say this, it is irritating to have your boss call you during your family time or while you’re at a restaurant with your sweetheart. Show respect for the privacy of your employees and allow them to keep their family time by only calling them in case of real emergency.

In fact, you may be required to pay overtime for phone calls you place to your employees after-hours. Your PEO’s HR team will once again be able to guide you on the laws vis a vis contacting employees during the evening.

  • Be attentive to your team

We’ve all experienced it at one time or another: Work-place stress. Stress can cause a person to become short-tempered, anxious, cynical or fatigued, and will eventually lead to burnout if it’s not nipped in the bud. Take an interest in your employees, and if you notice that one of them is not working with the same enthusiasm, or seems unhappy, a caring conversation would be in order.

The problem might be easily solved, such as taking a day off to catch up on personal obligations, or reassigning a responsibility that is overwhelming them.

And as you know, if you can help your employees clear their minds, they will be happier and more productive. Contact ARC Consultants to find out how a PEO can help you implement HR practices that will reduce stress in the workplace.

  • Urge your workers to use their PTO days

Americans work more hours and take less vacations than their European counterparts.

A recent Gallup poll showed 47 hours as the average U.S. work week. That’s 12 hours more per week than France, Germany and Sweden.

As if that’s not enough, according to the US Travel Association these poor overworked Americans left 705 million unused vacation days in 2017!

Now, if you’re thinking that those unused vacation days and additional hours worked are a boon for the employer, think again.

3 More Workplace Trends You Should Be Considering

By: Shraga Jacobowitz

In my last newsletter, I discussed some of the workplace trends you should be adopting. And while implementing those are a great start (as I’m sure you all did upon immediately finishing my article) there’s still more we can learn from our younger (or as they like to stay, more Woke) peers. So without further ado, here are some more workplace trends that if you’re not doing already, you should be doing RIGHT NOW!

DON’T TRAIN YOUR EMPLOYEES

You heard me. Training is out! But educating is not.  So, while we’re not saying not to train new employees coming into your business, think outside the training box.  When looking for a job, 87% of millennials look for one that offers professional development and career growth opportunities.  That ranges from paying for advance degrees to short, informal training opportunities such as videos, webinars, podcasts, etc.  Many PEOs can provide this service, offering a range of online classes, digital books, leadership development and even live virtual training. Speak to a PEO broker or PEO consultant about partnering with a PEO that can help you with incorporating these opportunities into your business models.

ENCOURAGE HONESTY

I know you’re saying to yourself right about now, “who doesn’t encourage honesty in the workplace?” But while we all expect our employees to be honest in business, when it comes to providing honest feedback, not so much so. Honestly (pun completely intended), it’s time to be open to candid feedback from your employees. An environment that allows for this honest exchange without fear of repercussions or the boss getting mad, promotes positive change as well as personal growth. Once you showcase how willing you are to listen to their opinions and answer any question, you create an environment where you are working together for the betterment of the company, now what’s better than that?

DON’T IGNORE THE HOT-BUTTON ISSUES

Now, this one is a bit more serious and should be taken as more than a suggestion: With today’s workforce getting more & more diverse and in today’s age of #metoo, gender gap pay and discrimination that goes beyond ability and race, knowing how to deal with an increasingly diverse workforce is extremely important. Companies who choose to ignore these hot-button issues are putting themselves at risk for legal troubles and a PR nightmare.  Hot-Button Issues are not just the latest hashtag and trend, but are something EVERY business should be aware of and implementing changes to ensure you are not guilty of transgressing them.

A PEO can help you stay up-to-date on your legal obligations while helping you to navigate managing a diverse workforce in today’s current political climate.  

Okay, now get to it! Which of these 6 trends (these 3 above and the 3 from my last newsletter) will you be implementing in your workplace today?  Not sure where to begin? contact ARC Consultants to see how a PEO can help you create a workspace that will attract this younger workforce while improving their productivity and general office atmosphere.

Learning the Trends that can Change your Business: 3 Top Trends that will help you attract top talent

By Shraga Jacobowitz

With so many multi-million dollar start-ups and tech companies being started and run by CEOs in their 30s, and even 20s (did you know the youngest billionaire was 19?!?), it’s easy to feel like a dinosaur in today’s business climate.  Which is why it’s even more and more important to stay up-to-date on workplace trends and change your policies and perks to reflect some of the younger guys, especially since most of your hires today will be millennial workers who have their own set of expectations in the workplace.

Now, I’m not saying you need to be on fleek (google it for the meaning) or use text lingo in your day to day speech (actually, I beg of you, DON’T), but as much as it pains us to say this, there are some things we can learn from the younger generation, especially in how they handle their workforce.

So for those of us who still remember a time when apps were something you ordered before dinner, here are some trends in the workplace you may want to consider implementing at your company.  And for those millennials reading this, you may want to check it out too and make sure that you too are on trend.

1. Give Constant Feedback

You may know that you need consistent employee performance reviews, isn’t that what the annual review is for? But with today’s employees growing in the “participation trophies” generation, they’re used to getting lots and lots and lots of feedback. And while you don’t need to coddle your employees with praise that is undeserved, it is important to give them feedback about their performance at regular intervals. According to a recent TriNet survey, 74% of today’s workers don’t know what their boss thinks about their performance and how they are doing at work.  This lack of knowledge doesn’t really lend itself to growth, don’t you think?

If that sounds like a lot of work, it doesn’t have to be. A PEO can help you formulate, perform and evaluate these ongoing evaluations so that it becomes something that is built into your corporate structure without requiring a great effort on your part.

2. It’s All About the Flex

Today’s workplaces are getting cooler and cooler. I mean, what’s next – an in-office roller coaster? But contrary to this new wave of innovative workspaces, cool gadgets, toys, and perks are not what most employees want.  About 96% of today’s employees just want flexibility in their jobs. What workers really want are flexible hours, the opportunity to work remotely and paid time off.

In fact, for that last one, it’s been proven that everyone needs a break (well duh!) and many companies are beginning to force their employees to use their sick and vacation days.  Days off simply adds up to more productivity and with only 54% of paid days off being used currently, companies are finding they are not as productive as they can be. (Just one more workplace trend, I’ve thrown in for free.)

If your employee exceeds their paid days off, it is important to know whether they are in their right to do so under one of the many state or federal laws mandating work leaves.  Many PEOs have leave-specialists who monitor the length of your employees’ leaves, the status of their return to work, and the state and federal laws and regulations regarding them, ensuring your compliance with applicable laws, and that your employees receive what they are entitled to. This is particularly valuable if you’re a multi-state employer, as a PEO can help you navigate multiple state and federal laws and regulations to keep you in compliance in every state where you have employees.

3. Outsource. Outsource. Outsource.

Gone are the days of in-house everything. Nowadays, even workspaces are outsourced to shared work environments. From marketing to secretaries and personal assistants, more or more of companies’ day-to-day jobs are being outsourced. And that includes some of the heavy hitters. Yeah, it today’s day and age you can even outsource your CFO and entire HR department.

Of course, an amazing option for that last one is the PEO. Besides, providing companies with competitive benefits packages and group insurance, many PEOs offer a full array of HR services, so that essentially you can have them take over the entire task of running that aspect of your business. Since outsourcing usually saves a company tons of money, trust us, a PEO definitely does, that’s a workplace trend, I’m pretty confident that any business owner can get behind.

That’s it for now, but in our next newsletter we will explore some other trends you should be considering to bring your company into the modern era.  Until then, if you want to know how a PEO can help you stay up with these and many other workplace trends, contact ARC Consultants today.