Archive for March, 2014

The Me Generation

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

In today’s video blog, CAI’s Vice President of Membership, Doug Blizzard, tackles the topic of different generations working together. Doug says he is not crazy about how generational issues in the workplace are being reported and presented.

His beef with generational analysis is that the results tend to broadly characterize members of one generation possessing the same characteristics, and this can lead to helpful and harmful stereotypes.

Doug gives an example of a typical stereotype for Millennials—members of this generation want to work how, when and where they want, but lack loyalty and communication skills.  He says this generational phenomenon is not a new thing. This isn’t the first time a younger generation has challenged the status quo, and in the video, he lists several examples.

Doug wants employers to be mindful that there are as many differences in attitudes, values, behaviors and lifestyles within a generation as there are between generations. He advises managers to be careful to not write off an entire generation due to general characteristics they hear.  Doug says that employees, regardless of generation, should be managed in a respectful and supportive manner to maximize their possibility of achieving success.

Employees of all generations look to their company leaders to set the values and beliefs that drive the company. Doug says your company values should be developed independent of any particular generation. Instead of catering to a specific generation, define the characteristics that you find important in an employee and find people of all generations, cultures, ethnicities and so on who have those characteristics. People are attracted to a clear vision and clear values regardless of their age.

If you have questions about managing different generations at your workplace, please call CAI’s Advice and Resolution Team at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.

 

6 Fun Ways to Keep Your Employees Engaged in the Springtime

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

spring flowersSpring has officially started. Although it’s still a little chilly, the weather will warm up and your employees will be energized for the new season. Spring brings longer days and additional opportunities to keep your employees satisfied, as well as reward them for the hard work they contribute to the company all year long.

Try some of the springtime activities below to keep your staff motivated and productive in the warmer months ahead:

  • March Madness is upon us! Have the basketball games playing in your break room for people who are fans of the tournament.
  • Spring is a great time for a company picnic. The season isn’t too hot or too cold to enjoy an outdoor gathering with your employees and their families. It will be a great opportunity to get to know them and the people who are most important to them.
  • Warmer weather means more chances to enjoy frozen treats. Show your staff some appreciation by throwing an afternoon gelato or ice cream party. You can buy the tasty treats and serve them yourself or have a vendor dish out the goodies.
  • Your employees will enjoy a more relaxed dress code when the weather is warmer. Giving them the choice to dress more comfortably throughout the spring will show your employees that you care about their happiness while they are at work.
  • Plan a warm-weather potluck lunch. Have staff members sign up for different food dishes to bring during the lunch hour. If the sun is shining, eat outside!
  • Encourage your team members to add some fitness into their schedules by planning a company walk in the late afternoon or after work. Walking and talking with your coworkers during nice weather is a great way to bond and burn calories.

For additional ideas for employee engagement activities, please call a member of CAI’s Advice and Resolution Team at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.

5 Things to Know From the 2014 HR Management Conference

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

Branded ppt slideMore than 300 HR professionals and company executives attended CAI’s annual HR Management Conference this year. The conference took place on March 5 and March 6 at the McKimmon Center in Raleigh, and the theme was HR 20/20: Evolve. Focus. Lead.

The keynote presentations and breakout sessions featured several topics aimed to help HR professionals and company leaders stretch out of their comfort zones, acquire new skills and understand the power they hold to lead their organizations and achieve their business goals.

Speakers covered several subjects relevant to the ever-evolving HR Industry, such as optimizing employee potential, future proofing technology, eliminating organizational inefficiency and utilizing emotional intelligence. Below are five takeaways from the 2014 Conference:

  • Diana Newton discussed emotional intelligence in the workplace during her conference presentation, Why Emotional Intelligence Matters at Work.
    • Diana says the first step to understanding your emotional self is to be aware and understand your feelings and their impact
    • You must also respect and accept your strengths and weaknesses
    • You can improve your emotional intelligence by improving yourself, pursuing meaningful goals, and realizing your potential capabilities

 

  • For her presentation, Leadership Transition: How to Assess, Plan, and Implement a Successful Strategy, Cindy Anderson shared with participants the tools and steps for developing a sound succession plan at their companies. Here’s some information she imparted:
    • In order to get buy-in from company leaders to start a transition plan, you should:
      • Approach leadership with the specific reasons why a plan is important
      • Focus on how the transition plan will add value to the organization
      • Think about why leadership has resisted in the past and deliver a message that minimizes those fears
      • Propose a timeline
      • Consider the potential candidates for leadership (if any internally)

 

  • Shane Yount shared helpful information in his presentation, HR Metrics – Training to Drive Sustainable Business Processes. He gave the following tips for implementing a scorecard matrix to track business productivity:
    •  Identify key business focus areas
    •  Develop SMART objectives
    •  Create standards to measure results against
    •  Establish target thresholds and color code by performance
    •  Delegate responsibilities and hold people accountable for the tasks
    •  Set how often you plan to compare results – weekly, biweekly, quarterly, etc.

 

  • During Ellen Baker’s presentation, Working and Thriving in a Multicultural World, she shared some useful information for interacting in global work scenarios:
    •  Observe, observe, observe
    • A handshake or nod works almost anywhere
    • Use your right hand or both hands when making contact, but don’t use your left hand
    •  Err on the side of formality
    •  Respect and honor cultural norms, but be yourself
    •  Be compassionate, tolerant and flexible
    •  Success lies in humility- admit that there’s a lot you don’t know
    •  Keep your sense of humor
    •  Minimize gestures
    •  Smile, smile, smile

 

  • CAI announced the 2014 Ovation Award Winners:
    • Farragut Systems won the small company award for its Employee Performance and Development program
    • Tanger Outlet Centers won the mid-size company award for its Peer Assisted Learning program
    • AICPA won the large company award for its Grow the Ranks program

 

For additional information on CAI’s conferences, please go to https://www.capital.org/eweb/DynamicPage.aspx?site=cai&webcode=cai-training-conferences.

 

The Movement Towards Performance Based Pay In Healthcare

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

The post below is a guest blog from W. Hunter Walton, JD who serves as Principal, Health & Welfare Consultant  for CAI’s employee benefits partner Hill, Chesson & Woody.

 hcw 3 14 2014Recently, Congress passed a clean debt ceiling bill that raised the nation’s debt limit without any strings attached. Before the vote, however, there were serious discussions to revamp the way physicians are paid under Medicare.

Under current law, physician pay is tied to the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR), a formula which many doctors and politicians think is insufficient to adequately compensate doctors for their work. For the past several years Congress has adopted a kick-the-can-down-the-road approach, which just delays scheduled reductions in pay. But after years of searching for a solution, members of Congress this week appeared to have reached a permanent solution to repeal the SGR and replace it with a system of payment tied to performance. This would be in line with trends we are seeing elsewhere in Medicare – with the growth of Accountable Care Organizations – as well as in some aspects of private insurance.

While the provision was eventually dropped from the debt ceiling bill, it will likely provide an important starting point from which future negotiations will be based. As we see an increase in preferred and high-performance networks in private insurance and a movement to tie payment in government health programs to performance, expect to see the effects of performance based pay trickle down to your health benefit and medical management strategies. Find out more about this in the February 10th edition of The Fiscal Times.

 

Top Reasons Why Employees Voluntarily Leave Your Company

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

FiringThere are several reasons employees decide to leave their jobs. Every employee has specific criteria that makes a job enjoyable or worth making a commitment to. Below are some of the top reasons employees quit their employers to start new positions at different companies.

Some employees do not want to tolerate the demands of their job position or suffer while their company is going through a hard time. Employees in this position may not want to put up with the following:

  • Weekend work, long hours or frequent travel
  • Additional administrative duties added to current job responsibilities, such as copying or filing
  • Raises and promotions currently unavailable
  • Corporate relocation of offices or manufacturing plant

 

Other employees are looking to work on their professional development and won’t stick around long at a place that doesn’t value employee training. To avoid this scenario at your company, consider providing your staff members with the following opportunities:

  • Training programs to develop and gain skills
  • Access to conferences related to their field or industry
  • Subscription to an industry or trade magazine

 

Many employees want to know if they can have a career at their current company. If there’s not a future in it for them, they may look for another company that will need them. Here are some ways to make sure you’re considering your employees’ long-term goals:

  • Ask your employees what they would like to gain from working with your company
  • Implement a program that identifies and trains high performers for leadership positions in the future
  • During your regular employee feedback meetings, get their input on the types of projects they enjoy working on and what they’d like to work on next and in the future

 

A poor company culture is a big reason why employees quit their jobs. Some of the specific reasons related to poor company culture that drive employees to leave include:

  • Constant reorganization of management structure and company direction
  • Rejection of ideas or suggestions to improve the environment
  • Favoritism of some workers over others by team leaders
  • Competition among departments or teams, creating an environment that is more about competing than cooperating.
  • Promoting employees with less training or experience over  more deserving and/or skilled employees

 

If you have questions regarding your organization’s retention strategy, please contact a member of CAI’s Advice and Resolution Team at 919‑878‑9222 or 336‑668‑7746.

12-Month Period Under FMLA

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

In today’s post, John Gupton, CAI’s General Counsel and HR Advisor on CAI’s Advice and Resolution Team, shares important information with employers about the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).  

john g edit

John Gupton, General Counsel and HR Advisor

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) entitles eligible employees who work for covered employers to take unpaid, job-protected leave in a defined 12-month period for specified family and medical reasons. Generally, employers may select one of four options to establish the 12-month period to be uniformly applied to all employees taking FMLA leave.

The employer may use any of the following methods to establish the 12-month period:

(1) The calendar year – 12-month period that runs from January 1 through December 31;
(2) Any fixed 12-months – 12-month period such as a fiscal year, or a year starting on an employee’s anniversary date;
(3) The 12-month period measured forward – 12-month period measured forward from the first date an employee takes FMLA leave. The next 12-month period would begin the first time FMLA leave is taken after completion of the prior 12-month period; or
(4) A “rolling” 12-month period measured backward – 12-month period measured backward from the date an employee uses any FMLA leave. Under the ‘‘rolling’’ 12-month period, each time an employee takes FMLA leave, the remaining leave entitlement would be the balance of the 12 weeks which has not been used during the immediately preceding 12 months.

Employers may select any one of the four methods to establish the 12-month period as long as the method is applied consistently and uniformly for all employees.

Before changing to a different method of calculating the 12-month period, an employer must first give all employees at least 60 days notice of the intended change and the transition must take place in such a way that the employees retain the full benefit of their leave entitlement under whichever method affords the greatest benefit to the employee.

If an employer fails to select one of the 12-month period methods discussed above, the employer must use the 12-month period method that is the most beneficial to the employee.

Lastly, under no circumstances may an employer change the 12-month period to avoid the requirements of the FMLA.

For more information on the FMLA, go to http://www.dol.gov/ whd/ fmla/ index.htm.

New Self-Identification Form for Disability Status Released by OFCCP

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014

CAI’s Manager for Affirmative Action Services, Kaleigh Ferraro, shares the latest updates from the OFCCP. Make sure you are compliant.

Kaleigh Ferraro, Manager, Affirmative Action Services

Kaleigh Ferraro, Manager, Affirmative Action Services

On March 24, 2014, new regulations take effect regarding affirmative action requirements for federal contractors. One of the major changes is the requirement that federal contractors and subcontractors solicit disability status for employees and applicants. The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) requires companies to use a specific and unaltered form, which was just approved and released. You can access the form at http://1.usa.gov/NQtyhn.

This voluntary self-identification form must be used by federal contractors to solicit disability status of applicants both pre-offer and post-offer. Solicitation of applicants using this form may be delayed until the contractors first AAP update after March 2014. This same form will be used to survey current employees at least every five years. Contractors must survey their current employees within the first year of the regulation changes (March 24, 2014 to March 24, 2015). For companies utilizing online applicant systems, the exact language of this form may be used online. If used electronically, it must include the OMB Control number, expiration date and use a sans serif font of at least 11 point.

If you have any questions about the affirmative action regulation changes or use of this form, please contact Kaleigh Ferraro at 919‑713‑5241 or kaleigh.ferraro@capital.org