Archive for the ‘Current Events’ Category

Total Rewards and Business Strategy Are Not Aligned at Most Companies

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

Expensive giftThe Total Rewards Survey developed by Mercer analyzes the practices companies use to align compensation, benefits, training and career development with today’s business priorities. Findings from the survey show that while more than half (56 percent) of organizations made a significant change to their total rewards strategy in the past three years, less than one-third (32 percent) said their total rewards and business strategies fully align.

Eighty-nine percent of organizations that participated in the survey ranked attracting and retaining the “right” talent as the most noteworthy challenge of their overall total rewards strategy. Additional challenges that were noted as very important included: collecting relevant market compensation data, keeping rewards affordable, communicating the value of rewards to employees, and ensuring pay for performance and performance differentiation.

From experiences with many clients, Mercer has highlighted several actions employers can put in place to address the holes between total rewards strategies and their business strategies:

“As companies focus on the cost of their talent, attracting and retaining the ‘right’ employees and differentiating rewards for top performers are challenges that can be made easier by incorporating the use of workforce analytics,” said Mary Ann Sardone, Partner in Mercer’s Talent practice and Regional Leader of the firm’s Rewards segment.

“Additionally, incorporating offerings such as career development and work/life balance initiatives into total rewards strategies caters to the needs of [employees] in the workplace.”

Leading the list of ways to enrich the employee experience in other ways than pay is giving employees the ability to make a difference in their job functions. Other contenders on the list were career progression, healthy living/wellness and recognition.

For additional information on recent trends and developments in total rewards strategy, including an in-depth look at what North Carolina employers are doing, please join us for the 2014 Compensation and Benefits Conference on August 14 and August 15 at Raleigh’s McKimmon Center.

This year’s keynote presenters and presentations include:

The Future of Attraction, Retention and Motivation: How Compensation Fits into the Process Anne Ruddy – WorldatWork

Green Goldfish – 15 Ways to Drive Engagement & Reinforce Culture Stan Phelps – 9 INCH marketing

What Would Healthcare Look Like If Getting It at the Lowest Cost Was Your Key Priority? Skip Woody – Hill, Chesson & Woody Employee Benefit Services

Leverage Marketplace Trends When Making Decisions about Compensation and Benefits Strategies Molly Hegeman – CAI

Additional topics that speakers will cover at the conference include: how compensation affects retention, the future of healthcare cost, driving employee engagement, analysis of the latest market data in total rewards, building high-performing teams, and understanding survey data.

For more information on conference speakers and topics, please visit www.capital.org/compconf.

OFCCP Announces Major Changes for Government Contractors

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

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

Kaleigh blogThe last couple of months have been busy for the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP). They have announced several changes that will affect the requirements and practices of federal contractors and subcontractors. What are the changes and how do they affect you?

The first change was the release of the revised Federal Contract Compliance Manual (FCCM). This is the guide that compliance officers at OFCCP use during audits of contractors. These revisions have been in the works for some time now. The FCCM does not contain new rules or requirements but rather provides guidance to auditors on how to conduct offsite and onsite audits. The FCCM may serve as a helpful document for contractors to review in order to understand the policies and practices of the OFCCP during audits. This revised manual is intended to standardize the investigations between regions, offices and even compliance officers. If you’d like to see the revised manual, visit http://j.mp/fc-cm.

The OFCCP also announced on August 27, final rules for Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act and Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA). The initial proposed rules were issued about two years ago and the OFCCP had been saying that the final rules would happen soon. These final rules will require federal contractors to make significant changes to current practices and analysis. These rules were published in the Federal Register on September 24, 2013 and become effective 180 days after the publish date.

What this means to companies with Affirmative Action Plans is that AAPs in place prior to March 24, 2014 can be developed using the old (current) rules. AAPs developed after March 24, 2014 will need to incorporate the new requirements in the plans. Below are some of the major changes affecting government contractors. CAI will provide more information and training on these new requirements as well as provide suggestions on how organizations can implement necessary changes.

Changes to VEVRAA

  • Rescission of 41 CFR Part 60-250: The Final Rule rescinds the outdated 41 CFR Part 60-250 in its entirety. However, veterans that were formerly protected only under Part 60-250 will still be protected from discrimination under the revised 41 CFR Part 60-300.
  • Hiring benchmarks: The Final Rule requires that contractors establish annual hiring benchmarks for protected veterans. Contractors must use one of two methods to establish their benchmarks. Contractors may choose to establish a benchmark equal to the national percentage of veterans in the civilian labor force (currently eight percent), which will be published and updated annually by OFCCP. Alternatively, contractors may establish their own benchmarks using certain data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and Veterans’ Employment and Training Service/Employment and Training Administration (VETS/ETA) that will also be published by OFCCP, as well other factors that reflect the contractor’s unique hiring circumstances. The data will be posted in the Benchmark Database (coming soon).
  • Data collection: The Final Rule requires that contractors document and update annually several quantitative comparisons for the number of veterans who apply for jobs and the number of veterans they hire. Having this data will assist contractors in measuring the effectiveness of their outreach and recruitment efforts. The data must be maintained for three years to be used to spot trends.
  • Invitation to self-identify: The Final Rule requires that contractors invite applicants to self-identify as protected veterans at both the pre-offer and post-offer phases of the application process. The Final Rule includes sample invitations to self-identify that contractors may use.
  • Incorporation of the EO clause: The Final Rule requires that specific language be used when incorporating the equal opportunity clause into a subcontract by reference. The mandated language, though brief, will alert subcontractors to their responsibilities as Federal contractors.
  • Job listings: The Final Rule clarifies that when listing their job openings, contractors must provide job opening information to the state or local job service in the format required, so that the job service can make the jobs available to veteran job seekers.
  • Records access: The Final Rule clarifies that contractors must allow OFCCP to review documents related to a compliance check or focused review, either onsite or offsite, at OFCCP’s option. In addition, the Final Rule requires contractors, upon request, to inform OFCCP of all formats in which it maintains its records and provide them to OFCCP in whichever of those formats OFCCP requests.

Changes to Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act

  • Utilization goal: The Final Rule establishes a nationwide seven percent utilization goal for qualified Individuals with Disabilities (IWDs). Contractors will apply the goal to each of their job groups, or to their entire workforce if the contractor has 100 or fewer employees. Contractors must conduct an annual utilization analysis and assessment of problem areas, and establish specific action-oriented programs to address any identified problems.
  • Data collection: The Final Rule requires that contractors document and update annually several quantitative comparisons for the number of IWDs who apply for jobs and the number of IWDs they hire. Having this data will assist contractors in measuring the effectiveness of their outreach and recruitment efforts. The data must be maintained for three years to be used to spot trends.
  • Invitation to self-identify: The Final Rule requires that contractors invite applicants to self-identify as IWDs at both the pre-offer and post-offer phases of the application process, using language prescribed by OFCCP. The Final Rule also requires that contractors invite their employees to self-identify as IWDs every five years, using the prescribed language. This language will be posted on the OFCCP website (coming soon).
  • Incorporation of the EO clause: The Final Rule requires that specific language be used when incorporating the equal opportunity clause into a subcontract by reference. The mandated language, though brief, will alert subcontractors to their responsibilities as Federal contractors.
  • Records access: The Final Rule clarifies that contractors must allow OFCCP to review documents related to a compliance check or focused review, either onsite or offsite, at OFCCP’s option. In addition, the Final Rule requires contractors, upon request, to inform OFCCP of all formats in which it maintains its records and provide them to OFCCP in whichever of those formats OFCCP requests.
  • ADAAA: The Final Rule implements changes necessitated by the passage of the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA) of 2008 by revising the definition of “disability” and certain nondiscrimination provisions of the implementing regulations.

Please feel free to contact me directly with questions at kaleigh.ferraro@capital.org or 919‑713‑5241.

NC Unemployment Law—Guidelines and Recommendations for Correctly Filing Attached Claims

Thursday, September 12th, 2013

In Tuesday’s blog post, George Ports, CAI’s Senior Executive in Government Relations and Senior Advisor on CAI’s Advice and Counsel Team, imparted important information about North Carolina’s Unemployment Law dealing with attached claims. Check out part 1 here: http://bit.ly/18cOU0X. Read part 2, which focuses on guidelines and recommendations for filing attached claims, below.

George PortsProcedures for Filing Attached Claims

  • Claims are filed electronically.
  • Employer files are created by the DES for attached claims.
  • The employer will receive an electronic response from the DES with the amount necessary to cover the cost of the attached claims (amount will only be for the projected number of weeks necessary).
  • If the employer’s filing efforts are rejected due to a negative balance, a box “click here to make payment” appears and an amount should be displayed necessary to bring the employer’s account to zero and payment amount necessary to cover for the cost of the attached claims.

If employer is unsuccessful with the electronic filing, the DES tax department should be contacted.

  • Once the employer’s file is created, the employer at the end of each week, opens the file and confirms or edits the number of hours worked and wages earned for that week so that the DES can calculate the amount of eligible unemployment benefits due to the employee.

(All payments to the DES for attached claims can be made by “e-checks” or by credit cards.)

 

Recommendations/ Options for Employers

Due to the limitations of one claim per year per employee and the requirement that each claim filed satisfy a week’s waiting period.

  • If slow periods of work are anticipated, reduce the hours of the regular scheduled work week (example: 40 hours to 32 hours—60% of 32 = 19.2 hours.  Employees who work at least this amount would not be eligible for attached claims but would receive some wages.  The use of attached claims would be reserved for unexpected downturns when it is necessary to implement a temporary reduction in force).  Reduced regular work weeks should be for a significant consecutive period.
  • Employers could delay filing attached claims until multiple weeks of downturns are expected. 
  • If attached claims have been exhausted and subsequent reductions in force are necessary, permanently lay off employees with the understanding that if they are recalled, they will be paid a signing bonus (This is an incentive for employees to return even if they have secured other employment).

 

**IMPORTANT UPDATE**

The following is an excerpt from Assistant Secretary of Commerce Dale Folwell’s memorandum dated September 13, 2013 giving an update on complying with House Bill 4 including another option for employees and employers in light of the restrictions placed on attached claims:

Attached Claims Update

An employee whose employer will not be filing attached claims may file a claim for themselves.

Employees must meet the following requirements:

• File the initial claim and then file weekly certifications for each week benefits are requested.

• Report all earnings and payments.

• Be able and available for work during each week filed.

• Be actively seeking work during each week filed (regardless of hours worked).

Further information is provided in: NCUI 517Z: Information about Unemployment Insurance for Totally Separated Workers (located at www.ncesc.com). The NC Division of Employment Security understands that the employee is not “TOTALLY SEPARATED”, however for any week an individual files a claim for unemployment benefits, DES must determine whether the requirements listed above are met.

Employers will be sent a Form NCUI 500AB each time an individual files a claim for unemployment insurance benefits. Employers are responsible for providing accurate information to include: layoff and return to work dates and; the correct reason why the individual is not working (including temporary layoff). Incorrect responses such as (still employed) can delay benefit payments to temporarily laid off individuals.

 

For more information on NC’s Unemployment Law and other updates in state and federal laws, make sure to attend the 2013 Triad Employment Law Update on November 5 at the Grandover Resort in Greensboro. Knowledgeable attorneys from Constangy, Brooks and Smith, LLP will provide you with information on several topics, including: wage and hour; I-9 compliance; immigration; off-duty conduct; health care reform; hiring practices; terminations; and the NLRB. Visit www.capital.org/triadlaw to register and find detailed information on conference presentations.

Are You Using the Correct Form I-9 for Your New Hires?

Thursday, May 9th, 2013

Form I9The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) sent out a press release Tuesday, May 7, reminding employers that starting that day, they must use the revised Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification (Revision 03/08/13)N for all new hires and reverifications.

USCIS explains that employers can find the revision date of the new Form I-9 on the lower left corner of the form. The agency warns against completing new Form I-9s for existing employees if a properly completed Form I-9 is already on file. USCIS will no longer accept previous versions of the Form I-9.

The agency provides a Spanish version of Form I-9 (revision 03/08/13)N, and it is available on the USCIS website for use in Puerto Rico only. Spanish-speaking employers and employees in the 50 states, Washington, D.C., and other US territories are only allowed to use the Spanish version for reference, according to the press release. These employers and employees must complete and retain the English version of the form.

You can find the revised forms at www.uscis.gov/I-9. The agency also offers a telephone number, 888-464-4218, to call for more information. USCIS has representatives available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to discuss any questions or issues that may arise from the news of needing to use the revised Form I-9. You can also visit I-9 Central, a website the agency created to support Form I-9 users. USCIS has also scheduled free webinars to educate employers on the new form.

CAI’s 2013 Employment and Labor Law Update scheduled for May 22 and May 23 at Raleigh’s McKimmon Center will feature knowledgeable attorneys from Ogletree Deakins who will present additional information for Form I-9 compliance. Former NLRB member Brian Hayes joins this year’s lineup of attorneys from Ogletree Deakins. He will share his view on the board’s recent rulings and give advice for handling new challenges during his can’t-miss presentation.

Please visit www.capital.org/lawupdate to review the full agenda of the conference, descriptions about the presentations and to register. Feel free to call 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746 with any questions.

Photo Source: Victor1558

10 Tips to Help Your Organization Win the Competition for Top Talent

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

The following is a guest post from Carol Hacker. Carol is the President and CEO of Hacker & Associates.  She specializes in helping HR professionals and teaching managers, supervisors, team leaders, executives and business owners how to meet the leadership challenge. She’s the author the bestseller, Hiring Top Performers-350 Great Interview Questions For People Who Need People.

Carol Hacker portraitFrom an era of a labor surplus to an era of a labor shortage, when it comes to looking toward the future for talent, the economic crisis has made developing strategies and planning that much more difficult.  Would you agree that there seems to be a massive and devastating shortage of skills and an aggressive war for global talent?  The US workplace has become a playing field of competition for hiring top talent in every industry.

The “brain drain” is making it more difficult to find people who are qualified to do the work that needs to be done.  In addition, you have an extraordinary amount of competition, so you will have to be well prepared to attract and keep the best of the best.  It’s your responsibility as the hiring manager to identify the right people who have more than technical certification, proven abilities, or specific skills.

However, just as important as the required skills, you will need to hire job applicants with the energy, ambition, and potential it takes to meet your specific work standards as well as embrace a people-oriented leadership style and comfortably merge with your existing corporate culture.  Personality counts, as does the ability and willingness to get along with everyone including internal customers and teammates.

The following ideas have proven successful and are worth considering as you build your team of qualified employees:

  •  Focus on company policies and procedures that increase employee retention in the future, such as career development opportunities, bonus compensation, competitive benefits, stock options, flexible schedules, on-going new-hire orientation and mentoring programs.  Today’s generation demands instant gratification.

 

  •  Evaluate your recruitment strategies and hire the right people for the right jobs, rather than trying to fit square pegs into round holes.  The latter approach is guaranteed to set new-hires up for failure.

 

  •  Before you develop a strategic recruitment plan to increase the number of highly qualified and difficult to find job applicants, conduct a self-assessment to compare your recruitment approach to the universe of known recruitment strategies.  This takes time, but once you know what works and what doesn’t you’re ahead of the game.  You will also want to determine what takes the least amount of effort, but still yields good results.

 

  •  Selectively screen resumes and applications.  Many job applicants are using the “dart approach.”  They’re sending out dozens or even hundreds of resumes even when they are not qualified for the position (s) as advertised.  Screening these documents is an enormous waste of your time.

 

  • Do whatever it takes to not only raise the bar, but raise skill levels as well.

 

  •  Do your homework by completing the necessary market research to determine the levels of compensation expected by highly sought-after job applicants.

 

  •  Learn how to efficiently transfer knowledge from senior members of the team to new or entry-level employees.

 

  •  Make use of HR’s abilities and resources in improving the skills and education of your current staff.

 

  • Consider job-sharing and part-time work opportunities for valued employees who cannot work a 40-hour week.

 

  • Develop a partnership with colleges, universities and technical schools in getting students to consider majors where jobs are immediately available upon graduation.

Contact Carol by visiting her website: www.carolahacker.com.

N.C. Employers Receive Local Data with the 2012/2013 Healthcare Benefits and Cost Survey

Thursday, April 4th, 2013

North Carolina businesses that want to know how their benefits plan design and premium costs match up to other area businesses can quell their curiosity with the N.C. Healthcare Benefits & Cost Survey.  The survey, which is co-developed by CAI and HCW, shares local benchmark data from N.C. employers. Unlike most benchmark surveys that focus on national data, this annual survey offers N.C. employers specific information for managing employee benefits from their local peers.

Data Pool

Nearly 700 organizations from across the state provided data for the survey. More than half of the companies that participated are located in the Research Triangle Region and are small to mid-size employers with less than 1,000 employees nationwide. To capture a good picture of what benefits look like at N.C. companies, the survey includes data from 15 different industries. The top 5 industries represented include:industry table

1)      Professional/Scientific/Technical

2)      Durable Manufacturing

3)      Healthcare and Social Assistance

4)      Finance/Insurance/Real Estate/Rental/Leasing

5)      Non-Durable Manufacturing

 

Key Findings

Survey participants gave plan data for their traditional plan with the highest enrollment or consumer driven health plan with the highest enrollment, or both if applicable. Approximately 72 percent of employers gave data for a traditional plan, 11 percent gave data for a consumer driven plan and 17 percent provided data for both types of plans. Data revealed that most employers have a fully insured plan, while 26 percent have self-funded plans.

Review the key insights for traditional and consumer driven plans below:

Traditional Plans

Traditonal Data

 

  •  21 percent of employers with traditional plans offer a non-rollover Health Reimbursement Account (HRA)
  • 80 percent of employers with traditional plans have a PPO plan ,16 percent have a POS plan and 2 percent have an HMO plan
  • Average health plan premium for single coverage is $464.39 per month
  • Average health plan premium for family coverage is $1,335.03 per month
  • Employer contributes to 83 percent of single-coverage premium costs
  • Employer contributes to 55 percent of family-coverage premium costs

Consumer Driven Health Plans (CDHP)

CDHP plans

 

  • 78 percent of employers with a CDHP offer a Health Reimbursement Account (HRA)
  • 22 percent of employers with a CDHP have a rollover HRA
  • Average health plan premium for single coverage is $401.03 per month
  • Average health plan premium for family coverage is $1,145 per month
  • Employer contributes to 82 percent of single-coverage premium costs
  • Employer contributes to 57 percent of family-coverage premium costs

Please find more information on N.C. healthcare benefits and costs from the local survey here.

5 Updates to North Carolina’s Unemployment System You Need to Know

Tuesday, March 12th, 2013

George PortsCAI’s Senior HR Advisor and Government Relations Specialist George Ports explains the five major changes to North Carolina’s Unemployment System now that Governor Pat McCrory signed House Bill 4, UI Fund Solvency & Program Changes on February 19, 2013.

House Bill 4, UI Fund Solvency & Program Changes was drafted in efforts to address the $2.8 billion debt owed to the federal government and to improve efficiency at the North Carolina Division of Employment Security (DES).

Highlights of the five changes to North Carolina’s Unemployment System are:

  • Near elimination of “attached claims”
  • Elimination of “Substantial Fault”
  • Higher taxes at the state and federal levels
  • Elimination of most “good cause” reasons
  • Reductions in benefit amounts and duration

The effective date for most of these changes is July 1st, 2013 with the exception of new employer contribution rates, which will be effective January 1st, 2014

Let’s breakdown the three changes that are receiving most of the attention: reduction in benefit amounts, reduction in the duration of benefits and near elimination of “attached claims”

Reduction in benefit amounts

Currently the maximum weekly unemployment benefit is $535.00.  This maximum benefit, under current law, is indexed annually based upon North Carolina’s average weekly insured wage (AWIW).  So if the AWIW increases, so does the maximum weekly benefit.  The new law’s purpose in reducing the weekly benefit to $350.00 is to bring North Carolina’s maximum weekly unemployment benefit in line with neighbor states that are as follows:

  • Florida –$275       
  • Georgia–$330
  • South Carolina–$326
  • Tennessee–$275
  • Virginia–$378

In addition to the reduction in benefits, the maximum weekly will no longer be indexed annually; adjustments will require legislative action by the North Carolina General Assembly.

Reduction in duration of benefits

Under current North Carolina law, the maximum duration of benefits is 13 to 26 weeks based upon an individual’s work history.  The new law provides that benefit duration is based upon a sliding scale determined by unemployment rates and an individual’s work history.  An example of this sliding scale is as follows:

UI Rate is 5.5%:  12 weeks max. (5-12)

UI Rate is 9.5%:  20 weeks max. (13-20)

Each calendar year there will be two unemployment rates that will affect duration.  One of the rates will be announced in January by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).  The BLS, although a federal agency, announces the unemployment rate reported by North Carolina. This rate is actually the rate from the previous October.  The second rate will be announced by the BLS July 1st (North Carolina’s rate from the previous April).  In other words, if a claimant files in March the duration would be determined by the January rate.  If a claimant files in September the duration of benefits would be determined by the rate announced in July.

Near Elimination of “attached claims”

Employers are currently able to file attached claims for employees to receive UI benefits during periods of work slowdowns or temporary layoffs.  If the employer provides less than 60% of an employee’s regularly scheduled workweek, attached claims are filed and employees are not separated from the company.

The new law, for the most part, repeals the use of “attached claims” with some exceptions.  The attached claims provision will be available if the employer has a positive credit balance and submits payment to cover cost of benefits.  The payments are to be made at the time the claims are filed and will be credited to the employer’s account.  The logic here is to ensure that the employer’s account does not go into a negative balance.  This provision is limited to one time per employee per calendar year for a maximum of six weeks (Employers with a debit balance can utilize as above if they make an additional payment that would bring their account to at least zero).

CAI/ECNC (Employers Coalition for North Carolina) helped to fund an independent study conducted by a national organization specializing in unemployment and workers’ compensation system. Recommendations from the study were based on an analysis of North Carolina’s current debt/system issues and comparisons with other state systems. CAI/ECNC voiced concerns regarding the total repeal of the “attached claims” provision, which resulted in the limited exceptions included in the legislation as noted above. One of the main sponsors of House Bill 4 testified in a legislative committee that benefits paid out for “attached claims” accounted for nearly half of North Carolina’s $2.8 debt to the federal government.

This new law has pain points for both claimants and employers.  However, the passage of the legislation was necessary to pay off the $2.8 billion unemployment debt owed to the federal government, bringing solvency back and repairing North Carolina’s broken Unemployment System. 

The Employers Coalition of North Carolina (ECNC) is committed to improving the business climate of North Carolina through political advocacy at the legislative and administrative levels of government. For more information about ECNC, please visit www.ecnc.us.

 

3 Actions Marissa Mayer Could Have Taken to Fix Yahoo’s Remote Work Problem

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

Marissa MayerBy now, many professionals are aware of CEO Marissa Mayer’s decision to end workplace flexibility at Yahoo. Several business experts have given their opinion on the decision by the technology company’s top management. Some agreed with her actions, saying it was necessary to turn around a failing company. Others have said her actions don’t align with positive business practices of today.

CEO is no easy role. Turning a company around is no easy task. Time will tell if Mayer’s decision will help Yahoo or hurt the progress she’s helped the company achieve. Instead of deciding whether her decision was the right one, I’d like to offer Yahoo’s CEO another way to handle the situation. In my opinion, blanket decisions are never the best way to address employee performance issues. The email blast sent from Yahoo’s HR chief is not usually an effective way to deal with a sensitive people issue.

Maybe Mayer wants people to leave without firing them. Maybe she wants to figure out who’s working and who’s not. Maybe she wants to change Yahoo’s current culture. There aren’t a lot of details so we can speculate a long-list of reasons. However, whatever her reason was, this people decision could have been handled better.

Here are three actions Mayer and her team could have made (and can still make) that will help Yahoo address its remote work problem, making the company more productive and successful. These three steps show that businesses can improve without ignoring the needs and wants of your employees.

Revaluate Policies

Many ex-Yahoo employees have come to Mayer’s defense, saying that the company’s remote work policy was too lax. Well, if it’s too lax, management should give it more structure. Company policies should not be set in stone. Make an effort to review your policies on an annual basis. When they are no longer serving their purpose or being ignored by employees, it’s up to the people in charge to update policies and announce the changes through several forms of communication. Some examples include an internal newsletter, a staff meeting or a manager-direct report meeting.

Identify Top and Weak Performers

All employees should not be treated equally. Your top performers should never be lumped into the same group as your weak ones. So one-size-fits-all solutions, like the one that Yahoo’s HR chief sent out, to address poor performers can have a pretty negative effect on the morale of your employees who are always delivering stellar work. Managers, don’t punish your good employees because of the behavior from your bad ones. Instead, look at each employee’s performance individually. If they aren’t doing their work, they don’t get to work remotely—simple as that. An underperformer doesn’t deserve the same perks as one who always overachieves.

Check Progress

Reading the different reports on the situation at Yahoo leads me to believe the company has an accountability problem. How were employees allowed to begin start-up companies while working remotely? Why were people not making their deadlines or delivering on their goals? This is not just an employee performance issue; it’s also a management issue. Leaders do not have to be micromanagers, but they are responsible for ensuring that their direct reports are doing their jobs. Weekly phone calls or meetings to review progress on different projects are integral for keeping your employees engaged and productive. Weekly meetings are also a great way to share your appreciation for your employees, so they won’t feel that their efforts aren’t important, leading them to start a new business on their own.

If you’re having employee performance problems at your organization and need help finding a solution, please call a member of CAI’s Advice and Counsel Team at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.

Photo Source: Jolieodell

North Carolina E-Verify Law Starts to Impact Employers

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

The E-Verify system is a federal internet-based tool that allows you to determine the eligibility of employees to work in the United States. As of yesterday, Oct 1, 2012, North Carolina companies with 500 or more employees are required by law to start implementing the federal E-Verify system to verify work authorization for all new hires. You must complete online training and sign a Memo of Understanding before you use the system.

Make sure you are familiar with your obligations under the new law. Review the different scenarios below:

You are a federal contractor or subcontractor with the FAR E-Verify clause in your contract

If your company has not yet enrolled in E-Verify, then you have 30 days from the date of contract award to enroll, and 90 days from the date you enroll with E-Verify to initiate verification queries for employees already on your staff who will be working on the contract and to begin using the system to verify newly hired employees. After this 90-day phase-in period, you will be required to initiate verification of each newly hired employee within three business days after their start date. To meet this three-day requirement, employers may initiate verification of a newly hired employee before their start date if the employee has accepted the job offer and filled out the Form I-9.

Please note that pre-screening of job applicants is not allowed; the system may be used for new hires only after the employee has been offered the job and has accepted. Please also remember that you must continue to use E-Verify for the life of the contract for all your new hires, whether or not they are employees assigned to the contract. For more information on the FAR E-Verify clause, go to http://j.mp/ev-fa.

You are not a federal contractor with the FAR clause but want to voluntarily use E-Verify

You must use the federal E-Verify system for all new hires for each hiring site that you choose to use E-Verify. The hiring site is typically where the employee completes the I-9 form. (Note: It may be different from where the form is verified – the verification site.)

However, you can exclude hiring sites if not required by state or federal law to use E-Verify. For more information, go to http://j.mp/11-ev.

You are a North Carolina employer

North Carolina employers will be required to use the federal E-Verify system based on the following schedule: [Note: North Carolina municipalities and counties were required to use it on October 1, 2011.]

  • October 1, 2012 for employers with 500 or more employees (and governmental agencies);
  • January 1, 2013 for employers with 100 to 499 employees; and
  • July 1, 2013 for employers with 25 to 99 employees.

For North Carolina, covered employers are only required to use E-Verify for all employees who work in North Carolina. If you have employees who work in other states but they complete their I-9 paperwork at the North Carolina hiring site, they must be run through E-Verify. If you are hiring sales reps or other employees who will not work in North Carolina, you must consider three things in determining whether you will be required to use E-Verify:

  • Is their hiring site a site in North Carolina for which you are using E-Verify? If yes, they must be run through E-Verify.
  • If not, does the state(s) where they are working require E-Verify and do you meet the criteria? If so, they must be run through E-Verify.
  • If not, is their hiring site a location for which you are already using E-Verify? If so, they must be run through E-Verify.

At a future date, the North Carolina Department of Labor will issue information as a result of hearings on E-Verify to clarify the North Carolina E-Verify requirement. For more information, go to http://j.mp/ev-nc.

None of the above conditions apply to your organization

If none of the above applies to you, check the laws for states where you do business to determine if you are required by state law to use the federal E-Verify system.

If you have questions about E-Verify, please contact a member of CAI’s Advice and Counsel Team at 919‑878‑9222 or 336‑668‑7746.

Photo Source: Victor1558

Is Your Company Prepared for America’s Ageing Workforce?

Thursday, April 12th, 2012

Many labor studies and workforce statistics indicate that the American workforce is ageing. Data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that 4.6 adults will turn 65 each minute during 2012, and by 2025 that figure will increase to eight adults each minute. Knowing that America is graying rapidly, it is surprising that many employers have not prepared for this demographic change when planning for their future business ventures.

Ignoring reports revealing that baby boomers are interested in working past their retirement age and will stay at companies that offer flexibility will leave your company vulnerable to disorganization and revenue loss. Older workers offer a number of benefits to their employers. They are hardworking, loyal and professional. Older employees also boast vast networks of business contacts and extensive experience in their line of work.

Research shows that many baby boomers have no plans to fully retire and are interested in staying plugged into their career fields. If you’re interested in retaining the company knowledge that your older workers have acquired and the strong work ethics they incorporate into each of their projects, make sure you are keeping their needs in mind when you’re planning for company succession and total rewards packages. Listed below are a few items that older workers would like to see from their employers:

Flexibility

Employees approaching retirement age are not interested in working the typical 40-hour week. An increasing number of companies are receiving requests from their older workers to have more flexible work schedules.  Many workers at this age desire a high-quality of life and would prefer to work part time. To accommodate requests, organizations are implementing a number of measures to achieve productive, part-time schedules. Accommodations include reduced hours, telecommuting and job sharing.

Consulting

Data shows that the US is experiencing a skills gap between available positions and available talent. When older workers retire, they take with them company experience and expertise, which is impossible to replace. For your employees who are contemplating retirement, ask them if they’d be interested in working for the company as a part-time consultant. In this setup, they will be able to reduce their hours and continue to apply their knowledge while your organization still has a valuable and reliable company resource on staff.

Health Plans

A company’s health care plan can be a determining factor on whether an employee decides to retire or stay with his organization. Many older workers may remain in their position longer than they’d like for fear that they’ll lose their health benefits. Feeling trapped in their jobs could result in their disengagement and reduced productivity. Meet with your benefits provider and work to offer a wellness and benefits program that will suit all of your employees, including your older workers.

Don’t lose your high-value talent and the company knowledge they carry with them because of poor workforce planning. If you would like additional information on succession planning or managing an aging workforce, please call a member of CAI’s Advice and Counsel Team at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.

Photo Source: skilledwork_org