Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

CAI Celebrates Big Move with Open House Bash

Tuesday, August 9th, 2016

CAI_Open_House_CollageCAI, Human Resources partner to 1,100+ North Carolina member companies, celebrated its new Raleigh location at 3150 Spring Forest Road, #116,
with a ribbon cutting and open house event. “After 32 years, we needed more parking for class participants, an open floor plan suitable for team collaboration and space for our state-of-the-art training facility,” stated Bruce Clarke, CAI’s CEO.

More than 220 CAI members, local business leaders, and special guests were in attendance for the big event which was held on August 8.  Guests mingled and enjoyed hors d’oeuvres, wine, and live jazz while touring the spacious, modern facility. Popular guest speaker and author of The Freak Factor, Dave Rendall, delivered a motivating message on “Initiating Change and Inventing the Future.”

Storr Office Environments, Vision Contractors, and Little Design were acknowledged for turning CAI’s vision into reality.  Included as an integral part of the office transformation team were CAI member companies: Precision Walls, Strategic Connections, Stephenson Millwork and Atcom Business Technology Solutions.

Clarke and CAI board member, Randy Neuhaus, CEO of S&ME presided over the ribbon cutting ceremony and champagne toast.  After a warm round of applause, members congratulated CAI on their long-awaited new facility. “I love the new space,” said CAI member Sean Walsh of Red Hat, “it’s really great to see a company make this kind of investment in their members as well as their employees.”

CAI is a trusted resource for HR, compliance and people development. With locations in Raleigh and Greensboro, CAI is a membership-driven organization that helps North Carolina employers maximize employee engagement and minimize employer liability through human resources and management advice, training, survey data, public policy advocacy and consulting services. For more information, visit www.capital.org.

Have you registered for CAI’s 2016 Compensation & Benefits Conference?

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016

Get ready for the 2016 Compensation & Benefits Conference! Top speakers will share their valuable industry insight to make your organization stand out from the crowd. You’ll learn cutting-edge techniques to reward, engage and retain top talent in a challenging economy.C&B Save the Date Blog

Join us for the 2016 Compensation & Benefits Conference on September 15th and September 16th at the McKimmon Center in Raleigh to receive practical solutions to some of your biggest HR challenges. With 11+ speakers and 2 panel sessions, this conference will equip you with the facts, insights and tools needed to translate current data and trends into a realistic action plan.

Four keynote presentations:

2016 Labor Market Trends: Considerations for Pay and Performance

Kerry Chou – WorldatWork

Attracting, Retaining and Engaging Top Talent

Michael Patrick – Willis Towers Watson’s Atlanta Talent & Rewards Practice

Leverage Marketplace Trends for Total Reward Strategy Decisions

Molly G. Hegeman – CAI

New FLSA Regulations: What Employers are doing to Adopt the Changes

CAI’s George Ports, Emily Hinesley and Cynthia Daniel

Choose from 9 interactive breakout sessions led by local Compensation & Benefits experts. Some of the topics include:

ACA: We Came, We Saw, We Conquered – Shifting Focus to Cost Control

Skip Woody – Hill, Chesson & Woody

Creating a Salary Structure: 101

Jennifer Solomonson – The Employers Association

Creating a Salary Structure: Advanced Application

Jennifer Solomonson – The Employers Association

Hot Topics in Wage and Hour Law

Amie Flowers Carmack – Morningstar Law Group

How to Get Employees on Track for Retirement

Jake Connors – Compass Financial Partners

An Internal Perspective on Market Analysis

CAI Member Panel

Join the 250 North Carolina business and HR professionals responsible for compensation and benefits plans and strategies at this amazing Conference!

Register today!

How to Network Around the Holidays

Tuesday, December 8th, 2015

In today’s post, Learning & Development partner Linda Taylor shares many helpful tips for creating strong networking connections during the busy Holiday season.

Around this time of year, people willingly (or not so willingly) attend company parties, get together with friends and neighbors and usually spend a day or two with their families.  Many people stress about the pressure to make small talk and socialize, especially when they are attending a function with their spouse or significant other.

Here’s an idea that I came across recently:  “Be more concerned with being interested than being interesting.”  So, immediately, this strategy calls for us to be attentive listeners. Now, that may not be too hard if only you can get people to talk in the first place!  When possible and appropriate, take a quick peek at LinkedIn or Facebook and review the basic facts about someone you know you’ll meet at a party.

For instance, look over their education and former employers so you can say, “Hey, I see you are a Tar Heel, too!” or “So I understand you used to live in Dallas.  What was that like?” As people speak, listen for hints as to their passions.  You may probe further as long as it’s not intrusive.  Later, if you run across an article about something that might interest them, pass it along.  They’ll be flattered that you remembered.

But what if you don’t have access to people’s backgrounds beforehand?  You may inquire of your host and ask for an introduction.  Or simply go up and introduce yourself and ask what their connection is to the host or hostess.  “Hi, I’m Jack, I work with Phoebe in the accounting department over at Widgets International.  How do you know the Baileys?” They’ll likely tell you a story about how they met and you can build on that from there.  It goes without saying that you’ll always want to make sure to speak well of everyone.

A little mingling etiquette:

  • If you are approaching someone standing alone, walk up and put out your hand while introducing yourself and asking for their name.
  • If you are approaching two people talking, be more cautious as they may be holding a private conversation.
  • If you are approaching a group of people, simply slide in on the periphery and say hello to the closest person. Ease into the conversation gently and respectfully.
  • When you need to need to extricate yourself, say “Excuse me…I need to freshen my drink” or “Excuse me…I see an old friend I’d like to greet; it has been a pleasure to meet you.”

Always have a ready supply of non-controversial topics at the ready – positive current events (like what’s happening in your home town, sporting news, a play or movie you would recommend or a funny story about how your GPS took you far from your desired destination.)  Dwelling on negative events creates a poor image and leaves you nowhere to take the conversation from there.  As a last resort, comment about the weather and ask the other person what he/she thinks.

Going back to the beginning:  the reason so many people dread socializing and small talk is that they are worried about being witty and impressive.  Instead, this season, focus on others and you’ll have less stress and more fun.  Remember – getting someone to talk about themselves allows them to discuss their favorite subject.  Encourage that and watch the conversation grow from there!

For any further tips on how to effectively network during the Holiday season, please give our Advice and Resolution Team a call at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.

New Legislation Activity Will Affect NC Employers

Tuesday, April 14th, 2015

George Ports, CAI’s Senior Executive and HR Advisor shares important legislation updates for NC employers in today’s post.

George Ports, Senior Executive and HR Advisor

George Ports, Senior Executive and HR Advisor

The 2015 Session of the North Carolina General Assembly officially convened on January 28, 2015.  As we expected, there has been a lot of activity pertaining to legislation introduced affecting day-to-day workplace issues, legislation that I will be covering at CAI’s 2015 Employment and Labor Law Update in May.

Bills introduced in the House and in the Senate aim to make changes to North Carolina’s unemployment laws.  Some of these changes such as requiring a photo ID to receive benefits, requiring more weekly attempts by claimants to obtain employment and authorizing the NCDMV to release social security numbers to the NCDES to prevent fraud were contained in legislation passed in the 2014 Session but vetoed by Governor McCrory.

Other legislation addresses criminal record expunction laws, one bill places restrictions on credit history checks for applicants, and another provides NC Industrial Commission fraud investigators more authority (investigators would be sworn law enforce officers with arrest powers).  Oh yes, and there is a bill that attempts to revise North Carolina’s E-verify law, increasing the number of employers required to use e-verify (employers from 25 or more employees to employers with 5 or more employees).

For many years “employee misclassification” has been a Hot Button for USDOL’s Wage & Hour Division—is the individual providing services to an employer an employee or an independent contractor?  This misclassification issue has garnered quite a bit of attention from North Carolina regulatory agencies and legislators.  Employers don’t pay payroll taxes or unemployment taxes on independent contractors nor are independent contractors covered by employers’ workers compensation insurance.  Independent contractors therefore are not eligible for unemployment or workers’ compensation benefits.

As this article is being written, there are at least four bills that have been introduced in attempts to address “employee misclassification.”  All four have their own definitions of employee and independent contractor.  Two bills are similar in their definitions and that they allow employers a “second bite of the apple” before penalties are imposed.  There is one bill’s definition of an independent contractor, however, it is quite narrow and its penalties for misclassifying an employee as an independent contractor are severe.  Civil penalties can range from $500 to $4000 per violation.  The amount of the penalty will be determined by “the size of the business of the person charged and the gravity of the violation”.  This legislation also contains a provision giving regulatory agencies the authority to issue a stop work order, in other words, shut down business operations. 

During my presentation, I’ll be giving status updates on each bill, stating whether they’ve passed and providing insights as to the probability of them passing or not.  We at CAI look forward to hosting our annual Employment and Labor Law Update on May 14th and 15th at the McKimmon Center in Raleigh.

The Employers Coalition of North Carolina (ECNC) was created to give the business community a more focused avenue of public policy input concerning day to day employer-employee workplace issues. ECNC is a partnership of three North Carolina employers’ associations: CAI (Capital Associated Industries), TEA (The Employers Association) and WCI (Western Carolina Industries) and their 2500 members.

Are You Making Costly Compliance Mistakes?

Thursday, March 19th, 2015

Business meetingNot knowing the different federal and state employment laws is not an excuse for not following them. Making sure you are in compliance can be overwhelming as several regulations and laws get amended or updated each year. Trying to keep up with all of the information may be time consuming or frustrating, but staying informed is necessary for keeping you and your organization protected.

Based on the EEOC’s 2014 Charge Receipt, employers all over the country lost nearly 300 million dollars for not staying compliant with employment law in that year. Don’t let this happen to your organization. Government enforcement agencies like the EEOC are always looking for ways to improve their methods for finding employers that are not following the law—whether purposefully or unknowingly.

Follow these three steps to help you stay on top of any federal or state law changes:

  • Research, research, research

Research is essential for making sure you understand the responsibilities you have to your employees and the business community. Some helpful websites to make sure you’re getting the information you need include: http://www.eeoc.gov/, http://www.dol.gov/, and http://www.nclabor.com/.

  • Attend an employment law conference or web series

Let’s face it—we are not capable of doing it all or knowing it all. Finding information on your own through internet searching or government agency announcements is important and should be part of every employer’s quest to stay compliant. Attending an employment law conference or joining a web series on the topic with industry experts, such as employment law attorneys, ensures that you get a deeper dive and a broader base of knowledge to keep your company protected.

  • Form a community

Make sure to stay in touch with your industry peers. The community support you can receive will be helpful for you when you need assistance in making a policy decision or handling a difficult employee situation. Whether they are coworkers on your team or members of a local industry group you meet up with monthly, it’s important for you all to discuss the different issues and laws that currently and will eventually affect employers.

Knowledge is your strongest defense against the complicated, ever changing world of federal and state employment law. Don’t risk your company’s reputation or having to pay attorney fees because you were unaware of the information you needed to keep your company safe and protected.

Guarantee that your company stays on track in 2015 and beyond by joining us for our 2015 Employment and Labor Law Update on May 13 and May 14 at the McKimmon Center in Raleigh. You will learn everything you need to know regarding updates to state and federal employment law. Some of the conference topics include: the NLRB, the Affordable Care Act, undue hardships and the ADA, sexual harassment, data security, FMLA and more!

Innovate or Stagnate: Living your Passion

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015

The following post is from Peter Metzner. Through seminars and consulting, Peter helps leaders, teams and organizations better engage and align staff to business drivers and their overall mission. He is sharing his presentation Innovate or Stagnate: Leadership Skills for Today at the 2015 HR Management Conference on March 4 and March 5 at the McKimmon Center in Raleigh.

Business PeopleI once heard at a Symposium that:  “Genius is focused passion”.

To grow, to develop and become the best at your “art” is a meaningful calling or vocation.  Joseph Campbell writes: “Art is the making of things well.  The aim of Art is the perfection of the object”.

He also writes: “if you follow your bliss, you will always have your bliss money or not. If you follow money you may lose it and you will have nothing” (J. Campbell Reflections on the Art of Living” p. 39)

Ideally, to successfully innovate; we need to feel passionate about and love what we do. We also need to feel our work – our “art” is beneficial to others.    That is the rocket fuel that can propel us to new heights.

What keeps teams or individuals from performing optimally?

Sadly only 30 percent of employees in America feel engaged at work, according to a 2013 report by Gallup.  For many, work is a depleting, dispiriting experience, and in many ways, it’s getting worse.  Demand for our time is increasingly exceeding our capacity — draining us of the energy we need to bring our skill and talent fully to life. “Increased competitiveness and a leaner, post-recession work force add to the pressures. The rise of digital technology is perhaps the biggest influence, exposing us to an unprecedented flood of information and requests that we feel compelled to read and respond to at all hours of the day and night”.   (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/01/opinion/sunday/why-you-hate-work.)

To maintain engagement it is important to have enough rest and renewal to be productive. Over- work, stress and a lack of capacity leads to burnout.  Interpersonal conflict, unaware leadership and not feeling valued or appreciated add to the malaise that cause disengagement, lack of commitment and turnover.

When individuals and teams feel connected to a shared vision and mission that is inspiring and larger than themselves, positive energy and action is released. When relationships are trusting and safe enough to give and receive feedback and engage in constructive conflict; everyone becomes “smarter” than anyone one.  With trust, along with collaborative working relationships; individuals and teams have a greater sense of autonomy, input and buy in to their activities.  Harvard psychologist Kurt Lewin PhD, writes:  “When we are in a supportive environment we are much better equipped to deal with the complexities of our working lives”

As times change; technology advances and new applications and markets will emerge. Yet we need to always keep the timeless qualities that made us successful in the first place. Excitement, energy, common purpose and dedication come from feeling that we are doing what we do best, being challenged to be better in the service of something larger than ourselves.  A real and often forgotten challenge to keeping engagement and passion alive is not only to encourage but to ensure that the work-life balance of staff is maintained.

“When we are completely caught up in something, you become oblivious to the things around you, or to the passage of time.  It is this absorption in what you are doing that frees your unconscious and releases your creative imaginations”.   Rollo May, The Courage to Create

This is the place where synchronicities and “magic” happen.

In addition to innovation through engagement, the 2015 HR Management Conference will feature presentations on making technology choices, insights on the future of work, strengthening organizational performance and more. Visit www.capital.org/hrconf to view the complete agenda and read more about conference speakers. Register today!

 

The Role of Minority Coaching in Your Succession Planning Strategy

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

The following post is from Val Boston of Boston and Associates. His professional background spans more than 25 years in business and leadership roles. He is sharing his presentation Diversity and Inclusion: A Business Strategy at the 2015 HR Management Conference on March 4 and March 5 at the McKimmon Center in Raleigh.

Diverse business group meetingSuccession Planning addresses your organization’s need to strategically prepare for the healthy transition of leadership. These plans are typically linked to a talent management strategy of effective recruiting, developing, retaining and preparing potential leaders for advancement. Considering the rapidly changing demographics in the workplace, special consideration should be paid to the Historically Underrepresented Groups (HUGs) in your talent pool.

Characteristics and Challenges of Successful Coaching Interventions

Executive coaching (or employee coaching or leadership coaching) is certainly not a new concept. Effective coaching occurs when the coach and the colleague have mutual trust and respect; where communications clear and understood by all parties simultaneously; when the colleague is well on track to achieving their professional goals; and the colleague is “dialed in” into the controllable behaviors that generate success.

Most challenges arise with coaching interventions  because the market changes are more rapid and unpredictable than ever before; dramatic events may compromise the integrity of the coaching intervention; the continued “buy-in” by the colleague may become out-of-sync and no one understands why; and when basic objectives are not being met.

Why Minority Executive Coaching? Scenario:  Jordan is a talented employee who is from a HUG. He has outstanding educational credentials and has an excellent employee track record to date. He is assigned an internal mentor or coach as part of his professional development who is not from his HUG. Though the mentor/coach can provide guidance and direction, the personal relationship and trust needed may not develop that would give Jordan all the “tools” he needs for further growth in the organization. The coach may not be able to provide him with the “unwritten rules” or truly and deeply be able to relate to Jordan at all levels.

Minority coaching targets HUG employees and can provide the “missing ingredient”, and can many times provide more relevancy. Since many organizations view coaching as an integral component of talent management and development strategies, this focus can enhance existing internal mentorship and coaching programs. Organizations can provide this resource to identified or self-selected colleagues as part of their development plans. Talent that can be developed to assume more responsibilities over time is a win-win, can increase retention rates of high potentials, while developing talent pools to fill key roles.

In addition to diversity, the 2015 HR Management Conference will feature presentations on making technology choices, insights on the future of work, strengthening organizational performance and more. Visit www.capital.org/hrconf to view the complete agenda and read more about conference speakers. Register today!

Photo Source: Ruth Sanderson

The 2015 HR Management Conference Will Help You Prepare for the Future

Thursday, December 11th, 2014

2015 HRMC ppt slide imageIn order to stay successful and make positive impacts to your bottom line, you must keep up with the kaleidoscope of factors that are now driving today’s business climate. Technology, global competition and shifting demographics are only a sampling of those factors.

From hiring the right people, to developing a thriving culture, and to getting the people out of the organization that don’t belong, HR can lead the charge! Please join us for the 2015 HR Management Conference on March 4 and March 5 at the McKimmon Center in Raleigh. With the theme Mind Shift: Talent Strategies for a Changing Workforce, come prepared to shift your way of thinking around talent strategies to address the dynamics and effects of the changing workforce of today’s business environment.

Four keynote speakers will share their informative presentations for conference participants:

Conference goers will also have the opportunity to attend several breakout sessions during the two-day conference. Some of the topics include:

CAI will also announce the winners of the 2015 Ovation Awards for HR Excellence on the second day of the conference. There is still time to submit a nomination if your company has implemented an HR/people practice that fits into one of the following categories: addressing the skills gap, driving HR efficiency, and leveraging changing workplace demographics. The nomination deadline is Friday, December 19. Please send nominations to Doug.blizzard@capital.org.

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

Nominate Your Company for a 2015 Ovation Award for HR Excellence

Thursday, December 4th, 2014
Bruce Clarke with 2014 Large Company winners - AICPA

Bruce Clarke with 2014 Large Company Winners – AICPA

We are now accepting nominations for CAI’s 2015 Ovation Awards for HR Excellence. The HR awards recognize North Carolina employers that have successfully initiated an HR or people practice that positively affected their business.

This year we have created three categories for you to submit a nomination. Unlike previous years, we will select the two best initiatives for each category regardless of size, selecting six winners in total. You are welcome to submit multiple nominations to any or all categories. The three categories are:

  1. Addressing the Skills Gap

Nomination topics can include: efforts in apprenticeship programs, professional development activities, training opportunities, succession planning, etc.

  1. Driving HR Efficiency

Nomination topics can include: efforts in outsourcing work, implementing HR technology, flexible work schedules, strengthening processes, etc.

  1. Leveraging Changing Workplace Demographics

Nomination topics can include: efforts in mentor programs, working with different generations, maternity and paternity planning, diversity training, recruiting veterans, etc.

Please submit a nomination that successfully tackled one of the topics above and helped your company reach business goals.

Submitting a nomination is quick, easy and free! Recognition and publicity, an enhanced employer brand, and free registration to CAI’s 2015 HR Management Conference are a few of the benefits you’ll earn when your company wins one of the awards. Plus it’s a way for you to give back to the HR community and to have a broader impact on workplaces in NC.

Here are the questions you will need to answer when entering your submission:

  1. The appropriate nomination category
  2. Describe the problem or opportunity that your initiative addressed
  3. Describe your solution
  4. Describe how your solution positively impacted business results

Please submit nominations via email to Doug Blizzard at Doug.Blizzard@capital.org. Please contact Doug with any questions regarding the awards.

The deadline for submitting nominations is Friday, Dec. 19, 2014. Winners will receive their awards and must be present at the 2015 HR Management Conference on March 5, 2015. Winners will also have the opportunity to share the process and results of their initiatives and participate in an Ovation Award panel at the conference. Past winners of the HR awards include: Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC, AICPA, Tanger Outlets, Farragut, Eye Care Associates and more! Good luck!

5 Important Topics You Might Have Missed from the 2014 Triad Employment Law Update

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

2014 TELU Flash ImageMore than 170 people attended CAI’s annual Triad Employment Law Update on Friday, November 14. Held at the beautiful Grandover Resort in Greensboro, the conference informed participants on the most recent updates in state and federal employment law. Knowledgeable attorneys from Constangy, Brooks and Smith, LLP, as well as compliance experts from CAI, shared information on several employment law topics, such as DOMA, health care reform, I-9 and E-verify compliance and FLSA.

Below are five important topics that speakers highlighted at this year’s conference:

I-9s Made Easy

  • I-9s must be completed by employees no later than the first day of work and completed by the employer no later than the third day of the new hire’s employment.
  • Retain I-9s for the longer of three years or one year after an employee’s termination.
  • Office of Special Counsel of the US Justice Department investigates I-9 complaints of over-documenting an I-9, asking for a particular document, not accepting a valid document and requiring a document when one is not needed.

Practical Tips for Complying with Health Care Reform

  • Determination of “full-time” – employees must be treated as full-time in the following “stability period” if the employee averages 30 hours during the measurement period.
    • Stability period must last for at least six months and be the same for new employees and on-going employees.
  • Carefully consider the best measurement and stability periods to minimize costs.
  • Track hours to confirm that individuals are properly classified.

Correcting FLSA Mistakes

  • Meal breaks must be continuous and uninterrupted. If not, you must pay employees for that time.
    • Tips – Don’t let employees take lunch at their work stations, train supervisors to respect lunch, and if you use automatic meal break deductions, have a procedure in place for exceptions.
  • You must pay employees for preliminary and postliminary work that is indispensible to their principal work activities. For example, time spent logging into the computer system and shutting it down at the end of the day is likely compensable.
    • Tips – allow employees to clock in when they arrive at their work stations. If your clock in system is run through a computer system, either leave the computer on or add a set number of minutes to the time each day, and have a procedure for exceptions.

Avoid Discrimination with Unique Employees

  • Public image policies should not be based upon discriminatory preferences of clients. Be sure to avoid improper stereotypes, and if you have a questionable policy, ask yourself if you’re willing to defend it in court.

Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and Same-Sex Marriage

  • In 2012 North Carolina passed a constitutional amendment saying marriage is between one man and one woman. In 2013 the Supreme Court of the United States declared that amendment unconstitutional under Section 2 of DOMA.
  • Same-sex spouses will be entitled to all spousal benefits if they married in NC after October 10, 2014.
  • Same-sex spouses will be entitled to all spousal benefits if they were validly married in another state before moving to NC.
  • Same-sex spouses will not be entitled to spousal benefits if they were “married” in a state that doesn’t recognize it, but they can always remarry in NC.

For further assistance on staying compliant with state and federal employment laws, please call a member of CAI’s Advice and Resolution Team at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.