Managing Employees Through Winter Weather [Video Blog]

Posted on Apr 10, 2019 8:00:00 AM

The science of predicting snowstorms has grown increasingly accurate. Still, meteorologists sometimes get it wrong, warning of "snowmageddons" that never materialize, but whose threatened arrival cause businesses—and even entire cities—to shutter needlessly. So what’s an employer to do when snow is in the forecast?

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Five Childcare Benefits for Working Parents [Video Blog]

Posted on Mar 22, 2019 7:00:00 AM

Time and again, working parents identify childcare as their top concern. As a manager, you recognize that the benefits you offer have a strong effect on how job candidates view your company. Your ability to attract working parents may come down to whether you offer childcare help as a benefit.

Indeed, childcare can be a crippling expense for working parents, with costs for at-home care averaging more than $28,000 a year in the United States. Easing this burden with strong workplace initiatives can help you attract and retain employees. The following strategies can enhance your appeal to employees with children.

1. PTO and flexible scheduling. Paid time off is often used to attract talent, especially millennials. However, it should also be pitched as a family-friendly benefit to working parents. Parents need time off for things like children’s medical appointments, unexpected illnesses, family vacations, and school events. Generous PTO and flexible scheduling make juggling work and home life much easier for families.

2. On-site childcare. This option may be expensive; it will also require considerable buy-in from management. However, on-site care addresses many concerns shared by working parents and could prove to be a “make-or-break” retention benefit for your workforce. Research shows that employees perform better and come to work more regularly when using on-site childcare. Employees also report that on-site childcare improves their ability to concentrate on their jobs.

3. Childcare subsidies. On-site childcare may not be possible. But consider enticing working parents by paying a portion of off-site childcare costs. With childcare ranking as one of largest expenses working families face, offering a subsidy can tip the scales in your favor when employees are weighing career options.

4. Childcare referrals. Even if you can’t afford on-site childcare or a subsidy, you can still help. Consider offering childcare support by establishing a resource network for your employees with children. Gather recommendations and information about local childcare providers and options, and make it readily available.

5. Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs). Many working parents find it hard to balance work and home life, especially after the birth of their first child. This stress can take a toll on their emotional health and work performance. You can help employees navigate this challenging time by offering counseling through an employee assistance program. An EAP is a voluntary, work-based program that offers free and confidential assessments, short-term counseling, referrals, and follow-up services to employees. EAPs address a broad and complex body of issues affecting mental and emotional wellbeing. You can choose the right EAP vendor for your organization’s needs and tailor the program to your workforce. EAPs are usually entirely paid for by the employer. Their benefits are offered to employees as well as their families.

Every working parent is different. No one solution can address all your employees’ needs. But recognizing the importance of childcare is essential. Offering support and solutions can go a long way toward attracting and retaining valued employees.

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Employee Pay During Weather Closures [Video Blog]

Posted on Feb 15, 2019 7:00:00 AM

In extreme weather, safety concerns, closed roads, and states of emergency might lead you to shutter your business temporarily. But do you have to pay your employees while you're waiting for the storm to pass?

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Managing Your Team Through A Crisis [Video Blog]

Posted on Dec 21, 2018 9:26:24 AM

Managing employees through a corporate crisis is one of the biggest career challenges you can face. Sudden change, uncertainty, and anxiety about the future can take a toll on productivity and morale. It’s your job as a manager to do the best you can to prevent this from happening.

Keeping your team motivated during tough times isn’t easy. However, strong leadership, good communication, and empathy can make all the difference. Let’s look at a few strategies for helping your team navigate a crisis.

1. Lead by example. Your team will follow your cues, so remain calm and upbeat. Encourage employees to continue to do their best work. Stick to your usual routine and schedule. If your department normally meets for a status review on Tuesday mornings, keep that date and time on the calendar.

2. Communicate. Your managerial communication skills are of utmost importance during difficult times. Explain the circumstances to the best of your knowledge. Be honest and forthright and share what you know. This will show employees you are sensitive to their need for information and have their best interests at heart. Address issues as they arise, and update your staff regularly as new developments occur. This is a situation where keeping employees well informed is of utmost importance.

3. Listen. There’s an old adage that states, “talking is silver and listening is gold.” Keep in mind that being a good listener is every bit as important as sharing information. Employees need to feel that they are being “heard,” especially in times of crisis, so sharpen your active listening skills. Give your undivided attention to any employee coming to speak with you. Try to understand his or her perspective. Maintain an open-door policy that lets your team know you’re approachable. Consider holding town hall-style meetings that allow management to address and hear from all employees at once. This way, no one feels left in the dark. Acting on questions raised in these meetings will let employees know they’re still valued, and that their concerns matter.

 


4. Ask employees for help. Encourage teams to brainstorm solutions to different problems. The collaboration will engage employees at a time when their bonds to the organization may be strained. Plus, your employees might save the day with innovative ideas that management hasn’t considered.

5. Acknowledge hard work and jobs well done. Employees who go above and beyond during times of adversity should be publicly recognized and rewarded (monetarily, if possible). Even token gifts have proven to be a powerful motivator and morale booster.

Setbacks and corporate crises are an unfortunate part of the business landscape. They are unpredictable and certainly not pleasant. You may not be able to control the ultimate outcome of the situation. But these strategies can help your organization move forward during difficult times.

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Insuring Against Small Business Risks [Video Blog]

Posted on Dec 6, 2018 7:00:00 AM

An optimistic attitude is a must-have for any business owner. But planning only for best-case scenarios can lead you into trouble. A single unfortunate incident can take away all you’ve worked to build. A fire…a flood…a wrongful termination lawsuit….an employee injury....the list goes on. The good news is that you can protect yourself and your company by carefully managing these risks.

A well-designed risk management program is key to the long-term security of your business. This often comes down to having the proper insurance coverage for specific risks.

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Meeting 1-on-1 to Discuss Benefits [Video Blog]

Posted on Nov 22, 2018 7:00:00 AM

Employee benefits programs are a big part of attracting and retaining top talent. You’ve likely worked hard to develop a competitive package that meets your employees’ needs. But you may be undermining your hard work by not communicating effectively with your employees about their benefits.

In many companies the annual benefits review meeting is a time-honored tradition. Groups of employees attend with colleagues to listen to a speaker and prepare to enroll. But group benefits meetings come with some serious drawbacks. Not every employee attends, and those who do may not participate fully. Employees may be uncomfortable asking personal questions in a crowd. Also, the needs of each employee and his or her family are unique, and may not be addressed in a general presentation.

Successfully educating employees about benefits comes down to effective communication. With this in mind, many employers are moving away from group benefits meetings and offering one-on-one guidance instead. These programs help employees better understand their options, and ultimately make smarter benefits decisions.

One-on-one benefits counseling is easy to administer. Employees simply sign up for a time slot to discuss offerings with HR, and perhaps even with financial professionals. The employee and these experts go over specific issues about medical care, retirement, and other needs that can be met with voluntary benefits.

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Planning an Effective Employee Training Program [Video Blog]

Posted on Nov 8, 2018 7:00:00 AM

Did you know that training boosts employee retention? Study after study shows that this is true. In addition to being more likely to stay at their jobs, properly trained employees are more effective than others, and less likely to expose your organization to unnecessary risks and liabilities. A comprehensive training program is a sound investment in both your employees and your company. 

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5 Steps To Successful Workforce Planning [Video Blog]

Posted on Oct 11, 2018 7:00:00 AM

Even the most talented minds in business need the support of committed, able employees to bring their ideas to life. Building an effective workforce can be a challenging proposition, but having a solid workforce plan can help smooth the path.

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Taming Productivity Killers [Video Blog]

Posted on Aug 6, 2018 7:00:00 AM

From water cooler gossip… to interminable meetings… to hours wasted scrolling social media, the modern workplace is teeming with threats to employee productivity. And those distractions are taking a toll: several recent surveys show U.S. employees spending a mere 40 to 50 percent of their workdays engaged in job-related tasks. Fortunately, there are simple steps you can take to help employees avoid common productivity pitfalls. 

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Retain Employees Through Training [Video Blog]

Posted on Jul 12, 2018 7:00:00 AM

With the daily demands of keeping a workplace productive and profitable, many managers may overlook one simple perk that's been proven to boost employee retention: professional training.

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