- Who is essential to return to the “office or work site”?
- Considering work areas, how will you continue to ensure the safety of our teams and their employees?
- Schools are online for the remainder of the school year, what alternative plan will you consider for parents who need to be home with their children?
- Employees who want to work remote may have proved their ability to be productive, meet deadlines while working from home while caring for school-aged children. Are you prepared for this?
- The essential employee you need to come back to work and refuses, not feeling comfortable that it’s safe ~ what to do?
We are pleased to announce that we are now a BambooHR Authorized Referral Partner!
This partnership will allow us to bring you a more convenient and user-friendly way of organizing the information that matters most. BambooHR is the leading provider of tools that power the strategic evolution of HR in small-to-medium-sized businesses.
BambooHR’s cloud-based system is an intuitive, affordable way for growing companies to track and manage essential employee information in a personalized Human Resources Information System (HRIS). Now HR managers have more time for meaningful work; executives get accurate, timely reports, and employees can self-service their time off using a convenient mobile app.
The best software to streamline your HR process!
Consultants at HR Synergy will work closely with our clients to implement the software, provide training to employers on how to use the system efficiently, and answer any questions you may have along the way.
Switching to new software can be stressful, and requires a lot of attention. We are here to make that process run smoothly in the shortest amount of time. Whether or not you choose to sign up for BambooHR through us, you own the software, and all of the information in it. We simply hope to make the implementation smooth and worry free for you and your employees. Contact us today for more information. Learn how HR Synergy and BambooHR can help simplify your HR needs.
Click The Button Below To Request a Live Demo!
The Deadline to Sign and Post your 300A Form is February 1, 2020
Please contact us at (603) 261- 2402 if you have any questions or concerns.
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Is Your Compensation Package Competitive?
A company-wide compensation analysis may sound like a lot of effort, but it’s a good practice for employers to periodically review all positions throughout their organization. This helps ensure they are offering competitive wages for attracting and retaining employees.
More Than Money
Compensation isn’t just about wages. Paid time off, health benefits, even stock shares are all things that make up the benefits that attract and retain employees. Some industries, like business and finance, are going to be more competitive with compensation than others, such as nonprofits and healthcare. A compensation analysis helps employers gain an understanding of an appropriate compensation package to attract and retain key employees.
Many think that money is the biggest factor in employee retention, but that simply isn’t the case. While wages and hours worked are crucial to an employee’s happiness, about 88% of employees leave for reasons beyond the paycheck. Making sure employees feel valued, appreciated, and taken care of is essential to keeping them happy in their jobs.
Finding the balance between competitive wages, benefits and proper compensation for the value of an employee’s work is hard to do. When good workers feel valued for their work, they are more likely to stay. If they don’t, high qualifying jobs go to less qualified, lower-quality workers. Employers often invest a lot of time and resources on employees that are not quite at the right level. Good employees will not stay long if they don’t feel valued and are not paid fair wages for their work.
Compensation Analysis as a Retention Tool
An annual or bi-annual compensation analysis, which incorporates salary surveys and salary benchmarking, is an invaluable retention tool. This will help show if your company is paying its employees fair and competitive wages while taking into consideration the responsibilities they are carrying out.
Compensation Analysis Services
A thorough compensation analysis helps you attract, retain and engage the best people in the most cost-effective way possible. Not sure where to start? Contact the professionals at HR Synergy today.
Employees who make less than $35,568 a year are eligible for overtime pay.
HR professionals and employers have been awaiting the final overtime rules update since the proposed rule in 2016. The 2016 proposal presented a salary basis that was economically challenging for many businesses, especially non-profits and small business owners.
As of January 1, 2020, exempt employees earning less than $684.00 per week or ($35,568 annually) will be eligible for overtime pay for hours worked in excess of 40 hours in any given week under the newly released rule. In addition to changing the threshold for exempt employees the new rule increases the salary threshold for a highly compensated employee from $100,000 per year to $107,432.
With just three (3) months’ notice to prepare employers should immediately begin:
- Reviewing existing salary of exempt employees to ensure they meet the minimum threshold. Non-discretionary bonuses may be used to satisfy up to 10% of the standard salary level.
- Reviewing positions classified as exempt from overtime to ensure responsibilities meet the criteria to be exempt.
- Discussing with management teams about how the organization will handle salary adjustments that are necessary to be compliant.
- Discussing with management on how to communicate this information to employees.
This new rule takes effect in only a few months. If you have questions or need assistance determining which employees meet the threshold, contact the professionals at HR Synergy to help you navigate through the process.
For more information visit these helpful links:
The New Hampshire Department of Labor requires all New Hampshire businesses with employees to display these posters in a prominent location in every place of employment. This information is important in order to ensure employees are aware of their legal rights and responsibilities. These laws are periodically updated which is why it is important to make sure you have the most recent version of the poster available to your employees. Click the name of the poster below to download a PDF of the most recent updates.
|Mandatory NH State Posters||Additional NH State Posters|
|Workers’ Compensation Law (obtain from insurance carrier)||Unemployment Notice (1/2012)|
|Protective Legislation Law (2/2018)||NHES Vacation Shutdown (1/2012)|
|Criteria to Establish an Employee or Independent Contractor (2/2018)||Employment Poster|
|New Hampshire Minimum Wage Law (2/2018)||2240 – Spanish Employment Poster|
|Whistleblowers’ Protection Act (2/2018)||Housing Discrimination Poster|
|Workers Right to Know (2/2018)|
|Equal Pay Law (6/2018)|
Executive Order 11246 (11/2009)
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) (7/2016)
You can also view these posters at https://www.nh.gov/labor/forms/mandatory-posters.htm.
A Department of Labor audit can have a significant impact on your organization, costing your company anywhere from $500-$5,000,000 in fines and penalties. The first step to surviving an audit is knowing what to expect and being prepared.
The Department of Labor is looking more closely than ever before for potential employers who are not following the rules. Some of the main reasons for the Department of Labor to conduct an audit are employee complaints and, in some cases, just plain bad luck.
Schedule your Mock DOL Audit before it’s too late!
By conducting a mock DOL audit, we can gather information about your company’s employment practices throughout the employee life cycle. This information helps to determine your potential exposure in the event of a real audit. We identify areas of improvement, create an action plan to improve compliance and help you put systems into place.
We recently conducted a mock DOL audit for a client and we uncovered some main areas to focus on in case of a real DOL audit. Some of the items our audit uncovered included:
- Outdated federal and state labor laws posters.
- Risk of HIPPA and Personal information for possible identity theft with employee file practices.
- I-9 form non-compliance and confidentiality exposure.
- Inaccurate time keeping records.
- Inconsistent pay practices.
Potential fines for this small company were approximately 3.2 million dollars if the Department of Labor was conducting an audit.
Are you 100% confident that your business would ace a DOL audit? Not sure, call HR Synergy at (603) 261-2402 to schedule a mock audit to help you identify your compliance exposure. We recommend conducting a mock audit annually.
Written By: Michelle Gray and Kayla Hines, HR Synergy, LLC
Image rights: Boris Dzhingarov https://www.flickr.com/photos/81894496@N06/15896297412
During the summer months, many of your employees may begin to dress down. Some may even cross the line in terms of what is appropriate for the workplace. In this month’s HR Synergy blog, we discuss why you need a summer dress code policy and offer guidelines on developing one for your workplace.
Presenting a Positive Image for Your Company
Of course, you want all of your employees to present a positive image for your company. Inappropriate workplace attire—especially that which is offensive or distracting—reflects poorly on your brand. But what you consider inappropriate may seem quite acceptable to someone else. By developing a summer dress code policy, you will set clear expectations for both employees and management, and help keep things cool as the temperatures rise.
But before you can set expectations on appropriate workplace attire, you need to decide on the formality of your workplace dress code, based on the standards of your industry. Is it formal/professional, business casual, or casual? “At many companies, this will also vary according to the amount of interaction employees have with customers,” notes HR Synergy President Michelle Gray.
Guidelines for Developing a Summer Dress Code Policy:
- Put Your Summer Dress Code Policy in Writing
Your summer dress code policy should be a formal document that is included in your employee handbook. Copies of the policy should be easily seen in heavily-trafficked areas, including hallways, meeting rooms, break rooms, and restrooms. “We encourage our clients to review the policy at the start of the summer season during staff meetings,” Gray notes. This ensures there is no confusion about the policy.
- Apply Your Summer Dress Code Equally
When writing your workplace dress code policy, be careful not to focus more on one gender than the other. “I often find that businesses tend to focus on more on female dress attire,” Gray says. To be effective, your workplace dress code policy needs to be applied equally to all employees, regardless of gender, age, or level.
- Be Specific
As noted, the purpose of your summer dress code policy is to set clear expectations for both employees and management. Thus, you should provide specific examples of what attire is not acceptable for your type of business. Here are some considerations and questions to get you started:
- Parameters for dress and skirt hemlines (e.g. no more than 2 inches above the knee)
- Pant length requirements (i.e. Are capris or shorts allowed?)
- Attire that is not permitted, such as T-shirts, tank tops, low-cut shirts, halter tops, crop tops, sweatpants, sweatshirts, athletic wear, logo wear, jeans, or leggings
- Reminders that all clothing should be ironed, clean, and free of holes and stains
- Should men’s shirts be tucked in and must they have collars?
- Are sleeveless tops allowed? Is there a minimum strap width requirement?
- What about footwear? Are sandals and flip-flops allowed?
- Is there a Friday “jean day” and are there any restrictions (e.g. rips and holes, color/fading, etc.)?
- Summertime is also a good time to restate any policies your company may have around the visibility of tattoos.
- Explain the Consequences
Your summer dress code policy needs to state the consequences for failing to comply with it. Also, any special events or circumstances that can alter the dress code should be outlined in your policy and communicated to your employees.
Whether you need help developing employee policies, improving employee communication, or increasing employee morale or productivity, the professionals at HR Synergy are here to help. Contact us today!
With marijuana becoming legal in most states, how are employers adapting to the changing drug policies?
Although marijuana is still illegal at the federal level, thirty (30) states have permitted the use of medical marijuana and approximately nine (9) states have permitted the use of marijuana for recreational use. Many companies have turned away or fired top talent because they tested positive for marijuana on a drug test. Employers and HR professionals are finding it difficult to balance the need to hire good employees with their commitment to maintaining a safe workplace. What’s more challenging is creating policies and procedures that comply with both federal and state requirements.
Because it’s not easy to detect the timeline of use of marijuana and opioids it’s difficult to determine whether the employee is under the influence during work hours. Some employers are opting to remove marijuana from the test panel altogether. Other employers still opt for a zero-tolerance policy. In either case, it’s important to ensure the drug and alcohol policy is clearly defined.
The policy should include: Statements that prohibit employees from reporting to work under the influence, the use, sale or possession of drugs or alcohol on the premises and the right to conduct drug testing and searches of work-spaces under reasonable suspicion or after an accident. The policy should also explain what disciplinary action may occur if an employee tests positive or refuses to test.
In the wake of the current drug and alcohol epidemic in our country, many employers are opting to promote a recovery-friendly workplace. These employers choose not to fire a good employee but adopt policies that will promote workplace education and outreach, connect the employee with an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), provide confidentiality and refer the employee to peer recovery support programs.
This topic is one that is so important for employers to consider before they receive the “positive” test result and don’t know how they want to handle it. Take the time to discuss with your management team what is the culture you want to instill and what type of drug policy encourages that culture.
The Pros and Cons of Telecommuting
Advances in technology such as wireless devices, web applications, and internet-based software has created the mobile office, making it easier for employees to virtually work from anywhere. Research shows that approximately 30 million Americans have the ability to work from home at least one day a week and more and more companies are offering telecommuting and flex-time more than any other workplace benefit.
Even though telecommuting is a convenient cost-effective alternative to the traditional nine to five workweek, you should be aware of the challenges telecommuting poses for employers and co-workers. What might be good for some may not be good for others. If you are the social type and enjoy being around people and working as part of a team, full-time telecommuting might not be your best option. However, if you are an introvert who is independent and disciplined then you might be a great fit.
Also, not all jobs are suitable for telecommuting and require the individual to work at the employer’s location. Here are some of the pro’s and cons to help you decide if telecommuting is right for you:
- Employees can be more productive and less likely to take time off work.
- It promotes work/life balance and retains employees who may otherwise leave because of personal reasons.
- It’s cost efficient for the employee and the employer eliminating expenses across the board. Saving time and money on commuting costs, office supplies, office space and equipment.
- There are fewer workplace distractions and employees can work at their own pace.
- Employees who work from home often miss out on social activities with colleagues. The lack of employee engagement can make the telecommuter feel isolated and out of the loop.
- Employers lose control of how workers use their time.
- Heightened concern with security, employee monitoring and maintaining confidentiality.
- Less face time with managers and peers can cause problems with communication, creativity, and brainstorming. If your boss doesn’t see you regularly, you might wind up getting passed over for major projects or assignments.
To avoid negative impacts of telecommuting, companies must set clear guidelines and policies on productivity, security, and workers’ compensation. If you need assistance updating your policies and procedures, contact the professionals’ HR Synergy, LLC.