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What will your workplace look like after COVID?

Are you planning to have employees return to the office? Work 100% remote? A combination of the two? If you are planning a combination of in-office and remote workers, you should be thinking about office safety and collaboration between remote and on-site employees.

There are three ways to mitigate risks to in-office employees. First, continue at-home, self-screening of COVID-19 symptoms. Next, arrange for transparent testing protocols that conserve employee privacy and protects the health of others. Finally, readily provide official documents certifying ability to work when needed.

COVID has made remote working the rule rather than the perk. But motivators are different for  remote workers. Instead of benefits like parking or on-site gyms, you may want to think beyond short-term incentives. Remote teams need to feel valued or they will look elsewhere for a job. Being aware of what’s going on in remote workers’ lives is more challenging than reading the office atmosphere. If you feel there is conflict in the team, intervene immediately to prevent escalation. You want remote workers to feel part of the team emotionally and technically connected. Make files and calendars accessible to employees by using software like Basecamp. Also, make technology available to alleviate at-home workers’ computer and internet frustrations. Check in with your remote workers regularly to make sure their needs are being met. Remember that your remote workers have unique challenges and it’s important to address those to see if they need additional support. As remote work might not end for some employees even when the pandemic passes, pay the same. “Equal pay for equal work” regardless of where your employees reside. Keep a successful team by looking after them and you will be rewarded by satisfied, fruitful, and dedicated employees.

The combination of remote/on-site employees (hybrid model) presents additional considerations beyond those above. Will on-site be flexible to the employee’s choice or employers? Employers providing this option are asked to consider office coverage and in-person team collaboration opportunities when determining schedules that work best for all.  

Navigating this changing work landscape can be stressful, and requires pivoting. We can help you maintain employee safety, sustain compliance, and keep your office culture positive. We’re here to support you to create a seamless transition. Contact us today for more information. Learn how HR Synergy can help simplify your HR needs.


What will the new …… “NORMAL” be for employers!

These past several weeks have taught all of us to shift gears without notice and consider how we will continue to conduct business efficiently while being empathetic to the needs of our employees and our communities.  Yet to come, is how will we handle returning to work after the pandemic?
Like so many, a normal day is no longer normal.   At HR Synergy our current normal ranges from attending webinars, research to learn and understand new acronyms (FFCRA, CARES Act, PPP, EIDL, etc.) to help small businesses and employers understand how to make decisions around workforce reduction, furlough, and layoffs; and presenting webinars.  The Department of Labor has been publishing updates regularly regarding changes and FAQ’s.
Shifting our focus to how can we help our clients and other small businesses prepare for the next phase.  We need to begin thinking about how will we transition the workforce back to the normal before COVID-19? Some challenges employers will face:
  • 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?
I have no doubt that we’ll figure it out.  The NH Community is absolutely amazing! All have been creative, adaptable and compliant to do our part during the COVID-19 Pandemic. I’m grateful and proud to be a apart of such an amazing community!
Some days can be more exhausting than others and it’s important to be sure and take time for you.  When I am in need a break, I enjoy making masks and donating them to family members and local hospitals!
If you are unsure how to navigate these decisions and communicate with your team the how and why, HR Synergy is happy to help you.  Click here to contact us

HR Synergy Partners with BambooHR


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.


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OSHA 300A Form Posting Deadline

OSHA 300A Form

The Deadline to Sign and Post your 300A Form is February 1, 2020

Many but not all employers must complete the OSHA injury and illness record-keeping forms on an ongoing basis. Employers with 10 or more employees throughout the previous calendar year are required by regulation to post these forms. We encourage businesses of all sizes, utilize these forms not only for compliance but to have consistent documentation in place in the event the employee count exceeds 10 anytime during the year.
Small employers (less than 10 employees) and certain low-risk industries are exempt.
The OSHA 300A form must be posted from February 1st through April 30th each year. The form should be in a visible location and is a method of educating your employees about the safety of their work environment. 
HR Synergy, LLC and The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) shares with you the goal of preventing injuries and illnesses in your workplace. Accurate injury and illness records will help achieve that goal.
Visit for more information and to download your 300A forms.

Please contact us at (603) 261- 2402 if you have any questions or concerns.

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The Importance of Compensation Analysis

The Importance of Compensation Analysis

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.

The Importance of Compensation Analysis

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.

New Overtime Rules Finalized

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: 

Are your Employment Posters Up-to-Date?

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)

Federal Posters

The Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA) (7/2016)

 Executive Order 11246 (11/2009)

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) (7/2016)

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) / Section 14(c) (1/2018)

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) (4/2016)

The Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA) Act (4/2019)

The Uniformed Services Employments and Reemployment Rights Act (4/2017)

You can also view these posters at

Can Your Company Survive a DOL Audit?


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

summer dress code policy

Why You Need a Summer Dress Code Policy

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 attireespecially 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:

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.
  1. 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!

Ways Employers are Adapting to the Changing Drug Policies

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.