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Employee leasing vs. co-employment: what’s the difference?

By | Articles, Company Growth, President's Corner | No Comments

When you’re considering outsourcing your HR, you’ll hear plenty of talk — and advice — about “employee leasing” and “co-employment.”

In general, these two terms refer to the same concept. In “employee leasing” or “co-employment,” your company manages the day-to-day work of each of your employees. But to tap into the benefits that HR outsourcing offers, the HR company becomes the “employer of record” for each of your employees, which means your employees are linked to the HR company’s EIN for payroll, benefits and tax purposes, along with all of the responsibilities that accompany those.

This relationship is more commonly referred to as “employee leasing” or “co-employment.”

What is employee leasing?

Employee leasing is sometimes used to describe the arrangement between a company and a type of HR outsourcing organization known as a PEO (professional employer organization). The PEO becomes the employer or record for its clients’ employees and is responsible for paychecks, payroll taxes, benefits administration and related administrative requirements. At the end of the year, each of the client’s employees also receives their W2 from the PEO — and the PEO’s EIN is linked to it.

How is this “leasing?” It’s not — which is why the term has mostly been replaced with something better (see “co-employment” below).

As a client, your company makes all hiring and termination decisions about employees — the PEO has zero management contact with your employees. That means your PEO does not have the ability to “reassign” an employee to a different department or employer. The PEO cannot terminate an employee (unless YOU specifically ask them to). And fees charged by the PEO aren’t “rental fees” for an employee — your business pays for the administrative tasks associated in the same way you’d pay an in-house HR department to perform these tasks, including onboarding, payroll management and reporting requirements, benefits administration, worker’s compensation admin and insurance, and any risk-management services.

Employee leasing isn’t temporary or short-term employment

While the term “employee leasing” is catchy, it has other downsides, too, namely its short-term feel. But your employees aren’t temporary — they’re full-time, maybe even lifers. Which means your company’s employees in the PEO-relationship will (hopefully) have a long-term relationship with your company, too. If you ever leave a PEO, you take your employees with you.

Fees paid to a PEO in employee leasing

While you will pay a PEO for its services, the fees you pay to a PEO are for the services performed by the PEO. You do not pay a PEO for the use of your employees. If your PEO is managing payroll, you provide the funding for the payroll, just like you would do if you were managing payroll yourself (except with most PEOs, you write just one check for payroll and the PEO divvies it up; if you manage payroll yourself, you’re writing a separate check for each employee).

What is co-employment?

Co-employment is an arrangement in which two organizations — namely your company and the PEO — share responsibilities for an employee. The PEO handles the administration responsibilities and any liabilities that go along with those. Your company manages every bit of the day-to-day duties of your employees.

If co-employment sounds identical to employee leasing, that’s because it is; the two terms are oftentimes used interchangeably. There is one exception: co-employment can also be used to refer to short-term or contractor arrangements — but that’s not what PEOs do.

Hiring and Termination with a PEO’s co-employment arrangement

When you have a co-employment arrangement with a PEO, your company continues to make all hiring, promotion and termination decisions about the people who work for you, while the PEO only handles the administrative tasks, such as onboarding, workers’ comp, and payroll and benefits management. A PEO may also offer an applicant tracking system (ATS) to simplify your hiring process or give you access to reports and visualizations that show you how staffing affects your entire organization, among other services.

PEO and liabilities

With co-employment, the PEO will hold all liability for ensuring your employees and benefits are paid (you’ll still need to write a check to the PEO to fund payroll, however), employment taxes are covered, workers’ comp insurance is current, and any other relevant compliance concerns are met. In short, your PEO assumes liability for all of the services it provides to your company.

There are, however, areas in which you’re still be liable — particularly in regard to day-to-day operational and management tasks. But in addition to 24/7 access for consulting and advice, many full-service PEOs will assist you with employee and manager trainings, as well as help you develop employee handbooks and policies to protect your organization from potential risks like these and others.

Are PEOs expensive?

PEOs are service providers, so you’ll pay for their services. They will cost more than you personally sitting down at 2 a.m. with a spreadsheet and an abacus to manually calculate payroll. However, the PEO also provides other services like affordable rates on a variety of health insurance and supplemental plans (including large group health plans, which most small businesses aren’t eligible for any other way), as well as other benefits that most small companies can’t access or afford without the services of a PEO.

How much will a PEO cost? Depending on the PEO you work with and the size of your team, your company could get the equivalent of a full-service HR team and tap into Fortune 500-worthy benefit options at the cost of a part-time employee, or even less if you’re a smaller company.

Get advice about co-employment

This isn’t always part of the deal, but the best full-service PEOs are consultants, too — they offer answers and advice about your HR concerns and will let YOU know when you could be running into potential risks. If you want to see this in action, contact us today. We’ll answer questions, look at your company’s current HR situation, and let you know if it makes sense for you to partner with a PEO or if there’s another arrangement that would fit your company better.

employee leasing

Outsourcing HR, co-employment, employee leasing – they’re actually all synonymous. Would you like a really technical description of co-employment? Read this article from NAPEO.

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Stopping Harassment in the Workplace

By | Articles, Corrective Action, Discrimination, Employee Morale, General HR, Manager Training, Newsletter | No Comments

U.S. businesses and government agencies paid out more than $482 million to resolve work-related discrimination and harassment claims in 2016, a number that the EEOC indicates is on the rise. As an employer, it’s essential to have policies in place to prevent workplace discrimination, but where do you start? Here’s what you need to know…

Steps to prevent discrimination and harassment in your workplace
  1. Set a zero-tolerance policy. Here’s a sample policy:

“It is our company’s policy to maintain a workplace free from harassment and any other form of discrimination based on gender, race, religion, color, national origin, age, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, ethnic background, citizenship, military service, genetic information, or any other class related to discrimination. Accordingly, our company has zero tolerance for harassment in any form or other such unlawful discrimination. Anyone in violation of this policy will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.”

  1. Train managers and staff about the zero-tolerance policy. Although your anti-discrimination policy may be included in the employee handbook, employees most likely skimmed over that section. Become proactive by providing official employee and manager anti-discrimination trainings. Trainings should cover all protected classes (preferably over several different trainings), including gender, race, religion, color, national origin, age (40+), pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, ethnic background, citizenship, military service, and genetic information. Send out follow-up messages via email to help remind employees of the company’s stance on any protected classification.
  2. Create a complaint process. Have an internal system for reporting complaints of discrimination. This could be as simple as reminding employees about which person in the company internally fields complaints and the acceptable form of complaints for your company (text, email, discussed in person but then documented afterwards, etc.). Encourage employees to always report any inappropriate behavior or remarks. Any scoffs or mistreatment towards those who report inappropriate remarks must also be subject to disciplinary action for retaliation. NOTE: Be sure to have a method for complaints to be submitted anonymously, in the event an employee is not comfortable discussing the situation in person. Although follow-up with the complainant will not be possible from anonymous tippers, you’ll at least be making the situation more reportable.
  3. Investigate immediately. The HR manager or person responsible for fielding and responding to inappropriate remarks must be trained to take all complaints seriously and to investigate immediately.
  4. Provide disciplinary action for violators. If this is a first-ever situation for your company, remember that you’re setting a precedence. If you let the violator easily off the hook, you’re setting your company up for a lawsuit.
  5. Document everything. Managers need to document the initial complaint, the process for the investigation, what was discovered during the investigation, and what disciplinary action was implemented. If an issue ever escalates to a lawsuit, this will be critical evidence to counter any “he-said, she-said.”
Costs beyond discrimination lawsuits

While workplace discrimination can quickly add up to large settlements (and more, if legal fees are included), it also has costs that go beyond lawsuits. Workplace Answers indicates that discrimination may impact turnover, employee productivity, and employee dissatisfaction. The effect is felt by more than just the victim and extends to others in the workplace. Recruitment efforts may also be stifled: a study found that 58% of employees who witnessed harassment would “discourage potential employees from joining the company.”

If, as a business owner, you’ve opted to turn a blind eye toward inappropriate remarks and behaviors, you’re placing your business at risk. You may also be harming your most valuable resource: your employees. Workplaces need to ensure complaints are taken seriously and acted upon immediately to remedy the problem, all of which can spare a company from heightened issues that have gone unresolved (just ask Uber). In addition to supervisor-employee relationships, harassment may also come from co-workers and even non-employees. Complying with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 means the workplace must protect workers from all forms of discrimination.

At Stratus.hr, our experts provide compliance assistance to clients to help prevent employment-related lawsuits. This includes ongoing regulation review, policy development and guidance, employee handbook updates, manager training, and new-hire onboarding to ensure all regulations and requirements that affect a business are met. We do this in addition to the more traditional HR outsourcing services.

For more information, please contact our HR experts at HR@stratus.hr or request a free demo of our services today.

Prevent harassment lawsuit

Facts and figures about workplace harassment:

  • 75% of U.S. workers have been affected by discrimination or harassment as victim or witness
  • 29.4% of discrimination suits filed in the U.S. in 2016 were sexual in nature
  • 97,000+ charges of discrimination were resolved by the EEOC in 2016
  • $125,000: the average cost for a small business to defend a discrimination suit
  • $160 million: highest settlement paid for a discrimination case in 2013
  • 11.7% chance that a U.S. small/medium businesses will face a discrimination lawsuit

Sources:









Your business is more likely to increase profits if it does this

By | Articles, Company Growth, President's Corner | No Comments

Building a profitable small business requires a good business plan and the right market condition, but a recent survey found another factor may boost profitability, too: outsourcing employee management and HR functions to a professional employer organization (PEO).

Businesses that outsource HR to a PEO (a.k.a. PEO clients) were 16% more likely to report an increase of profits year over year than comparable businesses that maintained the same functions in-house or outsourced individual HR tasks to separate providers (non-PEO businesses).

The survey report, compiled by independent analytics and research firm McBassi & Company and released by NAPEO in September 2017, analyzed responses from 101 small businesses and their employees to determine key differences in the operational health of small businesses that worked with a PEO and those that didn’t. Previous surveys by the group have also indicated a positive relationship between working with a PEO and lower turnover rates for small businesses, as well as higher rates of  business growth.

Additional findings from the NAPEO survey, which was conducted between April and June 2017, include:

  • 2x higher average revenue growth reported by PEO clients businesses vs. non-PEO businesses between 2015 and 2016
  • 45% of non-PEO businesses stated that raising capital was a moderate or major concern, while only 18% of PEO clients stated the same
  • Employee hiring was a moderate or major concern for more non-PEO businesses (70%) than for PEO clients (45%)

PEO clients also scored higher than non-PEO businesses among their own employees when questioned about HR, employee satisfaction, business growth and other employment-related factors. Specific employee responses include the following:

Employer Responses - NAPEO White Paper 2017

Said the report’s authors, Laurie Bassi and Dan McMurrer, “The analysis finds that working with PEOs yields a broad range of positive effects for PEO clients. These findings are consistent with the expectation that business owners who are PEO clients do not need to spend as much time dealing with ‘people issues,’ and therefore have more time to focus on their core businesses, making them better able to take steps to position their businesses to be competitive and successful.”

You can read the full analysis and survey results from NAPEO here.

For more information, request a free demo of our services today!









8 Job Recruiting Techniques for Small Business

By | Articles, General HR, Recruiting | No Comments

Your small business needs to find the right candidate, but the job applicants you’re seeing just aren’t cutting it. Are you doing something wrong? The answer may be “yes.”

While job applicants may seem to hold all of the cards in today’s workforce, your recruiting style may be working against you. Big businesses have deeper pockets to employ a team of experienced HR professionals and paid recruiters to find the right people for integral roles, but small businesses don’t have to roll over and wait for leftovers. By using the following techniques, small- and medium-sized companies can compete for great talent against large corporations, all without breaking the bank.

What your small business needs to entice the right job applicants:

#1 — Well-written job descriptions. What turns off a job applicant before they ever become a candidate? A bad job description. While you want to paint an accurate picture of what the role will entail, don’t make it overly cumbersome. Other job-description faux pas you should avoid include:

  • Being too hip or sassy to the point of offensive. A little humor goes a long way in a job description; a lot of humor can quickly turn off top prospects. Will it offend anyone or could it be taken the wrong way? If so, cut it out. You could face bigger problems.
  • Requesting impossible skills. Do you need someone with 10+ years of social media experience? Good luck. Facebook launched publicly about 10 years ago and it took a while for businesses (and business pages, which started in 2009) to catch on. Only a handful of people on the planet can legitimately claim the social experience you’re seeking. Better bet: shoot for 5+ years instead.
  • Descriptions that are too vague or too cliche. Remember back in college where every fly-by-night company offered a job where you could “have fun, make money”? Those ads all had one thing in common — they never actually told the applicant what they’d be doing. The lesson here is to neither be too detailed nor too vague. If you’re looking for an office manager who will also need to answer phones, greet clients, and set up appointments, say so. If you want an office manager who will keep your books, state that. Good applicants don’t need to know everything, but they do need to know enough to know that they would be happy doing the job.

#2 — Applicant tracking system. Spreadsheets are great. But they’re terrible when it comes to keeping track of job applicants. Interviewers need to know status, who else is scheduled to interview the person, notes from previous interviewers, scoring systems, and more … and the interviewer needs to be able to access this info whenever it’s needed. In short, there are too many details and needs for a single spreadsheet to handle efficiently.

Using an applicant tracking system (or “ATS” — also called a “recruitment management system”) benefits both the company and the applicant. The ATS can be linked to online job applications so job applicants effectively begin their own record. Then the applicant tracking system becomes the one-stop-shop for every stage, note, and record of the hiring process. Interviewers can access the ATS, see the comments from other interviewers and determine what questions or follow-ups they have for the job applicant.

One of the best benefits on the applicant side of an ATS is that candidates are always updated on their status.  Most applicant tracking systems have auto-responder features. Online recruiting systems are also linked to lower potential litigation costs as systems sort applicant information based on match rather than on potential human bias factors (i.e. protected class criteria). An ATS can also speed up hiring.

#3 — Big-picture view of the internal impact. How is the role you’re filling going to affect the entire company? Will you reach a threshold that requires you to provide a different level of benefits? Will your own HR team be stretched too thin due to additional employees? Before you hire, know exactly how a new team member will impact your company to help you prepare for any growth-related risks.

#4 — Overview of the market and industry. You’re vying for the same talent that your competitors and other businesses are looking at, too. Is the company down the street hiring? Is your top competition experiencing high turnover rates? (If so, why?) Will an industry giant’s new facility mean your talent pool is about to shrink? Knowing these details can make your small business’s recruitment efforts much smarter and will also help you field candidate questions. Staying up to date on changes in the industry and marketplace that will directly affect employees should always be a top priority for your HR team/partner. Just be sure you have a system in place to help that team scale, too.

#5 — Competitive benefits and compensation. You may have the coolest workplace ever and a brand that would make millennial job candidates wanting to make a societal difference swoon. But here’s the thing: if you can’t compete in terms of benefits (and at least come close in compensation), enticing the right person to apply for and take an open position at your small company will be next to impossible. But how do you do it? Two tricks: your HR team and a partner that can provide you with a Fortune 500-style benefits package in a price range you can afford. The best part is that these “tricks” can be one and the same.

Your HR team/partner should be on top of what competitors (industry and market) are doing to entice candidates. They should also be able to help you find insurance and other benefits options that are not only on par with the competition, but that also fit your budget — regardless of how small your business is. Small- and medium-size businesses may choose to partner with a PEO (Professional Employer Organization) to address both of these concerns. A PEO can serve as a scalable, internal HR team, providing all essential HR services, including payroll management, onboarding, applicant tracking and others, while also offering access to large-group insurance plans and other benefit options at affordable rates. Additional reasons for working with a PEO include risk reduction and the consistent growth and success of companies they serve.

#6 — Internal job recruitment system (Hello, social!). Maybe it’s not who you’re looking for but where you’re looking that’s hurting your applicant recruitment efforts. Tap into the team you already have to help find the right person. Announce job openings company-wide. Provide details that are easily shared via social media. Create a referral bonus to encourage your existing team to get the word out. Harvard Business Review reported that when people have a friend at work, they tend to enjoy their jobs more and are more likely to be fully engaged – so get your existing staff to help with recruiting!

#7 — Background and reference checks before day 1. You found the perfect candidate who possesses absolutely everything you were hoping for in this role: education, experience — it’s all there. It seems almost too good to be true… or is it? With more than 85% of employers reporting they’ve found lies on resumes, there’s a chance it could be. Aside from asking the right questions to find potential reality discrepancies and alternative facts during the interview, be sure you’re also conducting background checks, as well as a candidate’s professional references, before it’s too late. While there’s always some risk in bringing aboard a new team member, you reduce risk when you do your homework before day 1, no matter how perfect and amazing the job applicant seems.

#8 — Outsource while you wait. You want whomever you hire to stick with your company a long time, so it makes sense that finding the right person will take time. The current average hiring time is 52 days. While there are ways to make the process shorter and more efficient, it’s usually not a good idea to rush through the process. Instead, outsource tasks that need to be completed while you, your managers, and your HR team spend the necessary time to ensure you secure the right person. You may not be able to outsource every aspect of the job, but in today’s gig economy, you should be able to outsource parts of it. For a look at roles that are prime for outsourcing while you focus on growing your business, read 5 Outsourced Tasks to Reclaim Your Day: Small Business Edition. You may find that the outsourcing solution is the perfect way to fill the empty role (or another role entirely).

Keeping employee recruitment in budget

While there are a number of items to consider when finding the right job applicants, the cost of recruitment shouldn’t be one of them. Ensure you’re keeping costs low and services high with HR by selecting an HR partner that can assist in your recruiting efforts while also performing essential services for your business.

You can learn more about smart recruiting in today’s workplace and how Stratus.hr can help your business find the right candidates faster by contacting Stratus.hr.

Recruiting

According to Visibility, “58% of candidates who have a poor experience with a company’s recruiting process cite ‘not receiving regular updates’ on their job application as the reason.”

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applicant tracking score

Most applicant tracking systems allow for weighted criteria input and can be made accessible to interviewers so they can jump in whenever needed.

Job Description - ATS
Applicant Tracking

A potential drawback to an ATS may be the expensive investment in software to track job applications. However, some HR outsourcing firms provide access to applicant tracking systems for their clients at very affordable prices.

Stratus.hr is a full-service HR outsourcing PEO that allows small businesses to access online tools including an applicant tracking system, competitive benefits packages, background checks, and expert guidance and assistance, among other pre-hire services. Stratus.hr also takes on other HR tasks (unemployment claims management, work verifications, payroll, benefits administration, procuring workers’ comp, injury claims management, and so on) and provides expert advice and assistance that extend beyond the recruiting stage to ensure businesses take a low-risk approach to workforce management and growth.

Drug Testing – Where Do I Start?

By | Articles, Drug Testing, Health & Wellness, Manager Training, Newsletter, Performance | No Comments

You’ve seen a few hints of potential drug abuse at your worksite and are suddenly chilled by thoughts of everything you’ve tried to avoid since hiring your first employee. You certainly don’t want other employees to think this is acceptable behavior, and the last thing you want is for the employee to injure himself (or even worse, somebody else) – but what do you do? Here’s the quick how-to plan for both reasonable suspicion testing, as well as setting up a random drug testing policy.

Reasonable Suspicion Drug Testing

1. Know the Signs
Although you are not expected to be an expert at diagnosing somebody who is impaired from drugs or alcohol, there are several signs that, when paired together, may indicate something more than a bad day. The most common signs of drug or alcohol impairment include: mood changes; slurred speech; difficulty walking; altered appearance; clumsiness; loss of concentration; performance problems; watery or red eyes; argumentative, uncooperative, or accusatory behaviors; and dilated pupils.

2. Get a Second Witness
Ask another manager (without explaining your suspicions) to observe the employee to provide you with a second opinion. If both you and your second witness have reasonable suspicion that the employee is impaired, pull the employee off the job immediately. If the behaviors are severe or the job is safety-sensitive, don’t wait to find your second witness before pulling the employee off the job.

3. Document Everything!
Being as objective as possible, write down all behaviors and performance issues you’ve observed. Do not include any thoughts and opinions as to why the performance problems are the way they are – simply the specific details of what you observed. These details may include employee actions and interactions, smells, when and where everything occurred, what the employee was doing, any witnesses, and so on. (If you’d like to use our user-friendly form to document your observations, please contact us.)

4. Get the Employee Tested
Perhaps this doesn’t need to be said, but never send an employee to a testing facility alone if you have reason to believe he/she is drug or alcohol-impaired. Either you or another manager should drive the employee to the testing facility, or have someone come to your worksite to test the employee. For more information on reasonable suspicion drug testing vendors and pricing, please contact our HR experts.

Setting up a Random Drug Testing Policy

Many employers choose to set up a random drug testing policy to discourage drug abuse from the get-go, which will hopefully eliminate any for-suspicion incidents. Here’s how to quickly get that set up:

  1. Create a random drug testing policy.
  2. Hold a meeting with employees where the policy is discussed; be sure they sign an acknowledgment form before returning to work.
  3. Have new employees sign off on the policy upon hire.
  4. Conduct random testing (at random times) to enforce the policy and deter drug abuse.

As part of our services, Stratus.hr clients already have steps 1-3 taken care of through the drug-free workplace policy provided in your handbook and the acknowledgment form that employees sign once they are hired. If you are not yet a Stratus.hr client and would like to get a policy set up, or you are interested in setting up random drug testing, please contact us and our experts will take care of everything. We can even conduct the random testing for you and have it deducted from your company payroll rather than billing you separately.

Don’t wait for the avoidable incident – contact us today.

(Reposted from our archives)

Reasonable suspicion drug testing and random drug testing both need to be carefully planned before acting on any whims.
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What is a PEO and why you should outsource HR to one

By | Articles, Company Growth, General HR | No Comments

Although PEOs (Professional Employer Organizations) have been smart HR outsourcing options for decades, we still hear questions like “What is a PEO?” or “How does a PEO work?” or “When would a business need a PEO?” Here are our answers.

How PEOs make HR manageable and affordable

A PEO (Professional Employer Organization) allows smaller companies to band together as part of a larger employer (Stratus.hr), creating efficiencies for administrative needs that every company needs, such as payroll, workers’ comp policy and claims management, benefits deductions and reconciliations, and more. The PEO also has certified Human Resources experts who are available to clients 24/7 to provide consulting for any kind of HR matter, whether it be hiring or firing concerns, employee disputes, wage and hour issues, employee onboarding, discrimination claims, employee handbooks, and so on. With economies-of-scale working in their benefit, PEO clients are also able to tap into the buying power of a PEO to provide competitive benefits that would be difficult to afford and manage on their own.

Why businesses outsource HR to a PEO

As a PEO, Stratus.hr becomes the employer of record for your employees while you remain the worksite employer. Many people refer to this as co-employment. Your employees still work for you and you manage them as always, but Stratus.hr assumes the responsibility and liability of wage payments and other HR compliance laws. Your company gets the protection and service it needs and you’re free to get back to building your business.

When does a business need a PEO?

Typically when companies grow, they experience the need of having somebody take care of their human resources needs. But finding an employee who specializes in every aspect of HR is difficult and costly to hire. With Stratus.hr, you get the equivalent of a five-person HR department, with certified experts in each aspect of human resources (payroll, benefits administration, employment law, worker’s comp and risk management), as well as access to more robust and affordable benefits for your employees.

The best news is that most companies who use a PEO save money by tapping into their economies of scale. In a nutshell, a PEO simplifies the administrative headache of having employees and makes you a more attractive employer along the way.

Still have questions? Contact us or learn more about Stratus.hr’s services here.

Did you know?

Businesses that outsource to a PEO:

  • Grow 7-9% faster than comparable businesses;
  • Have 10-14% lower employee turnover; and
  • Are 50% more likely to stay in business.

Source: NAPEO

“I didn’t think I needed a PEO, that I could do it all myself.  Then I realized how much I didn’t know.  With Stratus.hr, I do what I do best and they do what they do best.  It’s a win-win for my company.”

10 Reasons Your Company Is Retaining Employees

By | Articles, Benefits, General HR, Retention, Turnover | No Comments

Congratulations! If your business has no problems retaining employees, then you’re in an enviable position. So what makes you different than other organizations in the U.S., where the average employee turnover in some industries exceeds 25%?

1. You know your industry.

You keep up with everything happening in your industry so you can stay competitive in the marketplace, and your employees thank you for this. Why? Because stable employment is at the top of the list of employee wants. But you go beyond understanding industry advancements — you also know which companies are growing and hiring, and you have a retention plan that keeps your own staff in place.

2. You provide competitive employee benefits.

What else is on your employees’ wish lists? Just after job security comes benefits (in fact, 96% of Millennials say they’d leave a job simply for better benefits). You ensure your company’s benefits are competitive within your industry and your market. But you don’t break the bank doing this — even if you’re a small company, you’ve found a way to keep benefits high and costs low.

3. You adapt with employment trends.

You know that a 7:00a – 3:00p shift might not be as appealing to working parents as flex time. In a 2016 study by Adobe, more than 30% of U.S. office workers said they’d leave a job for more flexibility. It’s just one of the trends shaping today’s workforce.

4. You train your managers.

You’ve read the stats — in 2015, a Gallup poll found that 50% of workers in the U.S. admitted to leaving a job because of their manager, and only 12% of workers said their managers helped them set goals. You conduct management training for your team so leaders know labor laws, connect better with employees, and are adept at handling sticky situations when they arise.

5. You outsource your HR to a PEO.

Your PEO handles HR for you. You made this choice as a small- or medium-sized business in part because companies that work with PEOs have turnover rates that are 10-14% lower than companies that don’t. Working with a PEO also ensures your payroll is accurate, on time and in compliance, and you get full service HR to stay up-to-date on employment law and workplace trends.

6. You have a set plan for onboarding new hires.

You hire people for the contributions they can make — which is why you also make sure they have the tools they need to engage on day one. Your onboarding program ensures the team is aware of the new hire, that someone shows him or her around, that paperwork is completed (preferably online), that the person feels welcome, and they are aware of available resources. Why? Because an estimated 20% of turnover occurs within the first 45 days on the job, and onboarding has been proven to get people started on the right foot.

7. You create a culture where employees want to work.

You know there’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to culture — and you’re happy about that. So are your employees, who are more likely to stay at a company that puts them first. Josh Bersin explained the link between culture and retention in Forbes noting that companies with strong positive cultures are the most in-demand employers.

8. You survey your employees and listen to their feedback.

You know what your employees want because you listen to their feedback, perhaps from employee surveys. Adobe’s study found that more than 50% of U.S. office workers would leave a job they love, even take a cut in pay, to land their dream job. So you do what you can to make sure you offer the types of opportunities and advancement your employees are looking for.

9. You offer education and growth opportunities to your employees.

Sixty-one percent of respondents in a 2016 American Staffing Association (ASA) survey said training would help keep them in their current job. Of those listed, 67% simply wanted “cross training to learn skills of a different job” and 64% wanted “training to gain leadership and management skills.” Of course, you are ahead of the game and have a job-swapping program or a buddy system, and your HR team is assisting with leadership and management training, creating versatile workers with long-term career growth opportunities.

10. You don’t throw money at everything.

You avoid counteroffers whenever possible (50% of counteroffer recipients leave in the next year anyway) and instead build a custom retention plan that stops turnover before it starts. You also make sure the plan fits your business and budget, and is adaptable and flexible, too.

Successful businesses of all sizes know that retaining valuable employees requires effort, but it’s effort well spent. Employee turnover is a costly proposition for any business. Working with your HR team or a partner that keeps all aspects of HR running smoothly can be the best — and most affordable — way to ensure your highly valued employees stick with you for the long haul, too.”

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celebrate employee retention
Simple techniques can help businesses retain employees — and that’s something to cheer about. Image by Freepik.

Volatile Politics: What Business Owners Should Know

By | Articles, Health Reform Updates, Newsletter | No Comments
Business owner and politics

With the volatility and uncertainty of the new political atmosphere, many businesses owners have asked how it will affect them. Though nobody has a crystal ball, whatever the changes may be, we can be assured of two things.

First, healthcare reform and repealing Obamacare in some capacity will have a multifaceted effect on businesses.  It will likely impact HR, payroll, hiring and retention, turnover costs, and overall labor costs.  The term “business as usual” will have a different look and feel for each employer, and creating simplicity in one form of employment may make things more complex in another.

Second, regardless of what changes may come from the new administration, utilizing Stratus.hr to stay on top of everything will prove to be a significant benefit. Internal resources can remain on the company’s critical objectives while Stratus.hr manages the impact of the changes on their business. According to Stratus.hr President, Michelyn Farnsworth, “We help clients formulate a ‘best practices’ approach for an overall strategy moving forward, meaning they don’t have to manage everything themselves.”

If you are a current Stratus.hr client, rest assured everything will be communicated and managed as we closely watch the new laws and their impact to your business. If you are not currently a Stratus.hr client, we encourage you to learn more and discover if our services may be the peace of mind you need in such a volatile environment. As Farnsworth coined it, “Change is coming, and utilizing Stratus.hr is the next best thing to having that crystal ball.”

Capitalize on New Year’s Resolutions to Improve Bottom Line

By | Articles, General HR, Health & Wellness, Newsletter | No Comments

It’s that time of year when employees are motivated to get healthier, creating the perfect opportunity for employers to capitalize on getting higher productivity, lower health insurance claims, fewer sick days, better employee engagement, fewer workers’ comp claims, lower turnover, and higher retention. (Did I mention the Harvard Business Review showing $1:$6 ROI on wellness program investment?) Here are seven easy and cost-effective wellness ideas a company on any budget can implement.

1. Start a competition tracking fitness goals
Most employees concerned about fitness are already tracking steps, calories consumed, calories burned, or other fitness goals on their mobile or fitness tracking device. Spice it up by adding a little competition, with winners for top achievers or for everyone who achieves a specific goal.

2. Bring in fresh fruits and vegetables each day to share with staff
Cut the donuts and pastries. Healthy snacks provide good energy, help with weight control, and improve mood. If your company is unable to provide these for employees each day, have a sign-up sheet for employees to take turns bringing them in, perhaps with a small allotted budget to help sponsor the program.

3. Encourage an after-hours fitness class at work
Employees who exercise together, bond together. Not only will they be getting healthier, they’ll be building relationships that carry over to the workplace for enhanced employee morale.

4. Encourage break time
Bring in some footballs, hula hoops, hacky sacks, and volleyballs to make break time fun. Have a 30-second wall sitting challenge or see who can do a 60-second plank. Taking a mental break is rejuvenating, especially if it gets the blood flowing again.

5. Hold a walking meeting
If you sit most of the day in an office, walking will do a world of good with creativity and brainstorming. Bring along your mobile device to verbally add notes from your meeting.

6. Provide a gym membership
Depending on your budget, you can decide to cover the cost fully, partially, or based on participation. Imagine the difference between an employee coming into work after just rolling out of bed, versus an employee coming from the gym. Exercising creates endorphins that increase energy and carry over to enhance mood, positivity, and overall wellness. Which kind of staff member would you prefer to work next to or have customers interact with each day?

7. Have a water drinking challenge
Encourage employees to bring water bottles to work and track how many total ounces of water they drink each day. At the end of the week, provide small incentives for everyone who drank an average of 64 ounces of water each day.

For more ideas on how to improve your team’s mental and physical wellbeing, please contact one of our HR experts at HR@stratus.hr.