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Summer Safety: Keeping Employees Safe in Hot Weather

By | General HR, Health & Wellness, Manager Training, Risk Management | No Comments

Safety topics are always a concern when working outside, particularly as the temperatures soar. The best way to ensure employees with outdoor jobs stay safe during summer is by taking proper precautions. Start with a hearty dose of safety training and use the following tips to help prevent workplace injuries when employees are working outside on hot days. And stay hydrated, too!

How to Help Employees Avoid Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke
  • Schedule physically-demanding activities for workers in the early mornings or evenings when temperatures are lower. To prevent heat exhaustion when work requires strenuous physical activity, have employees wear loose-fitting clothing, drink plenty of water, and avoid drinking dehydrating beverages (ex: drinks with caffeine).
  • Encourage employees to drink 5 to 7 ounces of water every 15-20 minutes when working outside. In the course of a day’s work, the body may produce as much as two to three gallons of sweat. These fluids should be replaced at nearly the same rate as they are lost. Cool, clean, palatable drinking water should be readily available.
    • Employees should not depend on thirst to signal when or how much water to drink since thirst is a poor indicator of the actual need for fluids.
  • Implement a program of work-rest cycles for outside jobs. Shorter work-rest cycles are required for more strenuous physical work and hot work environments. Work periods should be followed by periods of rest in a cooler environment (about 76 degrees Fahrenheit).
    • The American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) specifies ways to measure heat and humidity and outlines recommended work rest cycles for different workloads in hot/humid environments.
  • Encourage employees to add extra salt to food if salt replacement is needed. Salt tablets should not be used.
How Employees Should Protect Themselves when Exposed to Excessive Sun
  • Wear sunscreen.
  • Wear sunglasses with UV protection. When shopping for sunglasses, the darkness of a lens should not be used to gauge protection from UV rays. The tint is designed to reduce glare.
  • Know when to stop and take a break. Outdoor workers should seek shaded or covered areas to take breaks.
  • Wear the right clothing. Long pants and a long-sleeved shirt can provide protection from the sun.  A wide brimmed hat or neck covering that can be added to a hard hat is recommended.

For more tips on staying safe this summer and other safety topics, please contact our certified HR experts at


Safety Tip: Stay Hydrated

Simple reminders about how to stay safe while working outside will help prevent workplace injuries this summer.
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Company Culture: Tips for Boosting Employee Morale

By | Employee Morale, General HR, Performance, Retention | No Comments

Even workplaces with a strong company culture can use a boost in employee morale from time to time. But if company picnics aren’t your cup of tea, don’t panic. Although eating together does make a team more cohesive, it’s not right for every employee. Thinking outside the box (and inside your budget), here are some ideas of how to help bring your work team together.

  1. Make employee praise part of your company culture. Send a personal email or even a company-wide (or department-wide, if a larger company) email that praises the employee’s efforts. You can even go a step further and write a personal thank-you card, acknowledging your appreciation for their great work. Create a corporate culture where employees look for the good in each other and create opportunities for them to brag about their coworkers.
  2. Allow employees to create committees to carry out a project. Would you like to promote a healthier workplace? Could your company provide some type of a giving-back project to the community? Are there non-work functions or sports leagues your employees are interested in doing together? Increase employee engagement by helping employees form committees, create projects, make a team, and work together to carry it out. The sense of ownership, involvement, and autonomy does amazing things for unity and employee morale. It’s also a great opportunity to create leaders within the company.
  3. Create flexible work arrangements. Working remotely when work-life schedules are hectic is a great way to boost employee morale and foster a positive attitude about work. If remote arrangements aren’t possible, perhaps working flexible hours outside of the typical workday could be an alternative option. Let employees brainstorm ideas to find a win-win solution for their specific situation.
  4. Bring services onsite. Employees’ lives are busy and can easily get out of balance. Consider having a dry-cleaning service come and pick up clothing items once a week for employees. (You could even see if they would be willing to provide discounted services to employees!) Have a massage therapist come for a few hours during the day to help relieve tension. Reward employees with an onsite car detailing service. Partner with a restaurant to bring healthy meals once a week to your break room or even cart them around from office to office, allowing employees to purchase healthy food without having to leave their desk. These simple services will be remembered as a thoughtful gesture that shows your company management understands employee stresses. They’ll also reflect highly on your company culture: imagine what employees say when they’re discussing things they love about their jobs.

Want more ideas on how to motivate employees?’s certified HR experts have tips on improving employee engagement, building your corporate culture and boosting workplace morale. Contact us at

Employee Morale

Boosting employee morale doesn’t have to be expensive. A little recognition goes a long ways, especially when it comes from somebody higher-up in the company.
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3 Ways Your Small Business is Losing Money on HR

By | Benefits, Company Growth, General HR, Retention, Risk Management | No Comments

Human resources tasks can add up to big costs for any company, but they’re particularly pricey for small businesses and startups. If you’re doing any of the following, your company is likely spending more than required, but don’t worry — there are ways to reduce the costs of your small business’s HR and maybe gain a few other advantages, too.

#1: You manually sort through applications and resumes.

A single job post can bring in hundreds of applications, but if you, your HR team or your managers are weeding through the stack yourself, you’re throwing away time, productivity, and ultimately, cash.

Sure, stats say recruiters spend only six seconds on each resume. But the reality is that the entire applicant-review process consumes considerably more time. This is time that could be better spent elsewhere, as multiple team members and managers review resumes, conduct interviews and assess qualifications.

The alternative to manually selecting applications is an applicant tracking system (ATS), which pre-screens in the application stage to push forward only the people who meet key criteria. It also allows individual team members who interview the applicant to add their assessment directly into the system. This helps speed up hiring, which solves another problem for businesses: having too long of a process (currently an average of 52 days) that leaves great, qualified candidates open to other offers.

The main drawback for a small business wanting to use an ATS is the cost of the ATS itself. While time savings easily offsets ATS expenses for large employers, it’s harder to justify for employers that don’t hire frequently. However, some HR outsourcing partners include the option of an ATS for their clients. It’s one of the most affordable ways for small businesses and startups to get the same technology on a scalable level.

#2. You view HR as a set of tasks, not a resource.

Payroll, PTO balances and W-2s. If you view your HR functions as just that — tasks that need to be completed or apps you subscribe to — you’re missing the cost-saving potential of a human resources team.

To help your business save money, your HR professionals should also do the following:

  • Risk management: As companies grow, risk increases. An HR team should stay on top of regulations and other staffing concerns that affect your business with each added staff member and ensure steps are taken so the company is protected. You can read more about HR’s risk management responsibility in the white paper, 5 Ways Risk Increases as Your Company Grows.
  • Compliance updates: When rules and regulations change, your HR team should ensure your business is up to date and fully compliant to reduce potential conflicts and fines. An internal expert who is always aware of which changes affect the business directly will also reduce the potential for non-compliance fines and needless compliance (to ensure your business isn’t spending to comply with a policy that doesn’t actually affect you). Having an internal expert allows other individuals within the organization to remain focused on business-building roles rather than juggling the latest policy decisions.
  • Retention solutions: Attracting and retaining valuable employees is at the top of the wish-list for most companies. Your HR team should handle onboarding and management training and know hiring trends in your market and industry to ensure your business doesn’t lose valuable talent to larger businesses.

While a single HR generalist may be able to accomplish all of these tasks for a business, small businesses are often better served by outsourcing HR to a Professional Employer Organization (PEO), which handles both traditional HR tasks (i.e., payroll, benefits administration, employee assistance), and has experts in place that ensure businesses remain compliant and employee management functions are covered. A PEO will often provide all of these services to a small business at a lower cost than hiring a team of internal experts.

#3 You pay for health insurance … or you don’t.

Health insurance can be a win-win or a lose-lose for small businesses, depending on how you look at it. But if you don’t provide health insurance benefits, your business is guaranteed to face more difficulties recruiting talent and may lose key employees to larger employers with robust benefits plans.

On the other hand, if your small business does provide health insurance benefits, you may be paying too much, particularly if you work through an insurance broker that can only offer small group plan options (note: if you’re in a lower-cost grandfathered plan, you’ll be required to switch to a costlier plan by 2018).

There are additional cost-consuming factors associated with employer-provided insurance plans, such as:

  • Finding time to shop for the best plan each year or whenever a switch is deemed “essential” or “urgent”
  • Providing education to employees about the company’s insurance plan
  • Answering employee questions and concerns
  • Assuming non-compliance risks associated with company size and regulation changes

According to a survey by Bentley University, 96% of millennials stated that they’d take a new job if it offered better benefits — a crippling statistic for most small businesses, which have few options when it comes to affordable health plans. Additional research indicates that benefits overall are the second highest priority of workers today, topped only by job security.

One way to solve cost/competitive concerns linked to small business health insurance is to work with an outsourced HR provider that can help the company join a large group policy, which frequently offers lower rates, increased market stability and better options for the insured. The best option for these is through a PEO that can aggregate employees from all of its clients to qualify for large-group rates. Other resource-consuming responsibilities, including annual plan shopping and employee education and access to information, are addressed by the best PEOs.

The answer to reducing HR-related expenses for small businesses is not to cut services. The focus for every small business should be to find creative solutions that allow for expanded human resources services, and to do it all in a more efficient, cost-conscious manner.

3 Ways Your Small Business is Losing Money on HR

A survey by the Society of Human Resource Management notes that the recruiting process often fails to net the desired qualifications in applicants. More than 50% of human resource professionals reported knowledge deficits in job applicants and said that 84% of applicants were missing key skills required for the job.

Some industries report even greater impacts: The Solar Foundation, for example, reports 65% of employers experienced increased costs linked to difficulty in finding qualified workers and 68% stressed that this impacted their company’s ability to grow. Thirty-nine percent of the same employers stated that delayed hiring cost more than $10,000 per open position.

There are other benefits of working with a PEO, as reported in a 2016 study by NAPEO, including:

  • Stronger employment growth rates
  • Savings of 35% on HR administration
  • Reduced likelihood of going out of business YOY
  • Lower turnover rate by 10-14%
5 Overlooked Ways Risk Increases as Company Grows

Minimum Wage Increases – July 1, 2017

By | General HR, Newsletter, Payroll | No Comments

Although the federal minimum wage of $7.25/hr has not changed since 2009, several states, cities, and counties will have minimum wage increases as of July 1, 2017.

States with Increasing Minimum Wage as of July 1, 2017

States whose minimum wage rates will increase as of July 1, 2017 include:

  • Maryland: $9.25/hr (Montgomery County and Prince George’s County have separate rate increases set to occur as of October 1, 2017 – see chart for details)
  • Oregon: $10.25/hr (Portland goes to $11.25/hr and nonurban counties go to $10.00/hr)
  • Washington DC: $12.50/hr

Several other cities and counties will also see minimum wage increases as of July 1, 2017. Please see the chart below for details.

States that Pay the Federal Minimum Wage

States whose minimum wage rates do not exceed the federal minimum rate of $7.25/hr include:

  • Alabama
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Indiana
  • Iowa (with the exception of several counties; see chart for details)
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • New Hampshire
  • New Mexico (with the exception of several cities/counties; see chart for details)
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

Local laws and ordinances may be different than the outlined information. If an employee works in an area with a higher minimum wage than the federal standard, the higher rate should be paid.

Minimum Wage for Tipped Employees

Federal minimum wage for tipped employees is $2.13/hr, provided that this hourly rate combined with tips equals at least the federal minimum wage. Several states have specific laws in regards to tipped employees found here.

Youth Minimum Wage

Workers under the age of 20 can be paid a minimum wage of $4.25/hr for the first 90 consecutive calendar days of employment when their work does not displace another worker. After 90 days, the teen must receive at least the federal minimum rate of $7.25/hr.

For questions about minimum wage or help with other wage and/or compliance matters, please contact our certified HR experts at

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, 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 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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Employee Termination: 6 Things to Consider Before You Fire

By | Corrective Action, Discrimination, Employee Morale, General HR, Manager Training, Retention, Termination, Turnover | No Comments

Terminating an employee is not for the faint of heart. Emotions are boiling, frustrations are high, and then there are the friendships, family situations, employee morale, and other concerns that flood a good manager’s mind when the need to fire arises. No matter the situation, here are six things to consider before firing an employee.

Assess the employee’s violation

Was the employee’s behavior related to poor performance? Have you addressed performance problems with the employee previously? Has the employee had a chance to improve performance based on a previous warning? Or is the violation of company policy so extreme that it requires immediate termination without warning? There are few instances where one violation automatically warrants immediate termination. Be sure to get a second opinion by contacting your HR rep before firing.


There may be extenuating circumstances to consider before pulling the trigger. You may discover that things didn’t play out the way you initially thought, and discipline is more appropriate than termination. Avoid making snap decisions before thoroughly assessing the situation.

Consider the employee’s history before firing

An employee should never be surprised when they are let go. Whether there’s a serious infraction of company policy or the employee has a series of progressive discipline from performance issues, before you terminate an employee, be sure the employee already had ample warning what would happen if their performance didn’t improve. Need some tips on how to address performance problems? Read How to Have Difficult Conversations with Employees.

Determine if the employee is in a protected class

There are a number of laws that protect employees from decisions that are discriminatory based on gender, race, religion, age, color, national origin, pregnancy, disability, having filed a complaint, taking protected leave, and so on. Check with your HR rep to ensure there are no risks you are overlooking before terminating an employee.

Consider company precedent before you fire a worker

Have there been similar situations that have occurred previously at your workplace? If so, what disciplinary action was used? If this is the first time an incident like this happened, keep in mind that you’re setting a precedent for others to follow, should a similar situation arise in the future. Be sure your actions are helping the company and not setting you up for a potential lawsuit.

Don’t wait too long

Dead-beat employees pull down employee morale by their lack of performance and should never be strung along. A well-thought-out firing decision may actually strengthen employee morale and let employees know that you’re serious about upholding your company’s policies and work ethic. Learn from Uber – waiting too long to investigate and eventually fire employees can be detrimental to your company’s image.

Be sure to document each step and decision you make whenever you’re discussing work performance with an employee for a fool-proof termination. For help with your specific situation, please contact our HR experts at or see the related articles below.

If Donald Trump Were an HR Manager, He’d be Fired
5 Mistakes of Dealing with Difficult Employees

Employee Termination: Steps to Consider

Before making a snap decision to terminate an employee, step back and consider these six elements.
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Teen Hiring Guidelines (infographic)

By | General HR, Manager Training, Recruiting | No Comments

Seasonal hiring for teens is in full swing. But before you welcome an all-new employee to the workforce, be sure you know what you can and can’t have them do.

Workers under 18 are covered by Child Labor Laws, which means restrictions will exist for each of them. Depending on the age of the youth worker, however, the restrictions vary in terms of hours available for work, job duties, pay and more.

Should you employ a teen?

Collin Thompson, HR director at, notes that work-related restrictions for teens shouldn’t prevent employers from including students as part of the team. “You’ll get a lot of benefits from hiring a teen,” he says. “They’re often eager to learn and prove they can do a good job, have tech skills that come naturally and can be great with customers. But as an employer, you also have to understand that young employees don’t come with much workforce experience. It’s essential that you take the role of trainer and coach.”

Thompson’s advice includes developing a structured training program, if one doesn’t already exist, and pairing the youth with a mentor. “All employees benefit from programs like these,” he says. Additionally, employers should be understanding and flexible. “Your teen workers are going to make mistakes, no bones about it. That’s how they learn and become better workers. Just be sure you have a supervisor available who can keep an eye on things and ensure customers walk away feeling like you did the right thing.”

Hiring teenagers is always popular for seasonal and part-time jobs for many employers. The complex part of employing teens is knowing what jobs they can do and for how many hours, which varies by age.

The Department of Labor has established rules for employed youth, spelled out as follows:

If you are under 14 you are only allowed to:
  • Deliver newspapers to customers;
  • Babysit on a casual basis;
  • Work as an actor or performer in movies, TV, radio, or theater;
  • Work as a homeworker gathering evergreens and making evergreen wreaths; and
  • Work for a business owned entirely by your parents as long as it is not in mining, manufacturing, or any of the 17 hazardous occupations.
If you are 14-15 years old:
  • You may only work outside of school hours and are limited to a certain number of hours you may work each week;
  • You may work in a variety of non-manufacturing and non-hazardous jobs.

See the list of hours and eligible jobs here.

If you are 16-17 years old:
  • There are no rules limiting the hours you may work;
  • You may work in any job that has not been declared hazardous for anyone under 18 years old.
  • 17-yr-olds may drive under these limited circumstances.

To see a list of these rules in an easy-to-read guide, please download our free infographic, Teens at Work. You can also visit for more comprehensive information or contact our HR experts at

Hiring Teens

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 (, 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, 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 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, 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’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, I do what I do best and they do what they do best.  It’s a win-win for my company.”

Charging Employees for Uniforms

By | General HR, Payroll | No Comments

A recent settlement with The Walt Disney Co. should remind employers to take precautions before automatically deducting employee wages for the cost of uniforms.

What happened

Disney resorts charged employees a “costume” expense that made their hourly rates fall below the federal minimum wage. In addition, the resorts failed to maintain adequate time and payroll records and did not compensate employees for pre-shift and post-shift work. As a settlement, The Walt Disney Co. agreed to provide $3.8 million in back wages to 16,339 employees to ensure compliance under the FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act).

According to Daniel White, district director for the Jacksonville Wage and Hour Division, “Employers cannot make deductions that take workers below the minimum wage and must accurately track and pay for all the hours their employees work, including any time they work before or after their scheduled shifts. We hope the resolution of this case alerts other employers who may be paying employees in a similar manner, so that they too can correct their practices and operate in compliance with the law.”

Are employers allowed to have employees pay for uniforms?

Per the FLSA, employers can require employees to wear uniforms. Uniforms (and not simply a dress code) are typically business expenses that should be covered by the employer. However, the FLSA states that if an employer wants to charge employees for uniforms, they’re able to do so as long as employee wages never drop below minimum wage and that paycheck deductions for uniforms don’t cut overtime compensation. With that said, if uniform costs seem exorbitant, employees are welcome to contact the DOL wage and hour division.

Employers wanting to deduct any uniform costs from paychecks should have a policy (which can be included in the employee handbook) with signed authorization. Deductions can be prorated over time and must be consistent for all employees. Also, anything deemed “Personal Protective Equipment” by OSHA, such as helmets, safety vests, googles, gloves, face shields, and other such protective clothing must be paid for by the employer, per the code of Federal Regulations.

Our advice? Check with our HR experts first to ensure wages are not an issue, that a signed policy is in place, and that there are no state laws mandating a stricter law than the federal stance.

Steps to take when your employee turnover rate is enviably low

By | General HR, Manager Training, Retention, Turnover | No Comments

True story: some companies have low employee turnover rates. When I hear from them, I ask them what they’re doing about it.

Crickets and blank stares are what I usually get — because why would anyone want to “do something” when they already have a good thing going?

That, by the way, is a great question. So here’s the answer: the average employee turnover rate across all industries in the U.S. is above 18% (it’s even higher in Utah — more than 20%, which is the 5th highest in the nation). If you’re relying on good luck and intuition alone to keep employees in place, eventually that turnover rate is going to catch up with you.

How employee turnover costs your company

Turnover is one of the costs of doing business, but it’s an expensive one. It includes more than just the price of hiring and a training session. You’re paying in terms of productivity and output and a hit to your workplace culture, too. You can see the full scope of the costs of employee turnover here.

Here’s what I mean. Let’s say your high employee retention rate is directly linked to your amazing HR person. HR plays a huge part in every aspect of retention, from recruiting and hiring, to benefits, culture, management training and more. But what happens when a key HR person leaves your team? (The really great ones are always in high demand.)

You may see recruitment slow to a snail’s pace as other team members work double time to make up for the open chair, and productivity may be affected across the organization because vacancies aren’t filling as fast as they should. Payroll might get handed off to someone else, who has to learn the system with a task that has almost no room for error. Benefits management falls temporarily to another team. Reports, timesheets, workers’ comp, employee questions — all sorts of things may be impacted.

My point isn’t that you have to do everything in your power to keep your HR person happy (although there are solutions like working with a PEO to make sure you’re always covered). It’s this: turnover affects more than just the open position, which is why it needs a plan BEFORE it becomes a problem.

How to create a long-term employee retention plan

You should work closely with your HR team or HR partner to develop the right retention plan for your business, which may include some of the following:

      1. Survey and talk to your employees about their workplace satisfaction and to find out what makes your employees tick — what benefits and work situations do they want as a group?
      2. Offer competitive benefits so your workers aren’t tempted by other businesses offering something more.
      3. Conduct “stay” interviews to learn more about each employee’s goals and motivations.
      4. Try simple, fun tactics to keep morale running high.
      5. Set up career development paths.
      6. Repeat on a regular basis — or at least once a year.

Finding the right employee retention plan for any business

When we work with organizations — some as small as just a handful of employees, others with thousands of employees — we always make sure they have the data they need to determine the lifecycle cost of turnover by department and by manager. It’s good to have a baseline so you can tell if your retention plan is making a difference and also to know where you need to focus your efforts. (We also give our PEO clients access to other reports about their HR because you have to know how it’s all affecting your bottom line).

By the way, if you have a good way of analyzing your turnover and HR data, it will often point you to problems that don’t break the bank to fix. For example, if turnover is high on a specific team, it might turn out that the rockstar employee you promoted to manager simply needs management training.

If you’re a business owner, you’ve already sacrificed a lot to put your business on the map. My opinion: do whatever you can so that you’re not sacrificing your best talent, too (and know that this doesn’t mean throwing money at everything — it doesn’t work). Invest the time to create a good retention plan or partner with a PEO that can help. With the right data and tools at your disposal, you’ll be invincible.

When your turnover is enviably low
Low employee turnover is a good thing, but businesses still need to work to keep it that way.

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