Employee turnover is expensive—more so than you might think. According to a recent survey by the Society for Human Resource Management, the average cost-per-hire is $4,129. However, turnover costs can vary depending on the length of time it takes to fill the role, the importance of the position to the employer, and the employer’s industry. Some costs are easily calculable, such as those of recruiting, hiring, and onboarding. Other costs can be difficult to measure, such as the impact of a termination on employee engagement. Easily measurable or not, all these costs hurt your bottom line.
New York has passed an expansive law to legalize recreational cannabis (a.k.a. marijuana). The law, called the Marihuana Regulation and Tax Act, includes strong employment protections for off-duty use, effective immediately.
With the recent addition of Connecticut, eight states and a number of municipalities have passed laws prohibiting race-based hair discrimination, also known as natural hair discrimination. CROWN (Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair) acts are laws intended to create and enforce legal protections so that employees don’t have to hide their racial identity by changing their natural hair in the workplace.
The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), which is the latest bill to address the ongoing economic impacts of COVID-19, has been signed into law. Most aspects of the law do not directly affect the HR function, but two of those that do—optional extension of sick and family leave and establishment of COBRA subsidies—are outlined below.
In 1970, when Richard Nixon signed the Occupational Safety and Health Act into law, an estimated 14,000 workers were killed on the job every year. Fifty years later, that number is down to 5,333, but safety in the workplace remains a paramount concern, and not only because we’re struggling through a pandemic.
We’ve broadened our knowledge of what dangers threaten the workplace and what strategies are best suited to promote organizational health. We better understand the psychological effects of stress, the damage caused by harassment, and harmful consequences of inequality. And we know how to mitigate these risks more effectively.
As you work to keep your workplace safe, consider implementing the following practices:
Employee handbooks are a nifty communication and reference tool for the workplace, but only if they’re used and not collecting dust on some physical (or digital) shelf. A handbook is only as good as what it does. At the minimum, it should do the following:
Introduce employees to the fundamentals of your organization’s culture—the beliefs and values that members of the organization are expected to share. This introduction explains what you do and why you do it. It may also give employees a look into the history of your organization, how you got to where you are, and where you intend to go. Last but not least, it gives employees an idea of how they can contribute to the culture.
Communicate to employees what general behaviors and procedures are expected of them. These include general safety responsibilities, confidentiality expectations, timekeeping processes, reporting procedures, dress codes, and any other ways of doing things at your organization.
Educate employees about what they can expect from the organization’s leadership. Executives, managers, and HR departments have obligations to their employees—both those they’ve established themselves and those required by law. A good handbook tells employees what those obligations are and how they will be met. If your employees are entitled to leaves or accommodations, for example, your handbook should explain these.
Support consistent enforcement of company policies. Employers expose themselves to risk when they interpret, apply, or enforce policies inconsistently. Transparency about policies and how they are enforced helps keep everyone accountable and the enforcement of rules consistent across the company.
Showcase the benefits the organization offers. Does your organization offer vacations, 401(k), health insurance, paid parental leave, or other employee benefits? If so, your handbook should outline these programs and their eligibility requirements.
Let employees know where to turn for help. Employees should feel safe turning to HR or a manager to report workplace violations, get workplace-related assistance, and get answers to any other questions they may have. The alternative is for them to turn to an outside third party, like the EEOC, the DOL, or an attorney, which could trigger a costly and time-consuming investigation. When a handbook provides multiple ways for an employee to lodge a complaint (ensuring they won’t have to report the problem to the person creating the problem), they are more likely to keep their complaints in-house.
If we held the key for resolving the seemingly endless workplace morale problems, we would never have to work another day. While boosting employee mindset and motivation is a fairly complex topic involving many factors and moving pieces, generally the best approach to the issue is to look at the factors that substantive data has shown most closely align with employee satisfaction. Multiple research ranks these criteria in a number of varying sequences; however, there is no question that the factors listed below greatly impact an employee’s overall satisfaction in the workplace:
There are many potential liabilities resulting from misclassification and they come from several sources: namely, the IRS, unemployment insurance, workers’ compensation, federal wage and hour law, and state wage and hour law.
In an ideal world, communication would be easy. We’d immediately know exactly what to say or write. Emails, Slack messages, and reply threads would practically write themselves. And there’d be no confusion about what anyone meant, ever
Of course, communication never works that way. We stare at the computer screen trying to decide how to begin an email. We misspeak or garble our words. We don’t always convey exactly what we intend. We misunderstand, overlook, or forget information we’ve been given. We also sometimes read emotions into words that weren’t what the writer was feeling. Or we pack our speech with such an emotional punch that it distracts from the point we’re trying to make.
With the first snows hitting our area, it’s time to get ready for the cold weather and the resulting freezes that cause ice issues. Preparing your home or business is more than just stocking up on firewood and salt for the driveway or parking lot, it’s also about making sure your home or business is both protected from the cold and that you have the tools to remove any hazards before they further damage your home.