Our Biggest and Best Web Summit Yet!
More than 18,000 people registered for Paycor’s two-day online Rise Web Summit, held in February, where industry experts offered advice on all things HR, from employee engagement to hot button compliance issues. If you didn’t get a chance to watch the webinars live, feel free to watch them on-demand. In the meantime, here’s a quick overview of each session and some of the key takeaways.
The Future of HRNow more than ever, executives depend on the unique insights HR can bring to the table. However, there is a problem. Many HR leaders just aren’t thinking big enough. Our keynote speaker, DisruptHR’s Jennifer McClure, outlined four key strategies HR leaders can use to push past their comfort zones and make a real difference.
- Know the business You need to understand how your business makes money. A lot of what HR does is data reporting, not analysis. It’s important to take time to look at what those reports are telling you and connect the dots to your company’s bottom line. Be proactive—use the data to predict things like labor costs and turnover.
- Think strategically Are you thinking about your company’s overall needs first? If everything on your list of goals is an HR priority, think bigger. Spend time focusing on the business priorities. When you’re sitting across from your CEO, you’ve got to speak intelligently on bottom line, ROI issues.
- Solve business problems Understand the problems your business is facing and how you can help solve them. Doing good HR isn’t enough – you need to understand the company’s goals and how HR can help achieve them.
- Influence change Don’t be afraid to make decisions. HR has unique insights into the culture of an organization, so have confidence when making recommendations to the CEO. Bring your ideas and your expertise to the table.
The Humble Employee Handbook is Actually an Important Risk Prevention ToolThere’s no legal requirement to issue an employee handbook, so why bother? It turns out this humble document can be a lifesaver if an employee files a lawsuit or the government investigates your workplace for one reason or another. Labor law expert and attorney Julie R. Pugh says there’s no need to get fancy— in fact companies need to get back to the basics when creating an employee handbook.
A basic but often overlooked step is to require new hires to acknowledge (with a signature) that it’s their responsibility to read and follow the handbook. Be sure to avoid any contractual language. “I agree” should not be in the handbook—this isn’t a contract. Also, did you know a handbook can’t be confidential? Nor can you have confidentiality rules specifically regarding wages, benefits or working conditions listed in the handbook.
Be sure to review for any inherent conflicts. Does one policy negate the other? It’s a good idea to assess your handbook on an annual basis because laws and regulations constantly change. In fact, Pugh explained some of the new handbook regulations resulting from a 2018 Boeing court decision as well as what multi-state employers should look out for—check out the details here.
Leadership Matters in the WorkplaceWe know it’s hard to lead people, yet it takes an effective leader to make any team better. Would you agree that the most important job of a leader is to bring out the best in others?
A leader’s primary job is to take people to a place they can’t get by themselves. In order to be a servant leader, strive to:
- Be humble, selfless and kind
- Genuinely care for and about people
- Treat others with dignity and respect
- Make stars instead of being the only star
- Listen to others
- Cultivate trust
- Catch people doing things right
- Commit to the success of others
- Help people who can’t pay you back
Unconscious Bias, Corporate Culture, Diversity & InclusionTrust is an integral part of any solid relationship. We act and react based on who or what we trust. In this webinar, attorney Kelly Charles-Collins explains how unconscious bias, diversity, inclusion and corporate culture all impact trust in the workplace.
For starters, what is unconscious bias? It’s an individual’s unconscious feelings or social stereotypes of certain groups. It’s not limited to ethnicity or race—it can be formed around anything. It’s more prevalent than conscious prejudice (which is something you’re intentionally doing). It’s often incompatible with your conscious values and usually not from a place of bad intent. It is not discrimination—but be careful because it can be.
So how can you get past your unconscious bias and make change happen? First, acknowledge biases exist and actively work to change your thoughts and behaviors. Don’t resist diversity but rather leverage the differences that exist in your company. Diversity is everything that makes us different or unique in the world and seeking input from a diverse group of individuals helps to build trust and make your organization more inclusive.
At the end of the day, your people want to feel like you care. Are you listening to what they have to say? Build trust by being transparent, reliable, consistent and empathetic. Empower your people, leverage your resources and execute your vision.
The Art of ComplianceIf you’re in HR, you’re no stranger to compliance. But how do you make sure compliance isn’t pushed aside for more pressing matters? Long story short, you need a dedicated person (or team) to build a successful compliance department. This person/team will spearhead all things related to compliance, from facilitating meetings with the right stakeholders to using the right technology to help catch any gaps.
You’ll want to institute a cyclical process that you follow continually in order to ensure compliance. The person/team will start by identifying current areas that need compliance then design the plans to address the issue, execute the plans, audit their actions, resolve any issues, report on the process (reporting to legal or the CEO is critical!) and tweak if necessary. Then start again. For a more detailed breakdown, watch the webinar.
Don’t Underestimate Employee EngagementDid you know that Gallup found engaged employees are 21% more productive than non-engaged employees? What would your business be willing to invest if they had some way to increase productivity 21%?
So why is employee engagement so important? Well, it’s hard to argue that it’s a bad thing, but engaged employees help a company accomplish goals more easily and generally are more satisfied in their job position.
How can you increase your employees’ level of engagement? Build trust between them and their managers by giving employees what they’re looking for, such as:
- Achievement — set personal and professional goals
- Recognition — acknowledge a job well done
- Autonomy — don’t micromanage
- Collegial support and sharing
- Feedback – the more specific the feedback, the more helpful it is to the employee
- Staying current with technology, expertise and information
- Participation in missions and goals
Common Pitfalls of Benefits ComplianceOffering a well-rounded benefits plan is key to recruiting and retaining talent these days. As an employer who offers benefit plans, there are a few key areas you should focus on in order to avoid compliance issues.
- “Cafeteria” plans (or Section 125 plans) allow employees to contribute a certain amount of their gross income to a designate account before taxes are calculated. There are three times at which an employee can select or change benefits: once they’ve met eligibility requirements, during the annual open enrollment, or if a qualifying event occurs (birth, divorce, etc.). Allowing a change outside of those parameters could jeopardize the entire tax status of the plan. Some key considerations for a cafeteria plan include:
- A written plan document is required.
- Benefit elections must be irrevocable outside of specific life events.
- Plans must not discriminate or be in favor of key/highly compensated employees.
- A Summary Plan Description (SPD) is often required.
- Less common (and often overlooked) plans subject to ERISA include: wellness programs, smoking cessation, some on-site clinics, drug or alcohol treatment programs.
- Form 5500 is filed for all large plans (100 or more employees, on first day of plan year). Late or missed 5500s can be filed under the Delinquent Filer Voluntary Compliance Program for greatly reduced fees. Plans should NOT be retroactively wrapped to reduce penalty exposure.
Designing the Ideal Employee ExperienceConsider the employee experience to be everything an organization does to help gradually and purposefully build an employee-centric culture. It’s not a quick fix as you need to continuously train your leaders on engagement best practices.
Remember, employees move through different phases during their time at work. Starting with a hopeful new hire ready to hit the ground running to an involved associate who’s looking to connect and find his or her place on the team. The next phase is where an employee wants to feel valued and know that he or she is making an impact.
Usually around the one-year mark, there’s a risk of complacency as the employee looks to be inspired and wants to know what’s next. This is a great spot to challenge them and show growth opportunities, perhaps work on career pathing and personal development plans. Finally, the employee experiences true engagement where they feel involved, valued and inspired.
For more detailed information and ideas on how to successfully map this journey, check out the webinar presented by Paycor’s own Senior Director of Marketing Communications, Katy Bunn.
Auditing Your Employment PoliciesEmployment policies and practices don’t just revolve around onboarding new hires. They can be found throughout the entire employee lifecycle and it’s important to stay on top of the ever-changing employment law landscape. Avoid the risk of being hit with a class action, a DOL complaint or a harassment lawsuit by periodically auditing your employment policies and practices.
Start with your job postings and applications: is your website accessible to people with visual impairments? Is your application compliant with state law?
Job descriptions: Do they set forth expectations? Does it indicate whether it’s exempt or non-exempt?
Pay and time-keeping policies: Are your overtime and direct deposit policies in compliance? Are you classifying exempt employees correctly?
This just scratches the surface of what company policies and practices you should review. For more suggestions, watch the webinar and be sure to run any changes past your legal team.
Managing Early Career ProfessionalsLet’s talk about Millennials. According to Deloitte, folks born between the years 1982 and 2000 will comprise 75% of the workforce by 2025. (Deloitte). So how can experienced managers develop high-yielding relationships with those who are just starting their careers? This webinar outlines common roadblocks when managing Millennials as well as solutions. Some of which include:
- Generalizing: Too often, employers make generalizations about millennials based on prior unpleasant experiences or because they’re too young.
Solution: Approach each individual with a blank slate. The key is to look beyond labels to understand young talent for their individual skill set and unique story.
- Repressing: Millennials struggle to feel like they’re an essential part of the team when their managers fail to discuss career goals or demonstrate that they care about their future.
Solution: Managers need to prioritize communication. Discovering what motivates your direct reports and taking the time to ask what’s important to them strengthens the line of communication.
- Correcting before connecting: Some managers fail to establish a trusted relationship before criticizing their direct report for missteps.
Solution: Managers must spend time building relationships with their employees and share failures and wins. Sharing your failures and what you did to correct the mistakes can help employees relate to you. The most open leaders are often the most approachable.
The Value of Benefits Admin IntegrationsWhat is the advantage of benefit administration integrations in today’s HCM space? Our panel of experts agree: To increase efficiency, keep it simple and make it as smooth as possible. Integrations connect best-in-class systems in order to build the right solution for a company because one product doesn’t have everything.
Training is important during an integration, as is managing how the data flows. Building in the processes so the HR team knows what it’s going to look like and communicating those processes is key.
An integration should give you time back in your day so you can spend it doing more high-value work. You shouldn’t be spending time doing rogue administrative work. For more perspectives on the value of integrations, check out the full webinar.
How Technology Helps Overcome Recruiting ChallengesThe labor market is tight. There’s little anyone can do about external market conditions but using the proper technology to identify and minimize internal challenges is where you can make an impact.
Start by asking yourself the following questions:
- What’s causing your employees to leave? Burnout, bad bosses and lack of recognition are the top three reasons.
- What does it cost for you to hire a new employee? The national average is $4,425.
- How engaged are your employees? Engaged employees are happier and have a longer tenure.
- Retain the talent you have—think of ways to incentivize them to stay.
- Engage the talent you have—an engaged employee stays for more than monetary reasons.
- Develop a recruiting pipeline—keep qualified candidates in your database for future recruiting needs.
- Optimize your benefits—well-rounded benefits can help you engage employees and attract new talent. Make sure you have plans that appeal to multi-generations.
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