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It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas … Vacation: Planning Corporate Holiday Schedules

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year …  and one of the busiest times for employee schedules. The Christmas season quickly can turn blue for both employees and companies when holiday vacations and paid time off (PTO) aren’t handled well.

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does not require employers to provide paid federal holidays for employees —  in fact, it doesn’t even bar companies from asking (or forcing) employees to work Easter, Thanksgiving or Christmas Day.

However, the FLSA serves as a minimum requirement guide; employers can use holiday vacation time to boost receipts. Healthy, rested employees are more productive and more creative, so ensuring that your employees take a little time off around the holidays is actually an investment in next year’s profits.

Create a holly, jolly holiday vacation schedule that still supports your overall year-end business goals by following these procedures:

Set holiday vacation expectations in advance.

It’s often not the actual time an employee takes off but the confusion of planning time off that causes problems for companies. So make a list and check it twice: Set clear expectations for holiday vacation requests and stick to them. If PTO requests are due by Dec. 1, have HR send a reminder on Nov. 15.

Remind employees to vacation throughout the year.

Taking breaks from work is good for employees. Every quarter, remind them that their health and satisfaction is important to you, and send a copy of the vacation policy. By encouraging employees to use their allotted vacation days steadily throughout the year, you’ll neutralize the year-end rush on unused vacation days.

Prepare for a decreased workforce.

Plan ahead for the holiday season, especially the week following Christmas. If it’s feasible, don’t schedule client meetings, important deadlines or company events when you know you’ll be understaffed. And throw your company holiday party a week or more ahead of Dec. 25; your staff will thank you for easing the time crunch of Christmas week.

Work together.

If your corporate culture allows it, have employees work together to create a holiday schedule. Often, if employees understand which days are important to which co-workers, they’ll compromise, allowing everyone to take off the days most valuable to them while still covering important shifts. When employees have some autonomy over their time, they’ll handle it with maturity and teamwork.

Remember the reason for the season.

The span between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day means many things to many people. Religious holidays like Hanukkah and Christmas, family reunions, long-distance travel, kids’ school plays — these are the most important events of the year for employees and their families. Consider every vacation request with this in mind.

All talk of PTO needs to be taken with this grain of salt: Some industries simply cannot close or run low-staffed during the holidays. Restaurant and retail staff, hospital and emergency personnel, news anchors, gas station attendees and numerous others work 24/7 to ensure a smooth holiday season for the rest of us.

If your company remains open during the holidays, make sure your employees feel appreciated, and keep the holiday schedule as fair as possible. As mentioned in our Thanksgiving blog, forcing employees to work a holiday under fear of losing their jobs can create a PR nightmare. Instead, offer holiday pay, postponed time off or other perks to entice employees to volunteer. When an employee volunteers for a shift, he’s likely happy to be at work.

And that makes the holidays a little merrier for everyone.

The content of this blog is intended to keep interested parties informed of legal and industry developments for educational purposes only.  It is not intended as legal opinion or tax advice and should not be regarded as a substitute for legal or tax advice.



Author Bio: A writer, speaker and young business leader, Jason has been the communications pulse for a number of organizations, including Paycom. A featured writer on human capital management technology, leadership and the Affordable Care Act, Jason launched Paycom’s blog and social media channels, helping empower organizations around the nation. Jason is attuned to the needs of businesses and recently helped develop a tool to aid organizations in their pursuit to comply with the ACA; one of the largest changes in healthcare the country has seen. While working in athletics for ESPN and FoxSports, Jason learned the importance of hard work and branding. In his free time he enjoys adventuring with his family, reading and exploring new areas to strengthen his business acumen.

training-and-schooling-your-workforce-ii

5 Reasons to School Your Workforce

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5 Reasons to School Your Workforce

Learning management systems (LMS) have become even more popular in the corporate workplace, and it’s not without good reason: They work.

In recent years, employees have become all too familiar with cumbersome or outdated training methods. According to Gallup, only 32 percent of U.S. employees are engaged in their work. The same study cites outdated training methods as one of the biggest reasons for disengagement. It’s not too late to upgrade to an easy-to-use training program that will engage your employees by keeping them up to speed on the latest organizational developments.

In addition to having more direct training options at your disposal, you are investing in an immediate way connect with an entirely new generation of employees. Seventy-five percent of millennial workers are eager to utilize online learning, which means now is the time to start thinking of innovative ways for workplace engagement. Online LMS technology allows employers to train their employees on anything, including new government regulations, through new media such as web videos, podcasts and interactive slides.

Why upgrade to a learning management system?

  • It’s instant.

Learning management systems give trainers and managers the means to quickly upload quick videos or PowerPoints for employees instantly. Once the upload is complete, the tools and trainings your employees need for their next steps are already at their fingertips. The time between building the training session and completion of the assignment is shortened to mere minutes.

  • It’s simple.

An LMS gives you the quick and intuitive tools needed to immediately train employees. Building a training session is as simple as pulling out your phone and recording a two-minute video before uploading and assigning it to your employees. Once you have approved the material, they will have immediate access to these trainings after logging into their employee self-service page from anywhere with an internet connection.

  • It helps your organization mitigate compliance risks.

We live in a work climate in which compliance regulations are in a constant state of ebb and flow. Many workers are required to receive mandatory training in areas such as health and safety, diversity, anti-harassment and bullying. Compliance training often requires a lot of box-ticking, and delivering this kind of instruction via traditional methods can be highly labor-intensive. With the recent FLSA overtime expansion ruling, you may need to educate your management staff quickly on what the new rule means for your company and what actions your company plans to take to aid their compliance efforts. Whatever the case may be, you need to have all of your employees on the same page, and an LMS provides the communication vehicle you need to add these new compliance standards to your online courses in minutes, all while giving you the ability to track and report on who has completed the training.

  • It’s flexible.

An LMS provides a number of options that employees can access in a direct and organized manner at any time. Thanks to the streamlined workflow and flexibility in the variety of content supported, you can upload videos, podcasts and other interactive content for employee training with ease.

  • It’s accessible everywhere.

One of the biggest benefits of an LMS is the accessibility it offers to employees; anywhere an internet connection is available. Your employees can access and share expertise at any time through their desktop or even on the go. To keep the training as simple and easy to access as possible, all of the courses are available in a single online location.

Here’s the good news. The process of utilizing Paycom’s LMS is quicker and less challenging than you might think. Activating Paycom Learning is not only going to help keep you up to date on compliance standards, but will switch you to a forward-thinking training program to further engage your employees.

It’s not too late to take that next step and join the future of instant e-learning. If you have struggled to keep your workforce engaged or are looking for a faster, more effective way to convey new requirements to your people, Paycom Learning is here to help, just in the nick of time.

 

DISCLAIMER: The information provided in this blog is for general informational purposes only. Accordingly, Paycom and the writer of the above content do not warrant the completeness or accuracy of the above information. It does not constitute the provision of legal advice, tax advice, accounting services, or professional consulting. The information provided herein should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional tax, accounting, legal or other professional services.


Holly Faurot

by Holly Faurot


Author Bio: Faurot, vice president of client relations, has served in a number of roles during her tenure at Paycom, including regional vice president, sales training manager and sales consultant. A born leader and a 2012 honoree in Oklahoma’s 30 Under 30 awards, she has helped a number of individuals and clients achieve success through her energetic spirit. The product of a dairy farm in Kenefic, Okla., Faurot was taught at a young age the importance of working hard, being honest and having a desire to help others.

The Elephant and Donkey in the Office

The Elephant and Donkey in the Office

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Policies on Political Activities at Work

The 2016 race for the White House has been intense, with candidates engaging in heated debates. As might be expected, the charged electoral atmosphere has permeated the workplace, causing record level divisiveness. According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), “over one-quarter of employees reported greater political volatility at their workplace in 2016 compared to previous election years.”

Political discussions easily can turn into arguments because people often view their political beliefs as part of their identity. To prevent political conflicts – which can negatively impact productivity and morale – many employers discourage political activities in the workplace.

First Amendment and the Public Sector vs. Private Sector

Public employees are governed by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which gives them rights to free speech in the workplace, though with some restrictions. But, contrary to popular belief, the First Amendment does not apply to the private sector and does not bar private employers from restricting employees’ political speech. With few exceptions, private employers can prohibit employees from engaging in political discussions at work.

Employers should examine state law, which may provide employee protections. For example, some states have off-duty conduct, free speech and political activity laws that give employees rights not offered under federal law. In addition, Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) allows unionized and non-unionized employees to engage in protected political advocacy, as long as it relates to labor and working conditions.

Employers who permit political discussions at work should be careful that such conversations do not violate legally protected characteristics, such as race, age, gender, disability and religion – which could prompt complaints of harassment and discrimination from offended employees.

Can employers tell employees not to display political signs in their work space?

Private employers can tell employees not to post campaign signs in their cubicles and require they remove political signs from their work space – as long as they don’t breach applicable state laws or protected Section 7 NLRA rights.

How can employers address political activities at work?

If your organization does not have a policy on political activities, consider speaking with your attorney to determine whether it needs one. If you do have a policy in place, consider reviewing for compliance with applicable laws. Does the policy cover relevant areas, such as displaying political buttons on work clothing, making campaign calls on lunch breaks and using office equipment for political activities? Organizations that allow employees to talk about politics at work should aim for a policy that minimizes distractions and encourages respectful political discussions.


craymond

by Chad Raymond


Author Bio: With over 19 years of experience in employee engagement, benefits administration and government compliance, Chad has unparalleled knowledge in the fields of leadership and human resources. Chad has worked in several different capacities with Paycom including leading our product development team and HCM initiatives as well as the former director of Paycom’s service department. Chad’s vision and execution helped empower executives and their teams to reach their full potential, ultimately leading to his new role as Paycom’s vice president of HR.

4-ways-to-make-ees

4 Ways to Make Your Employees Want to Come to Work

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How to Make Your Employees Want to Come to Work

Disengaged employees don’t feel motivated to work. A 2015 survey by Gallup revealed that 50.8 percent of American workers were not engaged in their jobs. Consequently, disengaged employees may arrive to work late, miss deadlines, submit poor-quality work, alienate themselves from co-workers or seek employment elsewhere.

While the employee could be solely responsible for his or her lack of motivation, in some cases, disengaged employees have a need that’s not being met by their employer. By recognizing and fulfilling this need, you can inspire them to arrive and perform up to standard. Here are four ways to accomplish this.

1. Offer challenging work that makes use of employees’ talents

According to a 2015 global survey by Right Management, 25 percent of employees reported that their top motivation for job change is to experience a different work culture with more challenging assignments. Stimulating projects make the work process more interesting,and push employees to keep learning and unlock hidden potential.

2. Provide transparent opportunities for advancement

High performers want to know that their career is progressing and that they will be given a fair chance at promotions. In a 2015 survey by Mercer, 26 percent of employees said their company does not make it easy to understand advancement opportunities within the company. 78 percent would stay longer with their current employer if their career path with the organization was clearly understood. To retain A-list workers, it’s important to develop and communicate advancement policies clearly.

3. Recognize and reward your employees

Near the top of Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is esteem, which precedes only self-actualization.

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

In the workplace, esteem deals with employees’ beliefs that they’re doing great work and that they should be recognized and rewarded for their efforts. Employees who are not compensated fairly or recognized for their hard work tend to move to greener pastures. According to a 2015 PayScale report, 65 percent of workers are quitting for more money. Studies also show that companies with strategic recognition programs have a lower turnover rate than those without a recognition program.

4. Get to know your staff

Getting to know your employees on a professional and personal level indicates that you value them not only as workers but also as individuals. The payoff is an employee-manager rapport that lends deeper insight into your employees’ motivations. You might learn:

  • Whether they like working for the company
  • Their personal likes and dislikes
  • How they feel about their manager and coworkers
  • Whether they enjoy their work
  • What projects they’re most suited for
  • Whether they’re satisfied with the equipment or technology they’re using
  • What resources they need to improve their performance
  • Their preferred working style, such as independently or in a team
  • Whether their personal life is interfering with their work
  • What exactly is demotivating them at work
  • What you can do to help

 

Disengaged employees are prone to being “no-shows,” which means someone else has to pick up the slack. A flight risk, they’re not above jumping ship without warning, which stunts organizational growth. While employees should be self-motivated, employers should also do their part by providing meaningful work, competitive pay, recognition, chances for advancement and a healthy work environment that fosters positive relationships.

 

DISCLAIMER: The information provided in this blog is for general informational purposes only. Accordingly, Paycom and the writer of the above content do not warrant the completeness or accuracy of the above information. It does not constitute the provision of legal advice, tax advice, accounting services, or professional consulting. The information provided herein should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional tax, accounting, legal or other professional services.



Author Bio: A writer, speaker and young business leader, Jason has been the communications pulse for a number of organizations, including Paycom. A featured writer on human capital management technology, leadership and the Affordable Care Act, Jason launched Paycom’s blog and social media channels, helping empower organizations around the nation. Jason is attuned to the needs of businesses and recently helped develop a tool to aid organizations in their pursuit to comply with the ACA; one of the largest changes in healthcare the country has seen. While working in athletics for ESPN and FoxSports, Jason learned the importance of hard work and branding. In his free time he enjoys adventuring with his family, reading and exploring new areas to strengthen his business acumen.

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