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Rethink the Shark: Don’t Let Fear Hold You Back

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Despite their bad rap, sharks aren’t quite the bloodthirsty animals Hollywood has made them out to be. While Jaws may have been the box-office champ of its time, reality paints a different picture of these toothy sea creatures. Thanks to that 1975 film, its sequels, its rip-offs and other pieces of pop culture across several media – including Discovery’s ever-popular, annual Shark Week – we fear sharks.

But why? Our chances of being the victim of a shark attack are far less than being involved in a car accident or even being struck by lightning. While shark attacks do occur, they are extremely rare. In fact, according to conservation organization Oceana, an average of just 4.2 fatal attacks occurs each year. Between 2006 and 2010, a total of 179 shark attacks occurred in the U.S., resulting in three fatalities. During the same time period, there were 176,937 fatal car crashes, all while you sat on the beach, afraid to get in the water because of … y’know, sharks.

You may be wondering how sharks relate to your business. All too often, we rely on fear to determine our survival, working world included.

The cavemen ages are far behind us. We no longer have to worry about the slightest rustle in the bushes for fear a lion might be our demise; yet, like our ancestors, our brains are wired to think this way: overanalyze every situation and cause ourselves anxiety over unlikely situations.

Don’t fear the ‘shark’

How do we overcome this fear? The answer to this is twofold.

First, stop worrying about the sharks. Taking precaution is smart, but spending your time sitting on the sand is no way to become the world’s best surfer. Don’t waste your energy; rather, jump in the water and start paddling, because when it comes down to it, as President Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.”

Becoming completely free of fear is neither easy nor something that everyone should do. It is a work in progress. However, if you can get to a point of freedom, the possibilities are endless. For a few tools to help you along the way, consider these three tips:

1. Think positively.Take a moment and think about your greatest fear right now, whether in life or in business. Now, if this catastrophe did occur, can you list ways in which it could be seen as an opportunity? This is the first step to overcoming your fear. Countering these fears with positive thinking and purpose will start to shrink those “sharks,” making them seem a little less intimidating.

2. Break the cycle. Worrying isn’t necessarily a bad thing; some things merit it. Traffic making you late for an interview; your teenager taking the car out for a spin; or not being able to find an important document you need for tomorrow’s meeting: All are situations in which a negative outcome is possible, so they demand a bit of worry. However, when your worrying becomes chronic, that’s when it becomes a bad thing.

Chronic worriers feel that by worrying, they can prevent the bad things from happening or catch them early. Thinking about your fears does not give you more control; instead, it seriously hinders your ability to move on and let go.

If you are this type of person, keep a journal of worry topics. Write them down as you experience them and you may start to piece together similarities when they appear. Another great way to overcome your worry is to retrain your brain to see what you call “threats” as challenge, and then follow through with action steps to meet said challenges.

3. Accept that you can’t control everything. Life happens as it is supposed to happen, and while you may want to manipulate every aspect as it unfolds, you can’t. Some things in life cannot be controlled, so why drive yourself crazy?Manage what is reasonable to manage; take precautions; and trust that your ability to cope and overcome is far stronger than your fear.

Face reality

The second half of this two-folded answer begins after you’ve rechanneled your fear away from the “sharks.” Now it’s time to face the killer reality: that the problems you thought were worth worrying about were actually distracting you from the true problems right under your nose.

For instance, if there any situation you currently are ignoring, it might be because you don’t know how to handle it. Unfortunately, that doesn’t make it go away. Rather, consider taking a proactive approach and creating a to-do list to help shift it.

Or maybe there is a situation you think is beneficial, but really is not. If you’re nodding in agreement, take a step back to reassess the situation. Perhaps you’re too into your own head, in which case a third-party opinion would be beneficial.

The point is that “sharks” don’t have to be so scary; it’s all a matter of perception. By simply repositioning the way you think, those fears that once held you back are slowly diminished. Now you and your business can reach full potential.



Author Bio:

Lauren is an enthusiastic writer who is passionate about numerous topics surrounding the HCM industry including talent management and acquisition, technology, document management and leadership, just to name a few. Lauren has been with Paycom for over a year and has taken on roles as a blogger, social strategist and community relations coordinator. In her spare time she enjoys DIY“ing,” exploring the city and keeping up with her two dogs, Deacon and Cookie.

What Substance Abuse in the Workplace Costs Employers

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Of the estimated 14.8 million Americans who use illegal drugs, 70% of them are employed, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Therefore, odds are your company employs workers who fall into this group. The use of drugs or alcohol by employees inside or outside the office can be costly for a business, leading to:

  • increased turnover rate
  • workplace incidents
  • poor workplace morale

From a financial perspective, the National Institute on Drug Abuse found substance abusers cost employers twice as much in workers’ compensation and medical expenses. Additionally, substance abusers are five times more likely to file workers’ compensation claims.

Furthermore, employees with alcohol dependencies are nearly three times more likely to have injury-related absences, according to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence. In 2015, that council reported that federal surveys indicate 24% of workers reported drinking on the job at least once in the past year.

Recognizing the signs

Knowing how to handle substance abuse in the workplace starts with recognizing the existence of a problem. Whether it is abuse of alcohol, prescription drugs or illegal substances, a number of visible signs can indicate an employee needs help:

  • change in appearance
  • frequent tardiness
  • decline in job performance
  • slurred speech and drowsiness
  • mood swings and irritability
  • scent of alcohol

None of these signs alone indicates a substance abuse issue, but intervening early with employees displaying a combination of these signs may be valuable to your business. Implementing a companywide policy, training managers to recognize signs of substance abuse, and setting expectations with employees through training can help safeguard your business and your workforce.

 Disclaimer: This blog includes general information about legal issues and developments in the law. Such materials are for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments. These informational materials are not intended, and must not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. You need to contact a lawyer licensed in your jurisdiction for advice on specific legal problems.

 

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Posted in Blog, Compliance, Featured

Jason Hines

by Jason Hines


Author Bio:

Jason Hines is a Paycom compliance attorney. With more than five years’ experience in the legal field, he monitors developments in human resource laws, rules and regulations to ensure any changes are promptly updated in Paycom’s system for our clients. Previously, he was an attorney at the Oklahoma City law firm Elias, Books, Brown & Nelson. Hines earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Oklahoma and his juris doctor degree from the Oklahoma City University School of Law, where he graduated cum laude. A fan of the Oklahoma City Thunder, Hines also enjoys exploring the great outdoors with his wife and daughter.

Podcasts

5 Podcasts That Every HR Professional Should Download

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Podcasts provide the opportunity to sit like a fly on the wall and listen to some of the most brilliant minds in the world converse about today’s biggest trends and challenges.

According to a study by Triton Digital, nearly one quarter of Americans listen to a podcast at least once a month. Education is a popular subject, with 40% of podcast listeners tuning in to that type. If you’re an HR professional or business leader looking to broaden your knowledge of HR and HR technology this year, I highly recommend filling your ears and brains with these five podcasts throughout ’18.

1. HBR IdeaCast

From Harvard Business Review, the weekly HBR IdeaCast features leading thinkers in business and management discussing a variety of key topics in the work world.

It is an excellent resource for insights on a wide array of subjects including, but not limited to, HR. The discussions apply directly to organizations nationwide. The podcast reminds me of NPR’s Fresh Air, but with an emphasis on business leaders.

Recommended episodes:

2. HR Happy Hour

Since 2009, HR Happy Hour has featured thought leaders, workplace and technology experts, academics and more to take on important aspects impacting HR, technology and the workplace.

The podcast is so long-running that it has episodes dedicated to just about every HR topic under the sun. The charming hosts Steve Boese and Trish McFarlane make trending topics fun and informative.

Recommended episodes:

3. CIPD

From the UK’s Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, the monthly CIPD podcast covers everything from talent acquisition to workplace training and cybersecurity.

CIPD’s international perspective brings fresh eyes to subjects that resonate with many American HR professionals. With a backlog of more than seven years’ worth of episodes available, it’s easy to recommend.

Recommended episodes:

4. Workology Podcast

Covering the science and art of the workplace, Jessica Miller-Merrell’s Workology Podcast offers insights and actionable tips on HR and recruiting. Each 45-minute episode promises an in-depth look at every company’s most valuable asset: the employee.

In asking sharp, pointed questions about the latest HR trends, Miller-Merrell does an excellent job as host, bringing a unique and often unexpected take on familiar subject matter.

Recommended episodes:

5. HR Break Room

The official podcast of Paycom, HR Break Room brings you quick conversations on hot topics in HR and HR technology. Co-host Chelsea Justice and I talk with guest experts about the challenges faced by the everyday workplace, as well as their solutions.

To be a bit self-indulgent, I love doing this podcast because it gives me the opportunity to talk with some of the most brilliant minds in the industry. In our first year, our esteemed guests have included New York Times best-selling author Cy Wakeman, millennial expert Adam Smiley Poswolsky, HR Bartender’s Sharlyn Lauby, futurist Jacob Morgan, author and Harvard professor Mihir Desai and of course, motivational speaker and leadership expert, Mark Sanborn.

Recommended episodes:

You can learn more about goings-on within the HR sphere by subscribing to HR Break Room podcast. Here’s to a year full of professional growth through podcasts!

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Posted in Blog, Featured, HR Management, Leadership

caleb.masters

by Caleb Masters


Author Bio:

Caleb is the host of The HR Break Room and a Webinar and Podcast Producer at Paycom. With more than 5 years of experience as a published online writer and content producer, Caleb has produced dozens of podcasts and videos for multiple industries both local and online. Caleb continues to assist organizations creatively communicate their ideas and messages through researched talks, blog posts and new media. Outside of work, Caleb enjoys running, discussing movies and trying new local restaurants.

Deadline Extended

Employer Deadline Extended for Furnishing 2017 ACA Forms

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Distribution of 2017 Affordable Care Act (ACA) Forms 1095-B or -C to your employees has been extended.

As issued in Notice 2018-06, the IRS has extended the deadline from Jan. 31 to March 2. (However, the deadline to provide Forms W-2 and 1099 to employees and contract workers remains as Jan. 31.)

Filing deadlines unchanged

While the deadline to furnish forms was extended, the filing deadlines remain the same: Feb. 28 for paper forms, and April 2 for electronic forms.

IRS Notice 2018-06 emphasizes that employers who do not comply with the due dates for furnishing or filing are subject to penalties under sections 6722 or 6721.

Good-faith transition relief extended

The IRS also announced the extension of good-faith transition relief. This may allow an employer to avoid some penalties if it can show that it made good-faith efforts to comply with the information reporting requirements for 2017.

This relief applies only to incorrect and incomplete information reported on the ACA forms, and not to a failure to file or furnish the forms in a timely manner. Additionally, the IRS stated it does not anticipate extending either the good-faith transition relief or the furnishing deadline in future years.

Contact a trusted tax professional if you have questions on how this may affect your business specifically.

Click here to read more about how the ACA is affect by the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Disclaimer: This blog includes general information about legal issues and developments in the law. Such materials are for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments. These informational materials are not intended, and must not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. You need to contact a lawyer licensed in your jurisdiction for advice on specific legal problems.

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Posted in ACA, Blog, Compliance, Featured

Erin Maxwell

by Erin Maxwell


Author Bio:

As a compliance attorney for Paycom, Erin Maxwell monitors legal and regulatory changes at the state and federal level, focusing on health and employee benefits laws, to ensure the Paycom system is updated accordingly. She previously served as assistant general counsel at Asset Servicing Group in Oklahoma City. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Oklahoma and a J.D. from the University of Oklahoma. Outside of work, Maxwell enjoys politics, historical mysteries and spending time with her family.

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